Before I write this post, I have to admit that at first, I was wary of ebook publishing from the start. I had questions like: How do I stop people from pirating my work? Is someone really going to pay for essentially nothing? How can I control my work?
To me, an ebook was an impractical thing, because essentially, in my mind, the only way worth reading a book was if the book was on paper in some kind of binding. That is a mindset, admittedly, that many people still have, but which is slowly growing more and more obsolete. This is proven by the massive amounts of ebooks being sold on the market each and everyday.
So, about a year ago, I decided to give ebook self-publishing a shot. I started with one of my short stories, The Collector, which I put up on Amazon.com using Kindle Direct Publishing. It didn't cost anything (other than the cost of some stock images to create the cover), and in that first month I sold a couple copies of the book. So, I decided to try another, this time I went with my story City of Darkness. Again, I sold a few copies, but what I found was that most people who bought one of my stories, also bought the other. So, I put another and another up, expanding also to Barnes and Noble's Pubit program, and now, a year later, I'm selling a couple hundred books a day.
Now, I'm truly kicking myself for not getting a start on this sooner.
I'm not saying you're going to strike it rich by doing ebooks. What I'm saying is, don't be afraid to try. The cost of self-publishing an ebook is miniscule when compared to printing. I pay for a photo for my cover between $3 - $6. With a little manipulating in Photoshop, I have an excellent cover. Compare that to paying a minimum of $5 per book for a novel to print it, and you're looking at practically no start-up cost.
Now, I've also played around with prices for a while, and I've noticed that any ebook over $2.99, unless you happen to be a New York Times best-selling author, isn't going to sell. I also found that the best price for any ebook is .99cents Many people are willing to take a chance on your work for only $1, and while you are only going to see about 1/2 of that price in royalties, consider what I said earlier - people that bought my first story, also bought my second, and my third and so on. So, while you're making only a tiny profit per ebook, when you consider that people are likely going to purchase more than one, you are actually going to be doing quite well.
My next post will have a breakdown of the best sites to publish your work on. Check back soon for that posting.