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Old 09-22-2009, 12:57 PM   #1
pdurrant
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Where to Sell?

I'm just about ready to start selling my first commercial ebook. I currently have it nicely formatted in ePub format, bar a few final tweaks, and I'll be able to get a (poorer) version done in Mobipocket without too much trouble that I could then convert with Calibre to other formats if necessary. And I can make a PDF version as well, since I already have files for the print version where the visible page area isn't too much more than a 6" eInk screen.

And I've now found that there's not many places where I can sell it.

Amazon: I'm not in the US, I don't have a US bank account. And anyway, they'd want 65% of the purchase price. With royalties to be paid to the author and illustrator, that leaves very little in the kitty for me!

Mobipocket: Not accepting new publishers, and would also want 65%

Fictionwise: I'm not big enough for them

Smashwords: They seem to only accept ebooks made by using their generic conversion from RTF. Otherwise they seem excellent. There is some mention of Premiun Distribution of ePub that sounds interesting, but there's not much detail on the site about it.

Lulu: Only PDF [EDIT: And now ePub too]

Own site using Google: Yes, but low traffic
Own site using PayPal: Yes, but low traffic

Have I missed anyone? Currently it looks like Smashwords is my best bet, but I dread what's going to happen to my formatting!

All suggestions gratefully received.

[EDIT: A useful resource:

http://ebookarchitects.com/conversions/retailers.php

which lists all current options for selling through retailers.]

Last edited by pdurrant; 11-18-2009 at 12:58 PM. Reason: Added link to useful web site
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:11 PM   #2
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What about baen.com?
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:20 PM   #3
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What about baen.com?
What about them? They accept ad-hoc eBook submissions from anybody?

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Old 09-22-2009, 02:16 PM   #4
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I did consider webscription.net (aka Arnold Bailey), but they are really a SF/Fantasy house, and I don't think they are taking ebooks from anyone except carefully selected partners.

On a more positive note, I wrote to smashwords and got back an encouraging response. I'll probably go with them initially, perhaps with direct downloads from my website as well.

Unless anyone has other suggestions?

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What about baen.com?
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Old 09-22-2009, 02:52 PM   #5
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I did consider webscription.net (aka Arnold Bailey), but they are really a SF/Fantasy house, and I don't think they are taking ebooks from anyone except carefully selected partners.

On a more positive note, I wrote to smashwords and got back an encouraging response. I'll probably go with them initially, perhaps with direct downloads from my website as well.

Unless anyone has other suggestions?
Can you share some more details on what you found out from smashwords, pdurrant?

Thanks!

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Old 09-22-2009, 03:26 PM   #6
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I would have thought Smashwords was the best option, I have found their formatting to be generally satisfactory and they most definitely return the most generous portion of fees to the author of anybody.
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:38 PM   #7
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Agreed with Smashswords. But why not do Kindle too? What do you have to lose? I understand the concern with regards to distribution fees, but they are a large and accessible market.

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Old 09-23-2009, 02:34 AM   #8
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They don't accept books from publishers who do not have a US presence and bank account or credit card. Otherwise I would.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelFStewart View Post
Agreed with Smashswords. But why not do Kindle too? What do you have to lose? I understand the concern with regards to distribution fees, but they are a large and accessible market.

MFS
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Old 09-23-2009, 08:21 AM   #9
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That's not actually true. You need a TIN - or a Tax Payer Identification Number. I'm Canadian and applied and received one without a great deal of difficulty. Might different from the UK. I have no US bank account. They just send me checks.
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Old 09-23-2009, 08:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
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That's not actually true. You need a TIN - or a Tax Payer Identification Number. I'm Canadian and applied and received one without a great deal of difficulty. Might different from the UK. I have no US bank account. They just send me checks.
And what responsibilities does that hoist you with?

Do you pay US taxes?

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Old 09-23-2009, 11:19 AM   #11
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Depends on your countries deal with the US. Canadians do not pay US taxes if they are non residents. UK may well have some withholdings - I don't know.
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Old 09-23-2009, 11:37 AM   #12
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Depends on your countries deal with the US. Canadians do not pay US taxes if they are non residents. UK may well have some withholdings - I don't know.
Is there anything else that getting that TIN causes you to have to undertake? You don't have to still file, even though you do not have to pay, or anything like that?

I'm guessing we are both Canadian... so your example should apply fully to me.

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Old 09-23-2009, 11:55 AM   #13
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Nothing that I'm aware of, Ahi. It's more so that Amazon can keep them abreast of my USD income I believe. And, yes, I'm Canadian and don't have dual citizenship or anything like that.
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Old 09-23-2009, 12:31 PM   #14
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Smashwords isn't a bad way to get your book out there, and they do offer guidance on how to format your book for the best output on their site. Although more exotic layouts might strain their system, your basic chapter and paragraph book should render just fine there.

Keep in mind, though, that a lot of people upload books to Smashwords... you could have as much of a visibility problem there as anywhere else... don't just assume you'll see "loads of hits" just by virtue of being there. (Same thing goes for the Kindle store.) The secret is in your marketing, whatever your book's location, to generate sales. (With successful marketing, your own site or a Paypal site might do as well).
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Old 09-23-2009, 02:28 PM   #15
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You're completely correct, of course. Marketing is the really tricky bit. But it'll be nice to have it for sale somewhere soon.

I've decided to go the PDF route at Lulu.com, the multi-format at Smashwords, and custom ePub at my site, with links from my site to the other sales locations.

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The secret is in your marketing, whatever your book's location, to generate sales. (With successful marketing, your own site or a Paypal site might do as well).
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