AIA Publishing aims to help authors of selected books get their book published with as little financial outlay and maximum control and return as possible. In order to get maximum control and return, the author needs to know some basics about how modern publishing works because for the ebook, we’ll provide you with three files (an epub, a .mobi, and a jpeg for your cover), and you’ll handle uploading them to the point of publication. If we did that for you, we’d have to charge you, but it’s so simple to do, you might as well do it yourself and have 100% royalty and total control.
- Kindle ereaders use .mobi files. No other ereader uses these files.
- All other modern ereaders use epub files. These are the industry standard.
- There are many different places offering publication and distribution for your ebooks. Researching them all can make you very confused, but the most extensive distribution and the best returns (i.e., the best deal) come from using two outlets: Kindle Direct Publishing (for the .mobi file) and Smashwords (for the epub file).
- If you’re a US citizen you can also direct publish to Barnes and Noble. If you have a Mac, you can also direct publish to Apple, and anyone can direct publish to Kobo, but Smashwords will publish to all these places, and more, for you. They will take a %, of course, but it’s the best way to begin because it’s a one stop shop and it’s simple. You can always opt out of those markets at Smashwords later if you want to direct publish at any of them.
- What you need. When you publish at KDP and Smashwords, you’ll upload the book file and the cover file. You will also be asked for a blurb or description like on the back cover of a book, some keywords to help people search for your book, and the names of the categories in which your book belongs. The categories are a drop down box, so you just have to choose which ones suit. I suggest you google ‘Choosing keywords for KDP’ to fill you in on how to pick your keywords. You’ll also be asked to set a price.
- How to get started.
- Go to https://www.smashwords.com/ open an account, fill in the required information, then spend some time getting familiar with the layout. When you’re ready to publish your book, click on ‘Publish’ on the blue band at the top. Then it’s just a matter of filling in the required information and uploading the files. If you don’t know what something is, there’s an extensive help menu. Your book will appear soon after in the Smashwords store. Smashwords will pay you via Paypal.
- Go to https://kdp.amazon.com open an account (if you already have an Amazon account then you can log in with the same account), fill in the required information, then spend some time getting familiar with the layout. When you’re ready, go to your Bookshelf and click on ‘Add new title’. Then it’s just a matter of filling in the required information and uploading the files. Publishing your book in the US store, also publishes it in all Amazon stores worldwide. Amazon will pay you by Bank Transfer for the country you live in, by cheque if you don’t live in that country (and they only pay when they owe you USD $100 or more). You can also get them to pay you as credit to you Amazon account.
- Further steps:
- For KDP that’s all you need to do. They’ll send you an email to let you know when your book is live in the Kindle store.
- For Smashwords, they’ll let you know if your epub has passed their scrutiny; if it has, you then need to submit it for Premium status in order for it to get to the places mentioned above (B&N, Kobo, & Apple). (If it hasn’t let me know!) Go to your Dashboard and you’ll see the Premium Status column on the right hand side. It will probably say ‘Submit for Approval’ next to your book, so go ahead and click the link. Then click on where it says, Submit. Simple. If you ever decide you want to direct publish with Kobo or the others, you’ll have to opt out of Smashwords Premium distribution. To do that, you go to the Channel Manager (See top right hand column on the dashboard.)
Print on Demand (POD) basics:
- There are quite a few places that will do Print on Demand, but though Lulu and others have been around for some time, the main places self-publishers look to these days are Create Space and Lightning Source/Ingram Spark. AIA Publishing uses Lightning Source.
- What’s the difference between these two printers?
Create Space is Amazon’s baby. It costs you nothing to set up, but they have a limited distribution of their books. You can get them in their stores, but that’s it, unless you get their extended distribution, which doesn’t go as far as the Lightning Source distribution does (LS is worldwide). Though they don’t charge you to set up, they take a hefty slice of anything you earn through the extended distribution, so if you think that your greatest number of sales won’t be in the US or UK, or if you live outside of those countries and want to get some of your books without paying huge postage on them, Lightning Source is for you.Lightning Source (LS) is only for people with a registered business name (like AIA Publishing) but Ingram Spark (IS) is run by the same people and is basically the same as Lightning Source but for small publishers and individuals. LS and IS charge title set up fees, but the end return to the publisher per book is about the same as it is for CS once you take the rates for the extended distribution into account. Some also say the quality of the books is better than Create Space. LS has printers in Australia, the UK and the US, so you can have books printed in whichever country you choose and have them posted to anywhere in the country at local postage rates. They also have the largest book distribution network in the world. Anyone, anywhere will be able to go into their local bookstore and order your book.
If you publish with AIA Publishing we will do everything needed to make a paperback of your book available worldwide. You do nothing other than pay us our very moderate fees, then we pay you 90% of the net income from your sales. If you want to have complete control and 100% royalties of your POD, you’re welcome to use a different printer, but you’re also in for a lot more work.
- If you choose to publish your POD with Create Space or Ingram Spark, rather than through our Lightning Source account, you’ll need to do some research, because AIA Publishing cannot advise you on the steps involved. Our job would be complete when we hand over the files you’ll need to give the printer. You’ll be doing yourself what we do for our LS clients, for example uploading files, setting up accounts, choosing books sizes and getting cover templates and so on yourself. For example:
- You’ll need two PDF files. One for the interior of the book and one for the cover. These must be made to detailed specifications, which our cover artist and interior formatter will provide.
- You will need to provide the cover artist with a Create Space (or Ingram Spark) template produced specifically for your book. You can get this from Create Space once you know the number of pages your book will be for whatever size book you choose. So you need to set up your account and get the interior formatting done before you can get the template for the cover.
That’s it. That’s the basics.
So for POD, the simple route is just to let us do it for you, and for ebooks, you’ll just need to set up an account and upload the files to Kindle Direct Publishing and Smashwords yourself.
An excellent book on the topic is Lets Get Digital by David Gaughran