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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fun With Indie Publishing Part 1

I've had friends and acquaintances ask me about my indie publishing and how (and if) they should indie publish. I'm always happy to help and tell what I've learned, but I tend to worry that I'm forgetting something. So, I decided I would make a series of blog posts on what I do to indie publish. It's been a learning process as I've gone along and I'm still very much in the learning phase so please don't take anything I say as gospel. Use what you will and be sure to explore and learn some on your own as well.

Okay, step one, do you want to indie publish?

Honestly, with the climate today, early 2012, I can't imagine a reason not to indie publish. Does this mean you're giving up on your goal to be traditionally published? No. It means you are playing both sides of the fence. You can continue to send out submissions to the traditional markets while you indie publish other pieces. There are also writers who have no desire to traditionally publish and only want to indie publish.

What can I indie publish?

Whatever you want that you have the current rights to. Articles, short stories, short story collections, poetry collections, novellas, novels, nonfiction books, etc.

How do I indie publish?

This question I'll answer in stages. Stage 1. The easiest and most efficient ways to self publish are to do it yourself through KDP, PubIt, and Smashwords.

KDP is Amazon's digital self-publishing platform. There are no upfront costs. https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/signin

PubIt is Barnes and Noble's digital self-publishing platform. There are no upfront costs. http://pubit.barnesandnoble.com/pubit_app/bn?t=pi_reg_home

Smashwords is an independent company which will distribute your digital content to Apple, Sony, Kobo, and Diesel. There are no upfront costs. http://www.smashwords.com/

Sign up and start accounts with all three. You'll notice Smashwords also distributes to B&N, but you get better royalty rates by going directly through PubIt. Very much worth the extra time to set up the account and upload. You'll need to provide your banking information - to get paid. And your social security number - for tax purposes. You can also put in your publisher name - you are your own publisher - pick a name it looks more professional. If you are going to publish under several pen name you should set up a publisher account with Smashwords; if you're only publishing under one name a regular account is fine.

There are other e-retailers you can directly upload to sell your books. It is up to you who sign up with. Amazon, B&N, and the retailers Smashwords sends you to are the big guns. Just make sure there aren't any upfront costs with any e-retailer. A retailer should only take a cut when you sell a book. You can also go directly to Apple and Kobo (I've been told), but I've also been told there are more hoops to jump through. Though rumor has it that Apple is going to debut a new self-publishing platform soon.

For writers outside the US, Smashwords does require you have a PayPal account to sign up if you are not a US resident. If you don't want a PayPal account, there are some other companies who also distribute to Apple and other e-retailers, just make sure they don't charge you up front fees.The following article lists aggregators which distribute to Apple including two outside the US - http://www.tuaw.com/2012/01/05/how-apple-ibooks-needs-to-compete-with-amazon-better-author-too/.
ADDED: It is my understanding that PubIt! is not allowing non-US writers to use their service. I would check when you go to publish as this could change - if it has please let me know. But if that is the case you can get your books in via Smashwords  (you can check the other aggregators to see if they distribute to B&N) - the royalties are less, but you don't want to leave out a major bookseller like B&N.

Next step in Part 2 of Fun With Indie Publishing...

13 comments:

  1. This is brilliant stuff, Angelia. Thanks for posting!

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  2. Thanks for stopping by, Cat. I'm going to be posting a new one each week on Indie Publishing.

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  3. Thanks for the additional information for writers living outside the States, Angelia!

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  4. ;-) I was thinking of you when I added it, Claudine.

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  5. Angelia, I didn't know you indie published. Are you traditionally published as well?

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  6. Yep, playing both sides of the fence. My steamy paranormal The Beast's Redemption under my Angie Derek pen name is traditionally published. I also have a romantic suspense under my pen name with another publisher coming out late spring of this year. But the rest I've been doing on my own.

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  7. On a side note for internationally publishing. It is my understanding the PubIt! (B&N) still only allows US writers to indie publish. Be sure to double check if you are outside the US, but you can get into B&N through Smashwords if they are still not allowing non-US writers when you start to indie publish.

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  8. Thanks for the info about Indie Publishing, Angelia. I don't plan on taking that route at the moment but it is looking more and more inviting. I am traditionally published at the moment with a small publisher but not making much and having to do all the marketing myself. Being self-published but making more is looking more and more attractive. I just hate the bad rap self-published authors get. Hopefully that will keep changing as time goes on and we see more and more professionally done self-published books.

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  9. The stigma is changing as more and more traditionally published authors are jumping ship to self-publish. But the main way is if your book cover looks good, blurb is good, and sample isn't riddled with bad formatting (though some publishers are the worst culprits on the bad eformatting) and errors, and you got a publisher name, honestly a lot of readers don't even know the book is self-published.

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  10. Thank you so much for this info! I've been thinking of taking the leap into self-publishing. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of your series.

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  11. You're welcome, Denise. Come on by next Wednesday and the next installment will be up.

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  12. Thank you for the great information. This is very helpful for anyone who would like to self publish.

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    1. You're welcome. I'm trying to post a segment each week.

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