On this blog every Tuesday and Friday I write about story techniques, structure, and/or publishing. Comments and questions are welcome. I also have a personal blog, Amy Deardon, on which I write about a variety of topics purely as they catch my fancy.

I've written one novel, A Lever Long Enough, that I'm honored to say has won two awards. In my life BC (before children) I was a scientist who did bench research.

My book, The Story Template: Conquer Writer's Block Using the Universal Structure of Story, is now available in both hard-copy and e-book formats. I also coach would-be novelists and screenwriters to develop their story. YOU CAN CONTACT ME at amydeardon at yahoo dot com.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

How to Publish an E-Book: Part Five

This series discusses how you can format, e-publish, and sell a book on Amazon (Kindle) and Barnes and Noble (Nook).

Today I'll go over how to actually post your book onto the Amazon, and Barnes and Noble sites. These two sites are similar.

Since Amazon sells more e-books than Barnes and Noble, I recommend you do Amazon first.

Amazon also has a program called Amazon Prime, which allows your e-book to be borrowed by certain Kindle owners (those who have signed up for the Amazon Prime program). Amazon pays you a certain percentage based on how many people borrow your book. The positive is that you increase your readership base on Amazon. The negative is that you are not permitted to sell your e-book on any other site. You commit to this agreement for 90 days at a time, so you can change your mind if you wish. Yes, this is another example of Amazon's tactics to further take over the book world. Even so, you may wish to consider if this will be a beneficial arrangement for you. A benefit of this program is that you can (although don't have to) offer your book for free for any five days out of the 90 day agreement. This tactic may be helpful for driving up purchases and therefore rankings on the site.

To open an account, go to Amazon.com, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click on "Independently Publish with Us." Under the "Kindle Books" section select "Get Started." From the Welcome page select "Sign In" or "Sign Up."

You may wish to create a new publishing account, even if you already have an Amazon account. A separate publishing account prevents your buying and your selling from becoming tangled. On the other hand, it’s two accounts with two emails and two passwords. If you have formed a publishing company, you definitely want to establish a new publishing company account.

You first need to read the Amazon agreement for e-publishing, and agree to the terms. The terms are reasonable, BTW. You then need to fill out your account information. You must put in true information, not pseudonyms: real name, address, and phone number, and social security number or EIN number. You also need to fill in your bank account information so Amazon can electronically make payments. Sadly, Paypal accounts don't work.

Next, you need to fill out your book information. Your book description is important, so I'll go over a few tips for writing this on Friday.

Amazon also asks if your e-book has an ISBN. The ISBN is a unique number identifying your book. While not necessary for an e-book, I recommend that you use one if your e-book also has a print edition. If you include one, you need separate ISBNs for e-book and print. Hmm, I see another essay about these.

You MUST have the legal right to publish this book. Even though you wrote this book, YOU MAY NOT HAVE THE RIGHTS IF YOU SIGNED WITH A SUBSIDY PUBLISHER TO PRODUCE YOUR BOOK, EVEN IF ONLY IN A PRINT FORMAT. Check your contract before you e-publish your book. This is yet another reason I don't like subsidy publishers; I don't think this is fair.

You must decide whether or not you want to enable Digital Rights Management (DRM). Once you e-publish your book, you cannot change this decision. Digital Rights Management is an attempt for protecting e-books from unauthorized downloading with reportedly spotty success. If DRM is enabled, the e-book will only be able to be downloaded once or a small number of times by each buyer. If DRM is not enabled, the e-book file can be downloaded as many times as desired by each buyer. DRM enabling can annoy people. Consider with your work whether you want to err on the side of Theft or Obscurity (John Kremer’s tongue-in-cheek dilemma for small publishers). For myself, I always disable the DRM option.

Next, you upload your carefully formatted e-book text and your cover image. Take some time to preview it. If you find errors you can easily reload it. BTW even after your e-book is published you can re-upload it, so don't worry if you make a mistake.

For pricing, you must charge at least $0.99. You receive 35% of the selling price if your e-book is priced between $0.99 and $2.98; or if it's more expensive than $9.99. If your e-book is priced between these points, you can receive 70% of the selling price if you meet a few easy requirements such as not offering the e-book for a lower price elsewhere.

When you're finished, hit the publish button and you're officially an author.

To list your e-book on Barnes and Noble, go to www.pubit.com. The process is similar.

On Friday I'll discuss some tips to write a product description.

Copyright 2012 by Amy Deardon. All rights reserved.

check out www.ebooklistingservices.comhttp://www.ebooklistingservices.com

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