How to Write a Book And Get it Published: A Beginner’s Guide

- | 120 Aha! comments | Posted in category: Writing

Man writing a book in hand.

This is a guest post and you are going to love the tips on how to write a book and get it published shared in this post.

I never thought I would write a book or become a published author. As a child, I used to write short stories and poetry in my spare time, but deep down I wanted to become a nuclear scientist.

However, life took a complete U-turn.

In September 2013, I challenged myself to publish a book before my 24th birthday. I spent countless hours reading information on how to publish a book, how to contact a literary agent, and how to make a pitch to a publisher.

But I was lucky enough to learn about Amazon’s user-friendly self-publishing platform, “Kindle Direct Publishing,” also known as KDP, to publish digital books and “Createspace” to publish paperbacks.

I finally published my first book, in the month of December 2013. Since then, I have published 7 more books, as of October 2, 2014, and I am currently working on my next book.

As a first-time author, I had hundreds of questions for which I was unable to find answers. The main idea behind writing this article is to make it a one-stop guide for bloggers, writers, and wannabe authors to be able to learn about self-publishing.

RELATED READWhat Stops You From Self-Publishing a Book on Amazon

Check out the FREE video on how to write, market, and publish your first book.

Why Write a Book

There can be hundreds of reasons to write a book. Some of the popular reasons are:

  1. To educate people
  2. To reach a much broader audience
  3. To promote a business
  4. To establish as an authority
  5. To capture leads
  6. To create a sales funnel
  7. To get on TV (yeah, I know, but some people do it)
  8. To do it as a hobby
  9. Because you love writing
  11. To do it as a task on your bucket list
  12. To be an entrepreneur without building a company
  13. To work from home and spend more time with your family

If I missed a reason, add it in the comments below. So, now that we have the list of reason, we need to be true to ourselves.

In my case, I wrote a book in order to check off one of the tasks on my bucket list. I wanted to publish a book before I turned 24. For me, there was no other reason to publish a book other than my personal satisfaction.

But now, after writing seven books, I have increased my pace. I write now because of all the reasons listed above.

Do I earn enough money to live on, with book royalties alone?

Probably not, but I am moving towards financial and personal freedom. As on today’s date, I can easily pay my rent and bills with book royalties.

Money shouldn’t be your sole criteria for writing books. It can affect your quality. Write it for any other reason except to just earn money.

How Will Writing a Book Help Me

A book can open infinite possibilities for us, both personally and professionally. People will start trusting your opinion.

You will be invited to be interviewed on blogs, magazines, radio, and TV. Just two days back, I was interviewed on Search Decoder by Matthew Capala, Adj. Professor at New York University, Speaker and Author of “SEO Like I’m 5”.

For me, I love working from the comfort of home. I always wanted to be an entrepreneur, but then I would have the headache of handling clients and employees, and building my business every single day.

I have always made my own choices to earn my freedom. Being an author gives me even more freedom than being an entrepreneur.

All I need to do is write. I can work from anywhere in this world, without having to worry about running a company. What about you?

For bloggers, a book can help you reach a much broader audience than you have ever imagined.

A book will validate the work on your blog. It will attract traffic from across the world. You will be able to reach school and college libraries and educate the upcoming generation.

You will receive interview and guest posting opportunities, which will again be instrumental in sending traffic to your blog.

In other words, by using a blog and a book, you can create an automated system to generate traffic and leads, earn money, interact with an audience and most of all attain both financial and personal freedom.

A woman author writing a book

Check out the FREE video for first-time authors on how to write your first book.

How to Become an Author

Writing a book is not rocket science. It’s similar to writing a blog.

The difference is that you are introducing capitalism into writing. Instead of offering free content via your blog, your readers will have to pay for this content.

The rules of writing a book are simple.

Forget all about formatting, marketing a book and other technical terms. Just focus on writing a damn good book on a niche/genre that you are most comfortable with.

If you love finance, write a book on stock trading or how to save money. However, if you love marketing, don’t go and write about finance or insurance solely because you think these niches are more profitable than marketing. This is the wrong approach to writing a book.

Your aim should not be to write a mediocre book in a big niche, but to write the best book in any small niche and establish yourself as an authority.

Be truthful to yourself. Write what you love and your readers will love reading it. Personalize the whole book with your own story, because you are unique and your story is unique.

People love to read stories. Since ancient times, we as human beings have evolved by reading stories.

So, what about formatting, marketing and editing?

I would suggest that you write a book first. Once the manuscript is ready, new avenues will open up automatically.

Read a lot of good books on writing and self-publishing.

I have only written non-fiction, but I want to try writing fiction. Hence, yesterday I bought James Scott Bell’s Fiction Attack!

The point I am trying to make is, the more you read, the more you learn.

How to Start Writing a Book

Once you figure out what you love, start writing an outline for your book.

Your outline will consist of chapter titles, headings, and sub-headings. The bigger the outline for your book, the bigger your book will be.

Most writers struggle to write 10,000 words. If you have an outline worth 4000 words alone, then you can easily write a book as long as 30,000 words.

If you are a blogger with a couple of articles on your blog, you can easily compile them into a book. You might have to add or remove a few paragraphs in order to interlink the chapters.

James Altucher has done it with his book, “Choose Yourself”, where he has compiled all his blog posts. The book is a bestseller and is currently selling hundreds of copies every day.

Remember: If you are publishing on Kindle, then you can’t enroll in the “KDP Select Program” if your content is available elsewhere in the internet. This is not a major setback, since you can still publish your digital e-book even without enrolling in the KDP Select Program. I will talk more about the “KDP Select Program” later in this article.

Here is an article on how to write a book in 30 day or less. If you search Amazon, you will find a lot of similar books related to this topic.

The main idea is to publish your first book and learn from it. I have learned everything I know only from my experience.

Write your first book just for the experience. To learn how the publishing world works, give 100% effort in writing your book.

Why Bloggers and Freelance Writers Have a Better Chance at Writing Books

Bloggers and freelance writers have a better chance at writing books because they have practiced their craft over a thousand times, unlike a newbie wannabe author from a different profession.

You can now put all your experience as a writer into writing your book.

You can write with a better flow, better plot, use better vocabulary, greater typing speed and you know exactly what your readers want to read.

Do you think a lawyer or a doctor has the same writing skill as a blogger or a freelance writer?

They will struggle to write their book in the beginning. They will also have writer’s block due to lack of practices whereas you, on the other hand, can get on to writing your book without hitting any roadblocks, right from day one.

How to Become a Better Writer

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”― Stephen King

If you are already a blogger or a freelance writer, you are already aware of my answer.

Write, write, write! Write everyday! The more you write, the more you can practice your craft and the better you will be at writing.

To become a better writer, you need to read a lot. I was horrible in both spoken and written English. Five years ago, I was even rejected from a job in a call center because of my broken English.

Since then, I have read more books than I have ever read in my lifetime. I have practiced every day to improve my skills.

There’s no better alternative than practice and hard work. I have been there and I am telling you this from my personal experience.

Why Should you Self-publish a Book

Self-publishing will give you the freedom to write without a deadline. You will earn a larger royalty share. Secondly, you will own the copyright of your book.

Amazon is the world’s biggest bookstore with over 25 million paperbacks, 9 million hard cover books, and 1.8 million Kindle books.

It is also the world’s third largest search engine, following Google and YouTube. It’s bigger than Yahoo and Bing.

What’s even more interesting is that Amazon users are not just surfers. They are real buyers with credit cards. The world is moving towards digital reading and Kindle gives Amazon an edge over the others.

Written books ready for publishing

How to Publish a Book

There are two ways:

  • Self-publish a book
  • Publish with a traditional publisher

I have self-published all my books so far, but I want to test the waters by publishing at least one book with a traditional publisher.

The main advantage of self-publishing is that you get to enjoy better royalty (70% from Amazon). Traditional publishers on the other hand will pay you
10% to 15% in book royalties.

If you want to go through the traditional publishing route, then you will have to go through a literary agent (as this is easier than approaching a publisher directly).

There’s an amazing article on Hindustan Times on how author Anees Salim published his first novel. He never received a single reply from a publisher until he finally hired an agent. This article pretty much explains why hiring an agent is a shortcut in getting your book published.

Your agent takes a commission of around 10% to 20% from your signup bonus check. Thus, they will make a sincere effort to get a good deal for you.

Here is a list of 131 literary agencies in the US with contact their info. In India, there are five major agencies, namely Red Ink Literary Agency, Jacaranda Literary Agency, Siyahi Literary agency, ShernaKhambatta Literary Agency, and Writer’s Side Literary Agency.

Most of the communication usually takes place via email. If you want to learn about how you should pitch to a traditional publisher, read this guest post by John Romaniello on Tim Ferriss’s blog.


If you want to write a book then check out this FREE video on how to write, market, and publish your book.

How to Self-publish a Book

Apart from Amazon, you can also self-publish via Smashwords.

If you want to distribute your e-book to Apple, Barnes and Nobles, Flipkart, Baker and Taylor, Kobo etc. then you can publish via Smashwords.

Personally, I stick to only Amazon because of the 80/20 rule.

Amazon can bring in 80% of my sales. If I decide to stick with only Amazon, then I can enjoy the benefits of the “KDP Select Program.” Please do not confuse KDP with KDP Select.

How to Print your Book

I use Createspace as my print-on-demand company. There are other alternatives, such as Lightningsource, but I prefer Createspace for the following reasons:

  1. They will take care of shipping, logistics and everything else because they are owned by Amazon. You can make money in your sleep, without having to do any manual work. With other POD (pint on demand) companies, you will have to process the orders manually.
  2. They pay on time.
  3. ZERO upfront cost. They also offer a free ISBN number, which is mandatory for the printing of paperbacks.
  4. They offer free expanded distribution to libraries, bookstores, etc. My book is available in Landmark bookstore, Homeshop18, Barnes & Nobles, Google Books, etc. This is because of the expanded distribution network from Createspace.
  5. Ability to order copies for yourself or use them as drop shipper to send your print version to anybody in this world with the click of a button.

Books seen within Kindle

Expert’s advice is GOLDEN: Know the secrets of writing, marketing, and publishing your first book in this free video.

How to Self-publish on Amazon

In order to publish via Amazon, you will have to sign up for KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). People often struggle with formatting books that they need to publish on Amazon. Here’s the best tip I can offer:

Write in Google docs and download it as .docx. You can upload that file directly into the KDP dashboard. You can also insert “table of contents” in your book quite easily with Google Docs.

While uploading your book on Amazon, you will find the option to enroll in their exclusive KDP Select Program. If you select this, you will receive five free promo days every 90 days or seven Kindle countdown days. During this period, you can’t publish the digital content elsewhere, including your own blog.

That being said, you cannot sell your e-book via any other medium, including Clickbank, blog, Selz, Gumroad, EBay, Flipkart, Barnes and Nobles, etc, although under this contract, you are free to promote your print version anywhere you want. These rules are only limited to the digital version.

Getting Paid:

Amazon pays a 70% royalty if you price your book between $2.99 and $9.99. Outside of this price bracket, you will be paid a 35% royalty. They pay every quarter via wire transfer or check.

Remember the tax withholdings:

Amazon will withhold 30% of your royalty for tax purposes, unless you fill out their tax information form. It takes five minutes to fill out their form online.

All you need to provide is your country’s Tax ID and fill out basic information like name and address. Refer to this topic for further details.

I lost a lot of money because I wasn’t aware of this tax policy. Do not make the same mistake I did.

Once I had filled out the tax interview form, Amazon now withholds 15% instead of 30%, since there is a tax treaty between India and the USA. It will vary from country to country.

Connect your Author Central Account to your books:

After you publish your book, create an author central account and link all your books. You will be able to track sales rank, author rank and edit details, such as “Editorial Reviews,” “from the backcover,” and update categories right from your “Author Central” dashboard. It is also very easy to contact Amazon’s customer support.

A book with ebook cartoon on it and a mouse

How to Self-publish an e-book

You can self-publish without relying on a third party and sell it directly to your audience via your website or an online shop. Integrating a PayPal button is damn easy. You can also use Gumroad to sell your book directly.

An advantage of using Gumroad is that you get to capture leads, you get a better conversion rate, and you can even let your readers decide what they want to pay for a book.

Most people sell it as a .pdf, but in order to avoid piracy, I suggest selling .mobi copies that can be read on any tablet or mobile devices.

If you write in MSWord, just save it as a .PDF and you are done. It’s the simplest way to publish an e-book.

Things to Know about Kindle Publishing

Here are a few things that you should be aware of:

  1. You can edit your book anytime you want (since it will be a digital version).
  2. And you can rename and change the book cover anytime you want.
  3. You do not need an ISBN to publish a digital copy with Amazon. They offer their own ASIN number for free.
  4. You can publish your book with a pen name.

How to Become a Bestselling Author

Amazon gives you a bestseller tag when you hit the charts. Now here’s the trick. You do not need to sell thousands of copies to become a bestseller.

Amazon has a lot of categories and these categories have a lot of sub-categories. All you need to do is sell 40-100 copies in a day and you will easily hit the #1 bestseller charts in a sub-category.

It should also be noted that your bestseller rank is updated hourly. Hence, you should sell as many copies as possible within a confined time limit in order to hit the charts.

Amazon does a lot of the selling for you if you produce a good book. They will promote your book in multiple categories, run ads on Facebook to retarget old visitors, and also do the email marketing for you.

The only thing you need to understand is that they cannot promote each and every book available on Amazon. They will only promote the books that sell well.

So, get the initial sales by promoting your book to your audience, email list, social network fans and followers. This will trigger Amazon to start promoting your book to other Amazon customers.

How to Promote your Book

Marketing is universal. I wish I could write about promotion and book marketing in just a few paragraphs, but I can’t.

I sincerely want to help self-published authors. Hence, I am writing a book called, The Art of Book MarketingHarleena, thanks a lot for allowing me the opportunity to guest post on Aha!NOW.

I would love to connect with your audience.

Over to you:

After reading this beginner’s guide and knowing all about how to write and publish your own book, are you going to write one and become an author? Have you ever written an ebook or self-published on Amazon? Share your thoughts and experiences.

Here is a FREE video mini-course for first-time authors. Don’t miss the golden opportunity to become a bestseller.

MUST READ: What Stops You From Self-Publishing a Book on Amazon

DON’T MISS: Review of the Best Self-Publishing on Amazon Online Course.

Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos

Show Comments

120 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. Liz McGee

    2014-10-23 at 5:23 am

    Hi Harshajyoti,

    I love hearing stories like this and want to thank you for sharing. You have lots of good information here as well.

    Writing an ebook and getting it published is hard work. I did it back in 2008 and I’m so glad I did. It took a lot of effort to keep at it which most people don’t. They start out with ideas of grandeur but often quit before reaching their goal of finishing and publishing.

    I used Amazon to publish my book on kindle which isn’t hard. In fact Kindle makes it as easy as they can.

    Great to hear your story and best of luck to all those ebook publishers and publishers to be 🙂


    • Harshajyoti Das

      2014-10-31 at 7:52 am

      Wow Liz, You did it back in 2008?

      Kindle was launched in Nov 2007. It’s really amazing to see that you have picked up the opportunity while most of us were still unaware of these opportunities.

      How many books have you published after that? What are you working on these days?


  2. Lenie

    2014-10-17 at 2:10 pm

    Hi Harsh
    This is my first time checking out Harleena’s blog and I sure picked a good time. This is amazing information and I’ve bookmarked it. Once I get clear on a few other things I will print if off so I can refer to it on an ongoing basis.
    Thanks so much for sharing such great knowledge.

    • Harshajyoti Das

      2014-10-31 at 7:49 am

      Hi Lenie,

      I am pleased to hear from you. Glad you have landed on Harleena’s blog via this article.

      I print articles from the web quite often. It’s a great idea to read it on paper. What are you working on these days?

      Many Blessings !

  3. Dedy

    2014-10-16 at 9:58 am

    Yes, I totally agree with your point that “To become a better writer, you need to read a lot”. even, I too had a broken English and I improved a lot with reading and writing practice.

    • Harshajyoti Das

      2014-10-17 at 6:04 am

      Hey Dedy,

      Thanks for your comment. What are you reading these days? I just brought “Mastering Hypnotic Language” by The Rogue Hypnotist. I hope to apply some of these techniques in my upcoming book on “Book marketing”. Oh, I am still halfway through “Mastery” by Robert Greene.

      Have a wonderful week ahead.

  4. Don Purdum

    2014-10-16 at 2:23 am

    Hi Harshajyoti,

    WOW! This is just what I needed at the right time. I’m just starting to write my ebook. I wish I could leave a long, lengthy comment like I normally would but I’m way out of my area of expertise.

    Writing the book will be no problem. Publishing it on the other hand, that’s a different story. I feel I have so much to learn.

    Can’t wait to go through the process.

    Thank you again! I am bookmarking as I know I will have to come back to this page.

    Harleena, WOW!!!! You are so awesome having someone like Harshajyoti share the nuts and bolts with us. What a blessing.

    Thanks again!

    ~ Don Purdum

    • Harshajyoti Das

      2014-10-17 at 6:01 am

      Hey Don,

      I was just surfing through your blog a couple of minutes back.

      Once you write your book, publishing takes just 5 minutes on Amazon. It’s a child’s play. Feel free to buzz me anytime if you want my help. Btw.. just started following you on Twitter. Let’s connect!

      Appreciate your time to post this comment Don. So, what are you working on these days apart from your ebook?

      • Don Purdum

        2014-10-18 at 3:07 am

        Hi Harshajyoti,

        It’s great to connect with you. I appreciate you’re feedback and I look forward to reading and engaging with you on you blog as well.

        My focus right now is on increasing my coaching clients, the eBook, I’m developing a small group mastermind and I’m scoping out a video series that people can buy.

        Yep, I’m having fun being busy. But, at least I’m not busy being busy for the sake of being busy, lol…

        How about you Harshajyoti?

  5. Nisha Pandey

    2014-10-15 at 10:35 pm

    Hello Harsh,

    I’m glad to meet you here. Congratulations for winning this guest post giveaway. Even, I’ve won for this month. This is really feeling good to featured at Aha!Now. I know that you’re also feeling the same.

    Amazing post you have written about e-Book. I’ve recently launched small size free e-Book for my readers. After reading your post, I can improve my e-Book writing and promoting skill.

    Yes, I totally agree with your point that “To become a better writer, you need to read a lot”. even, I too had a broken English and I improved a lot with reading and writing practice.

    I was little confused about promoting an e-Book on Amazon. Thanks for the covering this selling part too. This is very helpful for me and others too.

    Thanks again for sharing this wonderful and helpful post with us. I am really enjoyed reading and learned lot of things here.

    Have a wonderful day ahead!

    • Harshajyoti Das

      2014-10-17 at 5:56 am

      Hi Nisha,

      Yeah you are right. It certainly feels great to win a giveaway. And to be honest, to win this giveaway was perhaps the best thing that has happened to me last month.

      Where have you launched your ebooks? On the website or you are selling ti directly via channels like ebay?

      Yeah, many Indians face the same problem when it comes to writing and speaking the language. Blame it on the education system. Even though, mine was an English-medium school, everybody communicated in either Hindi or vernacular language. Moreover, we were so dumped with exam pressure, that it left us with no time to read other books.

      Have a blessed day Nisha.

  6. Neamat Tawadrous

    2014-10-15 at 10:03 pm

    Hi Harsh and Harleena,

    Congratulations Harsh for winning the guest post opportunity on Aha!NOW!! You really did a great job writing this post and I am impressed.

    In my 2 years of blogging I have never seen such a detailed post about publishing an ebook and you have explained all the steps thoroughly. This post is a great resource if I ever considered to write an ebook which I am inspired to do after reading this post.

    I am really happy that nowadays you don’t have to wait on a publisher to be willing to publish your book. You can do it all on your own. It will save you time and effort.

    Thanks Harsh for a great write up and for the time you invested in compiling together all the tips and resources. It’s sure a success!!

    Thanks Harleena for having Harsh over to write such a wonderful and informative post about publishing an e-book.

    Enjoy the rest of your week, you both!!

    Be Blessed,


    • Harshajyoti Das

      2014-10-17 at 5:49 am

      Hi Neamat,

      Wow ! thanks for your kind words. I know you are a very active blogger. When I hear some one like you praise my article, I feel obliged.

      I tried my best to do complete justice to this opportunity to write a guest article on Aha-now. I am overwhelmed by the whole response.

      Thank you once again for encouraging me to keep writing and sharing wonderful tips with fellow writers/bloggers/authors.

      Have a Blessed Day!

  7. Edward Beaman

    2014-10-15 at 9:29 pm

    Hi Harshajyoti,

    What a great post and big congratulations on your publishing successes.

    I was amazed when you said that just 5 years ago you were rejected for a job because of your broken English. Your writing is perfectly fluent now and that shows how much great work you’ve put in.

    Your list of reasons for writing a book must certainly be ones that tickle the fancy of most people wanting a book published. I can think of another which comes to mind which is having something which will outlive us mere mortals.

    Something our children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren after that will remember us by. I guess to leave a footstep of some kind is something we all desire, even if we don’t consciously think about it.

    You’re right in regards to bloggers being more initially suited to writing a book. When you write every day with a passion, you begin to perfect your writing voice and the habit of writing a lot.

    Wonderful post Harshajyoti.


    • Harshajyoti Das

      2014-10-17 at 5:37 am

      Hi Edward,

      Yeah, my life had a lot of ups and downs but it was damn exciting. My life has taught me a lot. It’s been my greatest teacher.

      Thanks for adding that point to the list. Even I think the same. To leave a legacy behind is definitely one of the core reason to write a book. We will have the ability to still connect with humanity and to make someone smile with our story even after our death. A book will also give us a chance to connect and teach values to our grandchildren or great grandchildren even when we are no more. What a fabulous idea! Thank you once again for reminding me.


  8. Adrienne

    2014-10-15 at 9:02 pm

    Hey Harshajyoti,

    Welcome to Harleena’s place and what a wonderful share.

    Wow, what a post and you didn’t leave anything out. Now that’s very impressive that you had that on your bucket list and wanted to achieve that so early in life.

    I guess it was about five or six years ago now I got the wild hair that I wanted to write a book. I had a dog for 19 years who I loved like a child and I wanted to share with the world how great he was. So I took a course from a well known writer and she basically taught us that every book starts with a general outline and she explained this in a way I definitely understood. I still have all the notes but later decided that although I loved my dog, there wasn’t enough in there for a story. I’ve never thought of writing a book since.

    People try to convince me that my blog posts would do well as mini-books but that’s just not what my heart desires. I wanted to do it as fun at one time but it’s really not a goal I have on my list to achieve.

    So many people do though so what you’ve shared here will be very helpful. I mean you already have seven behind you, that’s just so very impressive.

    I’ll be sure to pass this post around, I know so many people who would probably love to conquer this dream of theirs. Maybe you can help them with that final decision with all the tips you’ve shared. I sure hope so.

    Hope you both have a wonderful rest of your week and thanks again. Oh and congratulations on winning this guest appearance too.


    • Harshajyoti Das

      2014-10-17 at 5:31 am

      Hi Adrienne,

      I have been a fan of your writing since the day I have read your free guide on “relationship marketing.”

      We all love reading and listening to stories. If you write your story about your dog, you will find plenty of readers who will enjoy. A story doesn’t necessarily mean a drama or a tragedy. Even when you tell the day-to-day incident, it can turn out to be a engrossing story. It’s the same reason why some diaries have turned out to be such great sellers. If you put up a story out there, you will definitely find an audience who will adore your story. There’s a huge audience of dog lovers in America alone.

      Thanks for your heartiest greetings. Have a wonderful week ahead.

  9. mathi

    2014-10-15 at 6:16 pm

    Hi Harsh,
    I am digging gold in Aha-now. This is something I have been browsing about for a long time. My ambition is to be a successful blogger. Of course it needs patience and time which I think I have in ample. I have divided my ambition into segments to make it easy for me. First write good content. Then to bring viewers to me. Then to make use of my blog to promote the eBooks I have written. My eBooks deals with relationship problems and one book is about proverbs and its relevance in this modern world.It is all sketched roughly. I wrote and forgot about it. After reading your post I have started my editing. Hopefully I will have the courage to finish it and publish it. Thank you for your easy suggestions.

    • Harshajyoti Das

      2014-10-17 at 5:05 am

      Hi Mathi,

      I am so glad that you have shared your goals and ambitions with us. First of all, nice domain name.

      You can also publish your ebooks on Kindle, Amazon and drive traffic from Amazon to your blog. Even that’s possible.

      In your niche, the best way to drive traffic is perhaps to take an active participation on Quora, Yahoo Answers and relationship forums. People are actively seeking advices on their relationship in these places.

      You know, nothing makes me more happy than to realize that my one article has inspired someone to restart an old project that was gathering dust.

      All the best for your future. Keep “Taking Actions”.

  10. Carol Amato

    2014-10-15 at 8:20 am

    Hello, Harsh,

    WOW! What a comprehensive article! I’ve had book publication on the back burner for a while. I have projects nearly completion, and others half done, but have bookmarked your article and will definitely return to it.

    Thanks for so much for the detail you provided, and lists, which I like.

    I appreciate the quality you provide, and will definitely be sharing with my friends. Job well done!

    Harleena, thank you so much for having him! I learned a lot, and will be using this as a resource in the future. 🙂

    Have a good evening.
    – Carol

    • Harshajyoti Das

      2014-10-17 at 4:55 am

      Hi Carol,

      Glad to catch you on Aha-now. Thanks for stopping by my guest article.

      It’s really exciting to hear comments like this. I am sure, you will be able to publish your book very soon. I can see that you have already made up your mind. It’s just the damn pending tasks that keeps us busy. I have been there, so I can understand your situation.

      You are a brilliant marketer and you will be able to put all your knowledge into your book. We are all waiting for your book.

      Thanks again Carol for inspiring us.

  11. Corina Ramos

    2014-10-15 at 8:02 am

    Hello Harsh,

    It’s so nice to meet you and welcome to Harleena’s blog! Thank you for sharing all this valuable information with us. Your advice was very motivating for me to start thinking about a second book :).

    I just published my first eBook on Kindle back in August. The one thing I’m struggling with is marketing. I have never heard of Gumroad so I will definitely check it out.

    I for one will be looking out for your book on marketing when it comes out. 🙂

    Thank you again for these great tips! Enjoy the rest of your week! Hello Harleena! I hope you’re doing well my dear!

    • Harshajyoti Das

      2014-10-17 at 4:17 am

      Hi Corina,

      Congrats on your new book. If you are using KDP Select, you can’t publish your book elsewhere. Is this your book ? “Beginners Guide to a Work-from-Home”

      Let me tell you a few quick tips that can help you sell more copies..

      1. You need a better cover.
      2. $2.99 for a 28 page book is considered too high on Amazon. It will sell more copies at 99 cents.
      3. You have just one review. Why not send a PDF copy to all your blogger friends and let them review it for you?
      4. Honestly, the title is not intriguing. Both both these elements in the title: “Assurance” and “Expectation”.

      If you need help with anything reach me directly. You will find my contact details on my site.


  12. Becca Britten

    2014-10-14 at 7:56 pm

    I love seeing this and I’m going to be sharing this with all my author friends. I have met so many independent authors who are amazing people, plagued by doubt and insecurity but they never ever stopped trying and managed to self publish both fiction and non fiction. I have 2 works in progress, but though the story is right in my head, I’m missing the middle. Outlining is something I have never been very good at but I think it’s time to go back to that step because without it, I just have a muse who laughs at me, and characters irritated at me for not finishing their story properly. Thank you for the inspiration, this was exactly the right thing to read today.

    • Harshajyoti Das

      2014-10-17 at 3:57 am

      Hi Becca,

      I am thankful for referring your other author friends. Appreciate it big time.

      There is a book called, 2k to 10k. I am not sure if you have read it but the author talks about how she went from writing 2k words per day to 10k words per day. The secret was to write a outline for the book in the very beginning.

      You are most welcome Becca. I wish you all the best for your upcoming books.


  13. Sylviane Nuccio

    2014-10-14 at 5:13 pm

    Hi Harshajyoti, and Harleena,

    This is a great post and a keeper. I had written a post on that very subject myself a while back, but it’s always good to read someone else work.

    I think that it’s fantastic that nowadays you don’t have to wait on a publisher to be willing to publish your book. It can be done by yourself.

    I hope to see you back soon Harleena.

    • Harshajyoti Das

      2014-10-17 at 3:45 am

      Hi Sylviane,

      It’s so great to hear from a writer who has already written an article on a similar topic. Oh thank God, you didn’t find too many loopholes. 🙂 If there’s anything I might have missed, please let me know.

      Self-publishing industry and digital ebooks have changed the whole face of the publishing industry. I just brought a kindle ebook today on “Hypnosis” for $0.99 cents! If it was a paperback, I know for sure that I would have procrastinated and have never brought it. Who wants to take the hassle of buying and then waiting for a week to get the delivery. On top of everything, we need to make sure that somebody’s at home to answer the door.

      Have a wonderful week Sylviane.


  14. Steven J Wilson

    2014-10-14 at 12:49 pm

    Hi Harsh,

    Excellent post! I have thought about this before and this helps a lot with feeling more comfortable taking the leap.

    This gives me plenty to think about.

    CreateSpace is a new one but you tips on how you can make money from doing nothing is very appealing for sure 🙂

    I will refer back to this one. I will start diving seriously into my book at the beginning of the new year.

    Thanks for this Have a great rest of the week Harsh.

    I hope all is well with you also Harlenna!

    • Harshajyoti Das

      2014-10-17 at 3:35 am

      Hi Steven,

      Yeah, even I was a bit hesitant when I first started out with kindle and createspace. Once you publish your first book, it’s going to look so easy.

      Pocket this article. I am sure, you can always refer when you are finally ready to publish your first book.

      All the best for your future endeavors. Good luck.

      Have a pleasant week.


  15. Kumar Gauraw

    2014-10-13 at 7:58 pm

    Hi Harsh,

    Your post is very helpful particularly for me because I am also in process of writing my first book and publishing it.

    What I have found the most challenge is that writing of a book is way different than writing a blog post. The organizational skills it demands is tremendous and that has caused me to write and re-write my chapters. Each time I go back to one of the chapters I already have written, I feel I need to go back and re-write it again. It has killed a lot of time for me.

    As far as logistics are concerned, I am going to bookmark this post since it will be handy when I am ready to publish.

    Thank you for such a wonderful post.


    • Harshajyoti Das

      2014-10-14 at 4:15 pm

      Hey Kumar,

      Congrats on your first book. It’s really exciting to hear from a new author. Writing a book is slightly different from writing a blog. I agree. But it’s not really that different. Sometimes, we are just over cautious while writing a book just like a mother is to her new-born child.

      A couple of days back, I was listening to a podcast of a famous writer. I forgot who he was but that guy has sold over a million copies. He said that, no matter how much you feel the urge to go back and rewrite, DON’T. “Just finish the damn book already” — These were his exact words.

      Once you finish writing your book with over 75k words, you can always go back and chop off 60% of the book. Just keep the part that you think is interesting enough for the readers to read. But if you stop in between to go back and edit after every chapter, you will never be able to finish your book.

      I wish you all the best in your publishing career.

      Good luck !

  16. Erik Emanuelli

    2014-10-13 at 7:32 pm

    First of all, congratulations for being the winner of the Aha!NOW guest post giveaway, Harshajyoti!

    You listed some interesting tips to help people be inspired writing a Book.
    I think the most important point is understanding your audience, knowing to who you are writing for.
    Then if you are able to solve your audience problems, or needs, then you are right on your way to sell some copies of your book! 🙂

    Thanks for the post,
    have a great one.

    • Harshajyoti Das

      2014-10-14 at 2:43 am

      Thank you Erik,

      You have raised a very good point. We need to understand a problem before starting out work. It goes for any product development whether it’s a book or a software. A few years back, I made the mistake of not doing enough market survey before launching my software company. It sold a few freebies but nobody was willing to pay for it.

      Understanding what an audience want is extremely important but it’s next step of the process. The first step is to realize the audience for whom we are planning to write a book. Most people often make the mistake of selecting a wrong audience and writing for the wrong target audience.

      Thank you for sharing your views Eric. Commenters like you enhance the quality of a blog post.


  17. Rohan Chaubey

    2014-10-13 at 7:03 pm

    Good Job Harshajyoti! This is a great guide to rely on. I also checked your blog and I must say you that you are a great writer. I just loved all the contents written by you. Thank you for sharing this guide.
    Way to go!

    • Harshajyoti Das

      2014-10-14 at 2:36 am

      Hey Rohan,

      Thanks for commenting and checking out my blog. It’s still a work in progress though.

      What are you working on these days?


  18. Angela McCall

    2014-10-13 at 1:31 pm

    Hi Harshajyoti,

    Wow!!! I am flabbergasted to see you here at Harleena’s. Congratulations for winning the guest post here. 🙂

    But I digress…

    Did Bonnie Gean approve you as a member in our Video Blogging Challenge community? I am just wondering I haven’t seen you post your video blog post there.

    Anyway, back to Kindle…two of my friends who are great kindle publisher are: Steve Scott and Rob Cubbon. They are both making pretty good profit from KDP. A strategy I’m trying to adopt myself. I have faith in nonfiction ebooks writing.

    This is a great post, Harsha. You are indeed a great writer. And I love your “No SEO Forever” ebook. Minus the automated comments. I have kept the book.

    Um, a doctor might struggle in writing a book because of a lot of jargon words. However, a lawyer might have a better chance to write a better book than the doctor because the lawyer majored in English and Communication. So they can express themselves in words. How do I know that? One of my favorite writer is Tad Crawford who wrote “Legal Guide for the Visual Artist”. He is not a blogger but a Lawyer. And he wrote books before computer even evolved.

    I tell ya Self-Publishing a book today is better than 25 years ago where you have to wait at least 6-months from a publisher before your book gets even publish in PRINT. Now, with the beauty of the Amazon and the Internet and the computer you can publish your book in 24-hours and make money right away!

    I agree with you. Amazon is the 3rd largest search engine. There is a way to make money there even if you didn’t have any blog. You can collect email addresses from your fans on your ebooks. These audience are more targeted customers. Once you sell your book in Amazon and it becomes number one seller, Amazon will promote it for you and will target some other audience who are reading the same kind of books.

    Btw, Steve Scott makes 6-figures from his blog and selling his kindle books. He said he creates an ebook every 21-days. You have to write that fast. With him he does it really well. His career took off just by writing ebooks.

    Anyway, thanks for writing an excellent article. I have Pocketed this post. I hope you have a great week!


    • Harshajyoti Das

      2014-10-14 at 2:30 am

      Hi Angela,

      So nice to hear from you again. Thanks for stopping by this guest post.

      Bonnie did accept me but it was way too late. I had already changed my schedule. I was left with not time in my calender to participate.

      Steve and Rob are both great guys. I interviewed Steve just recently for my upcmong book, “The Art Of Book Marketing”. He has shared some interesting information about book marketing. I will contact Rob for an interview as well. He is the guy to talk to about branding.

      I get what you said about Tad Crawford and I agree. There are some really good doctors who have written wonderful books. I have read books by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne and Dr. Terry Wahls. It’s just an example where I have compared a general profession with a blogger.

      Self-publishing has surely changed the whole publishing industry. Amazon is on top of it’s game. On a personal level, I prefer buying Kindle books because I am also contributing to the environment by saving paper.

      Steve makes around 60k every month from his books. He is surely an inspiration for all of us. He has a book that talks about “How to Write a Book in 21 Days” but during a recent interview with Pat Flynn, he said that he plan to write more in-depth books worth 20k-25k words by taking 2-3 months in hand. I have to agree with his decision because there are numerous low-quality books pooping up on Amazon recently. Most of them are written by outsourced writers. If we want out books to stand out from the crowd, we are bound to write a big-fat, in-depth book. Although in some niches like “Motivation”, “Habit”, etc. a 100 pages book will sell quite well.

      Have a great week ahead Agnela. Thank you once again for sharing your views.

      • Angela McCall

        2014-10-14 at 4:12 am

        60K a month just for writing books? WOW!!!! He is the man. Btw, I have 50 nonfiction books to read. Some of the books were free and some I have bought ’em at Amazon. Majority of the books I have are from Steve Scott. I think I bought most of them. I think Steve Scott outsource his books too but he only outsource the Cover Design of the book, and prolly some of the editing. But ALL of the books he produced he wrote them all based from his experience.


  19. Jens-Petter Berget

    2014-10-13 at 1:17 pm

    Hi Harsh,

    I have self-published a novel in Norwegian on both iBooks and Amazon. It was hard writing it. I didn’t do it for the money, but more to see if I could actually get it done. What I find interesting with my experience is the marketing part. I work with marketing, and I should know how to do it. But, when I was finished writing the book, I was finished. I didn’t want to keep marketing the book. I was tired of it, even though I was happy with the result. It was an interesting experience 🙂

    Great article and I wish I had read it before I started writing my book.


    • Harshajyoti Das

      2014-10-14 at 2:11 am

      Hi Jens,

      So, we both are marketers and authors. Good to connect with someone who is like me. 🙂

      I get your pain. Sometimes, we just lose interest. It has happened to me before. But there’s something that has always motivated me to keep going. Think how many life you can touch with your book. We are the gifted few who has the ability to write a book, publish it and promote it to the masses. Most authors have no clue about marketing or promoting their book. We are among the gifted few and we should use our gift. If we let it go to waste, we will be doing an injustice to those who are less privileged.

      We need to treat our book as a business/company. The day we stop advertising and marketing our company, it’s DEAD ! The same is the case with our book. We need to have a goal and work on it everyday. A simple goal can be to publish a newspaper article after sending your book to a newspaper editor. Or, to earn 500 email subscribers from your book within a week. Keep challenging yourself all the way to keep the fire burning. Willpower is bound to reduce with time. Hence, we should try out best to make the whole task, challenging, inspiring and encouraging.

      Good luck buddy !

  20. Nataly Auger

    2014-10-13 at 11:53 am

    Hi Harsh,

    Your post is exactly what I was looking for! I have been blogging for almost two years now and I have been considering writing a book for many years, but I didn’t know how to start and where to find the info needed to achieve this. Your article is giving me the means to finally write my first book! Now I can seriously begin and realize my dream to become a writer. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience with us!

    I also want to congratulate you for winning the guest post giveaway, you truly deserve it! 🙂

    • Harshajyoti Das

      2014-10-14 at 2:02 am

      Hi Nataly,

      Thank you for your wishes. I appreciate it big time.

      I hope you finally write your first book that’s long pending. For now, just write. Forget all about formating, marketing, publishing etc. Once you finish writing your book, contact me and I will help you out personally with the whole self-publishing process.

      You have my best wishes!

      • Nataly Auger

        2014-10-14 at 2:10 am

        Wow! Thanks a lot for offering to help me with self-publishing my book. I will surely take you up on your offer and will contact you when I am done with my book! Have a nice day!

  21. metz

    2014-10-13 at 10:18 am

    Writing a book is one of the best ways to make money online. We know that beginners want to know how to publish a book and this article revealed how.

    I am also grateful that you create a list on how to write a book. This will push their enthusiasm and interest. Additionally, the tips given on how to write a book are simple and easy to follow. You have to focus yourself to create a book you love and share a topic you are passionate with to have a good and more fruitful result.

    The practical tips aren’t that difficult to do. Hard work is your investment and so with time.

    Great article all in all! Keep it up! This is encouraging and inspiring!

    • Harshajyoti Das

      2014-10-14 at 2:00 am

      Hello Metz,

      Yeah, I tried to make sure that the tips are easy for any newbie writer to implement. We need to be passionate about our job or else, we will land up creating a mediocre book.

      I am glad this guest post was able to inspire and encourage you.

      Good luck for your future.


  22. Lorraine Reguly

    2014-10-13 at 4:45 am

    Harsh, I think what you have done here with this post is awesome. You’ve basically condensed a year of learning into one compact post. Well done!

    I’ve had to learn things the long way ’round, but now that I have had my first experience with being a self-pubber, I have to say I learned a lot.

    I’d like to know a few things, though.
    1. Who does your graphics for your books?
    2. Did you have to apply for an ITIN with the IRS to get a reduced rate for CreateSpace?
    3. What have you found is the “sweet spot” regarding pricing?

    I know you’ll only have your own experiences to draw on to answer these, but that’s okay. 🙂

    I’m looking forward to your reply, Harsh.

    Thanks, and congratulations from one aha!NOW winner to another. 😉

    • Harshajyoti Das

      2014-10-14 at 1:51 am

      Hey Lorraine,

      I am so happy to connect with you. Congrats to you too for such a lovely guest post. You surely set the standard really high for me.

      Let me answer your queries:

      1. Who does your graphics for your books?

      I get free stock photos. Just remember to give them proper credit in the end of your book

      2. Did you have to apply for an ITIN with the IRS to get a reduced rate for CreateSpace?

      No, you do not need to apply for a ITIN. Your local country’s tax Identification Number is enough. And it’s not just for createspace, it applies to Kindle earnings too.

      3. What have you found is the “sweet spot” regarding pricing?

      It depends on a lot of factors. Book pages, categories, niche, author reputation, category selection etc. etc.. I launch my books at 99 cents and then gradually increase my price. I watch over the sales graph closely for around a week. If the sales are consistent, I will increase the price a little more until I find a “sweet spot” where my book will still sell giving me the max revenue.

      Sometimes, it’s not about revenue. We have different goals. Eg: I have priced my book, “Be The Genius” at $1.99 so that I can sell a lot of copies. I am not concerned about the revenue it generates. I would want people to read this book and help them change their life. You should see the email responses I get from my readers. They share about their problems in life and we connect on a personal level. I love helping people and that’s why I wrote this book.

      My conversion optimization book is priced anywhere between $2.99 to $5.99 because business owners will easily pay that money. If I would have priced it at $1.99, it hardly makes any difference. Hence, I sell it at a higher price.

      My other book, “Engagement Interaction Conversion” is priced at 99 cents. I am not concerned about how much revenue it generates but how many copies it sells. I am planning to take this book to a traditional publisher and show them the sales numbers. This will help me get a good signing bonus.

      It all comes down to what your end goals are….

  23. Jeevan Jacob John

    2014-10-13 at 3:34 am

    Nice to meet you, Harsh!

    Thank you for the comprehensive guide 🙂

    I have written a few eBooks, but I haven’t invested into publishing (and selling) one. I am thinking about it (I am also planning to go into writing fiction. I do love reading, especially good stories and novels, why not write one? I already have a few ideas and have started writing one, just need to stick with it :D).

    I have heard of Amazon’s program, but don’t know much about setting it up (so, thank you for the guide). I have bookmarked the page; this will be great help when I am eventually done with the book 😀

    Thank you again for the guide, and good luck with your new book!

    • Harshajyoti Das

      2014-10-14 at 1:38 am

      Hey Jeevan,

      Since you have already published your ebook, why don’t you convert them into Kindle and paperbacks? It doesn’t even require an investment. It’s all FREE!

      I am happy that you have finally found this guide to help you in your self-publishing process.

      Go ahead and write your first Fiction. We often procrastinate for no reason. If you can bring a smile to just one reader, the effort is worth it.

      Wish you all the best for your future. !

  24. Ilka

    2014-10-13 at 1:07 am

    Hi Harsh!

    Thank you for this excellent post. I was always wondering how self-publishing works but never took the time to actually look into it. The information you provided is very helpful. I am not quite in the process of writing a book yet, but as bloggers we always think about it. I will keep this post and will definitely come back to it from time to time.

    Thank you Harleena for letting Harsh be your guest blogger 🙂

    Best, Ilka

    • Harshajyoti Das

      2014-10-14 at 1:32 am

      Hi Ilka,

      As a blogger, you have a very big advantage over others. Publishing a book is an exciting journey. Do it for the experience if not for any other reason.

      I wish you all the best for your future.

      Many Blessings!

  25. Andrew M. Warner

    2014-10-13 at 12:24 am


    Great post.

    For the longest while, I’ve always wanted to write a book. In fact growing up, the profession I wanted to be was a writer. I read books by Stephen King and others and said, I wanted to be like them one day … but I’ve yet to write a book.

    This post inspired me to start writing that again so thank you for that.

    Regarding publishing, is it better to publish a regular book or one on Kindle platform? Or both?

    I know some people that’ve published books and they complained that some of their stuff is pirated and people receive copies they haven’t paid for. Not sure how true that it or not.

    Regardless, great post. Thanks for the inspiration. Today, I start my journey to become a best selling author either online or offline.

    – Andrew

    • Harshajyoti Das

      2014-10-14 at 1:30 am

      Hey Andrew,

      I am glad I was able to inspire you to write and publish.

      Let me answer your question. Ebooks have already outsold paperbacks on Amazon (the world’s largest bookstore). Within the next 10 years, ebooks might capture 80% of the market share. But there will still be paperbacks, physical bookstores, libraries and such.

      I would advice you to publish your digital version on Kindle and paperback via . There’s no harm in having both. You will sell more copies and earn more profit.

      Do not worry about piracy. If you enable DRM (digital rights management) while publishing in Kindle, your book won’t be pirated. Just make sure to avoid giving away .pdf versions of your book to unknown readers. Let them download it via Amazon or send a .mobi version if at all you need to.

      I hope it answers your query. Good luck !

  26. vino

    2014-10-12 at 11:09 pm

    This post definetely serves as a great guide in defining on how to write and publish ebooks. I seriously didn’t know about many facts involved in it. I appreciate your help in disclosing about the details involved in the same. Hope many writers got fruitful benefits out of this post

    • Harshajyoti Das

      2014-10-13 at 6:59 am

      Hey Vino,

      I am happy that I was able to convey the message clearly. I am sure, you will be able to put these tips into good practice. Can’t wait to see your first book being published.

      Share it with other writers who can benefit from this article. Will highly appreciate it.

      Many Blessings!

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