Make yourself a business plan, use checklists to stay on track, and write every day. Most self-published authors release eBooks and use POD (print on demand) for paperback. If you want to self-publish you need to consider your format.
The most popular eBook distributors are:
- Amazon Kindle for Ebook using Mobipocket format
- Smashwords will sell all formats, eBooks, paperback, pdf files
Read the Smashwords Style Guide to learn how to prepare your book for Smashwords.
- Kobo for Ebook sales using epub format. This site reaches other stores and some independent bookstores.
- NookPress loading epub format to Barnes & Noble.
- iBooks Author loading epub format to the Apple store (must have a Mac or else use an aggregator site)
Aggregator sites to use to load files to various distributor sites:
- Smashwords is an aggregator site and loads to various other booksellers
- New but testing well is draft2DIGITAL From one portal, sell through 4 of the industry’s most powerful retailers. Draft2Digital is a digital publishing aggregator which provides a single, easy-to-use portal where you can convert your manuscript into an expertly-formatted ebook and publish it through all the industry’s most powerful retailers.
Sell to all or some of your choosing – it is best to go direct whenever possible.
For POD printers (the most economical for self-publishing to avoid warehouse issues) are:
- Amazon Createspace available to all writers who self-pub
- Lightning Source for POD paperback and/or hardcover – available for publishers & indie and self-pub
- There are other companies that do the service for you like Lulu.
- There are hybrid Indie Publishers like She Writes Press who is listed as publisher, but you do legwork or pay
Don’t forget the many Indie Publishers & College Press
- Independent Publishers & University Presses The best online guide to independent & university book publishers
Be very careful – there are many sites that offer services and charge for things that should be free, and can sometimes take your money needlessly. Be Very Wary! Never sign a contract unless you fully understand the fine print.
Be wary of print companies that disguise themselves as a publishing service or hide behind a legitimate publishing house’s name. They will take your money (with high unjustified fees) and then run. Be aware before you enter into costly service agreements or sign contracts.
There are other sites that support self-publishing. Seek them out for support and to answer your questions along the way. The digital publishing world is changing all the time, with new software and copyright laws. Stay informed!