We’ve already established that the number one reason why writers today choose self-publishing over and over again is control. Via self-publishing, writers control book titles, book covers, book content (story and words), publishing, copyrights, and promotion.
But probably even more importantly, we have to sell our e-books. To do this, we turn to Direct Sale Vendors. Direct Sale Vendors sell our e-books for a percentage of the sale.
The last few weeks, we’ve discussed the top Direct Sale Vendors today:
- Kindle Direct Publishing Platform (Amazon) – KDP
- Barnes & Noble ePubit Platform (Nook) – ePubit
- Apple iTunes Connect Platform (iPad) – iBookstore
- Kobo Platform (Kobo) – Kobo Writing Life
Now, each and every one of these Direct Sale Vendors will help authors convert their manuscripts to the appropriate format in order to sell via their platforms:
- Amazon – Mobi files
- Barnes & Noble – ePub files
- iTunes – ePub files
- Kobo – ePub files
But just because each platform helps us with the conversion process doesn’t mean we won’t run into snags here and there. Because we want to help as many writers as we can, we’re going to share a few of the snags we’ve run into in the past.
Let’s start with the largest Direct Sale Vendor today—Amazon. Amazon is the only of the four that we’ve discussed that uses a Mobi file for all e-books. For the most part, this conversion was the easiest; however, don’t use the TAB button for new paragraphs in your manuscript when using Word. Take advantage of Word’s automatic new paragraph function (the ruler looking image at the top of the page).
Next, everyone is probably thinking that once we master one ePub file, we’re good to go with Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Kobo. After all, they all require the same file type. But that’s not necessarily true. We feel it’s best to format an individual file for each Direct Sale Vendor. And while we don’t have any “warnings” for iTunes and Kobo at this time, we do for Barnes & Noble.
It seems spacing is a common issue when uploading e-books to Barnes & Noble’s Pubit! platform. To avoid this, don’t use the Page Break function between chapters. Instead, use the Section Break function located on the Page Layout tab of Word (all of our conversion tips today are for the sake of Word documents). Also, double-check all manuscripts to ensure the actual line spacing is set to single. To verify this, click on the Paragraph symbol located at the top of the Home tab and see all of the formatting throughout the document.
These are just a few quick “fix-it” tips that we’ve run into uploading e-books to the individual Direct Sale Vendors. But don’t let this deter anyone from conquering their self-publishing dreams. And…
Remember—selling e-books through a personal website and through Direct Sale Vendors provides us with the best of both worlds when it comes to distribution and maximizing our revenue.
For more information on selling with direct sale vendors, please check out our free resource: Getting Started with Direct Sale Vendors.
Thanks for reading and remember if you have any questions give us a call or submit a support ticket and we’ll be there to help.