Learning New Things about eBook Publishing

This week I finished my latest story and sent it off to a beta reader for comments, so I have the time to learn some new things about ebook publishing, while I plot my next story.

I also happily admit I do change my view on certain areas as new information becomes available. Like blogging fortnightly, instead of weekly on this blog. Like using Twitter, although I still don’t believe the relevance of it yet, even if I understand the theory behind it.

In this case, I have been following J A Marlow’s articles on Distribution Channels, in particular Smashwords, Part 1 and Part 2.

I agree entirely with what she wrote, especially in following the guidelines on formatting, to get on the premium list. To date, I have not had to reformat anything, as I get on to the premium list the first attempt for each novel. All I do is follow the Smashwords guidelines, step by step.

I discovered another blog comparing Ebook Royalties by Gary McLaren. and comparing using aggregators including costs.

Worth the read to understand how distributors and aggregators work and compare the costs.

When I first decided to publish my novels as ebooks, I made the decision not to use Amazon directly, instead allowing Smashwords to forward each story to Amazon, but, as you all know, so far, Amazon and Smashwords are still working out technical details of both sites working together.

To date,  my stories are not getting to Amazon from Smashwords, but the formatted file on Smashwords can be opened in Kindles so I haven’t stressed over the lack of sales from Amazon.

Since making the decision to let Smashwords distribute, I did learn how to format for Amazon, and have two stories waiting to upload to Amazon, but have been busy writing and not bothered formatting the three Broken novels for Amazon yet.

There are a few reasons, one being I am learning how to create covers, and think I need to improve the cover images on the series before showing them to the large volume of readers using Amazon.

Now, I have decided this is really a silly reason because I can change the covers any time I like on Amazon just like I can on Smashwords. I need to overcome my fear, and get them to Amazon. After all, they are selling on B&N, Apple, Sony and Kobo, so why not on Amazon.

Another reason I held off putting the books on Amazon is because I am not opening a publishing business to market my books, even though Dean Wesley Smith does outline the ease of doing so on his site. After following the rise of ebooks over the past few years, I will eventually revisit my decision of not starting a publishing business.

The only reason to start a publishing business is to get print books into bookstores. As I do not use CreateSpace or any other POD site, it makes no difference if I use a publishing business or not. This should not stop me using Amazon.

I can publish on Amazon without a publishing business, so I now need to set a project date as a guideline to force myself to format the three Broken series novels for Amazon, and upload them and the other two already formatted stories to Amazon, along with rewriting the final two Broken series novels, and completing the five planned novelettes in the current series I am working on. And look at Amazon UK and Amazon Germany.

In the meantime, I will keep reading other blogs, looking for information to increase my understanding of publishing, and marketing ebooks. and creating images that attract the attention of readers, and happily pass the information on to other Indie authors.

I love the excitement in this fledging ebook industry. I love the control I have over producing my stories and formatting and creating covers and putting them on different sites. I love the freedom to write what I want, how I want, and get it in front of potential readers without the negativity of agents or publishers forcing their views on my style of writing.

Is your writing journey gives you as much excitement and pleasure as mine? Have you learned anything new you want to pass on to me?

8 comments so far

  1. Lisa on

    Hi Diane, another very informative post! I checked out JA Marlow’s articles and the link from one to Dean Wesley Smith’s idea on how to create a physical presence for an ebook using book-cards.

    I’ve come across a site that you might find helpful for Twitter-related things: it’s http://blog.bufferapp.com/ Buffer can be used to send out tweets during the day even when you’re not online yourself. That way, you not only save yourself time but will have tweets being circulated at times of high people-traffic (even if they’re in a different time zone).

    And there’s a post about five reasons to tweet more often: http://blog.bufferapp.com/5-proven-facts-why-you-should-tweet-more-often

    And all the best with motivating yourself to get your books onto Amazon. 🙂

    • D J Mills on

      Thanks for the links. I will check them out.

  2. J.A. Marlow on

    Nice thing about Amazon is that you open the account under your name. When you upload the book, that name does not automatically go on the book. Instead, there is a separate field in the upload page for you to put the publisher name if you want to (some leave this blank). Which means you can start one way and then change to a business structure late. 🙂

    Good luck!

    • D J Mills on

      Thanks! I need it! 🙂

  3. Michael E. Walston on

    Yes, much pleasure and excitement. 🙂

    I finally got my book up on Smashwords, and my next step is to put it up on Amazon. Really, with the Christmas season coming up (a lot of folks will be getting Kindles, I bet), I’m thinking the sooner the better…

    • D J Mills on

      We can work through the maze of Amazon together. Good luck with your book. 🙂

  4. Angela/Curiocat on

    Hey Diane. It is so exciting to hear how you are coming along in the writing biz! You are up to the challenge of getting your work on Amazon so it won’t be long I’m sure. Yay for you!

    • D J Mills on

      Thanks for the vote of confidence, Angela. 🙂 I will let you know how stressful it is after I attempt it.

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