In a few short steps, I will guide you on how to get your book on Nigeria topmost readers platform and this will include everything thing you need to know about the publishing process.
But first What is Okadabooks
Okadabooks is an online web and mobile book platform where the reader gets the chance to purchase their book using the app, it is the repository of the books of some of the most famous African authors.
It was created with the belief that Africans do read when they can get the right opportunity and environment to do so and with almost 100,000 users and over 1 million downloads, this has proven to be true.
It is a simple to use platform for readers, you purchase the books you by using your airtime or your bank account this makes it make it very seamless, but enough said for a reader experience how about the everyday writer who wants to become a published author using this platform, that is what this post will help you understand.
So’s let get started
CREATING OF YOUR ACCOUNT /LOGINING IN
The first thing you need is to set up is your user account – you need to have a user account, if you are a reader then that is already solved you will use this credential to login via your desktop – to upload your book you have to do it via your desktop, not a mobile phone.
But if you do not have an account you can create one HERE
It is also important to know that you can use your Facebook credential to login into the app
But I would advise you actually use an email and put in your password – I recommend this because it is more secure and you know that no one will be able to login to your account without your password.
When you create your account, you go to your mailbox and confirm it and then you are set.
THE PUBLISHING PROCESS
The publishing process is actually divided into four parts
- File upload (book)
- The book title
- The book cover
- Book description
- Setting of price
THE FILE UPLOAD
The accepted book format is a .epub version this is a standard for most eBooks reader but just in case you wondering how you get a .epub file from a word document I have a tool you can use.
The first thing you want to do is have your book formatted and edited in Microsoft Word
Then you can go to THIS LINK to upload your Microsoft book and pick the book conversion type you want which will be a .epub the tool will then convert the book to a downloadable epub version for you.
You now have a book that is ready to be uploaded on the Okada Platform
THE BOOK TITLE
This is key to the success of your book.
I was once in a discussion on which should take priority your book cover image or the title and after much thought, I realized your book title is definitely more important why?
Imagine you just read a life-changing book and you wanted to share it with a loved one who was not there with you, you won’t be describing the cover except for aesthetic sake you most likely would be talking about the title of the book and how it has addressed a problem you once had, you most likely will say something along this line “I read this book title XXX by YYYY and this and that is what I learnt”
Knowing how important your book title is you want to carefully think through what your book should be called and do your best to make sure it conveys the message in the book.
THE BOOK COVER
Even though your book title is important your book cover is also very vital
I have used a book cover to judge whether or not I would take a glimpse at the book of an unknown author, everyone that comes across your book is going to be judging you, you, therefore, want to make the best impression possible
A good book cover will make a reader pause to look at your book after your title has caught their attention.
If possible get a professionally made book cover but if you are low on cash, you can use this Tool – www.canva.com to design your book cover.
For Okadabook the custom dimension you want to use is the following
Width – 320 pixels
Height – 400 pixels
320 by 400 pixels
Other sites where you can get awesome free stocked images are
After you have chosen your image and formatted it with your author name and book title you download it as a .png file and then you can get it uploaded to the Okadabook platform
BOOK DESCRIPTION/ BLURB
If a book title conveys the message of the book and the cover catches the reader attention then the book description is the final sauce that makes the reader decide to buy your book.
Your book description has to tell the story in your book in a way that captivates and intrigues the reader that they want to know more and therefore have to get the book
You want to get this part of your book publication well.
A suggestion would be to read the final book description to close friends who have some idea about what your book is all about and see their reaction and also ask then if it intrigues them to actually buy the book. Use this feedback to improve your book description until it feels good enough (there will never be a perfect book description, determine what is good enough and let it be).
SETTING THE BOOK PRICE
How do you know how much you need to set as the price for your book – the truth is there is no magic price that determines your book will sell more?
You don’t want to be overpriced or underpricing yourself and you also want to set a price you feel very good about that show the value of work you put into the book
I would suggest you try three things
- Put a price you feel good about with consideration for readers and similar type of book in your genre
- Ask your potential reader what price they will buy it for – they most likely will say very low prices but you can take that into consideration when setting your price limit point
- Test prices – I don’t mean you put different prices very frequently but start with the lowest price you can sell the book for and then increase it gradually this way you are testing demand and also rewarding loyalty to those who purchased your book first
Lastly know this internally whatever you set as the price of your book is the price and that what it is worth I have gotten a book for 69 dollars (that about 25,000 naira) the author knew the value of his work and was not afraid to set the price and as a reader I have never for once thought it was overpriced – so set your price with these considerations.
I must also note that Okadabook has a price limit of about 1000 naira but you should contact their support if you want to increase it for whatever reasons
OTHER THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE PLATFORM
After you upload your book – you have to wait for it to be approved before it can be available for purchase
You get 70% for every sale on the platform an example is if your book was sold for a 1,000 you get 700 naira. You can’t withdraw your book sales money until you have made about 10,000 naira and only money earned through book sales can be withdrawn.
Email to contact
For tips on how to place your book on Okadabooks homepage and other publicity and sales-related mediums send an email to Sales@okadabooks.com
Having issues updating the price of your book, or with your account setting send an Email email@example.com
PICTORIAL OVERVIEW OF SOME OF THE PAGES ON THE PLATFORM
Book Library Gallery
Frontpage when you log in
A list of book you can access in your library these are books you purchased
This gives a breakdown of the list of book sales transaction that has occurred
A list of books you have published
Uploading your book on the platform
Uploading your book part 2
So this was a conversation I had with a friend of mine I would call her tola we had just seen after a long time.
“How are you” Tola starts
“I am fine, how are you too” I respond and ask
“I am fine” Tola responds
“I have been seeing what you do online and I believe in you keep up the great work” Tola continues
“thank you, what about you, ” I ask
“me ” Tola looks puzzled
“yes you” I continue
“what about me” tola ask
“You should write a book too”
“what! I don’t have anything to write about”
This is where most people come from the belief that they don’t have anything to write on – it is funny how they can truly believe this philosophy that they don’t have anything worthwhile to write on.
But is that true – Of course not!
We all have something to write about we just need to discover what it is we need to write on.
But today my address isn’t even about discovering what to write on but on the mindset that this stem from – I believe before a problem can be solved you need to find the source and most source shows up from our beliefs system.
Your belief about who you are as an individual is who you truly think you are – read that one more time
If you believe you don’t have anything worthwhile to say guess what you think you are –?
Now it is different if you know you have a story but want to discover what it is and how to tell it but to think you have nothing means you have seen no value you can add to the world.
So before we cover the real truth in pancake and makeup let be real and instead of saying I don’t have anything to write about ask yourself – Why don’t I think I have a story to write about — Now we have started talking.
Why do you think you don’t have a story to write on?
Now that you have written your book it is time to get it published.
The big question asked after writing and editing your book is usually what next – it is time to publish your book.
You should know upfront that publishing a book is more business-like than it is creative you need to think about the option available and what next steps you need to take.
Here are the things you need to consider when publishing your book.
Choosing how you will publish your book
Basically, there are 2 main options for publishing your book
- Traditional publishing
Now they may exist some kind of hybrid between these two types of publishing but it is majorly these options that are available.
is a method of publishing where a publishing company uses their resources e.g. editing, copywriting, marketing, design, publicity etc. to get your book published to the world.
They usually determine the price of the book, the design, what is accepted and not accepted. Overall, they determine how your book will be published and seen by your readers, to get your book read by traditional publishers’ you need to hire a literal agent, submit a book proposal, some chapters of your book and a query letter to get them interested, after which you then allow the agent pitch your book to the publishers.
The publisher might pay you upfront, there is also a royalty percentage you get as the author from any sales but it is usually not as high as what the publishing firm would collect, although this might be subject to negotiation.
This option is usually taken by well-known authors and people with a very big market, but even recently books by well-known celebrities are a hybrid of this thereby not giving full control to the publisher’s alone.
Some top traditional publishers are Tyndale, Zondervan and Thomas Nelson – now under Hyper Collins Christian publishing, Baker publishers etc.
Here the books are published by the author using their own resources. There has been some variation to this so I would like to explain some more popular option I have seen
- Imprints – here a publishing firm publishes your book with your resources but take over the marketing and publicity of your book.
Here your book is also subjected to review by the publishing firm, most times these imprints have mother companies that run traditional publishing option so an advantage is that your book can get managed by the traditional company if it does well.
- Independent publishing – here you take charge of the whole publishing, marketing and publicity of your book. You leverage your existing network to sell your book.
The advantage is that you are in full control of what, how and where your book goes and this control enables you to price efficiently for the book.
Due to the technology and options available, this has now become a method which most entrepreneurs and new writers use to get their book published to the world
For the rest of this article, I would assume you are taking the self-publishing path – especially the independent publishing path.
Choosing the form of your book.
There are basically two forms your book can take – a Physical copy and a Digital copy
A physical copy these you get in a bookshop or in a library as the name implies it is physical and hard you can touch it, underline and even spoil it
There is also the Digital copy this take on an electronic form and can be read on mobile devices, e-reader and kindles one commonality amongst the various way by which it is consumed is these books are stored electronically
Audible book – this is a form of a digital book that has become quite popular recently – thus is basically listening to the book as audio. To achieve a premium price for your book, having an audiobook is definitely a plus.
The Pros and Cons
There are definitely advantages and disadvantage to picking any form and I would list out some of the most common ones, you need to keep in mind.
Pros of having a Physical copy
- It makes your book more real to the reader and to you
- You can get higher sells quickly due to events that can be created around it
- It has more preference from traditional readers
Cons of having a physical copy
- It is more expensive to produce
- Distribution and Logistics challenge
- Physical storage can become an issue
- Refund and returns issues can become a burden
- It can easily get damaged
Pros of having a Digital copy
- Can be easily packaged and market
- Quick sales
- More Convivence for readers to take along
- Can be used to build your email list
Cons of having a Digital Copy
- It is most times sold for a less premium price
- Can be easily pirated
- Sales can dwindle after a while
My advice for which form to pick – start with a digital copy to check the demand for your book, only publish a physical book when you get more orders for it to be published in its physical form and even with that do pre-orders so you are sure there is actually a demand for it
Pricing your Book
Determining the price of your book can it in itself be complex but a simple method to do is to get the cost of producing your book, add a profit margin that you feel compensates for the work done and then sell it.
Another method is to see the ranges of price in your category of book and then choose a price based on it.
Another method is to add tiers to your book – adding an audiobook with the physical book will sell at a much premium price than just selling the eBook alone.
Where to place your Digital Book online
The following are the places to put your book online
- Amazon – this is the biggest marketplace to sell your books
- Okada books – this is Nigerian based
- iBook – helps you sell your book on Apple store
- Barnes and nobles
- Set up a book payment platform
- Independent book sites
When picking a place to sell your book some things you need to know
- The marketplaces your book will be available to
- How easy it is to receive funds
- Any setup cost involved
- Customer purchase experience
- Payment system setup and options
This article is the last in the series of how to write – a book a simple step by step method to use.
The first step is getting your big idea
The next step is the outline of your book
The next phase would be actually writing your book but how do you write your book from start to finish – by following your outline, how do you develop your outline
I will share 2 methods to use
- The Journey method
This is probably the easiest and my favourite because as it states you create the outline like a journey. It is liking taking a bus where would you start if you were going to a particular place, what bus would you take, then what next and then you progress from there.
It is the same for the book if you were to write the book where would you start it from – that should be chapter 1 then what next would you do – chapter 2 and so on and so forth.
- Linked detached structure
Here you break your big idea into part your big ideas still run through each of the parts, each section can stand on their own but are linked together by the big idea.
An example could be if you wanted to write a book on health – it could be broken down into taking water, exercising your body and the food you eat each of these parts on its own can stand alone but make a greater story when brought together to talk about health.
Your next phase is to – WRITE
There would never be a finished book if it isn’t written, you can think, brainstorm all you want even research at length but your book would never see the light of day if you don’t write it down.
Let every word you write count and earn its place in your book – a piece of advice from Max Lucado
Some methods that can help you writing better and faster
- Get a writing calendar – actually put in the day and time you will be writing and on what (you can use your outline to do this).
- Record yourself and then get it transcribed – this is how the late Sidney Sheldon wrote this method actually inspired me to start writing which changed my whole life.
- Get a ghostwriter – well I don’t like the name ghost added to writing but the meaning should ring true get someone to write the book for you, you will have to pay them but yep that works just fine.
- Set a writing goal – set the total number of words you need to write per day, 1000, 5000 – you set this based on when you want the book published.
- Get accountability – this is a missing link to achieving your goal set, get a personal accountability partner, create public accountability and get personal in your accountability, let your words mean something to you.
- Write areas you like the most when you struggle to keep up.
- Have a reward system you gift yourself when you follow through on your goal.
Next Phase – now that you have written your book – you need to read it and rewrite it
I truly believe your first copy is definitely not your best copy.
Read your book thoroughly and then fix areas you notice are missing in your book areas you skipped because you were writing too fast or too slow.
You can take some time out, leave the book and then come back with fresh eyes and read the book just another time (personally I hate rereading my work but I have recently learnt that it is important to do this, so I just do it)
Get someone else (a professional writer or critic) to read your book apart from you and get their input on areas you need to edit, delete or improve on.
Any feedback gotten before you publish are valuable feedback that would make the book better
Remember you are not writing to be perfect but you are writing knowing that you have done your best to make a masterpiece out of your book.
The last phase of the writing Journey is Editing and Proofreading your book.
Send your book to an editor and await professional feedback, make the necessary correction and off you go your book is now ready to be published to the world
Need help with any of the areas I mentioned above you can reach out here and let us have a chat
In all the stages mentioned above which have been the hardest for you to do?