Today there are many independent presses, choice of distributors, and choice of book format available to independent authors. Many authors have chosen to self-publish. Here are a few suggested resources to help you decide.
If you want to self-publish you need to consider your book’s format.
Most self-published authors release eBooks and use POD (print on demand) for paperback.
You will need to write your best story and format the file for print in a PDF format, and in epub and mobi format for eBooks used in digital readers and smart phones. (Yes, today many use their phone as a reading device – handy if you have a long commute or are waiting in the doctors office.)
The most popular eBook distributors are:
- Amazon Kindle for eBook uses mobipocket – the mobi format
- Kobo for eBook uses epub format
- Nook Press for eBook uses epub format
- Apple iBook store uses epub format (you must load with a Mac)
If you don’t want to load the files directly and manage the various dashboards for each distributor you can use an aggregator site:
- Smashwords sells all book formats and distributes eBook files to other distributors like B&N Nook, Kobo, and Apple stores, and other reader sites if you’d rather not load those files direct. They use epub format and also accept word documents, but it must go through its Meatgrinder and pass inspection to be approved to distribute to other stores.
- Draft2Digital distributes eBook files using epub format to various stores and reader sites without any special formatting.
For POD printers (the most economical for self-publishing to avoid warehouse issues) are:
- Amazon Createspace is easy to use and all criteria for needed files and the requirements are listed on the site
- INGRAM: Lightning Source for POD paperback and/or hard cover for small publishers, Ingram Spark for self-publishers – the site also lists requirements
- There is always the small local printer with minimum runs – usually 1,000 or more copies required, which you are responsible to warehouse
- Or other companies that do the print service for you like Lulu, however, the costs are higher. These are best if you want small runs and are not in it for major profit.
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. For more detailed info about this subject read David Gaugrhran’s blog Beware 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. Before you enter into costly service agreements or sign contracts – with companies like Abbott Press, Xlibris Publishing, AuthorHouse read the fine print – don’t give away your rights.
There are other companies like Lulu that will provide as many services desired at a cost, and it may be a valid choice for short print runs if you don’t plan on mass distrubution. There are hybrid Indie Publishers like She Writes, and small college and independent presses that will take in a few titles each year upon approval. Consider all the choices listed in the Independent Press and other pages, and discover the path that best suites your journey. Find the right solutions for you. The digital publishing world is changing all the time, with new software and copyright laws, so remain curious.
Stay informed. Learn more about digital publishing here –
Check your eBook files with these links
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This site uses EpubCheck to provide validation information for EPUB 2 and 3 documents. If you are creating commercial EPUBs in volume, you must install EpubCheck instead of using this site.
Save time for writing.
A guide to information for self-publishing authors.