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Old 05-29-2010, 05:02 AM   #61
neilmarr
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On the DRM question, Cory Doctorow (a hero) summed it up in a borrowed quote from elsewhere in a talk recently: "The problem for an independent author isn't piracy; it's obscurity." Cheers. Neil
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Old 06-08-2010, 11:44 AM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake_Drake View Post
I can't say enough about how helpful Smashwords.com is about helping new authors to get their books published as ebooks and get onto all the various ereaders. If not for Smashwords I would still be writing my stories strictly for myself. They were the first I found out about and the best I still have found.

Until February of this year I was only writing for me - now my ebooks are reaching people all over the globe and I have gotten very good feedback/reviews from quite a few people who purchased my ebooks on Smashwords.

Thanks to Mark Coker for all he's done in helping out the newbie author.
With you on that one. I've recently put my ebook up on smashwords, and yesterday had the good news that it's been accepted for the premium catalogue - which will lead to distribution via Amazon, Apple, Sony etc.

Personally, I think Smashwords is going places. My advice to anyone who has written an ebook is to get it onto Smashwords pronto, before the place gets too popular, so that your book isn't swamped by (as yet) too many submissions.
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:07 AM   #63
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Just to agree and underscore what Winter said. While considering how I wanted to go about selling my ebooks, I read a lot of commentary on whether to use DRM or not, and Winter has laid out the overall consensus very well. I'll just add the comment, look what has happened to music because of DRM. Everybody hates it, and software that removes DRM from videos and music is big business. The music industry shot itself in the foot.
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:53 PM   #64
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I'm fairly annoyed that all these places force authors to use their (the ebook sites') conversion processes, which are normally pretty subpar. I have a professionally formatted ebook that I put quite alot of effort into with InDesign, then also tweaked the formatting on the ePub and MOBI in Oxygen, and I get onto these sites like Smashwords and Feedbooks and they want .doc files and copy paste text. I guess this is in part to cater to people who don't have the knowledge to design a book, and/nor the software, as well as needing to maintain a common formatting style for everything on their sites. But it is frustrating. Are there no sites that allow authors to publish their own formating that follows all the technical guidelines for PDF, ePub, and MOBI? gigapedia is the only site I know of. I'm going to crawl through the ebook Architects and try to find some there.

Last edited by Matthew Malone; 07-08-2010 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:02 PM   #65
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I think LuLu has a WYSIWYG editor, but they force to ePub or PDF. You may be able to squeeze it onto amazon with your formatting, but I'm not too sure about that...

AJ, I didn't know you were here. I just saw your book at SW yesterday
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:06 PM   #66
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I was thinking more along the lines of a straight upload of pre-formatted files, but I'll look into that.

Nice avatar too.
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:11 PM   #67
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In my experience Amazon has forced me to use their conversion. I put my book on their site simply to test their conversion process (set the price to .99 because that was the lowest they'd allow) and it was pretty...not good.
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:49 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Malone View Post
I'm fairly annoyed that all these places force authors to use their (the ebook sites') conversion processes, which are normally pretty subpar. I have a professionally formatted ebook that I put quite alot of effort into with InDesign, then also tweaked the formatting on the ePub and MOBI in Oxygen, and I get onto these sites like Smashwords and Feedbooks and they want .doc files and copy paste text. I guess this is in part to cater to people who don't have the knowledge to design a book, and/nor the software, as well as needing to maintain a common formatting style for everything on their sites. But it is frustrating. Are there no sites that allow authors to publish their own formating that follows all the technical guidelines for PDF, ePub, and MOBI? gigapedia is the only site I know of. I'm going to crawl through the ebook Architects and try to find some there.
dtp.amazon.com will let you upload Mobipocket files for selling in their Kindle store.
lulu.com will let you upload PDF and ePub for selling on the lulu.com website
www.lightningsource.com will let you upload PDF and ePub for distribution to various ebook stores.
Apple will let you upload ePubs for their iBookStore

It's certainly possible to specify with the first three that the ebooks should not have DRM. I haven't gone through the process myself with Apple yet, but I beleive it's possible to specify no DRM with them too.
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Old 07-08-2010, 07:45 PM   #69
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Thanks, durrant!

Very helpful. I looked into the iBookstore earlier today, but they want all kind of payment info. I already have an iTunes account, and I'm on a mac, but to just offer the novel for free, I'm not sure if it's worth going through all that personal finance information.

I have an account on LS, but I don't want to use my ISBN for an ebook in case I decide to publish it in paper back. I'm assuming they'll want a new ISBN for the ebook. I'll have to look into that, though.

Great info about Amazon.

I'm hesitant to go near Lulu. It seems to carry not-very-highly-thought-of connotations.

Thanks again. Just what I wanted to know.
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Old 07-11-2010, 03:33 AM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A_J_Lath View Post
With you on that one. I've recently put my ebook up on smashwords, and yesterday had the good news that it's been accepted for the premium catalogue - which will lead to distribution via Amazon, Apple, Sony etc.

Personally, I think Smashwords is going places. My advice to anyone who has written an ebook is to get it onto Smashwords pronto, before the place gets too popular, so that your book isn't swamped by (as yet) too many submissions.
Interesting thoughts. I find myself less enthused about having my book on Smashwords because it's becoming easier to get it elsewhere without the go-between. Once I can add a book to B&N or Apple on my own, I'm not sure Smashwords will be all that necessary, especially if they still want to take a cut out of the royalties. Are you finding you get a lot of sales via Smashwords? Is the situation a little different for people in the UK?
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:28 PM   #71
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This sounds like it might be a very useful topic for someone like me. I'm very confused by all of the various formats and when they should be used.
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Old 07-12-2010, 12:17 AM   #72
Steven Lake
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I'm less interested in the formats (I'm only ever going to publish in epub and PDF, unless absolutely forced to do otherwise), and more interested in what places are best to publish your ebooks.
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Old 07-13-2010, 07:54 AM   #73
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I've used Wattpad, Manybooks, Bookglutton, Scribd, Smashwords, and Feedbooks to distribute books over the years, and have decided I need both Feedbooks and Smashwords -- but for different reasons.

Feedbooks produces better documents and does a better job -- in my opinion and experience -- of distributing books via its own interfaces (web and mobile), and on platforms like Aldiko and Ibis Reader. Apples to apples, I've distributed 235 free copies of one book on Smashwords so far this year, versus 1007 of the same book on Feedbooks, although an uncontrolled variable is that all my own promotion drives to Feedbooks.

Smashwords, on the other hand, has made a lot of deals for free distribution via mainstream channels like B&N, Amazon, and Apple. Be warned, however, that it can take a long time for your books to appear in these channels. Right now, I'm in B&N and the iBookstore, but still waiting on Amazon, Sony, and Kobo -- and my book was accepted into the Premium Catalog on March 30. (My free e-book was also priced at $9.99 for five weeks in the iBookstore, but that's another story.)

There is no perfect solution, in short, but Smashwords and Feedbooks both have things going for them. Hope this is helpful.
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Old 07-18-2010, 01:25 PM   #74
Valmore Daniels
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I went with Amazon DTP, Lulu and Smashwords for full retail versions. Smashwords had me listed with iBooks within a week. They only just shipped to Kobo, Sony and B&N so I'll have to wait a while to see if they've listed me.

I also posted free excerpts on Wattpad, Issuu, and Scribd (about 50 pages) with links. I've gotten some good response from these guys.
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:11 PM   #75
Steven Lake
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On the DRM question, Cory Doctorow (a hero) summed it up in a borrowed quote from elsewhere in a talk recently: "The problem for an independent author isn't piracy; it's obscurity." Cheers. Neil
I'm not sure why I didn't catch this before, but your statement about piracy issues with independent authors is spot on. If anything, regardless of how obscure or popular you are, authors should actually encourage the sharing (no, don't call it "piracy", as that's the wrong word. Go look it up in the dictionary. It's the theft of a physical object by force.) of our books. Independent artists do it all the time and it actually helps them.

Also, if you want to increase your exposure, offer a free copy of one of your books, then encourage as many people as possible to share it. The more that share, the more free press and exposure you get, and the better you'll do. Now, if people refuse to share your book, I'd seriously take a second look at your writing, because if they're not sharing it, and not telling their friends, then something is seriously wrong with your book, and possibly all your writing.
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