Publishing Your Ebooks

Below are a few tips that you’ll need for publishing your ebooks at Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Barnes & Noble Nook Press, Smashwords and Apple iBookstore. You’ll likely find that, once you get started, the publishing process is easy and straightforward.

For Amazon Kindle

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 to be made 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 .mobi file to upload to Amazon.

If you get stuck, the KDP Getting Started page can help. If you’re still stuck, use Amazon’s KDP publishing tutorial video below.

FAQ: 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 going exclusive to Amazon—either permanently or with temporary 90-day enrollments. 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.

FAQ: 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.

FAQ: 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.

For Barnes & Noble Nook

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 .epub file for Nook Press.

For Smashwords

This one is the easiest of all. Start by heading to http://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 Word file is named YourBookTitle_SW.doc and and ePub file is named YourBookTitle_SW.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.

For Apple iBooks

To publish your .epub file directly to Apple’s iBookstore, follow the instructions at: http://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.