Self Publishing Your Book For All Readers

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.

Self Publishing Your Book For Everyone
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5 thoughts on “Self Publishing Your Book For Everyone

  • 19/11/2011 at 6:29 pm
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    As you may have figured out by now, I totally agree with what you say! I started with the CreateSpace paperback version for “Monster Is in the Eye of the Beholder” and then went on to Kindle (see my blog post about eReaders). By this point I am fed to here with formatting, downloading, uploading, and sideways-loading, so I’m not going to to do Smashwords right away. Maybe later. I need to get on to the more significant works that are in the offing. I did take the Pro-Plan distribution system for the paperback. I had a person in the UK who wanted to buy a copy but discovered Amazon doesn’t distribute in UK. However, the CreateSpace eStore does. The sales record shows only one copy sold (I only published 8 days ago), but I believe it takes four days for records to show sales, so I have hopes that at least two acquaintances of mine who promised to buy the paperback will show up by Monday. And even more, maybe.
    Thanks for your blog, Derek. I always get helpful hints and I’ve found several interesting contacts among the people who comment.

    Reply
  • 19/11/2011 at 8:26 pm
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    I have been trying to get my book into different formats after putting it on Amazon for Kindle back in July. I have given up on smashwords because they just wouldn’t approve for premium distribution because of formatting issues over and over again. I have now found that Lulu, who do POD in the UK, do distribution for Nook and Apple, so am trying that route as well as printing paperback copies and offering a free extended distribution service.

    Reply
  • 20/11/2011 at 9:59 am
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    I am gearing up to publish a paperback version of my eBook. The biggest question I have is about pricing the paperback. I’d like to see if I can get it into my local book shops, but I’m wondering how I can do that and still make some money.

    Reply
  • 21/11/2011 at 5:52 pm
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    This is one of my biggest dreams to publish my own book… For now, I will keep on dreaming since I am not ready to go with it. Thank you for sharing, you inspired me to make ways to accomplish my dreams.

    Reply
  • 25/09/2017 at 6:16 pm
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    I never intended to be stuck in the Amazon universe (I use Createspace for my Amazon paperback and Ingram for everywhere else), but decided to sign up with KDP Select for the initial three months after release. I had every intention of using Smashwords to increase my ebook distribution after that, but hadn’t taken Kindle Unlimited into account.

    Not only do I make twice as much from Kindle Unlimited as all other sales combined, but a lot of people are reading my book.

    Should I just bite the bullet and lose those readers / revenues?

    Reply

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