When an author chooses to write and independently publish an ebook, there are several immediate considerations: finding an ebook publisher, marketing the ebook, professional editing, professional cover design, among others.
Publishing an ebook offers pitfalls not encountered when publishing a print book. Formatting an ebook greatly differs from formatting a print book as it will be read on multiple screen sizes. Ereaders require different file formats, therefore, ebooks have to be published in multiple ereader formats.
After choosing an ebook publisher, the author is faced with selling the book. Marketing requires an enormous amount of time. Experts suggest the author build a following through social media. Facebook and blogs are the most common forms of connecting the author with his/her readers. The ebook and print book can be marketed through the blog, however, to reach real numbers of potential purchasers, the author should choose an established retailer or an aggregator who will distribute the ebook to popular retailers. That choice often requires the author to grant an exclusive sales right to the retailer of choice.
Another consideration is that any writing project should include a professional editor and cover designer at a minimum. Finding the appropriate professional fit for the author’s style and taste can be challenge. One is tempted to purchase a package deal that are commonly advertized. These services are often overpriced and need to be chosen with care.
Back to the original topic: choosing an ebook publisher. I’ll offer current popular choices in alphabetic order.
1 . Amazon sells 60-70% of ebooks sold (by most observers). It probably has the largest collection of ebooks available for sale.
- Kindle Digital Publishing (kdp.amazon.com)
- Amazon requires the Mobipocket file format.
- The author may receive royalties of up to 70% of the retail sales price.
2. Apple iBookstore sells books through the itunes website for Apple reading devices. You must use a Mac computer to use the iTunes Producer program (or iBooks Author) to upload the ebook file.
3. Barnes & Noble’s self-publishing service for the Nook platform is called PubIt.
4. Google sells PDF and ePub formats of your book through the Google Books Partner Program. The service is free of charge with the author receiving the full amount of the purchase price in a direct deposit to the author’s bank account.
- Google eBook store (books.google.com)
- PDF or ePub format using the Adobe DRM
- The author may receive royalties of the “majority of revenue.”
5. LuLu is a full service Print On Demand publisher that also publishes eBooks. Lulu is an aggregator for iBookstore and PubIt.
- Lulu (www.lulu.com)
- ePub format
- 80% royalty after retailer takes fee
6. eBookMall allows authors to submit manuscripts in the PDF or ePub format ($19.95 fee) for distribution.
7. PigeonLab is an aggregator who uploads your ebook to retailers (Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo).
- PigeonLab (www.pigeonlab.net)
- Upload completed ebook file only
- The author may receive royalties of up to 90%. There is a distribution fee of $99 per book.
8. Smashwords creates an ebook from your uploaded Word document. The free Smashwords Style Guide offers specific instructions on formatiing. Their Meatgrinder Program then converts the file into 9 separate ebook formats. The Smashwords Premium Catalog distributes to Apple, Sony, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and other ebook retailers.
- Smashwords (www.smashwords.com)
- Very specific Word format for conversion into 9 separate ebook formats.
- The author may receive royalties of up to 85% royalties for Smashwords books. If sold through a retail partner, the royalty is 60%.