Monday, July 9, 2012

Ebook Publishing - Top Publishing Sites

So, in my last post I wrote about the benefits of ebook publishing. In this post, I'm going to tell you about some of the sites in which you can publish your materials. Three of the sites I am going to mention are the three sites I personally use to publish all of my material.

Now, before I begin, I just want to remind you not to expect immediate results. As I stated in the previous posts, my first months on these sites I only sold a few books each month. As my following started to grow however, and I published more books, my sales skyrocketed. So, don't be discouraged when you see your first month's sales as only 10 books.

So, without further ado, here are the sites:

Kindle Direct Publishing - Web Address
With being one of the top ebook sellers, it would be foolish not to have your books prominently displayed on their website. Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is run by and if you publish here your book will be published on Amazon's website.

The upside to publishing with KDP is that it is very easy to get it published here. There isn't a particular format you need to adhere to (although I suggest having your book formatted so that it reads like an actual book) and you can upload a DOC or PDF file of your book (I suggest DOC, because Kindle seems to have an easier time converting this for the device). Once you publish, and assuming that there is nothing in your book Amazon considers offensive (which I will cover in a moment), your book will be made available within 24 - 48 hours. In the last couple of months, KDP has become even faster and several of my books have been made available within 12 hours of my uploading them to the site.

You can also set your price, starting at 99cents and you can also set prices for sites around the world (just in case you happen to want to make the book more expensive in England or France). The problem with the 99cent books is that you only receive 35% of the price as a royalty (which translates to 35cents per sale). If, however, you set your price at $2.99, you will receive 70% per sale (or about $2.) Royalties are also paid each month, though you have to wait 2 months after the end of each month for the royalties. 

As far as the "offensive" items, from speaking to other authors, the only things that I have found that KDP won't publish are extreme sex acts such as rape, beastiality, violent acts. Other than that, unless you have stolen a work from someone else, there should be no problem.

Now, the down side with KDP is that if you do have a problem of any kind, you are pretty much on your own. Any question I have posed to KDP's help line has not only take several days to be answered (if at all) but the responses are not helpful at all. They will usually say something like, "I'm sorry you are having trouble, but there is nothing we can do about it on our end." So, if you require help with anything, I suggest trying to find it from anywhere but KDP.

Pubit at Barnes & Noble - Web Address
Like KDP, Pubit is exclusive to Barnes & Noble, so if you publish here, your book will become available on B& Like Amazon, B&N is a top ebook seller. These two sites account for more than half of the ebook sales in the United States and possibly the world. These are the two sites I started on before I expanded.

Like KDP, Pubit is very easy to use and is very easy going on the formatting. Pubit, however, is a little more strict about the cover images (mostly the size of the image), but as long as your book cover fits within the size range, you should have no problems.

Pubit has a flat rate for royalties, so no matter what you charge for your book you will receive the same amount, which at this time is 40% of the price. Now, while you will lose some money on the higher priced books, you will be getting more for those 99cent ebooks. So, it does balance out with Amazon's royalties. Pubit's royalties are also sent out each month.

While Pubit has guidelines for the content of your book, much like KDP does, from my conversations with authors, there isn't anything they won't publish (unless it is stolen). Like KDP, once you upload a book for publishing, you can expect to see it on their site within 24 - 48 hours.

As far as their customer service, Pubit has a much better one, though it can also take a couple of days to hear back from them, which can be frustrating. At least when they do respond, their advice is helpful and useful to you.

Smashwords - Web Address

When compared to other publishers, this site is a baby. But don't let it's age fool you, means business and they are an excellent place to publish your book for several reasons. First, they distribute to ALL the major publishers including iTunes, Sony, Kobo, Deisel, and B&N (They claim to distribute to Amazon as well, but as of right now they are still not sending anything over to them). Second, by publishing through this website, you can get a free ISBN number for your book, which anywhere else can cost $100 or more (The ISBN is very important, because without it, you can't publish on sites such as iTunes and Sony).

So, why even mention KDP and Pubit, if this site will distribute to those sites as well? Well, Smashwords royalties are paid quarterly, so if you want that monthly check, you can forget it. It is also much, much more strict on it's formatting guidelines. As a matter of fact, Smashwords has a free downloadable book which is more than 100 pages long, which goes through step by step, how to format your ebook. Once you get the hang of it, you can format an ebook in 20 - 30 minutes, however, getting started, especially those without good computer skills, it can be a very daunting task.

However, Smashwords does offer a list of people who will help you formatting the book (for a fee). But upon emailing some of the people on the list, I have found their prices reasonable and they have a turnaround time of a couple of days (depending on the length of the ebook).

The length of time it takes to publish on Smashwords is a little long as well. While your book is placed on immediately for sale, it can take upwards of 6 weeks (or more in some cases) to see your book appear on some of the other sites. When you consider the speed of KDP and Pubit, this is an eternity. 

I know I seem to be complaining more about Smashwords than the other sites, but I still highly recommend it. I tried putting my ebooks up on iTunes, and they make it nearly impossible for many people to get their work up there. First of all, as I stated earlier, you can't publish on iTunes without your book having an ISBN number, and those are very expensive, unless you get a free one from Smashwords. Also, I am a proud PC user, but in order to publish on iTunes, you must download a special program that is ONLY compatible with Mac computers. So, that's two dead ends.

It is similarly difficult to publish on Sony, and Deisel. As a matter of fact, when looking at the publishing guidelines on their websites, they refer you to So, if you want to have your books available on these websites (and you do if you want to make some good sales), Smashwords is the easiest and most convenient way to accomplish this. After you upload the book to them, they pretty much do the rest for you (though, as I stated earlier, it can take some time).

The choice is yours. But these are the top three sites for publishing your ebooks. So, get out there and get those books published!

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