View Full Version : feeling overwhelmed, help!

03-26-2011, 02:47 AM
Hi all,
I'm overwhelmed. I've been reading everything I can on epublishing and it's all running together in an ugly soup in my brain. Can someone please take pity on me and break it down?

My situation:
I have a short novel and a novella I want to epublish. I have already made my cover for my short novel, and don't plan on buying those sorts of services. I also have edited the heck out of it. So that's ready to go--I could do it today if I could just sort out which company to go with. I still have some work to do on the novella, but again, I plan to do all of that myself. So any epublishing service whose primary selling point is offering those services is not particularly advantageous to me.

I would like to be able to list these on Amazon. Do I have to go through Createspace? If not, is it still the best choice, and if you think so, why? As I understand it, some companies allow you to list on Amazon, B&N and Apple, while others are specific. I have completely lost track of which is which. Why would you choose to go with an epublishing company that only lists your book on one site, if others do more? Or is it a matter of formats, not sites? Meaning, I know Smashwords does Kindle, but do they also allow you to list your Kindle ebook on Amazon? I'm so confused.

I had this great article that explained things, and now I can't find it. I've tried searching through these forums but my brain is leaking out of my ears. Please help.

03-26-2011, 02:49 AM
Do you want to self publish or find an e-publisher? These are not the same thing.

03-26-2011, 03:08 AM
Meaning, I know Smashwords does Kindle, but do they also allow you to list your Kindle ebook on Amazon? I'm so confused.

As I understand it Smashwords distributes to many e-book sellers as well as selling from their own site, but not to Amazon. I've been looking at using them myself and it does appear you have to submit to Amazon directly if you want it to appear there (and you almost certainly do).

03-26-2011, 03:24 AM
If I were you, I'd post your book on amazon (Kindle Direct Publishing), B&N (using PubIt) and then on Smashwords to distribute to Apple/Sony/Kobo etc.

No need to panic or hire anyone to do it. Start with the Smashwords formatting guide (it is on there for free to download) and then google Guido Henkel and his guide for Kindle which is very straightforward. You can use basically the same .doc you create for Smashwords for B&N (just take the Smashwords licensing notes out and replace with your own copyright notes for that).

Hope that helps :)

If you want to do a paper version, Createspace is generally the best way to go. But again, do it yourself or find someone to do the formatting for you for cheap. The actual Createspace packages are spendy and you can hire someone for far far less. Get the 39 dollar pro-plan though. That's the only thing worth spending money on. Other stuff like formatting etc you can do yourself or hire someone much cheaper.

03-26-2011, 03:29 AM
Thanks! I'm starting to feel a bit clearer on all of this.

Movieman, I think I finally get the distinction with Smashwords/Kindle/Amazon. Invaluable.
Izanobu, thank you for the tips! I have a path to follow now. Also invaluable!
Sheadakota, I want to self-publish in electronic format. At least for now. I may look at POD services in the future.

Any thoughts about Lulu?

03-26-2011, 04:58 AM
Do I need an ISBN number for strictly electronic publishing?

03-26-2011, 05:46 AM
You do not need an ISBN for Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Smashwords. The Apple store requires an ISBN if you want to distribute there. If you opt into Premium Distribution on Smashwords, they can upload your book to Apple for you. They will also either sell you an ISBN for $10 (and it will say published by you) or you can take a free Smashwords ISBN (and it will say published by Smashwords).

I think the general consensus is that Createspace is preferable to Lulu except if you want a hardcover, in which case Lulu is your only option.

So it's clear--you don't need to pick just one place to distribute your ebook. You should try to get your ebook distributed as many places as possible. You can get it distributed in all the major places by uploading to Amazon (through their kdp site--your existing customer amazon login is all you need to sign up there) and by uploading to Smashwords and opting into premium distribution. Smashwords will get you on Barnes and Noble as well. Some people think it's better to upload directly to Barnes and Noble, however. It's your call.

Best of luck! And if you don't frequent there already, check out the Writer's Cafe on the Kindleboards. Everyone knows everything there.

03-26-2011, 08:43 AM
Should I opt for DRM?

03-26-2011, 09:37 AM
Should I opt for DRM?

Probably not. It doesn't really stop piracy, but it does annoy your paying readers.

K. Taylor
03-26-2011, 01:08 PM
Don't opt for DRM. It's basically written like spyware/viruses to make it work.

Going through B&N: If your book is priced under $2.99 at Pubit, or over $9.99, they pay you 40% list. For books priced $2.99 to $9.99, they pay you 65%.

Yes, Smashwords is working out sending to Amazon, but it seems Amazon is dragging their feet. So go through the Direct Publishing to do that and Smashwords for the rest.

$2.99 is a good price point for novellas.

03-26-2011, 01:20 PM
DRM is pointless and will just make legit buyers annoyed while doing very little to deter people who want to steal your stuff (and thieves are rarely legit buyers, so it isn't like they'd be like "oh, DRM, guess I better buy this one...")

03-26-2011, 05:44 PM
One more note on Smashwords / Kindle ... they don't distribute to Amazon, as others have said go to Amazon directly. But they do format for the Kindle. So readers can purchase it on Smashwords and read it on their Kindle ... but I doubt a lot of people do that :).

03-26-2011, 10:11 PM
Thank you all for the advice. You saved me hours of frustration and headaches. I have gone ahead with Smashwords and PubIt, and today I'm tackling Amazon. Yay!