aka The Frazzled Mom
Once the novel is finished, edited seven or eight times (in my case a lot more than that!) and then reviewed again, the writer is ready to publish and has an important decision to make:
1) contact literary agents in the hopes one will accept and work to promote this book (by obtaining a contract with a bigger publisher). If you go this route, one place I’ve visited often was AgentQuery.com or
2) become an independent author and go solo.
This is a personal decision. Think it through, talk to those who’ve gone both ways, list the pros and cons and finally, decide. For me, I liked the idea of having more control of my work. However, it does mean….well, more work. The two companies I narrowed it down to were Smashwords and Amazon. There are plenty of others, but in this post, I’m focusing on these two.
After looking around, I chose to use Smashwords as my means to publish. Again, it came down to an issue of control. Smashwords is a free site/service for independent authors. The cost to publish is free. They provide the helpful Smashwords Style Guide, which explains how to prepare a manuscript for upload and conversion to epub, mobi and pdf. I’ve recommended their guide to everyone, not just those planning to use Smashwords. It’s helpful, no matter what service is chosen in the end. The benefit I’ve found with Smashwords is not only the freedom and the free cost, but also the number of companies the book is electronically distributed to: iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Sony and Kobo (there are more). Amazon has yet to get on board with Smashwords and I highly doubt they will, since they have their own program: Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).
Smashwords now has helpful videos:
One of the benefits of using KDP is the royalty payout. If the author chooses to sell the book exclusively on Amazon, he/she could receive a 70% royalty on each sale. But this means that when the author signs up, for the next 90 days the book basically becomes the property of Amazon. Selling it elsewhere violates what the author has agreed to in the first place. For some, this is a great option, but for others it feels limiting.