Below are a few tips that you’ll need for publishing your ebook files at Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Barnes & Noble Nook Press, Draft2Digital, Smashwords, and Apple’s iBookstore. You’ll likely find that, once you get started, the publishing process is easy and straightforward.
Publishing your ebook to Amazon Kindle (KDP)
Go to https://kdp.amazon.com. If you like, use your existing personal Amazon account to log in. If you don’t have an Amazon account, you’ll need to set one up.
Use the Account link in the top right-hand corner of the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) home page to enter information required to:
- Complete your account set up and publish in the Kindle Store.
- Allow royalty payments for sales made in the Kindle Store.
Once signed in, KDP will recognize you and display “[Your Name]’s Account” in the top right-hand corner. After you’ve set up your account, you’re ready to go! Use the .epub for KDP file (the one named YourBookTitle_For_KDP.epub) at Amazon.
If you get stuck, the KDP Getting Started page can help.
KDP Frequently Asked Questions
Should I enroll in KDP Select?
A: That’s not a question we can answer for you. We can say that many of our author clients have been successful in going exclusive to Amazon—either permanently or with temporary 90-day enrolments. This isn’t to say the program has been right for all of our author clients. In the end, where and how to publish your ebooks is a business decision only you can make.
What price should I charge?
A: If you want the higher royalty rate (70 percent for you, 30 percent for Amazon) you’ll need to price your ebook between $2.99 and $9.99. If your price is above or below that range, the royalties favor Amazon (35/65). Use the calculator in the sidebar to estimate Amazon royalties. One of the best aspects of self-publishing is you can experiment to find the sweet spot for your book’s price.
Should I use DRM (Digital Rights Management)?
A: It’s up to you, but we recommend against choosing DRM. It alienates your customers and doesn’t stop someone intent on stealing your ebook.
Publishing your ebook to Nook Press (Barnes & Noble)
Go to the Nook Press site to get started: https://www.nookpress.com. As with KDP, it all starts with an account. You can use your existing Barnes & Noble personal account if you have one. Otherwise, create a new one.
Although the layout of the site is a little different, the tools at Nook Press and KDP are similar. The major difference is the file you upload: you will use the generic .epub file for Nook Press.
At present, the Nook Press service is available only for U.S.-based authors and publishers. Please use Draft2Digital or Smashwords to publish to Barnes & Noble if you’re outside the United States.
Publishing your ebook to Draft2Digital
Start by heading to https://draft2digital.com and creating a free account. Then click the Add New Book button and follow the steps. These should look familiar if you’ve already published through KDP or Nook Press.
- Upload the generic .epub file and fill in your book’s details.
- Upload your book’s cover. Nothing else on this page is necessary or required.
- Preview your book if you choose. This isn’t necessary if you’ve reviewed the work we’ve done. Select the checkbox at the bottom of the page before you continue.
- Set your book’s price, then choose the digital stores, subscription services, and library services to publish to.
Publishing your ebook to Smashwords
This one is the easiest of all. Start by heading to https://smashwords.com and creating a free account.
During the upload process:
- You will use the Smashwords Word file or Smashwords ePub file (depending on which type you ordered). We typically append the file name with an underscore and SW (_SW). Therefore a Smashwords Word file is YourBookTitle_SW.doc and a Smashwords ePub file is YourBookTitle_SW.epub or YourBookTitle.epub.
- Select all of the platform choices (ePub, Kindle, PDF, etc.)—there’s no reason to clear any of them.
- Unlike mobi and epub files, the Smashwords Word file we make for you does not embed your cover internally. The cover is a separate step during the publishing process and Smashwords handles the embedding during the ebook conversion.
After the upload process:
- Go to Dashboard and choose Channel Manager to remove Kindle and Nook from the list. You’ve already uploaded your files to Amazon and Barnes & Noble so you don’t need Smashwords to distribute to those marketplaces.
- Once you’re accepted into the Smashwords Premium Catalog, you’ll want to go back into your account, choose ISBN Manager and assign a free ISBN to your ebook so it can be distributed to Apple’s iBookstore, the Sony ebook store, and others.
Publishing your ebook to Apple iBooks (iBookstore/iTunes)
To publish the generic .epub file directly to Apple’s iBookstore, follow the instructions at: https://www.apple.com/itunes/content-providers/book-faq.html.
Keep in mind the following when considering direct publishing to iBooks:
- Apple requires you to apply to its iTunes Connect publisher program. It’s free and open to publishers of any size, but takes as long as 10 business days to be accepted. Apply here.
- Apple requires you to have—or have access to—a recent-model Mac to run its proprietary publishing software, called iTunes Producer.