Q. Who's who in the independent publishing industry?
A. Here's a list of the common names you need to know and their links:
Kindle Direct Publishing - A subsidiary of Amazon.com. Where you publish eBooks to Kindle.
CreateSpace - A subsidiary of Amazon.com. Where you publish paperbacks.
Draft2Digital - A distribution network who allow you to publish your books to iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and some others in one go.
Q. What is an isbn? Do I need one?
A. ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number - it's like an ID code for your book. If you are just publishing an eBook on Kindle, then you do not need one. If you are producing a paperback, then you do. It is recommended to have one ISBN for each format you're producing your book in.
Q. How do I get an isbn?
A. You can either purchase one from your local ISBN agency, or you can get one free for your paperback through CreateSpace.
Click Here to find your local ISBN agency.
Click Here to learn more about getting an ISBN through CreateSpace.
Q.Which option is better for me?
A. The paid ISBNs provide more flexibility, while the free ones are... well, they're free. If you can afford to purchase your own ISBN, or your government provides them free to local authors, I highly recommend it.
Q. Is independent publishing right for me?
A. That's a good question to ask yourself before you begin. Independent publishing fantastic, but it is NOT the best choice for everyone. It is expensive and demanding, but if done right it can provide a better return-on-investment than a traditional publishing house. The short answer is:
If your finances are limited or you can't work without external pressure, traditional publishing is best for you.
If you prefer a combination of freedom and support, and can still afford to spend a bit of cash, hybrid publishing is best for you.
If you can self-motivate, self-fund, and want to retain creative control, then self-publishing is best for you.
If you'd like a more detailed analysis, see: Indie vs Hybrid vs Traditional.
Q. Do I have to have both a paperback and eBook(s)?
A. Nope! I would generally recommend always having an eBook, but you don't have to have both unless you want to. If you just want a paperback, that's fine. Just keep in mind that 95% of your sales will come from eBooks, so you're cutting yourself out of a big chunk of the market. If you just want an eBook but not a paperback, that's fine, too. The great thing about independent publishing is that you are 100% in charge of your own choices.
Q. How do royalties work?
A. That's a complex question, complex enough that I wrote a guide on it. You can download the royalties guide free here.
Q. Can you do hardbacks?
A. Not at the moment. I used to do hardbacks through Lulu, but they're expensive and their quality is poor, so I've decided to withdraw those services.
Q. Do you offer services on Ingram's Lightning Source?
A. Not yet, but we may in the future.
Q. Do you do kids books, musical score books, or comics?
A. We have limited experience in this field, but we can discuss your project. We might be able to help, or at the very least figure it out along the way.
Q. Do you offer services on Smashwords?
A. Not at the moment. Due to technical concerns, we have chosen to focus our efforts on Draft2Digital instead.