Now that you have your e-reader, you’ve accessorized it, you are loving reading e-books on it, it occurs to you: “Hey, I can write an e-book for others to read on their e-reader!” You write your e-book, and now you are faced with getting it out into e-book world so that people with e-readers can read it. Unfortunately, as we discussed in an earlier post in this series, it is not as simple as just putting out a Word document and making an e-book. There is certainly nothing wrong with putting your e-book up on your website and selling it as a PDF. But if you want it available to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Kobo or the Apple store, you will have to do a bit more.
We would recommend a company like Smashwords. Just to let you know, Our Little Books has an account at Smashwords where we sell our little books in e-book format. On Smashwords, you can certainly put up your e-book as a word or PDF document and sell it or give it away like that, but that won’t get your e-book into the e-book stores. The real power of Smashwords is their e-book distribution reach to the non-Amazon retailers and mobile platforms because obviously, as an author, your objective is to maximize the availability of your book by getting listed in as many retailers as possible. Smashwords is constantly building out their distribution network, all with the goal of helping you reach more readers. While there are other companies that do the same thing as Smashwords, Smashwords is the first and we really like their personal attention. [We don’t get any remuneration for this recommendation. It’s just because they are good!]
Basically, what a company like Smashwords does if you want your e-books in virtual stores, is to offer you a conversion of your file and distribution into the stores. Again, your book has to be formatted correctly, so that can take a bit of trial and error. But, since you want your readers to have a good experience, you need to take the time to do so. Your cover needs to look sharp. The formatting needs to be smooth. Your e-book is, after all, a reflection on you. You will need an ISBN number if you want to get into the e-stores. You can get one yourself, have Smashwords give you one of theirs, or, if you are working with a publisher like Our Little Books, we provide one for you.
Then you set a price and determine whether or not a reader can see a portion of your book. We highly recommend this part. Our Little Books is set to 20%. What we have found is people download 20%, love what they see and then buy the book. You can even give away your e-book for free. For some who may have several e-books, that is an excellent marketing tool as a reader will download the free one, like what they read and then buy your others.
Bottom line? Get yourself and your e-books out there. There are services, like Smashwords to help, or as always, Our Little Books would be glad to help you with any of your publishing needs!