Indie Author 101: How to Get Started with KDP, Smashwords, and CreateSpace

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Don’t be afraid – we’re here to help!

To be an indie author, you have to publish a book. Right? But how do you sign up for that?

This will seem pretty basic to a lot of folks, but those who have never done it may be worried about the process. You know what? It’s really easy. Here’s what you do.

A note before we begin: All of the sites request some of the same information, so you will need to have it handy. They will ask for your name, your address, your email address, the password(s) you want to use, and some very basic financial information: your Social Security number for US residents, and the routing number and account number for the bank where you want them to deposit your royalties. And okay, another note – each will have different requirements for book covers, so make sure to read those on the respective sites.

With that said, here we go. Continue reading “Indie Author 101: How to Get Started with KDP, Smashwords, and CreateSpace”

How the Smashwords Summer eBook Sale Can Give You a Boost

smashwords-logoI’ve been on Smashwords since November of 2010. Admittedly, it’s still not as widely known as the mighty Amazon or iBooks, but folks are learning about it. If you’re a new author, it’s a great place to sell your work because unlike Amazon, you can set the price as free in order to gain new readers.

For the last several years, Smashwords has done their July Summer/Winter (yes, it’s winter Down Under) sale. Who doesn’t love a sale? Right? Well, for us starving authors, this is a fantastic way to possibly earn a few bucks. The website has been set up to allow authors to discount their books in varying rates. They make it easy as pie to offer these discounts — even marking them down to free if you’re trying to get folks interested in a new story or series. Continue reading “How the Smashwords Summer eBook Sale Can Give You a Boost”

Getting Your EBook into Libraries

indie author books in libraries penguin-835742_640One of my marketing goals for this year was to find new readers by trying to get a few of my titles into libraries. Oh, was I naïve. I thought it would be so easy, like that Kevin Costner baseball movie — build it and they will come. I thought I could just sign up with a few distributors and let them do the work. I was wrong.

See, libraries first need to actually purchase your book from those distributors. But they have limited resources. They often have small budgets and few hands on deck. A lot like small bookstores. They want to know that whatever titles they decide to shelve will be read. They want to know that they’re spending those limited budget dollars on quality products. They don’t want to take Aunt Ida’s unedited memoir about her trip to Yellowstone. (No offense to Aunt Ida, of course.) Continue reading “Getting Your EBook into Libraries”

What’s Smashwords Good For?

Smashwords LogoRecently, for a number of reasons that will take too long to explain here, I decided to pull a few of my titles from the KDPS (Kindle Direct Publishing Select) program and make them available for other retailers as well as Amazon.

But this left me with another choice: I could publish with each of the big retailers individually, I could pay a company like BookBaby to do it for me, or I could publish through an eBook aggregator like Smashwords, Draft2Digital, or Pronoun (formerly Vook and now owned by MacMillan Publishers).

The idea of publishing vendor by vendor gave me a headache; Continue reading “What’s Smashwords Good For?”