RESOURCES FOR INDIE AUTHORS


I hope this page will help indie authors find useful information and resources. Note that except where otherwise noted, I don’t have personal experience with any of the companies set forth below (nor do I get compensation from anyone for providing these links). So unless I offer a personal endorsement, treat this list as merely informational, not as a recommendation. That is, „I’ve heard of these guys, they sound interesting, here’s why.“


 

CREATING AND PREPARING YOUR BOOK:

Editing and Proofreading:

Scribendi
Scribendi offers high quality editing and proofreading, fast turnaround times, and affordable prices—all in a highly secure, confidential environment.


Formatting:

52 Novels
Rob does beautiful work. He’s done the formatting on all my ebooks—accurately, fast, and at reasonable prices. He can create ebook files in multiple formats, including PDFs for POD sites.

IT Global Solution
Provides low cost ebook conversion services. They can convert any type of Word, PDF, or other format file to Kindle, Mobipocket, MS reader, or any other format, regardless of the number of images or other complex formatting issues.

Vook
Vook is an intuitive, start-to-finish publishing platform for creating and distributing eBooks.

Red Staple and Folium Book Studio
Both released in January, Red Staple and Folium Book Studio offer self-service online tools to convert your books into ePub. Pricing starts at $29.99 for Red Studio and $30 for Folium.

iBooks Author
A free software app for Apple computers that offers drag-and-drop self-publishing tools for Apple’s iBooks bookstore. Available in Apple’s App Store.

Calibre
Calibre is a free and open source ebook library management application developed by users of ebooks for users of ebooks.

Jutoh
Jutoh is an ebook editor, convertor, and creator software for Mac and PC.


Cover Art:

Jeroen Ten Berge
Jeroen is incredibly talented, with a near-psychic sense of what I’m looking for, an artist’s ability to create it, and a professional’s response times. He did the covers for THE DETACHMENT, PARIS IS A BITCH, THE ASS IS A POOR RECEPTACLE FOR THE HEAD, and BE THE MONKEY.


 

DISTRIBUTING YOUR BOOK:

Electronically:

First Edition Design eBook Publishing
An aggregator that formats, converts, and submits your book to over thousands of eBook distribution points worldwide and to the top internet retailers, including Apple, Amazon, B&N, Sony, Kobo, Google, and Diesel.

Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing
See your work published on a Kindle device.

Barnes & Noble’s PubIt
See your work published on a Nook.

Smashwords
Smashwords is both a distributor to other online retailers and a retailer in its own right. In exchange for formatting your manuscript and distributing it to other retailers, Smashwords takes its own cut, so you should decide whether the convenience of a single upload for formatting and distribution is worth paying a few additional percentage points. For me at the moment, the calculus is: upload directly to Amazon and B&N, and use Smashwords for all the others.

Kobo Books
Kobo is a global eBook retailer backed by Indigo Books & Music, Borders, REDgroup Retail, Cheung Kong Holdings, and other leaders in technology and retail. Open standards—available on any device.

  • Only accept epub files for sale (Smashwords lets you upload to Kobo).
  • Note: Kobo has recently added self-publishing features for authors as well.

Overdrive
Overdrive is an online distributor to libraries and independent online retailers. It’s a great way to gain a presence in libraries and smaller online retailers, although they only tend to accept authors with established sales figures and/or multiple titles. And their upload system needs to be made more user-friendly.

Lucky Bat Books
Offers every service you would get with traditional publishing (editorial, legal, marketing, cover art, etc.), but they take no percentage, and you pay for the services you want

  • You have to submit to them and be accepted.
  • They hold no rights, and if you just do ebooks with them, you can still look for a traditional publisher for your paper rights.
  • Also provide marketing services.

Back My Book
Free online store—sell ebooks in any format, audiobooks, even hardcover.

  • 85/15 royalties.
  • They also provide marketing services.

BookieJar

  • Distributes through Kobo.
  • Lets authors connect with readers.
  • Including autographing technology.
  • Kind of cool and promising, potential to be a one-stop solution.

In Print:

CreateSpace

  • One of the best-known POD distributors because they have Amazon’s might behind them.
  • Charges a small yearly fee per title if you upgrade, but lots of perks if you do.

Lightning Source

  • Uses the distribution strength of parent Ingram Book Company to distribute your POD title widely (world’s largest distribution channel).
  • Charges a yearly fee per title.

Lulu
Another POD site with lots of options and high royalties for authors.

Book Depository
The Book Depository ships books worldwide without charging anything for postage. Specializing in out-of-print and hard-to-find, and a great place to steer someone from overseas who’s having trouble finding one of your books.


Other Options (Apps, Audiobooks, etc.):

ACX
This is a way to self-publish and distribute books in audio. Used and promoted by Neil Gaiman, run by Audible, and seems like a great resource for indie authors who’d like to release their work in audio form.


 

PROMOTING AND MARKETING YOUR BOOK:

General Marketing Power:

Pixel of Ink
Kindle Nation Daily
Ereader News Today

These sites feature free and bargain eBooks, and eBook tips and news. You can buy an ad/sponsorship and your book will be featured on the site and facebook page.

Back My Book
Also a distributor, can hire them to handle your brand and marketing.

Book Country
I’ve met some of the nice people who work at Book Country but everything I’ve seen of the site has led me to believe it’s a terrible deal for writers. Most damning of all has been Book Country’s failure to respond to any of these or the other serious critiques I’ve seen. So take this warning to be what in intelligence is known as a burn notice—Book Country is a scam, and parent Penguin ought to be ashamed.

Adboku
Advertising in ebooks. Interesting concept and I think this revenue stream for authors is a question of when, not whether.


Book Signings:

Autography
Enables authors to insert an autograph or other salutation into an ebook at time of purchase or any time afterward, so authors can give away signed sample chapters to introduce themselves to new readers, for example, and when the reader purchases the full ebook, it retains the author’s salutation/autograph. Permanent autograph—if your device is lost, the autograph can be quickly retrieved at no cost. Authors can sign online or in person. Also provide market research. The digital inscription service sounds good to me, and I’ll be doing something with these guys to offer it to my readers.


Social Media:

ReThink Books
Creates applications and tools for authors and readers to promote and build communities around books. The idea is to create a reading experience where you can comment, share, buy, and interact with books, authors, and friends across a variety of devices and social networks.

  • SocialBooks.
  • Read any book together, even when you are not together.
  • Share notes and excerpts, see each others bookshelves, follow your favorite authors, create reading groups, and more.
  • AuthorPages.
  • Customize your Facebook Fan Page to promote your brand, book, and campaign.
  • Allow fans to buy your book, read reviews, view your speaking schedule, and more.
  • AuthorStats.
  • Intelligently monitor, analyze, and respond to all engagement around your book or campaign.
  • Increase ROI by reviewing actionable analytics and insights on Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, and across the Internet.

Bookrix
Read more than 18,202 books online for free, and create, upload, and share your own books. A social community that connects writers and readers.

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