The Internet has made it very easy for the average guy to write an ebook and publish it online. Whether you are writing to satisfy your own hunger of becoming a self-published author or writing to make money, Internet is a fast way to get noticed very quickly.
Here are some places where you can “list” your ebook so that it gets in front of hundred if not thousands of buyers instantly. Listing with these portals has many obvious advantages against working out everything for yourself. These portals work hard to get buyer’s attention, which is great from an author’s point of view, especially if you are just starting out. These guys have worked hard to gather the audience for you for years, all you have to do is write and publish it using their services and enjoy the benefits of becoming a published author..
When it comes to self-publishing there are two major options to choose from.
1) Publish directly on eBook stores
2) Submit to distribution services who will distribute your eBook to several eBook stores.
Let’s start by looking at some major ebook stores
#1 – Amazon Kindle
Amazon is by far the biggest and most popular portals when it comes to anything related to books. Their electronic ebook reading device called as Kindle makes it very easy for the average user to browse through thousands of eBooks online and read them directly on their device using the Internet. Users can either buy these eBooks or borrow them from the Amazon Kindle library.
Some of the benefits of self-publishing with Amazon Kindle
1) It takes just minutes to self publish on Amazon Kindle store and your eBook will be online within 24 hours.
2) Publishers can include their eBook in the Amazon Kindle Lending Program and receive additional royalty.
3) It’s very easy to edit the content, cover image of the eBook you have created
4) Depending upon the rights you set you will be paid either 70% or 35% royalty on listing price.
#2 – Google Play
Selling or distributing your eBooks on Google Play is a great way to quickly gain exposure to your talent online. Google Play is a huge collection of software, mobile applications, games and whole lot of other stuff, which users can directly download on Android powered devices across the world.
To start with you’ll need to sign up for a Google Books Partner Program. Under this you can either submit your physical Book or an eBook to Google and they will include it in Google Play so that users across the globe can search for it and buy by looking at the preview. Google accetps ebooks in PDF or EPUB format only. If you submit a physical book to Google then Google will convert in into a digital copy by scanning it free of cost
Here is a simple process of how selling ebooks on Google Play Works
- Sign up for a free Google Book Partners Account
- Describe your eBook in detail such as ISBN (not mandatory), title, eBook cover image, etc.
- Upload the PDF file using their uploader.
- Authorize that you really are the author of this ebook and all rights belong to you.
- Set eBook Price and your fees. The default setting is 80% royalty of the listing price. One good feature here is that you can allow Google to bundle your eBook with other eBooks for more exposure and get 20% on list price as royalty.
- Set setting for whether users can download a DRM-free copy or not as well as if they can print it out or not.
#3 – Apple iTunes
Apple iTunes is another place where you can get your ebook so that thousands of user download it on their apple devices such as Iphone, Ipad, etc. Here are some points to consider if you want your eBook to get exposure from Apple iTunes.
1) One very important point is that you must get an ISBN if you want to sell your eBook through iTunes. ISBN is not required of you want to give it away for free. If you have a printed book already with an ISBN then still you must get a different ISBN for a digitally formatted eBook.
2) To sell eBooks from iTunes you must have a U.S. tax ID.
3) A paid account is required for selling your eBook or giving it away for free. But you cannot sell it if you have a free account.
4) You’ll need to convert your PDF eBook into EPUB format so users can read it from their Apple devices such as iPhones, iPads etc. Once your ebook get accepted, users can access your eBook from various access points such as
- iTunes store on Mac or PC
- Any of the Apple device like iPhone, iPad, iPad Touch using iBooks App.
Similar to Amazon Kindle publishing, Barnes and Noble NOOK is another place for instant publishing and attention for your ebook online. Here are some features of pubit.
1) You can price your ebook starting from $0.99 to $199
2) Publishers get paid a royalty as per following guidelines.
For list price between $2.99 to $9.99 = 65%
For list price below $2.98 or at or greater than $10.00 till $199.99 = 40%
3) You can even sell ebooks, articles, poems, and essays on a variety of topics.
4) It’s very easy to get started and track sales from your account.
5) You can edit your eBook, cover image at any time.
6) It’s free to join
7) One drawback is that you must have a U.S bank account, U.S Credit card and U.S Tax ID to get paid through this program.
Now let’s look at some distribution services for hassle free exposure for your ebook.
#5 – Smashwords
Smashwords is an eBook distribution service that will submit your ebook to several services simultaneously. This is a great time saver. In return you’ll receive 60% of list price if your ebook gets sold at other stores and 85% of list price if it gets sold at smashwords.com. Some other amazing features include
1) They give your ebook a free ISBN if you don’t have it. Normally getting an ISBN requires a fee of about $275 (USD) for 10 ISBN’s.
2) They convert your ebook from normal Microsoft Word (.doc) format to Nine other formats so that it’s a one time upload and distribution.
3) You can update your eBook anytime you want.
4) Easy to use sales reporting for finding out how your eBook is doing online.
#6 – Bookbaby
1) Similar to Smashwords, Bookbaby is another way to self publish and distribute your own eBook to several other online portals instantly. Some of the places where your eBook will be listed are Amazon Kindle, Apple iTunes, Barnes and Noble, and many more.
2) However unlike Smashwords, Bookbaby service is not free. Their fees vary from $99 to $299 for a variety of features. These fees are applicable for first year only. After the first year all services are for $19 per year.
3) On the other hand since this is a paid service you get 100% of the sales generated by selling your eBooks worldwide. To learn more about their various services and pricing click here
#7 – ebookit
ebookit is another great distribution service you can opt for if you want to self-publish your eBook on some of the major eBook stores online.
Here are some great features of ebookit.
1) Once you submit your eBook at ebookit a team of experts will go through your eBook and format it so that it a professional look and ready to get distributed. If your original copy has any formatting errors then the team will solve these minor issues.
However eBookit charges you a one time fee of $149 if you want to accept their service for formatting. You can save this money by already converting your eBook to EPUB format and formatting it on your computer.
You can validate your EPUB file using their online tool available here
2) Having ISBN or eISBN will greatly increase your chances of getting accepted in high traffic eBook stores. ebookit has an option to get your eBook a unique ISBN free of cost.
3) If you submit your eBook in Microsoft Word (.doc) format ebookit will convert into several other formats so that there is no conflict on some other ebook formats.
4) Once your ebook get approved it will be distributed to 8 eBook stores with high traffic, which are Amazon, Sony, Barnes & Noble, Apple iTunes, Kobo Books, Google Books, Diesel Books, Ingram Digital.
5) ebookit retains 15% of the net sale per eBook as their fee. Payments are sent monthly.
#8 – Kobo Books
To self publish on Kobo all you need is a free “Kobo Writing Life” account (https://writinglife.kobobooks.com/)
1) Once you sign up it’s very easy to submit your eBook to Kobo. If you upload a Microsoft Word document they have an inbuilt converter to convert it into EPUB format.
2) All authors are paid only after a threshold of $100 is reached directly into bank account with Electronic Fund Transfer (ETF). Authors are paid 45 days after the end of each monthly period provided you have met a minimum threshold of $100.
3) It’s not mandatory to have an ISBN or eISBN for your eBook but if you have one then Kobo will help you to generate more exposure easily by distributing your eBook on some major platforms worldwide.
5) Kobo Books provides Free App for iPhone/iPads, Android, Blackberry, Mac and Pc’s so that users can easily browse and read your eBook.
#9 – Fast Pencil
FastPencil has 4 types of accounts to start with.
1) The first one is free type in which once you submit your ebook to FastPencil they will assign their own ISBN to your ebook and distribute it for you as their eBook. You still own the copyrights to this eBook but only with FastPencil’s Imprint. One big benefit of this is that you don’t have to pay a big fee to buy an ISBN.
2) The second type of account is a paid Publisher account under which you can use your own logo, name your publishing company, your own ISBN block. The Publisher account costs $599 to start with and as long as your book/eBook remains in their catalog you will charged $49/yer per title.
3) The third type of account is caller the Wavercast where FastPencil will collaborate you with expert authors and marketing experts. This service is fairly costly. But one big advantage of opting for this service is that FastPencil ensures that your eBook or Book gets noticed on book stands online or offline. The expert team of collaborators advice you on everything from book cover design to formatting so that it gets “sold” in the market in big numbers. Click Here for FastPencil Wavercast packages. (http://wavecrest.fastpencil.com/packages)
4) FastPencil PREMIERE is for authors who are already successful and want to get their new work in front of people.
#10 – eBook Partnership
eBook partnership is a great paid service for self-publishing with a wider reach with distribution to more that 60 retailers.
1) A one-tine set up fee of $105 must be paid for signing up. This fee is valid of two years and then you will be charged $40 per year.
2) For submitting your eBook it’s necessary that it has been already converted into EPUB format. If you want eBook Partnership to convert your PDF or DOC eBook then this service is available for a one-time fee of $210.
3) A detailed sales report can be viewed from their control panel.
4) One god thing about this service is that you get 100% royalty without any addition cut on fees from eBook Partnership. The only fees that will be cut is at the ebook retailers like Amazon.com and other retailers where your eBook will be distributed. A threshold of $40 is applicable for payments.
#11 – Bookmasters
Bookmasters are more than just a distribution service. Apart from distributing your eBook to several other retailers they also offer several other services like
1) Editing your work – This includes checking for formatting, proofreading ad polishing your work for professional look
2) Printing – This is for this authors who wish to have their own printed version available for sales in the market.
3) Fulfillment – This service include shipping your printed book to customers.
4) Design – This service includes the cover design and even interior design of the book for professional looks.
5) eBook -This service includes converting your book into an ebook format with EPUB and PDF extensions.
6) Marketing – If you are not good in promoting your book or ebook then this service is for you.
All these service vary starting from $499 to up to $1599.
#12 – AuthorZilla
Authorzilla is another great network to get your eBook online and get massive exposure to it.
1) With Authourzilla you can self -publish for free under a basic or advantage plan.
2) Under the “free basic plan” authors get paid 85% of net sales and under “free advantage plan” authors get paid 90% of net sales. (The percentage is calculated on the amount remaining after your eBook is sold at eBook stores like Amazon Kindle, B&N)
3) Free account also include conversion of your eBook into EPUB and MOBI formats. On tops of that you get a free eBook cover and an ISBN.
3) Authoorzilla also has two very important paid services with a monthly fee.
4) The first paid service is for marketing and sales of your eBook with continuous promotion. This service costs starting from $499 per month to $1499 per month.
Under this service your eBook is marketed using some of the most aggressive marketing techniques such as professional press releases, Author video interviews, Weekly blog writing, posting 24/48 facebook, linkedin and twitter updates. If you have some money to spend then this is a perfect option for massive exposure very quickly.
5) The second paid service is for distribution your eBook to 1000 retail eBook stores and 25,000 libraries. This service costs $59 onetime per eBook. Authorzilla retain 15% of eBook price per eBook sale.
Here are some similar eBook distribution services that can do the job of self-publishing your eBook worldwide
To summarize here is how different eBooks distribution service compare to each other on various terms
1) Smashwords = free = 85% net royalty = submit as DOC
2) Bookbaby = $99 to $299 then $19/year = 100% royalty = submit as EPUB
3) eBookit = Free for .epub files/ $149 one time if .doc = 85% on net = submit as EPUB
4) Kobo Books = Free = Paid per month $100 threshold = submit as DOC
5) FastePencil = Free + (three more types) = 80% net = inbuilt software for writing
6) ebook partnership = $105 signup for 2 years then $40 /year = 100% royalty = EPUB
7) Bookmasters = start at $499 = on request = submit as DOC
#13 – Torrents
Another great and unusual way to distribute your eBook to thousands and thousands of users very fast is to upload your PDF eBook to torrent portals. Torrents are a way to “share” eBooks, music files, videos, games, software to users using a peer to peer connection. Which means that two users can share their files directly from their computers with each other using a torrent software.
The most popular torrent downloading software are “Bitcomet” and uTorrent”. There is a way to create a torrent file which you must upload to the torrent portals. Torrent file will have the correct path of your eBook PDF file from your hard disk.
When the user download the torrent file the download will start if your computer is booted and is connected to the Internet. One amazing thing about this is that your eBook will be downloaded thousands of time in just a matter of hours.
The only drawback of this method is
1) The users of torrent sites are normally looking for free stuff, so selling directly them won’t be a good idea.
2) eBook written on certain subjects will get massive downloads as compared to others. Subjects that are more likely to get attention are
- Video Games
- Cellphones and Smartphone applications
- TV games
- Sexuality and adult related
- TV shows
- PC hardware education
- Improving Relationships
- Music related
- Sports related
- Cars and Bikes
Here is a screenshot of the audience demographics of the most popular torrent site “mininova.org” captured from “alexa.com” As you can clearly see the age group of users is 18-34 browsing from home and not having children.
That’s why a good marketing strategy would be to give away your eBook free and entertain them first and channel the traffic to various income streams subtly using any of the following means
1) Inserting affiliate links
2) Providing Master Resell Rights
3) Providing Private Label Rights
4) Selling Ad Space in eBook
5) CPA offers where you get paid for email or zip submits.
6) Giving away coupons
#15 – Fiverr
Fiverr is an independent marketplace where people sell anything for $5(USD).
You can upload your ebook and sell it there for $5 easily. A listing on fiverr is called as a “Gig” and it’s free to start. Your customers can purchase using a credit card or a Paypal account. The only drawback with fiverr is that you must price it for $5.
In order to distribute your eBook to various eBook stores it’s necessary that you have a valid file format that users’s can open on their devices. If you are used to reading eBooks in the popular PDF format then that won’t always work with online retailers.
Here are some of the most popular and working formats into which you’ll need to convert your ebook.
1) DOC to DOCX converter = http://www.doc.investintech.com/
2) DOCX to EPUB converter = http://www.2epub.com/
3) DOCX to MOBI converter = http://www.mobipocket.com/en/downloadsoft/productdetailscreator.asp
4) DOCX to PDF converter = http://www.dopdf.com/
5) DOCX to KF8 converter (Amazon Kindle) = Free service from Amazon http://www.istonsoft.com/kindle-format-8/convert-doc-to-kf8.html
For more information on other eBook format refer to this article on Wikipedia
One important tip
The list of portals mentioned above are just a “platform” for getting your eBook online without having the need to own or set up your own website. Listing your eBook on these portals does not guarantee any sales of your eBook.
The only way to get sales for eBook is to write what people want to read in the first place. It’s one thing to write for pleasure but requires a different approach to become rich by writing eBooks. Fortunately the Internet has made it very easy to distribute your work worldwide and get your work noticed
If you are self-publishing to make money from your efforts then I strongly recommend you a guide called “How To Write Your Own Ebook(r) In 7 Days!“which shows you step by step how to crank out bestseller eBooks that get sales and not just sit on cyber shelves collecting dust.