Indie Authors: An Overview of Book Distribution Options

By Zufrieden (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Zufrieden (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

When it comes to selling books, most people think of Amazon and Kindle. Although Amazon may be the biggest ebook distributor, it’s not the only option for indie authors. Continue reading


Gumroad: An Alternate Distributor for Ebooks (And Other Products)

We all know about the main distribution channels for indie authors: Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Google. But there are alternative, and potentially lucrative ways, to sell your work. One such alternative is Gumroad, which allows writers, artists, and others to sell their work.

It doesn’t have to be limited to ebooks either. If you’re a non-fiction author, you can bundle products and sell resources/checklists/PDFs, online courses, additional research, and even services to go with your books. And if you’re a fiction author, you can sell subscriptions to your work. You can sell anything on Gumroad, even templates for professional resumes. Continue reading

Ebook Distribution: Google Play

There’s a lot going on with Google Play lately, at least when it comes to ebooks.

About a month ago, Google Play shut down its book publisher program, at least temporarily, to new users while they sort out all the accusations about pirated ebooks on the platform, according to GoodeReader.

It’s a shame, and hopefully Google will reopen again to new authors soon. For authors already using Google Play though, there’s a lot of good news. As of June 2015, Google Play Books is the 9th Android app installed on over 1 billion devices. That’s a lot of potential readers to reach.

The Book Designer outlines the good and bad points of using Google Play, though some of it may be outdated. One of the biggest complaints of the post was how to upload descriptions for multiple books so they display correctly, but in my experience all you need to do is upload one spreadsheet (where you can format the description with some basic HTML) for an unlimited number of books. On the other hand, this may be why Google Play Books had such a pirating problem.

Interestingly, according to The Digital Reader, Google Play Books may not actually support epub. Though the system will accept an epub, it apparently renders the files differently.

On the other hand, Google Play Books has been making strides to make their ebooks stand out. For example, they released a new font especially for ebooks, called Literata, and they have a patent to trigger sounds in ebooks. There are also platforms, such as Liberio, that allows you to turn your Google docs into an ebook.

What do you think about Google Play Books? Please share in the comments!

Smashwords: An Indie Author Guide

Smashwords is a retailer and an ebook distributor, and a great choice for indie authors. Why? Because the platform lets you upload once and sell on multiple outlets, saving authors a lot of time, and it offers a number of marketing options.

If you want a step by step on how to upload and distribute ebooks via Smashwords, read my EPUBZone article, “Ebook Distribution for the Indie Author.” I also have a video showing the steps in my Udemy course, “How to Create Beautiful Ebooks.”

I had the pleasure of interviewing Mark Coker, founder, back in 2012, and Smashwords has only gotten better since then.

How It Works

According to the Smashwords website, more than “100,000 authors, small independent publishers, and literary agents publish and distribute with Smashwords.” Continue reading

Comparing the Ebook Submission Process: Self-Publishers v. Publishers

I recently wrapped up a freelance project with a small publisher, where I uploaded/submitted ebook files and metadata to Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Google. In the process, I thought about the similarities and differences between how a self-publisher would go about distributing an ebook versus a publishing company that is submitting files themselves instead of using an intermediary such as Ingram.

One of the biggest differences is that regular publishers have the option of also distributing and selling enhanced ebooks. However, currently only Amazon, Apple, and Barnes & Noble accepts and sells enhanced ebooks. For this particular project, I worked with standard ebooks and enhanced ebooks which contained video files.  Continue reading

POD – What does it really mean?


By Bethany Brown – The Cadence Group

Print on demand is becoming more and more common, especially for indie authors. Bethany Brown, from The Cadence Group, a dedicated team of publishing professionals, has written a great, in-depth article explaining the ins and outs of POD. Read on.

If you are self-publishing your book or thinking about self-publishing your book, the term POD has probably come up in your research. POD is short for “Print on Demand” and, while technically a printing method, it has come to mean far more to authors and small presses. Continue reading

Smashwords: An upgrade to help indie authors sell better ebooks

On the last day of 2012, Smashwords made an exciting announcement: authors can now directly upload epubs to the site.

This might not sound like a big deal, but it kind of is. According to the Smashwords blog, as of December 31, 2012, Smashwords became “the world’s largest distributor of ebooks from self-published authors and small independent presses.” And now that authors can directly upload epubs to the site, Smashwords will not be limited to novels, short stories, and other books that are mostly narrative. Because authors now have the ability to upload their epub, they can sell their enhanced ebooks, children’s books, and other illustrated works through Smashwords to retailers such as Barnes & Noble, Apple, and more. Continue reading

Self-publishing ebooks: Why maximizing distribution matters

New technologies and startups have made it easier than ever to self-publish ebooks. But they don’t make it any easier to make a living writing. The most important thing you can do as a self-published author, however, is to make sure your ebook is available through as many retail channels as possible. (FYI, ebook sales accounted for 20% of book sales in 2011, up from 10% in 2010. Good sign!)

Think about it. If your ebook is not available, then no one can buy it. So the best way to help boost your sales is to make sure your ebook is available for purchase. If you’re self-publishing an ebook, you’re an entrepreneur, and that means you should to put in as much effort as possible (yes, this means using your valuable time), to sell your product.

Continue reading

Self-publishing ebooks: An Overview

Fact: Self-publishing is growing. In 2011, according to BISG, over 200,000 books were self-published. Ebooks are also growing. By 2016, ebooks will account for 50% of book sales, and the book market will be worth $21 billion.  Continue reading