Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Secrets to Indie Publishing. Step #5 Choosing an Ebook Service

Step #5

Keep revising and have a few readers give your manuscript a quick read.  Again, have them keep a notebook handy to write down their thoughts and feelings. (And any grammar edits you and your editor missed. They are there. I promise you.)

Now, check out e-publishing services.

A good one to look at is Smashwords.com and it's free to set up. It takes your manuscript and cover and creates all the different forms e-readers use, including formats for the Nook and Kindle. (They are having some problems with Amazon right now and that won't be fixed until October, 2011) It also distributes your ebook for you. Smashwords takes a cut, 15%, and the site it goes to takes a cut, and you still end up with at least 60%.

It is pretty easy to publish for the Kindle without Smashwords by going to kdp.amazon.com (And if you price your book for between $2.99-9.99, you keep 70%.) 

It's not so easy to publish for the Nook. It's crazy confusing. Use Smashwords for sure. You also want your book available on sites like Kobe and Sony and the others Smashwords distributes to.

Remember, you are only researching now. You still need a cover. That is why Createspace is so important.

Smashwords can't convert your manuscript into all the different formats without you first formatting it in the way they tell you to. 

I know that sounds confusing, but they actually have a free e-book with directions that walk you through the process.

I read through the book and started to put a copy of my "print" manuscript into the form they wanted. Then I found out Smashwords keeps a list of people who take your book and format it for you for super cheap.

You just request the list from Smashwords and then pick the person that floats your boat. I picked a fabulous formatter who guaranteed her work and it only cost me 25 bucks. Money well spent. My manuscript got included in the premium catalogue on the first try. (You want to be included in the premium catalogue)

Going too slow for you? Take a breath. There is so much to learn, take your time. Remember, I made all the mistakes so you won't have to.

Happy researching and editing until next Tuesday.