Like many people in the writing industry, I used to be hesitant about pursuing publication for my books as e-books. It isn’t often that I ever read any books on my computer except for homework assignments, and my mom’s clunky e-reader from the ’90s wasn’t nearly as pleasant of an experience as a normal bound paper book. After I got a Kindle several years ago, my opinions began to change. Technology has come a long way. Instead of straining my eyes through back-lighting, Kindles and other modern e-readers reflect light like paper would, which combined with their intuitive navigation and small size makes them very sensible. Everyone I know who has gotten an e-reader has read all the more because of it… and I myself have discovered several self-published authors that I wouldn’t have learned about otherwise. There’s no risk in downloading samples, and the books themselves are usually much cheaper than they would be in the store–and if you like what you see, you can buy them on the spot.
It’s time to re-think the e-book and what it means for independent authors.
First of all, there isn’t a single “market” or “platform” for ebooks. You could go with Kindle or Nook or Kobo or iAuthor or many other publishers coming out every day. The process for publication is quick (no more than a few hours, unlike other self-publishers!) and you can set your own price and royalties.
Another thing worth noting is that, if you want people to check out your books, you need to make them available everywhere. Don’t just set up a Kindle book and let it go from there. Re-publish your book in as many different formats for as many different kinds of readers as possible. How do I know this? Because it’s just the way things work.
A few days ago I heard about (via Twitter) a short story, “To End All Wars” by S. Evan Townsend. It sounded interesting, so I clicked on the link to see what it would take to get it. As it turned out, not much! I downloaded a PDF right away and then also got a copy on my iPad. I could get one for my Kindle too if I wanted just as easily. I read the story, and I loved it. But I might not have even downloaded it if it were only available on a single platform.
Honestly, if you’re self-publishing, there’s no excuse not to get your book available on every e-book platform you can find. You’ll get many more interested readers, and your books will be available to others with the snap of a finger.