Following on from last week’s publishing post, A Question of Publishing Routes, I thought I would continue by looking at some of the self-publishing options out there that I am considering or that have caught my attention…In the first part I shall focus on ebooks…(and don’t for a minute think I am an expert, these are only a few random thoughts 🙂 )
First off, I don’t the like idea of paying someone an upfront fee for publishing my work, either digitally or in print. The way I see it (at the moment, at least) is either my work will be published on its own merit, or I will publish it myself, meaning that although I will have to do all the hard work, and there is a lot of it to do, if it pays off, I will get all the rewards too. It just seems a little cheeky to me to be expected to pay someone else to publish my book, and on top of that, give them a cut of the money it makes as well; one or other is fine, but both? No, that makes me a little uneasy.
I already use the Smashwords platform as an eBook distributor. Granted both of the ebooks I have available through them are free books. Having looked into selling ebooks through them I found out that US tax law requires Smashwords to retain a certain amount of money made through sales, until you supply them with a certificate from the UK’s tax department (because I am based in the UK). This sounded rather complex and convulted, which made me seek out some of the alternatives available out there and I came across…
XinXii, a European-based ebook-publishing platform who don’t require non-EU writers to provide any tax documentation (obviously wouldn’t apply to me anyway). The returns would be more or less the same as Smashwords without providing the previously-mentioned paperwork. However, XinXii doesn’t seem to have the international marketing and sizeable audience that Smashwords has. Out of the indie authors that I have so far come across through blogging, etc, I have never seen any that use XinXii. Most use Smashwords or…
KDP, that is Kindle Direct Publishing. Of course, the Kindle and Amazon platform is huge, but I must admit that I have heard that some find the publishing procedure complicated, and with a certain option (the KDP Select) you can only offer your book exclusively through them and nowhere else digitally. However, the fact is that many authors do use KDP and do so successfully.
There are other options out there, including print publishers who include ebook publishing with the services that they offer, such as Lulu, who I shall discuss in the next part of this publishing series.
I think, if I am honest, I will stick with Smashwords. Both my attempts at publishing with them were easy; I had no issues whatsoever with formatting and made it into the premium catalogue with my first attempts (fingers crossed, that run of luck will continue!). The bonus of getting the ebooks into the premium catalogue is that the ebooks are then able to be distributed elsewhere, including Barnes and Noble, Kobo and Apple’s iBooks. KDP doesn’t appeal to me; it sounds too complicated, and I like the idea of being able to offer my book where I like (of course, I reserve the right to change my opinion on this at a later date 🙂 ). I liked the sound of XinXii but it doesn’t really seem to offer a reach as big as Smashwords. I know that success with Smashwords is only really possible if you are willing to really put the effort into your marketing, but isn’t that the case with all the self-publishing options?
Are you an indie author? Who do you publish your ebooks with? How would you describe the experience or your success? Any words of warning or advice? Please feel free to share any thoughts you might have below…
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I think that KDP is only exclusive for six months.
Thanks for that bit of info, Anthony. I’m not particularly well-versed in KDP, so any snippet of knowledge is warmly received. Brightest Blessings
You might try John Hunt Publishers. They are a publishing company, but you do not need an agent. You can submit a query online. If they ask you to submit your manuscript, they will give you an answer quickly (two weeks). They are very transparent. They are publishing my first novel I CALL MYSELF EARTH GIRL.
Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge and experience regarding John Hunt Publishers. It is much appreciated. Wishing you the very best of luck with your novel.
BookBaby publishes for a small fee, makes the book available to all the major retailers, i.e., Amazon, Kobo, Apple, Sony, Barnes & Noble; and they take no royalty. (The retailers do, however.) My book hasn’t been out long enough for payment to be due, but regarding formatting, answering questions, and publishing, I’ve found them easy to work with and very reasonable in price. They also do print books. When I chose them, their print prices were very competitive. It’s possible some others have come down, however.
Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge regarding BookBaby, and making me aware of another option. Wishing you the best of luck with your book.
Lots of great info here – thanks!
Thanks for taking the time to read this post and comment. It’s much appreciated.