Everyone has a book inside, the saying goes. And in general, it is supposed to be a novel. This is because, I suppose, that a novel is entirely fictional and springs from the imagination, and most people, certainly of middle age, have had enough experiences and enough memories to enable them to write at least one work of fiction. But it doesn’t have to be a novel. Many people have knowledge or experience of something that others would like to share or learn about, so some people, with a little practice, will be able to write a nonfiction book that would be very useful. interest to many readers. Today, it’s easier than ever to self-publish both types of books.
The three publishers I will focus on in this article are: Amazon, Smashwords, and All Romance Books. I will do this because I have experience in all three. There are, I’m sure, other good self-publishers out there, but these three, in my experience, are really great publishers, and you won’t go wrong with any of them, or all three. . In fact, I would say that you don’t need any other editor.
I’ll start with Amazon. This is the largest of the three and, of course, truly international. Self-publishing through Amazon is pretty straightforward. You set up an account, provide your personal information, name, address, phone numbers, etc., for payment and IRS purposes, and then you’re ready to go. He logs into his account and gets a page called bookshelf. In this, you will find a box titled: Add New Title. Click here and you’re done.
On the following pages, you enter the title of your book, whether it’s part of a series, the names of the contributors (which will usually be at least you, as the author), and the publication date. (I’m omitting some fields here, but those fields are self-explanatory.) It confirms that you own the copyright to the work (this, of course, is very important), and shows the category to which the book belongs. . You upload the cover of a book. (Those of you familiar with creative computer programs can probably make a good book cover, and even those of you who use Photoshop or other photo-editing software, like yourself, can do a good job of it too. You’ll want a good jpg (mine size: 8X5 inches at 300 pixels/inch), and it’s possible to buy a wide range of jpg files from libraries like Istock to use for the cover you’re creating, alternatively you can hire a professional to create a cover for you (which can be quite expensive) or, as a last resort, you can use Amazon’s own Cover Creator.
Next, you upload your book file. For Amazon, it must be an HTML document, so if you have a Word file, you must convert it before attempting to upload it. (Simply click: File>Save As>HTML Document). When you’ve done this, be sure to check that your document has been uploaded correctly through the book viewer. You don’t need to read every page; just make sure there are no blank pages. Then go to the next page. The countries where you want to sell your book are listed here. You set a price and set a royalty option. (This is either 35% or 70%, however you can only choose the latter if the price is above a certain level. You also need to put the book on KDP Select for the 70% option to be available in certain countries. What? What is KDP Select? It gives Amazon exclusive rights to market your work, in exchange for which you get a share of a royalty pool that Amazon makes available every month. Opinions differ on whether this is a good I’m against it, because (note that if you’re on KDP Select, you can’t publish the book with any other publisher).
Finally, you confirm that you’re ready to publish, and Amazon will publish the book about a day later, as long as everything meets your requirements.
All of the above, and more, is detailed in great detail on the Kindle Direct Publishing help pages, and really, no one should have too much trouble with any of it. You can also modify any of the details you’ve entered for your book at a later date if you’d like. Finally, there is a thriving KDP “community” where you can ask other writers questions and discuss just about everything related to your book and writing.
A point of contention with Amazon is its policy of allowing returns. Most authors, myself included, feel that they are too generous in this regard.
Amazon will, in most circumstances, pay royalties directly into your bank account. In the back of course.
Now, I’ll move on to Smashwords.
Smashwords is a smaller publisher than Amazon, but they will not only publish your book under their own imprint, but they will also, if you choose, distribute your book to other retailers like Barnes and Noble. Is it worth publishing your book through Smashwords too? In my experience, the answer is definitive: yes!
Smashwords publishes an excellent “Smashwords Style Guide”, and I urge anyone planning to publish through Smashwords to download it and try reading it. It’s pretty detailed, but you really need to know what Smashwords wants so your file won’t be rejected by your system. Go to what Smashwords calls your “Control Panel” and then you’re good to go. Enter your book title, short and longer descriptions (the latter is optional), various other details, all of which are self-explanatory, and upload a cover image and book file. Smashwords differs from Amazon in wanting a Word file or an .epub file. Smashwords also wants an ISBN number (with Amazon it’s optional). However, Smashwords will provide you with an ISBN if you wish. Once again, be sure to inspect the material you’ve uploaded through one of the preview systems. Finally, when you’re happy with the information you entered, click “publish” and the book will go through Smashwords’ verification and review procedures. If your book exceeds them, and most first-time authors find that it doesn’t meet them and will need modification, the book is published on Smashwords’ own pages and through the other retailers you’ve indicated and becomes, within Smashwords, in a “Premium”. product. Smashwords reports sales through its own platform immediately. However, some of the retailers they distribute to report sales that are way behind. Smashwords also tends to be slow on paying royalties. However, they will pay their royalties through PayPal.
Finally, All Romance. This imprint, as its name suggests, mainly publishes romance fiction. They will post most other things too but in my experience they are better for romance.
Just like with Amazon and Smashwords, you first set up an account and then you’re good to go. AR, like Amazon, wants you to upload your book file as HTML. But unlike Amazon, they require an ISBN. Like Smashwords, but unlike Amazon, they will pay royalties through PayPal.
At a later date, I intend to write an article describing my preferred method of writing a novel.
Other Dick Morris Articles:
The Brecon and Monmouthshire Canal: A Walk to Remember.
The Cardiff Bay experience.
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