That old axiom that in the old days applied only to college professors could be applied to a lot more professions today. As you can imagine, I believe that freelance writing is one of them. In this instance we are talking about publishing an e-book most likely and not the dry research paper that the poor profs sweated over. The benefits of publishing as a freelance writer are numerous and if you’ve not considered doing this in the past, then now is the time.
The benefits of publishing
- An e-book is the perfect place to showcase your talents for any client who may be considering hiring you. An e-book immediately (right or wrong) says that you are a subject matter expert. It says that you are professional and hip to the way things are done these days.
- Publishing an e-book gives you valuable experience doing just that. I have taken on several clients who wanted to hire me for my expertise in publishing an e-book at places like Smashwords and Amazon.
- An e-book gives you a value-added product that you can offer to clients.
- Done correctly, with the proper price point, an e-book could make you a little money
The really good news is that the world is your oyster here. Your e-book could be anything that you think would be useful for potential clients. Or, it could be a comprehensive model of an area you feel particularly qualified about. Make it as short or as long as you like remembering that you need it long enough to be of value and not so long that you scare folks away.
In terms of the actual publishing, there are several ways to go. The easiest by far is to simply convert your e-book document into a .pdf file. Most e-readers can recognize this format and virtually any computer is going to have Adobe PDF Reader installed. This will get the job done for your short, basic e-book.
If you’ve put together something a bit more intensive then you may want to actually consider publishing and marketing your e-book using a service such as Smashwords. Sites like Smashwords take your completed Word document and convert it into all known e-reader formats. You set your price, get royalties and market your book. Using this kind of service does require a bit more work on your part but the extra effort is well worth it. The book needs to be formatted correctly and it needs to have an appropriate cover. At Smashwords there is a style guide that walks you through the entire process.
You can also accomplish the same thing over at Amazon using their Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) site. That is also free and is a fairly simple process.
This probably goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. Before you publish, take the time to get it right. Get as many sets of eyes on your content as possible. Hire an editor if you have to. Nothing reflects more poorly on you as a writer than having a book published that is rife with grammatical and typographical errors. Don’t chance all of your hard work on sloppy editing.
This was a very rudimentary article on self publishing. If you have specific questions, please feel free to get in touch.