Publishing in ebook and paperback
If you are in any way connected to books, reading, writing on the Internet there is no escaping the range of debates about self-publishing. However, what has got lost is that self-publishing is not solely about Amazon, Kindle and ebooks. While it is super simple to ‘clack’ out a Word document and upload it to Kindle Direct Publishing, then see your ‘book’ published 24 hours later, this is not what I define as self-publishing.
The book still lives. No one has killed it as far as I can ascertain, so if you are serious about publishing your book, why not do it well. The months, or in some cases years you’ve spent writing it, deserves a bit of extra effort on your part to give it the best chance it has of success. So why not consider the following inexpensive and free services that will give wider and better market potential.
Certainly, publish with Kindle. That’s a ‘no-brainer’, but when you have finished there, publish your book on Smashwords as well. It takes a bit longer (as it is a little bit more fussy about quality formatting than Kindle), but the effort is worthwhile because your book can be distributed to Apple, B&N, Sony, Kobo, Diesel and a few other online retailers. Apple iBooks is a very popular format now, so why not get your book onto people’s iPads? There are a number of other online ebook publishers, but I find that Kindle and Smashwords enable me to reach just about any reader.
Then what about a paperback version? You don’t need to pay a Vanity Press and have books filling your garage. Once again there are a number of POD (Print On Demand) publishers who offer an inexpensive way to publish. While authors will have their preferred paperback publisher, I can only say that I have used Createspace for most of my books and have been extremely happy with its service and quality of the books.
But the main reason I stay with them is that they are part of Amazon and as such offer a distribution system that works for me. There are some costs involved, but they are minimal. Yes, you pay for each copy of your book you purchase, and there is a charge for expanded distribution, which I highly recommend.
What is the cost to publish a book? In most cases, I spend less that $100 to have a book published this way. This includes the worldwide expanded distribution charge and about 20 initial copies shipped to me. In my mind, this is great value, and by having a real book listed alongside your ebook versions, it not only gives choice to a potential reader, but also differentiates you as an author. Don’t forget that ebooks are not yet popular worldwide, and paperbacks still sell well in these markets that are not serviced by Kindle and Apple’s iBook Store.