Have you walked into an actual Barnes & Noble store lately? You may have noticed that they’re devoting more and more space to their spiffy new ereader, the Nook, in its color and eInk (black and white) versions.
The Nook is newer than the Kindle, and it’s a less-expensive alternative to the iPad. When it first came out in fall of 2009, the Nook had some functionality built into it — like a small touchscreen window at the bottom — that the Kindle lacked at the time.
And the Nook has access to all the books in the Barnes & Noble system. It also set up lending ebooks with libraries across America. Smart moves.
As a result, as soon as I could, I learned all about their self-publishing system for the Nook, which they call Pub-It.
You can’t talk about making digital books without the Kindle coming up in the conversation. When the first Kindle came out a few years ago, it was obvious it was a game-changer.
Up until that point, ereaders were just a curiosity, and few people used them.
And then Amazon launched the Kindle, and made it a snap to download ebooks from their huge digital inventory (for a small fee, of course!). Soon they had their self-publishing site up and running, the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), and you could upload your novels and stories and comics to the Amazon site. The playing field–as everyone likes to say these days–has been leveled.
And with the launch of the full-color, touchscreen Kindle Fire in November of this year, selling at just $200, all bets are off for how many ebooks can be sold on this flat playing field.
When you publish at KDP, you get a great royalty rate for each ebook sold there: 70% for ebooks priced at $2.99 and up, and 35% for ebooks from $.99 to $2.99.
So here we go with our adventure in making digital books.
Please note — I’m posting these entries a little bit out of order, chronologically. I probably should’ve started with copy-editing your book, finding a cover, and writing a great description.
And then jump into choosing a digital distributor to help you sell your ebooks. And talk about (ugh) marketing.
But I wanted writers who were ready to dive into the process to be able to hit the ground running. The lovely thing about digital publishing is that you can always go back and update just about everything related to your digital book, including the ability to upload a new cover, new synopsis and related text, and even a brand-new version of your novel or story.
Nothing digital is ever truly permanent. Which is mostly a blessing, but sometimes a curse. You can spend way too much time fiddling and tweaking and re-uploading stuff, over and over with. Trust me, I speak from experience!
So let’s start with the digital distributor that can help you get your ebooks out to a wide audience in a snap: Smashwords.
If you’ve been following this website of mine at all this year, you’ve probably noticed a flurry of ebook activity here. From digital comics to digital novels and stories, I’ve been kinda busy.
With good reason, I might add. Ebook readers have become much less expensive and more user-friendly. Nowadays, readers find themselves happy to buy a $4 or $5 file to load onto their new ereader instead of shelling out $30 for a stack of paper bound up in a cover (both of which tell the same story).
It looks like ebooks are here to stay. So if you’re a writer, you should take advantage of this, and get your work into digital format. I’m hoping this series of blog posts will help you do just that.