I published my first work as an eBook–exclusively–and it has done well. At first I sold the book for about $1.99 and it sold a few hundred copies. Then I decided to offer the eBook for free. I sat back as a newly published author and thought: “What is more important…to sell books or to be read?” I decided I wanted to be read, and therefore, I changed the eBook price to free. Since doing so my eBook downloads between 2-15 copies a day and I am so excited to see that people are enjoying my work. Currently, “Apples of Gold” is in the top 5 free eBooks under the genre of Poetry at smashwords.com–thanks to my readers!
I am currently working on my newest eBook; this eBook is another edition of poetry and short stories called “Voices of the Heart.” It should be on virtual shelves for eReaders by March or April of this year. With the onslaught of eReaders and smart phone eReader apps, the market has now turned to a mixture of real and virtual books. I was in Best Buy the other day and the whole computer section had been completely remodeled to accommodate the new eReaders like Kindle Fire, Sonny, iPad, and others. It hasn`t been that long since I was last in Best Buy looking at a new laptop–what a shock it was to see that eReaders dominate the shelve space now.
What was it like to self publish an eBook? It was a lot of fun and, of course, a lot of work. My first eBook was self edited and I still go back and find errors in grammar and spelling, however, I don`t worry so much because, hey–I`m not Stephen King who pays someone to edit his work. That being said, it is vital to an authors credibility to have a great finished product. I did go back on at least three occasions and unpublished, edited, and republished Apples of Gold; however, this is a pain for the stores and the author as it takes a few weeks to get the new version back on the virtual eBook shelves. In the end I decided what few errors were left could remain.
If you are an aspiring author and you`re considering self-publishing options I would highly recommend smashwords.com. This publishing website is free (other than an ISBN for $9.95) and fairly easy to use for the novice. If you adhere to their publishing guidelines (they have a free eBook showing how to do so) you will qualify for their premium catalog which will put your eBook on all the major eBook virtual shelves and website. These sites include: Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Sonny, and others (Amazon is still working on a deal with smashwords which will come very soon).
If you publish your eBook through smashwords you can retain full rights as the author; you can choose to move the work somewhere else in the future if it does well; you can also set up a website link and video links to help promote you eBook. There are virtually hundreds of new self-publishing sites–most charge a fee–smashwords.com is very low risk and gives the author total control.
I wish you all luck, please feel free to email me if you have questions at: firstname.lastname@example.org