Sunday, June 5, 2011

eBook Publishing - My Experience So Far...

For any of you authors out there (Kimberly!) who are working on a book or are about to publish, let me share with you my experience with eBook publishing so far.

As you know, the print copy A Soul Less Broken was officially released almost a year ago... it has taken me this long to release it as an eBook for a variety of reasons.
  1. Trying to figure out how to format & convert my manuscript into all the different formats needed for the different readers was overwhelming (mobi for Kindle, epub for Nook, LRF for Sony Reader, etc).
  2. There are various services out there who will convert your manuscript for you ... for a price... my print publisher wanted $300 just to do the Kindle version alone. 
  3. Taking #1 and #2 above in consideration, I kept wondering if it was really worth it to do an eBook version. I knew I would do it eventually, but it just wasn't a priority.
That was, until a friend of my husband forwarded us an article about Amanda Hocking and her tremendous success with eBooks (if you haven't heard of her or haven't read the article, I highly recommend you do. Here is the link: http://publishing.about.com/od/SelfPublishingAndVanityPresses/a/Self-Publishing-Success-Story-E-Book-Author-Amanda-Hocking.htm 

After reading this article and reading some of Amanda's blog posts, I instantly new it was time to handle the eBook (and my husband was very motivated for me to do the eBook version!).

But I still needed to figure out #1 and #2 so I embarked on still more internet research. I came across the site for Smashwords which is an eBook publisher - and that one site solved all my problems. They provide you with instructions on how to format your Word document so that it will convert into the various eBook formats correctly. And they will convert your document into ALL of the various formats for you with no upfront charges ... yes you read that correctly ... they do the conversions for FREE. Granted, when you publish your eBook through Smashwords they of course take a cut, but you still receive 60% of your sales on the Smashwords site - and you choose the price for your book. Once your book passes their conversion approval process (which is easy if you follow their formating instructions) your eBook is instantly available on their site for sale in all the different formats. After a short time (a week or two) it is then sent by Smashwords to the various major distributors for inclusion in their eBook catalogs (Amazon for Kindle, Barnes & Noble for Nook, Sony for the Reader, Apple for the iPad/iPhone, etc).

I'm still amazed at how easy this process was and I want to encourage all the authors out there who are still stumped by #1 and #2 to check out Smashwords!  By the way, since uploading my eBook on Smashwords last night in a matter of 7 hours I had already sold 2 eBooks. Granted that's not going to make me financially independent, but it is a start! 

2 comments:

SweetMarie83 said...

Hi Helen! Reading this post has made me feel a lot better. I had mentioned to you that I'd heard a lot of good things about Smashwords, and when you recommended it so highly, I knew it had to be great. This makes it all even more clear - I thought I would have to upload my book to each site (Amazon, B&N, etc) myself, individually, taking forever and forcing me to figure out all the conversions. This is such terrific information, not to mention a huge relief for me, and no doubt other wannabe authors as well! Thank you!

The Author said...

You are so welcome! I will do another post soon about Kindle editions as that does take a little extra work. Stay tuned!