Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Handling Your Distribution

I’m discovering all sorts of places to distribute eBooks!

It’s amazing to me that so many places distribute eBooks, and so many distribute to the same retailers.  Amazon is the best place by far, especially for independent authors.  Their self-publishing choices are great!  And, since many readers own a Kindle in one form or fashion, I firmly recommend that all independent authors set up an account of their own at Amazon, and keep it separate from other platforms.

If you’d like to publish your eBook work on Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, txtr, Overdrive, Oyster, or Scribd, here is one choice among many.

Smashwords distributes to all of the above listed sites, in addition to listing your work on their site, too.  Distribution to retailers is through what they call their “Premium Catalog”, and requirements to be included there may seem exacting and picky, but easy to figure out if you have a working knowledge of Microsoft Word, and follow the Smashwords Style Guide.  I did it, and it’s easy…once you get the hang of it.

Smashwords provides up-to-date numbers on sales, preorders, book titles, and retailers.  They also make your work available to public libraries as well.  Overall, I find it to be a good deal.

Some authors have complained that the folks at Smashwords answer questions with brevity, and seem to be “stuck up”.  Keep in mind that these folks are working hard distributing your work, and we don’t know what goes on behind the scenes.  If their answers are short and to the point, be grateful!  They answered your question amongst all of the other question they have to answer.  I’ve recently had two questions for them, and they gave me the answer I was looking for.  I didn’t need to be coddled, or sweet-talked – I wanted my question answered, and that’s what I received.  Believe me, they want your book to be in the Premium Catalog – it’s how they make their money!

There’s at least one other website that distributes to many online retailers that I’m aware of:  Vook.  I haven’t had experience with them, but they are a viable alternative.

But, keep in mind:  it’s always best to keep your Amazon account with Amazon.  Let the other sites distribute to all of the other retailers, but keep Amazon separate.  Most of your sales will come from there!

Keep reading!

Michael (T. M. Bilderback)

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