Hey, ladies (and all other bright and beautiful beginning authors):

First thing’s first!

Before you can figure out how to launch a book online, you have to:

  • Write your book
  • Edit your book
  • Format your book
  • Publish your book and
  • Launch

Each stage of this process is filled with unique worry and wonder. This post will give you the basic lay of the land and, from there, you will need to research the options that are best for you.

Write Your Book!

Writing a book is hard, no doubt, so we’ll assume that if you’re ready to launch you’ve already written a chapter or two.

Edit Your Book!

Before handing it off to a professional, edit your book a couple of times. This will save you money and (possibly) embarrassment.

This may seem like an expensive step but, according to professionals everywhere, a necessary one to make your book the best and brightest it can be.

Format Your Book!

Although you love writing, you may not love formatting — or uploading or all that other computery stuff that has to get done in order to launch a book online.

Never fear! You have options. You can:

  • Do it yourself or
  • Pay someone to do it for you

You can format your book using Scrivener, which is well-loved book-writing software.

If you choose to format the book yourself, you will need to upload it to an ebook seller. Ebook aggregators (below) can format your book for you.

Publish Your Book!

Now that you are ready to publish, you will need to decide if you would like your book to be an ebook only or if you would also like it to be published via print.

You will also decide how “hands on” you want to be. Are you going to go totally “do it yourself” or are you going to get help?

Here are some options. You can publish your book:

  • Directly to ebook stores or
  • Using ebook aggregators

You can find more information about each of these options, below.

Ebook Stores

Check out the following ebook stores:

As you look at these sites, find out what they offer readers and authors (that’s you!).

Ebook Aggregators

First of all, you may be wondering, what is an “ebook aggregator?”

An ebook aggregator can, for fees, design, format and distribute your book for you.

Here are some of the most popular ones:

The first two, BookBaby and Lulu, also offer printing services.

A Word About “Premium” Services

Many of the options discussed, above, don’t cost much up front. If you decide to go the premium service route, make sure that you are truly getting what you pay for by checking references and online reviews before you pay out the big bucks.

Just so you know — premium services often get a really bad rap. Do the research and decide for yourself.


As you consider how to launch a book online, remember these famous words:

Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Ideally, you will have been, as you worked on your book, creating an author platform.

An author platform is your total audience reach, including in-person appearances you make. It is made up of the people on your subscriber list, your blog audience and all of the people on your various social media profiles and forums.

Working backwards, imagine that you have 100 Twitter followers and 2% of them buy your book. That means that 2 people have purchased your book. If you are selling your book for $10,000 per download, that just might be enough. Otherwise. . .

Do the math for each of your profiles. Consider your own audience to estimate how many of them would be willing to buy your book.

Chances are, if you have created a dynamic and growing web presence for yourself, your book will be successful.

9 Tips For A Successful Book Launch

To get more concrete, here are some steps you can take to assure the success of your book launch:

  1. Contribute regular updates to your key social media profiles (e.g., Facebook Page, Twitter)
  2. Build your audience with guest posts
  3. Have a media kit (complete with a press release announcing your book)
  4. Create a (short!) video about your book
  5. Assemble a list of book reviewers and provide them with information about your launch
  6. Hold a contest or book giveaway
  7. Organize a book tour — virtual or real
  8. Use social share buttons in your giveaway or contest
  9. Take advantage of free ebook promotion opportunities like this list from MediaBistro.


Writing, publishing and launching a book is a big project but, with research, advance planning and consistent effort, there’s every reason to believe your bright and beautiful book will be a success!

Your Turn

What do you think? How can new authors position themselves for success?


Friedlander, Joel. Top 8 Tactics to Power Your Online Book Launch. The Book Designer. October 24, 2011.

Penn, Joanna. How To Publish A Book 101. The Creative Penn. January 15, 2013.

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