Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ways to Self-Publish Your Book

Today is unbelievably enough the 16th day of the 28-Day Blog Challenge for Authors (newbies can learn about the challenge here) and the prompt is:
Did you publish your book as a traditionally printed book, an eBook, or both? How did you come to your decision? Which company(ies) did you use for printing and distribution? How did you select them?
I published First Visions as both an ebook and as a paperback. Originally, I was only going to sell through Amazon as an ebook and enroll in KDP Select, but decided to forgo that route. I know some writers who are huge fans of the program, but I find it kind of lame of the retail giant to block other competitors and force you to give exclusive rights for three months in exchange for five free book promotion days.

After uploading my book to the Kindle Direct Publishing system, I created a seller account on Barnes and Noble's PubIt platform. I had to do some slight re-formatting to publish it (i.e. PubIt doesn't recognize page breaks), but otherwise the process was straightforward enough. On PubIt, for a $2.99-$9.99 eBook, you earn a 65 percent royalty rate compared to the 70 percent rate offered through Amazon.

Smashwords is an awesome platform for indie writers. Things I love about Smashwords: multiple supported formats, ISBN assignment, premium catalog distribution to sellers like Apple and Sony, and coupon generator. Royalty rate is approximately 85 percent. Their easy to follow guide also made publishing a cinch.

These are the three ebook retailers I've used for my book. Sales have been by far the best on Amazon, but my book has done fairly well on Barnes and Noble as well. Smashwords sales fluctuate and only about five percent of my sales have come from the bookseller.

I decided to publish my book in paperback mostly for promotional reasons. I've given out paperback copies for giveaways and to family members. I had less of a familiarity with print publishers and used Createspace due to the company's connection to Amazon. I have no complaints and the royalty rates offered seem fair. I didn't see a reason not to offer up my book in print when you can do so without having to pay any upfront fees. Createspace does not charge you anything for listing your book on and their own bookstore. Expanded distribution allows bookstores and distributors to order your book. You pay a one-time fee of $25. However, the royalty rate is very low. For each $9.99 book I sell on Amazon, I receive $2.38, but only $0.38 if I opted for expanded distribution.

Curious to see what other writers have to say about this topic!

1 comment:

  1. I had about the same experience as you did. I wanted to use only Smashwords because they tracked my book through all vendors. But, alas, they could not distribute to Amazon (a huge market) due to issues. Ah well. WRITE ON!