WHO SHOULD WE TRUST TO GET OUR BOOKS OUT THERE?
by Kristen Stone
Bit of a long title but it makes the point of this post. Two years ago I had a book which I wanted to put out as an ebook but had no idea how to do it. Ebooks were new to me. A great idea, but an undiscovered country as far as I was concerned.
Then I heard about Smashwords. Wonderful. They would convert my book and put it out on lists that would be picked up on the sales catalogues of major bookstores. Great. My book and about half a million others.
Then I heard about Amazon KDP. They wanted exclusivity to join their Select scheme but it seemed to offer great promotion opportunities for my book and about half a million others.
Recently I have been following a debate about whether authors should use a specialist service which guarantees correct formatting and distribution to outlets that are not covered by Kindle or Smashwords or, more recently, draft2digital. The only drawback to this company is that the author has to pay up-front for the work before they release my book to compete with the half a million others.
I do strongly believe that a book should be at least proof read before release. No one spots their own mistakes unless they are very dedicated and careful. But as an Indie author with no ‘real’ job, personally I can’t afford to pay anyone to do anything. My feeling is that companies that charge ‘up-front’ fees have little or no incentive to make your book a success. They have had your money. Companies like Smashwords, Kindle and d2d only make money when you do. Admittedly they are taking the cut of half a million books while the authors might only be selling in tens or hundreds (I wish).
I think my main point is the vastness of the ebook industry now that anyone can put out a book. The reader will decide whether a book is formatted well enough to buy another. I have a total of five different readers at my finger tips and I have seen for myself that the same file will look different on each one.
No one can guarantee any book will be a success so with that in mind I will continue to work with d2d.
What are your thoughts on this matter? Which venue has your preference or do you use them all? Share your experiences with us and help your fellow authors decide which company to run with.