Publishing eBooks for authors is rapidly becoming a minefield filled with self-serving ‘publishers’ seeking to make a fast buck from gullible authors.
The slow economy, high unemployment, and rapid rise in eBook devices has created a perfect situation for ‘publishers’ to take advantage of wannabe authors seeing dollars floating before their eager eyes.
One ‘publisher’, with the initials C. O’., offers to edit your book for just 2 to 5 cents per word. The most popular eBooks have 100,000 – 140,000 words and retail for $2.99 – $4.99. Most popular price is $2.99.
The royalty an author earns on a $2.99 book is somewhere between $1.70 and $1.79.
For editing a 100,000 word file at 2 cents/word C.O’. will earn $2,000. At 5 cents a word C.O’ will earn $5,000.
At 2 cents a word an author would have to sell almost 1,200 eBooks to pay C.O’. for just the editing.
But then there is the conversion of your written file to various eBook formats. C.O’. charges $249.00 for that.
But after paying $2,249 for the editing and conversion of your masterpiece you might want to actually sell it somewhere.
C.O’. will charge you only $79.00 for uploading your work to Smashwords. That’s a $79.00 profit as Smashwords doesn’t charge anything for authors to upload their works.
Oh, yeah. One more thing. An ISBN if you want to sell at Apple, Borders, or Sony. C.O’. charges $49.00 for the ISBN, which Smashwords offers for free. Canadians can get a free ISBN from the Federal Government.
Grand total for everything: $2,377 before you even earn 1 cent.
Now that you’ve spent your $2,377 you need to promote your work so somebody, anybody, knows about it and buys it. Marketing is the really hard work.
But not to worry. There are thousands of ‘marketing professionals’ eager to take your money and make you a millionaire by using their ‘secrets’, their ‘experience’, their ‘knowledge’. All it takes is your money.
1) Don’t write an eBook if you don’t understand writing and know a little bit about proper editing. No one will buy a poorly written eBook.
2) Use a service like Smashwords for doing your conversions and distributing to retailers. Or Amazon if you want to distribute only to Kindle devices. Do it yourself and save $2,377 because you don’t pay for uploading, ISBN, or converting your work to various eBook formats at Smashwords.
3) Want to convert your work yourself? Use a free program like Calibre to convert your work. It’s a learning curve to properly convert your work, but it is free.
4) Be wary of ‘publishers’ offering to sell you services you can do for free yourself. Self-publishing doesn’t have to be expensive.
5) Join a forum for authors like the Smashwords Forum. It’s free and you can post questions about editing or marketing, promote your work on the forum, meet other authors, and maybe help new authors as someone once helped you.