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Old 11-01-2012, 07:55 PM   #1
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What other options besides Amazon are there for self-publishers?

Hello All,

I've been reading thread after thread in this forum about complaints of how Amazon treats indie publishers...(not just on this site, there are p.o.d writers ALL over the internet)...and my question is...

What other reasonable options besides Amazon are there for self-publishers?

Thanks!
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:26 PM   #2
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Amazon is probably going to get you in front of the largest audience, but there is also...

Smashwords
iBooks
Kobo
B&N PubIt
Lulu
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:45 PM   #3
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From the ones you mentioned...did you list them in order of preference?

May I ask you what genre you write in?

Thanks AnemicOak!
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:24 PM   #4
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Smashwords and Lulu are both designed for self-publishers; Smashwords has contracts with several other ebook stores and can feed into them without needing to upload directly. (However, using Smashwords means getting a smaller cut, and less control, than if you manage accounts with the stores yourself.)

There are also some genre bookstores that take self-published works. What genre are you writing in?
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnemicOak View Post
Amazon is probably going to get you in front of the largest audience, but there is also...

Smashwords
iBooks
Kobo
B&N PubIt
Lulu


So this is a good list, here is my recommendation. Get your book on Smashwords, and use them to get in to every store and library the offer EXCEPT Amazon and Barns and Noble. Setup accounts directly with Amazon and B&N and publish directly to them. In addition set up an account with Amazon Create Space to make a paper back version of your book. Optionally, use there extended package ($25 Ithink) to make it available in retail stores.

I would recommend you skip Lulu completely. They do not compete well on price. (by price, I mean the price you can charge, not your cut).
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:19 AM   #6
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Thanks for your input VydorScope! Very useful stuff!
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:05 AM   #7
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Personally I found Smashwords to be a bit picky, and a lot of pita as far as formatting was concerned, although I would willingly have tried to use them for the range of markets they reach. I also have a vague memory that they required DRM, but I could be wrong on that.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James_Wilde View Post
Personally I found Smashwords to be a bit picky, and a lot of pita as far as formatting was concerned, although I would willingly have tried to use them for the range of markets they reach. I also have a vague memory that they required DRM, but I could be wrong on that.
I got an email from Smashwords that said, among other things:
Quote:
We're aiming to support direct .epub uploads by the end of the year.
So hopefully the issue of formatting Word files won't be an issue for much longer.

Smashwords don't require DRM. Their ebook store doesn't use DRM at all.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James_Wilde View Post
Personally I found Smashwords to be a bit picky, and a lot of pita as far as formatting was concerned, although I would willingly have tried to use them for the range of markets they reach. I also have a vague memory that they required DRM, but I could be wrong on that.
Smashwords is ANTI-DRM actually.

As for the Word formatting, I have found by following their style guide I have a much easier time getting into just about any store/pod that I want then if I do not. Their style guide is fairly well respected from that point of view, even if people love to hate the meat grinder.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avantman42 View Post
I got an email from Smashwords that said, among other things:
Quote:
We're aiming to support direct .epub uploads by the end of the year.
So hopefully the issue of formatting Word files won't be an issue for much longer.

Yeah, they have been saying stuff like that for a while now. I like them, but if you work with them you have to understand they over promise and under deliver on time lines as a general rule. It is a bad business practice, but really it is the only fault I have with them.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VydorScope View Post
Yeah, they have been saying stuff like that for a while now. I like them, but if you work with them you have to understand they over promise and under deliver on time lines as a general rule. It is a bad business practice, but really it is the only fault I have with them.
It's hard to be too critical on that - as far as I can tell it's standard practice in the software industry (oops, that phrase covers me too! ).
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VydorScope View Post
Yeah, they have been saying stuff like that for a while now. I like them, but if you work with them you have to understand they over promise and under deliver on time lines as a general rule. It is a bad business practice, but really it is the only fault I have with them.
My understanding was that they'd been promising direct epub uploads for a long time, but without a time frame. This is the first time I've seen them mention give any indication of when it'd be implemented.

I'm not going to hold my breath, though
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:26 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by avantman42 View Post
My understanding was that they'd been promising direct epub uploads for a long time, but without a time frame. This is the first time I've seen them mention give any indication of when it'd be implemented.

I'm not going to hold my breath, though
I would be very impressed if you could hold your breath from now till the end of the year!
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:19 PM   #14
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For the Smashwords formatting issue, there is a series of three vids on youtube which are really helpful. Here is the first, the others will be linked to it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXRyMxF5kVI
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:10 PM   #15
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Bookbaby is like a paid-for Smashwords that accepts epubs and is a good alternative I find. (I published with them back in January 2010 I think it was when it was free.)

Bookbaby is like Smashwords in the sense that they will publish to all the major online retailers for you. They charge to distribute your book but then you keep all the proceeds. Smashwords is free to upload to, but they'll keep 30% of the proceeds.

I'm currently publishing a serialisation of a novel. Smashwords won't distribute serialisations to other retailers, and I don't want to pay Bookbaby for each of the five instalments.

So I'm publishing to Smashwords alone, then to Amazon direct, and using Lulu to distribute to Barnes and Noble and Apple iBookstore. All these are free, with varying levels of commissions.

I'm still not decided whether to publish the full, final novel through Smashwords or Bookbaby, but it will be one of them.
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