This time last year, I was sweating and pounding a keyboard to get my manuscript for my American Revolutionary story, “Patriot Hearts” done. I submitted my story to another author who was putting together a collection of stories with a patriotic theme in order to publish it on Amazon. I sent her the first three chapters to see if my story would be a good fit, and the rest is history. Pun intended.
This was my first experience with the e-book world. I wish I could report that the book did well, and I am plagued by requests for more of my storytelling. But that is not the case, I found that while some of my Beta readers claimed they couldn’t put the book down. I had one writer friend tell me that the story is good, but my characters are flat and would benefit from a deeper point of view.
I’m telling you this story about my experience with e-book publishing to say that the journey is worth the risk if you learn something from it. Which I did. Would I do it again? Yes.
Publishing an e-book is now easier than ever. The stigma of self-publishing has diminished too. With major publishing houses limiting their publishing abilities to protect themselves economically, e-book publishing has become a necessity for some authors. Many of these venues will help with step-by-step instructions, marketing, book covers, and promotions.
The most popular venue for publishing an e-book is with KDP, or Kindle Direct Publishing. You can make up to 70 % of royalties from you book. You set the price and can make changes anytime. There is no cost to the author to publish and it takes less than five minutes. Your book is available for sale 24 to 48 hours after you upload in Kindle, worldwide.
The downside to publishing with Kindle Direct Publishing is the Select option. If you choose to use this option, you cannot distribute your work to other venues. They will have exclusive rights to your work as far as sales and distribution.
Smashwords is another publishing option. It has the convenience of Amazon, but the difference is your book will be distributed by Smashwords to many venues. Some of these are well known, like Nook for Barnes and Noble, Apple Books, Kobo and Overdrive.
You can also publish with KDP and Smashwords for more exposure, just don’t opt for the Kindle Unlimited plan if you also want to publish on Smashwords. You can promote your book with free marketing tools, such as; a coupon generator, special pricing deals, and giveaways to use in conjunction with your website for promotions. Smashwords will also generate sales by having special promotions where they will pick a genre, like “romance” and everything in that genre is a percentage off in order to help drive those sales.
A new buzzword in book sales is Audio books. When I think of this publishing option my mind conjures up images of people who love stories, but don’t necessarily have time to read a book in print. Audio books are perfect for those folks on the go. I can see the endless possibilities of learning non-fiction information with this concept.
I have researched Audio books, and it’s not very easy to do this yourself. There are options available, but from what I have read the quality of doing this yourself is just not right yet. Of course they said this about publishing e-books years ago. So, technology will catch up. But in the meantime, if this is an option you would like to try, professional equipment is best.
Writing prompt: Your new neighbor has moved in and you have not met. You decide to bake your blue ribbon coffee cake as a “Welcome Wagon” gift. After ringing the door bell, the door opens to your old high school flame who dumped you for the Prom Queen.