POLL INFO AT BOTTOM. Even if you don’t read this, please take the polls.
With everyone jumping on the e-book train, is there an advantage to just get a paypal account and offer your book(s) on a blog/website etc. for the ten bucks that Amazon would charge? Just make it a pdf file and advertise by word of mouth?
- Not everyone is jumping on the e-book train. I have a Kindle. One of my dear friends has a Sony. We’re the only two people I personally know that have e-readers. (I’m not counting reading from an iPhone because those are so teeny that most people will not read an entire book that way.) If e-book is the only way you’re going, sales will be low. Most people still read paper books.
- If you can go through traditional publishing, that’s still the preferred method for most people because:
a. You don’t have to make all the files (or pay someone to do it).
b. Your publisher has distribution avenues to bookstores that are closed to individual authors.
c. Your publisher has a marketing budget and plan. Even if it’s small, it’s still usually better than what you can do by yourself.
d. If someone else is doing the marketing, promos, selling, etc., that frees you up to write more books.
- This is not a “one size fits all” situation. A basic pdf file will not work with all readers. In fact, a basic pdf won’t work with most readers. There is a conversion process that has to happen first and it’s different for Kindle, Sony, etc. In fact, there are about five or six file variations that you need to create if you want it available to all e-readers. And now there’s the new B&N Nook, which I know nothing about but I assume will require it’s own file variation.
- If you’re going to do it yourself, I’d suggest using Amazon’s CreateSpace (which is what I’m using for the Christmas book). They will allow you to create both a paper version and a Kindle version to sell through their site. Since Amazon is THE leader in book sales, you’ll want to make sure you get on there. The set-up is free; they take a percentage from each sale. But you do have to create the files following their very specific guidelines.
- In addition to Amazon/Kindle, you may want to create e-book files that work on the other popular readers and sell them from your own site.
- Unless you have a very big mouth and a spectacular product, word-of mouth is not going to get you much farther than your immediate circle of family and friends.
All that said, there are reasons to follow this do-it-yourself route. If you have a niche book that appeals to a small but dedicated readership and if you have avenues to sell your book (like you do a lot of workshops and other speaking engagements).
Now, because I am extremely curious about all this e-book/e-reader stuff, I have two polls over in the sidebar. (Scroll down beneath the ads.)
The first one is about e-books in general. Everyone please take this poll.
The second one is about e-reader brands. Take this poll if you own or use a reader regularly. If you have multiple readers and you use them regularly, then select all the ones you have. If you mostly use one and the other one just collects dust, don’t include the dust-catcher. If you expect to get one soon (and by expect to get one soon, I don’t mean wishing you could; I mean, you have the $ budgeted or Santa will be bringing you one) then select the one you are planning to get.
*Special thanks to my lovely assistant who knows about this kind of stuff. She says to thank MOJO who helped her with a lot of the info.