ePublishing is one of the great equalizers of the writing world. Even before epublishing, the publishing world was struggling and agents were not particularly interested in taking on unknown authors. With epublishing, I bypassed the gatekeepers, published my novel, The Truth About Dating (The Quinn Malone series), and sold more than 20,000 copies in ten months. The process had a steep learning curve, so I decided to teach a class at my local community college for other aspiring writers.
Unlike with independent or vanity presses, you don't need to spend a lot of money to epublish your books. In fact, if you own a computer and have an internet connection, you won't have to spend a dime to sell your books on sites like Amazon. I had a student in one of my classes who didn't even have a computer! She was doing it all at her local library! And thanks to print-on-demand, you don't need to pay an independent press a big sum for a run of your paperback version, either.
Here's a brief overview of How To ePublish Your Book.
My three hour class breaks into three parts:
Part One - Essentials to a good book
Obviously, you need to write a good story. But you also need a book cover that stands out on a small screen. You need your book to look professionally edited. You need a great title, compelling blurb, and competitive price. The biggest mistake I made was not getting my book professionally edited. It had too many typos, which got me a lot of one-star reviews. The typos are gone, but those bad reviews will never go away, and they skew my rating on Amazon.
Part Two - Formatting and uploading your book
There are many online bookstores, and your book must be formatted properly for each unique site. The internet is full of resources on how to format ebooks, but my favorite is the Smashwords Style Guide. Even a person with only the most basic understanding of computers can follow this instruction manual. Plus, it's free!
Part Three - Marketing
As an indie writer, you do it all. You write, edit, proofread, design the cover, AND market yourself. There are lots of ways to get your name out there, from book review sites, to online chat groups, to giveaways on Goodreads, to paying for ad space.
If you don't live in the Omaha area, you can still get help in epublishing. I'd start with the Writers' Cafe in Kindleboards. There are tons of authors who are happy to answer questions. Smashwords (of the Smashwords Style Guide) is site set up for indie writers. You can find a lot of answers to questions on those pages, too.
Good luck! And remember, if you don't try, you won't succeed.
And speaking of success, here are books by some of my former students.