By Bruce Jones
In my previous post I talked about Why Should I Self-Publish My Book? In this post I will talk about where you can self-publish.
There are many, many places to publish and sell your book, but the main place to focus on is Amazon.com. Everything else pales compared to Amazon. I recommend always starting with Amazon and then move out to the other sites including your own.
For a physical printed books this usually means paperback and working with www.CreateSpace.com. CreateSpace.com is the print-on-demand side of Amazon and is an excellent service. Basically you upload two files, a hi-res pdf of your book insides and one for the cover, fill in some info and they take care of the rest.
For the e-book side it is Kindle. Kindle is the highly popular e-reader developed and sold by Amazon.com. A text or MSWord file is uploaded at KDP Direct, (www.KDP.Amazon.com), along with a cover graphic and Kindle moves the files over to Amazon ready for selling. If you have a physical book Amazon will match them up so your customer can choose which option they want.
Amazon takes care of displaying, selling, printing, shipping, collecting the money and depositing it in your bank account. It is a wonderful thing. Cost for both of these sites is $0.00, they are free.
If you want to have a hard cover, or spiral bound or maybe a book with a cover wrap then you can look at sites like Lulu.com or Blurb.com. CreateSpace has streamlined the printing process to control prices and production and offer a limited product, just paperback. Though they just expanded the cover options to matt finish as well as the glossy finish they have always had. But it is easy to branch out to the other sites for a wider range of products. Most of these sites offer design and editing help for additional costs. They also are tied to Amazon, Kindle, iTunes, and other distribution sites. I have used all three and have been happy with each. Because you own all the rights you can also print on a couple of these sites so that you can offer different versions of your book. If you wanted to also sell a printed version on your own, I would recommend using CreateSpace as your printer, especially their color books. Such as when you do a book signing or a talk and want to sell your books. CreateSpace offers a very competitive paperback book product.
Along with physical books, there are also many options for producing an e-book. E-books break down to two basic formats, the mobi format for the Kindle and e-pub for all the other e-book readers. Kindle is the largest controlling something like 65% of the e-book market. But Kobo.com with their Kobo reader is big around the world especially in Canada and Japan and should be on your list. Again I recommend start with Kindle and then branch out to the others. An interesting development with Kobo and Nook is the ability to use their online tool to write and build your book. A trend that I am sure Kindle will pick up at some point. It just makes sense. If you want to be in the iTunes store take a look at Smashwords and Lulu.com both companies act as aggregators for Apple and they manage the entire process along with payment.
Books can take all kinds of forms and shapes these days. So start writing, illustrating, photographing, dictating, and get producing.
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