Three Most Important Components for Publishing an E-Book

Three Most Important Components for Publishing an E-Book 1024 576 Reader Views

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson, Multi-Award winning author, now celebrating the release of the 3rd edition of The Frugal Editor

A website owner was asked what the “three most important components are for publishing a professionally produced e-book” and that website owner referred the question to me. As long as I was mulling over the answer to this all-important question, I figured I’d pass the answer along to you, but the question was too hard to answer in its original form. I took the liberty of qualifying it with an introductory clause and here it is: 

Because a self-publisher must be a jack-of-all-publishing-trades and because many readers are still not comfortable with e-books, I believe the three most important components of publishing an e-book are:

1. The Cover

Visuals are powerful tools. A great book cover may be even more important for an e-book (even though it’s virtual) than for a paper book. It will probably be the only visual a reader will have to connect the reader to the author’s (and publisher’s) credibility.

2. Great Editing

Too many authors and e-book publishers think that great editing is merely the process of eradicating typos, but it’s a lot more. It’s grammar. It’s the conventions of writing (like punctuating dialogue correctly). It’s even formatting that anyone can hire done, but it’s a lot more frugal to have the skills to produce the e-book manuscript in its final form or at least before you hire an editor just before posting the e-book to Smashwords, Amazon’s KDP or anywhere else. On some platforms, you’ll get a final chance to reread the manuscript in a neat little book-like format on your computer screen. And many of these platforms will accept your Word copy and adjust it to meet their needs—all automatically. 

3. Formatting

I list this last because most free e-book services like Amazon and Createspace, and paid-for e-book services like BookBaby make it clear that formatting is essential and provide guidelines for getting it right.  I included expanded step-by-step instructions for formatting your book for Kindle directly from my publisher, Modern History Press, in the Appendix of my multi award-winning book on editing. (In fact, my publisher contributed a final edit as a final check from an expert!) For the recently released that book, now in its third edition of The Frugal Editor, go to where you can get Amazon’s one-click special on the whole series of my HowToDoItFrugally series—in their e-book editions, of course!

Note: You should know that when a reader buys your e-book on Kindle, they get to choose what reader format they prefer, and it costs you no extra time using all the available e-book platforms. Just remind new readers that they’ll find a place to order the right one for their needs on Amazon.  reformatting and tracking several for e-book exposure on different platforms.

PS: The fourth most important component of e-books is marketing. No e-book—no book!—is truly published if it hasn’t been marketed. It’s part of the publisher’s job no matter how it is published or who the publisher is. And if it is self-published, marketing is as much the author’s job as the writing of the book. Everything you need to know to market your book the way a professional would if you had the money to hire her is in the tried-and-true The Frugal Book Promoter, also now in its third edition.

About the Author

 Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the PlaceHarkening: A Collection of Stories RememberedTracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series books from Modern History Press, The Frugal Book Promoter; the multi award-winning third edition of The Frugal EditorGreat Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers, and The Great First Impression Book Proposal. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Her blog, lets authors recycle their favorite reviews absolutely free. Find submission guidelines at She also writes for’s free FirstChapterPlus e-magazine edited by Susan Violante. 

Please help me celebrate the release of the 3rd edition of the Winningest Book in Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s
“HowToDoItFrugally” Series of books,  “The Frugal Editor”! 

“…The Frugal Editor is part reference guide, part do-it-yourself editing manual, part masterclass on the writing and publishing industry…and all with Carolyn’s signature humor and encouraging energy! She is a master at simplifying overwhelming tasks into relevant, can-do information…” -Dallas Woodburn, best-selling author and book coach 

Cover by Doug West
Headshot by Uriah Carr 

Amazon Series Page:
Submit to my #SharingwithWriters blog:
Twitter: @FrugalBookPromo
Amazon Profile:

PS: Learn more about my fiction and poetry at [Do not use https or http with this. Use it as you see it– naked. LOL.]


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