Choices for Publishing: eBooks, Part 2

publish buttonLast week, we talked about publishing your ebook by uploading your file to a distributor such as Smashwords or Draft 2 Digital. There are valid arguments for letting a distributor do the job for you. For one thing, you only have to upload to one place (well, two places – more on that in a sec), which means that you only have to prep one electronic version of your book. And when you need to correct the inevitable typos, you only have to upload the corrected file to one place.

But there are disadvantages, too. For example, a distributor won’t pay you for your sales until the merchant has paid them, and merchants don’t update the distributor in real time. For another, you are going to get a smaller royalty if you use a distributor, because the distributor is going to take their cut before they pay you. Let’s use Barnes & Noble as an example. If you upload your book directly to Nook Press, B&N will pay you 65 percent of your list price (assuming your list price is between $2.99 and $9.99). If you put Smashwords in the middle, B&N will pay Smashwords 65 percent of your list price; Smashwords will pay you 60 percent of list, and keep the other 5 percent for its trouble. And while Smashwords pays quarterly – and must wait for B&N to report sales to them first – Nook Press pays 60 days after you’ve made a sale (although, like Smashwords, you must accumulate $10 in sales before they’ll pay you anything).

You should also keep in mind that you’re going to have to prepare a separate file for Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) anyway, because KDP doesn’t play nice with any distributors. So you may decide that it’s worth the hassle to cut out the middleman and prepare separate files for each retailer. Your call.

Let’s run down the Big Five: Continue reading “Choices for Publishing: eBooks, Part 2”

Navigating Google Play

googleplay booksGoogle Play is probably the most confusing book selling website I’ve ever encountered. Our RJ Crayton took some of the mystery out of it for us yesterday in this article. But there is so much to it that it’s impossible to cover it in one post.

The other day, I entered the information for eight books on Google Play. It seems like each time I go in, there’s something new and wondrous I discover needs to be done. This time, I noticed the “You need to add a sales territory” comment when I went to my dashboard. You will find your dashboard at https://play.google.com/books/publish/. Continue reading “Navigating Google Play”

Uploading Your Book to the Google Play Store

googleplay booksWhenever I visit various independent author forums, I’m bound to stumble across a handful of people who say they make most of their profits selling online with someone other than Amazon (Barnes & Noble, Kobo, etc.). Most recently, a person posted that they earned 50 percent of their sales from the Google Play store.

So, I decided to head on over and set up my books for Google Play. (Surely my audience is over at Google Play; that’s why they’re not buying the books via Amazon).

There is one important thing you need to know before you sign up for Google Play: they heavily discount your price. Unless you set your book at 99 cents, Google Play will change the price. This wonderful Kindle Boards post gives a chart explaining what price you need to set your book on Google Play to get it to be one of the standard U.S. prices. For example, you must set your Google Play price to $3.94 if you want it to sell for $2.99. Continue reading “Uploading Your Book to the Google Play Store”

The Verdict on Google Play

There’s a bakery/coffee shop not far from my house that offers a decaf, nonfat, sugar-free vanilla latte. They call it, “Why Bother?”

I’m coming to the same conclusion about whether to put my books up for sale at Google Play.

First off, this is not Google Books. I mention that because I kept getting them confused. Google Books is the name of the project in which Google was going to digitize and make available on the Internet every book in every library – a noble goal that almost immediately ran into a storm of protests from individuals and organizations worried about copyright violations. Just this week, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the district court’s certification of the case as a class action, and told the district court judge he needs to decide whether Google’s snippets of text could be considered “fair use.” This lawsuit began in 2005, mind you, and is still going on.

No, Google Play is not Google Books – although a large portion of the five million books available for download via Google Play are out-of-copyright titles obtained from Google Books. Google Play actually is the former Android Market – the place where people who own Android phones and tablets can go to buy apps and content for their devices. It’s what iTunes is to Apple devices.

So you’d think Google Play would be a decent marketplace for indies. And it is actually possible to upload your books to Google Play and have them available for sale there. So why isn’t everybody doing it? Continue reading “The Verdict on Google Play”