eBook Distributor Review

This is a comparison of various ebook distribution services. A lot of these companies provide MORE services than just ebook distribution, but this review will only highlight them based on the maturity and value of their ebook distribution service.

This list is informational only, and will hopefully give self-publishing authors a good starting point to go out and do further research on each service to review the “fine print” and make their own decision.

http://www.bookbaby.com – $149 + ISBN

http://www.lulu.com – 20% of retail sales, but no start up fees. Offers free ISBN in the Lulu Publishing Wizard. However, purchasing your own ISBN makes you the Publisher of your book.

http://www.smashwords.com – 60% of retail sales, but n0 start up fees

http://www.ebookpartnership.com – $99 one time fee and zero commission

http://www.booktrope.com – Requires you to submit your book for consideration.

http://www.bookfuel.com – Service fee model. $99 to distribute ebook to one venue of your choice. $149 for all 5 venues that they cater to (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play, and Apple iBookstore)

http://www.bookmasters.com – Have to request a free quote, but they distribute to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, OverDrive, and Apple iBookstore

http://www.ingramspark.com – 40% (45% if you choose not to distribute to Amazon). I personally didn’t like their ebook distribution service (which is specifically what this review is about), but I do love their Print-On-Demand service.

If you think I am missing some that others should know about, please let me know in the comments below.

FREE Fantasy for Spring Break!

The Ravenous Flock is free all day on April 5th and April 6th! Grab you free copy for Kindle here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EC0QHB0/

This short story is a prelude of The Blacksmiths series and takes you on a thrill ride filled with danger, intrigue and magic! With multiple 5 star ratings and a price tag of free, you can’t go wrong! Get it now!The Ravenous Flock new cover

Happy Holidays! The Ravenous Flock is FREE till Dec 24th!

I would like to say a special thank you to all of my followers, and wish you all Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year.

As a token of my appreciation, and to celebrate, I am giving away my short story, The Ravenous Flock, free from now till Dec 24th (as well as on New Year’s Day too!).

CLICK HERE to go to Amazon and grab your FREE Kindle ebook of The Ravenous Flock!

Amazing Experience at the San Diego County Library

I went to my local library and was blown away by the technological enhancements that they utilized. First, I discovered that you can rent ebooks at the library, and they support all the major e-readers. For copyright purposes, they treat ebooks like physical books, so there can be a waiting list for an ebook, etc. To learn how to borrow ebooks from this library, they’ve prepared many helpful video tutorials! Watch this short one on how to borrow Kindle books:

Secondly, once I had my books and DVD that I needed for my school project, I walked up to the counter to rent them out. The librarian immediately pointed me to the self-checkout counter. She told me to scan my library card and then spread out the books on the table in front of the computer. The books just started popping up onto the screen! They now use RFID tags to checkout books; I was blown away!

I highly encourage everyone to check out your local library and check out all the technological improvements they’ve made, and share it in the comments below!

Apple Guilty of Price Fixing Ebooks

On 7/10/2013, Apple was found guilty of being the ring leader of a price fixing scandal on ebooks. They colluded with these major publishing groups, Hachette, Macmillan, Penguin, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster, which all quickly gave in to the accusation and agreed to settlements – leaving only Apple to be the only company that went to trial. Apple made sure that the main publishers all agreed to sell their ebook at the $14.99 price, which would make Amazon eventually raise their ebooks from the $9.99 price point up to $14.99 too.

You can read the full article here.

Related to this price fixing scandal were the previous concerns that many consumers had of why some ebooks are priced higher than hardcovers. Understanding the context of how the prices of books are decided will paint the picture for why Steve Jobs’ “Agency Model” was a scheme to fix the prices. While you can read the full article here, I will provide a short synopsis to explain what is going on behind the scenes with book prices.

If a printed book is listed for $25, half of that goes back to the publisher (which then gets divided among author, agent, and publisher), and the other half goes toward the retail chain. This allows a profit buffer for the retailer to discount the book and still make money (because the publisher will still make half of the original list price no matter what the book gets discounted to). Then Amazon came onto the market and started selling ebooks for $9.99 on the kindle… they were actually selling the books at a loss. The consequences of this is that they were changing consumer’s expectations of the value of what a book should be.

So when Apple launched the iPad, they changed the way ebooks were sold. Publishers got to set the price, they get 70% and Apple gets 30%. They raised the price of ebooks to $14.99 because at that price, even with keeping 70%, publishers were still making less per book sale than selling a hardcover.

If Amazon were to adopt this model, dubbed the Agency model, then they would no longer be losing money per book sold. In addition, since Publishers choose the price in this scenario, the prices would all be set at $14.99, and that’s how Apple led a price fixing scandal.

Shifting Focus and Changing Plans

For most authors in search of traditional publishing, it is only after diving into the deep end head first that you realize that you can barely tred water among all the other authors in the pool. It is only then that you might decide to take a step back and survey the landscape so that you can find a more likely path. In my case, that’s exactly what happened, and now I’m changing course toward calmer waters. It’s not the shortest journey, but it’s become more apparent to me now more than ever that an author must have patience and, in my opinion, layout a series of stepping-stone goals.

It has been my goal to get my novel published. However, the path that I chose to get there was to submit to literary agents (the gatekeepers to the publishing industry). My reasoning was that I knew they could educate me on the process, negotiate for a fair deal (so I would know whether I am being taken advantage of), and sell my manuscript better than I could. However, submitting to literary agents as a new author is like trying to take a shortcut in the publishing world. Literary agents generally look to get their clients that highly desired hardcover deal which is not often achieved by first time authors.

So it is time that I “start small” and choose the other path. I’m going to submit directly to some of the smaller, more focused publishing houses that usually deal with paperback and ebook deals. This was somewhat difficult for me to wrap my mind around as any self published author can achieve those same things via Amazon’s Create Space or other similar venues. However, a publishing house does more than just publish. It’s the editing, the marketing, the recognition amongst the consumers of a quality product, the brick-and-mortor store distribution, and the commitment of a team that is involved in your success as much as you are.

I feel that now, with my short story published, my query letter will exhibit more confidence, and with my progress into book two, it’ll demonstrate my dedication. If successful, I’ll have to negotiate the terms of my own deal and manage my own career, but it’s all about the journey, and it will all be worth it in the end.