Do you self-publish on Amazon?
I have three e-books on Amazon that sell a handful a month. Not great, but its a learning experience. Do you self-publish on Amazon? Or do you prefer others like Smashwords for uploading to multiple platforms? Do you write fiction, non-fiction? I'd love to hear about my fellow hubbers self-published books.
It depends on what you call 'publishing on Amazon'. I refuse to use CreateSpace because of Amazon's VERY sketchy manipulation of the contracts for writers and small press publishers. Amazon has proven time and again over the past 5 - 7 years that they are no friend to writers and small presses. Unfortunately, greed appears to have overtaken them.
That said, with Kindle dominating the ebook market, writers and small presses are forced to play the Amazon game. Selling handfuls of books is about where I'm at. I do have one author who is getting a lot of attention in NY and her Kindle sales are bumping up a bit, and her book is priced at $8.99. Most of the other Kindles I have are priced in the Amazon 'greed zone' of $.99 and $1.99. That said, we've been pushing the Nook for the lady in NY and her sales are almost dead even with Kindle.
I am not a fan of Smashwords personally. I keep hearing whispers of calamity with them, but then they keep right on trucking. I have nothing to base my opinion of Smashwords on other than wrestling with their instruction manual a couple years ago and then saying the heck with it.
I personally write fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Our authors are mostly non-fiction. As far as Amazon goes, I have seen too many of their underhanded manipulations behind the scenes to be too happy about them. Of course, when you're as big as they are, I suppose you get to throw your weight around. I just feel it's unfortunate that a company that started out writer-friendly has fallen prey to the almighty dollar.
Beware of CreateSpace. Amazon uses their own ISBN and I would look over the contract VERY closely and see what all you give up. I believe writers are much better off finding a reputable small press or setting up their own small press to help insure 1) that they keep their rights - especially all subsidiary rights and 2) that you can have some control over the retailer discount price, which Amazon inflates to their advantage.
Wow I came to answer the question and found a lot of great information. Thank you Michael Ray King, this was very helpful and informative.
Hi duffsmom. I've been involved in the writing/publishing industry for over a decade. The publishing biz is a bit crazy. Like waiting 2-4 years for traditional publishers to take all your money and not market you. Thank you for your comment!
Does it bother you that CreateSpace is owned by Amazon? I ended up using Lulu for my print after some advice from other authors. I also started to use BookTango, which seems to be doing well.
I'm going to fight self publication as long and viciously as I can. My dream was to be a successful and respected author, but from what I have seen, self publication rarely, if ever, leads to either of those. I write genre fiction (fantasy, sci fi, horror) and if the book I finished doesn't get accepted by agents and publishers, then I'll write another book. If that one fails to get attention, then I'll write another book, and so on and so forth. To me, self publication represents giving up. I don't mean that to sound harsh, it's just how I view it in terms of my own life goals. To someone else, it might be a wonderful opportunity. But if I have to jump through hoops that the agents and publishers want me to jump through, then I'll ask 'how high?'. Because I want my book on shelves, not just e-readers. I want my book to last long after I'm dead. And I want to look back on my life and say that I achieved my dreams.
I self publish to Amazon. I have 18 under a pen name and 2 under my real name. I also upload to Barnes and Noble. Then I use Smashwords, which will distribute to Apple, Sony, Kobo (although they are about to start their own), and Diesel. I have some other niche sites I sell through as well. I use Smashwords only to upload to those sites that do not have a program like Kindle or PubIt to do it myself. When you use Smashwords, even though it is available right away on their site, it can take up to a month for it to be distributed to other sites. I write fiction, non, and poetry.
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