Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pubit by Barnes & Noble lets Indie Authors Sell Ebooks Directly

Yeah, it’s here, it’s here at last. Pubit by Barnes & Noble is finally coming this summer 2010 which means Indie authors like you and me can upload our ebooks to the bookseller and sell ebooks. Hooray! Except wait… my ebooks are already on Barnes & Noble. They have been for months (see here and here and here). It’s a little thing called that gets my ebooks formatted into every format (epub, mobi, lrf, pdb, etc) and sells ebooks with 85% royalties to me and they also get my ebooks into Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Apple’s iBookstore, Sony and Kobo. It’s also a free service.
So should I be excited about Barnes & Noble’s Pubit or just kinda ho-hum? I guess it’s sorta exciting but since I’m already there, maybe not so much.
The skinny on Pubit is that it will sell ebooks in epub format (good for Nook, iPad and many readers but not that Kindle thing from a major competitor). Authors will probably get a 70% royalty which seems to be the evolving standard with major retailers as Amazon moves to 70% this July and Apple is already there. Ebooks will be encrypted with DRM (Digital Rights Management) which fights piracy and has plenty of controversy already. Customers will be able to browse ebooks in their entirety in the store (not at home obviously) just as they would be able to browse a paper book.
I went ahead and signed up for notification when Pubit is ready. What the heck, let’s see if authors can get double shelf placement and determine if the sales and royalties are better with B & N directly or with B & N via Smashwords.
Some final thoughts. What took B & N so long to make this decision? Maybe a little something called Apple’s iBookstore or Google Editions or that darned competitor Amazon Kindle just made them feel like they were missing the boat. Even though they weren’t. Hmm…sorta like a paradox.
Oh well, time to sell the ebooks. As usual.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sell Ebooks Everywhere, Sell POD Books with CreateSpace

Okay, if you’re going to print some physical copies of a book, it’s tough to beat CreateSpace. They’re a free experience and owned by Amazon so you automatically get placement on (the world’s largest bookstore). Even though I sell ebooks and even teach others to sell ebooks, it does make sense to have physical copies available for reviewers, on display when speaking, or just out there in case someone from Zimbabwe really wants my print version book. With CreateSpace, there is the matter of needing to be a do-it-yourself type of person. I definitely ran into painful stumbling blocks with both interior formatting and cover design, but now that those are in the background I’ve just published my first book with CreateSpace and am about to do 2 more. Feels good holding the printed version!
Now, even though it’s free there are a few ways to spend money with them. I upgraded to the Pro Plan for $39 a year. It allows the author to get better royalties on sales and also buy his/her own book a bit cheaper. I just bought 15 copies for reviewers and think I already almost made my 39 bucks back. Wouldn’t surprise me if I order more soon. I got 15 books delivered for $46. Amazing. The only other cost is that they require you to order and approve a proof copy before your book goes live. That means physically producing a book and mailing it to me. That cost 6 bucks. Okay, so I’m in for 45 required bucks which is certainly something I can live with. Beats the hell out of the thousands I spent back in 2004 with Authorhouse.
Fortunately the first couple of reviews have come in at Amazon Kindle for How to Make, Market and Sell Ebooks – All for FREE. I was glad to see both reviewers got good info from the book and have since contacted me. Part of selling books is networking and being active in the whole writer/reader/information forum.
Just yesterday this page at CreateSpace appeared. Another nice perk to going POD with them, and it costs nothing.
The Amazon page is still under construction. I have no idea why the CreateSpace page instantly appears when the proof has been approved, but the Amazon page takes 10 to 15 days to appear (and it comes in stages). Great, can I wait ’til all the stages are complete before I start sending people the Amazon link? Maybe.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Dan Poynter and ParaPublishing are Self-Publishing Must Haves

Self-publishing has a few gurus that have profoundly influenced the field. Dan Poynter is certainly one of them.
From his Amazon bio; Dan Poynter is an author of more than 100 books, has been a publisher since 1969 and is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP). He is an evangelist for books, an ombudsman for authors, an advocate for publishers and the godfather to thousands of successfully-published books. His seminars have been featured on CNN, his books have been pictured in The Wall Street Journal and his story has been told in US News & World Report. The media come to Dan because he is the leading authority on book publishing…
There is more, much much more including books on parachuting which can be found at his website, Now that I think of it, jumping out of a plane and self-publishing do bring up similar feelings for those about to take the leap for the first time.
Several years back I resisted reading his Self-Publishing Manual because I still clung to hopes of being discovered traditionally. This is the guide that reviewers refer to with words like “the bible on self-publishing,” “everything you need,” and “the indispensable guide.” I finally did get to it once I realized doing it myself might actually be in my best interest, and the process has become everything I hoped for with the future looking bright.
What I like most about Dan, aside from the massive wealth of information he provides (some of which is totally free if you just visit his website and sign up for his email newsletter), is that he wholeheartedly encourages and empowers others to do exactly what he’s doing: making dreams into realities and being your own boss. He also welcomes the new age of selling ebooks and embraces every form of Social Media, software, internet platforms and devices that are revolutionizing the way we network, do business, share information and ultimately change the world for the better.
Of course self-publishing is hard work that requires realistic expectations and time-lines. If you want to sell books and sell ebooks, then you’ll not only need to check out advice from Dan, John Kremer, people like myself and others, but you’ll also have to work hard to produce the best writing you can and to produce and market it in the ways that have been proven successful by others. You’ll also likely need to create a few of your own unique methods.
If you have any interest in self-publishing, do yourself the favor of getting to know the advice of Dan Poynter. If you want help with goal-setting, to sell ebooks, to write a best-seller, get professional reviews, have a myriad of resources, you name it… ParaPublishing is a must visit experience.
And if you want to make, market and sell ebooks all for free, then see my book and tips for no cost methods of doing just that.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Better Place to Sell Ebooks? Amazon or Your Own Sites?

Where to sell ebooks? From big retailers like Amazon or your own sites? This is debatable and (I believe) has a lot to do with the type of ebook you’re selling. Currently both of my novels are selling about the same at Amazon as they are at my own websites. I wish there were stats for how many Amazon viewers actually see my ebooks each day, as I have for my sites. (Maybe I’ll create that with Statcounter.) Ultimately, all authors seek a buzz or a sudden development and inertia that gets people really talking about a book and checking it out. That could change things quickly, especially if a Kindle community buzz at Amazon happens.
On the other side, my how to ebook is selling better at my own websites, here and here. I wasn’t expecting this, just the opposite. I imagined sales would be faster at Amazon by Kindle customers eager to learn tips for making their own visions a Kindle reality. Just because people read ebooks they’d be likely to want to make and sell ebooks, or so I thought.
But perhaps that isn’t what they want. Perhaps Kindle readers really just want to read. Seems like a logical conclusion at this point.
So far it seems the people who visit my sites and want to learn how to sell ebooks are much more likely to buy from my sites. Perhaps it helps that my ebooks are available there in every format they’d likely need: pdf, epub,mobi, lrf.
So, if you want to sell ebooks it obviously makes sense to sell them everywhere you can. But don’t be surprised if your little corner store website can sell ebooks at a faster rate than a gargantuan ebook seller like mighty Amazon. Plus you’ll keep all the profits.
Click here for the home page of Jason Matthews, spiritual fiction author.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bitdefender is Bad News, Please Beware and Read as Many Reviews as Possible

The worst 25 bucks I ever spent may have been on Bitdefender Internet Security 2010. It's not really that big a deal, I mean how many times have I wasted way more than 25 bucks on something? I think it's probably the frustration of having my pc lock up constantly whenever I install this program that supposedly safeguards my pc.
If safeguard is another word for makes unusable, then Bitdefender is really the bomb.
And yes, I already uninstalled everything possible on my pc that would have a potential conflict with it. There's nothing, no virus protecting, no firewall, no anything. All I can say for sure is that I read some awesome reviews about Bitdefender, and now I just wish I hadn't. I can deal with 25 bucks out the door. It's the aggravation of trying to get anything accomplished online that is the bugger... but at least my pc is safe.
Oh boy, thanks Bitdefender. Where do I go from here, back to Trend Micro?

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Such a Thing as Too Many Websites?

How many websites does one really need? I’ve somehow become a website-aholic when just a few years ago I had none. Surprisingly I have 10 sites: 7 active, 1 inactive and 2 domain names with goof-around pages just in case I ever actually work on them. 10 sites? Whoa, how did that happen?
3 sites are examples of my ebook on how to sell ebooks: How to Make, Market and Sell Ebooks – All for FREE. There’s, and
Then there are 2 sites to sell ebooks and soon regular books of the novels, The Little Universe and Jim’s Life. Those are and (that free one was built by moi for shits and giggles while waiting as the pros built the other.)
Then there’s the original site for the novels, and the first blog site, before the novel had a name change.
Then there’s which was slated to be a promotional tool for writers but became a gigantic hole in the ground for dollars (mine) and is currently out of order and awaiting a massive overhaul. (Imagine the joy of spending ten grand on something that doesn’t work. Fun.)
Then we have and which have not yet helped anybody or really been built but just fiddled with when I was learning how to use Kompozer site-building software. Both domains may have been purchased under the influence of a few too many margaritas. Actually much of my life reflects certain similar influences and lapses in judgment.
The good news is that only 3 of these actually cost monthly money and not much. But I’m wondering, is there a word for “addicted to creating websites?” And if so, looks like I can chalk up another addiction.
How abnormal is this?

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Home-run by Apple iPad, next batter... Google Editions

google logo written on man's hand
If you’re having trouble keeping up to date on the next biggest thing to revolutionize the publishing industry, you’re not alone. Apple’s iPad came out in the US just barely almost one month ago. How many units have they sold? Over a million as well as 1.5 million ebooks. Say, that sounds like pretty good business, and it doesn’t go international for another few weeks? Yep. It’s big.
The next newcomer to the scene will be Google Editions. With a name like Google it has to be good, we’re thinking. Although they don’t yet have a device specifically made for them, Google will be selling ebooks online starting sometime this summer. They’ve already digitized over 7 million books and are certainly digitizing thousands more as these words are being written and read. This article has more info on it (or you can use a search engine, perhaps Google, to find plenty more) and describes Google as the 800 pound gorilla about to be unleashed in the ebook retailer’s storeroom.
I can’t think of another industry that has as much history as publishing and is changing so freaking fast. 2010 will see Apple’s iPad and Google Editions before it is halfway over. What’s in store for the months to follow?
A few things are sure (in my opinion at least). Publishing has been changed forever. People are reading more than ever and on way more devices. Prices for reading books, magazines, newspapers, etc are dropping dramatically and will continue to. Authors can totally avoid agents and publishers and still make it with talent and persistence. There’s never been a better time for getting your words, voice and opinions out there!
Google angel logo vs Google devil logo
Hello new world. Love it or hate it, this is where we live.

Monday, May 03, 2010

CreateSpace makes Publishing both Easy and Hard

I’m in the process of publishing paperbacks with CreateSpace for all 3 of my books. I’m finding the process both easy and difficult. The easy and hard parts are that it’s 100% free (which I love) and a Do-It-Yourself format (which I sorta love). Formatting my books in MS Word 2007 was a true joy and piece of cake, until it came down to the page numbering. Believe it or not, getting something as simple-sounding as the page numbers to begin where I wanted and not screw up the rest of the document was just short of a nightmare. I spent way more hours than I care to admit and visited literally dozens of forums on this topic and considered writing a post for the correct procedure (or at least one that eventually worked for me). What a pain in the ass! So if anyone has questions, let me know and I’ll understand your desire to purchase a gun and obtain MS Word 2007 designer addresses.
My decision for CreateSpace over Lulu was simple because they’re owned by Amazon which makes getting listed there easier and cheaper. I did cheat with money and spent the 39 bucks for the upgraded Pro-Plan which gives a larger percentage of profits.
Another hard part – lately I’ve been having trouble getting my covers to be approved, some hold-up with the physical size being too large though I was sure I copied the template guide perfectly.
The other hard part is that if you need any assistance, you’ve got to find it in the forums or figure it out yourself. Since it’s free they don’t pay for a support staff to hold your hand during the process. That’s understandable. I just want to get it done so if someone wants to order physical copies of my book, they can.
I’ve heard it makes sense to order a proof copy long before you spend many hours getting every detail just right. In the event you need to make wholesale changes, you’ll save yourself from repeating those hours. I’ll let you know how it comes out.
(If you watch any of my Youtube videos, you might see my holding up a proof copy of How to Make, Market and Sell Ebooks – All for FREE. Actually the proof copy came out better than I expected. So far so good.)
Click here for the home page of Jason Matthews, spiritual fiction author.

add me to your Google Plus circles.

+Jason Matthews