It's said that everyone has a book in them. I've got one (and a few more, I hope), and I've decided to self-publish it as an ebook.
Since the development of the ebook, self-publishing has become big. Even established authors are dumping their agents and publishers and taking the DIY approach. A quick scan of Amazon will show plenty of titles along the lines of 'How to create an ebook in 5 minutes' and 'Make thousands with your ebook'.
Now, I agree that it is possible to create an ebook quickly, perhaps not in 5 minutes, but certainly within a day, and that an ebook might generate large financial returns. But I've read some of these quickly made ebooks and many of them are riddled with errors - spelling mistakes, poor grammar and dodgy formatting.
My personal view is that if you are going to put your own creation in front of the public and ask them to pay for the privilege of reading your work, then you have a duty to make your ebook as good as it can possibly be.
That's why my own ebook is taking a lot longer than 5 minutes to produce. My first novel, 'The Queen's Favourite', was completed about 5 years ago. I like to think that since then I've become a better writer, which when I pulled the manuscript out for a fresh look meant some intensive copyediting was required. This has taken me about three weeks to do, to get it to a level which I'm satisfied with. I will always think it could be better, but that's just me.
Now, I'm on the proofreading stage, making sure my typed manuscript looks good, without any typographical errors. Most professionals will advise you that it is best not to do your own proofreading because an author is too close to the manuscript to see the errors. I agree, but I have a few reasons for ignoring this excellent advice. I'm training to become a professional proofreader, so I know what I'm looking for. I'm hyper-aware that I may miss my own mistakes because I'm so familiar with the material, so I'm double-checking all my proofreading. Most importantly, it's giving me experience in the whole creative process, so that should someone ask me to create their ebook for them, I can say, hand on heart, that I know what is involved.
Next, will come the uploading to the Kindle section on Amazon, ready for its cover. I understand there is a cover creation tool on Amazon, which is handy.
I've thoroughly enjoyed the process so far; it's been one of the most engrossing projects I've done. As a Virtual Assistant, I would love to repeat the process for others, giving my typing, proofreading and creative skills an outing. Creating an ebook can be done by anyone, but to do it right can be a labour-intensive business. That's what makes it the perfect project for outsourcing to a VA.
I am a Copywriter, Proofreader, Virtual Secretary and Author.