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How to Market Your eBook


Unlike traditional publishing and traditional print books, the number of distribution channels for ebooks is growing faster than the number of Starbucks specialty coffee blends (Tuxedo Mocha with rasberry, anyone?), and certainly faster than the traditional publishing wants it to. Why? Because more and more veteran authors are deciding that it's more profitable for them to keep their ebook rights rather than sell them to their traditional publisher, and instead, distribute their own ebooks direct to their already established fan base.

And since the number of distribution channels for printed books is finite, and dare we even say it... on the decline (remember the bankruptcy of a little bookstore by the name of Borders), traditional publishers are increasely wary of taking risks on debut books. That means, more and more aspiring writers are getting shut out of the traditional publishing before they even have a chance to realize how to get published in the first place.



But what's bad for "them" is good for you because you're nimble, tech-savvy, and curious about this new era of digital publishing and how you can game it. And one of the biggest benefits of e-publishing your book is the endless number of distribution channels available to you — little, unknown writer. Gone are the days when "self-published" automatically meant amateur author. Nowadays, e-publishing means more control, higher royalties, and increased sales as the explosion of mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, and eReaders) fuels the fastest growing trend in the consumer marketplace — digital reading.

The only thing stopping you from gold and glory is a solid business strategy for how to get your ebook in front of readers and buyers. For this reason, we've compiled a list of the most popluar online book retailers, indie market distributors, and niche mobile apps & platforms that allow readers to directly download your ebook. We've also included social networking sites that help readers and writers network with each other and specific e-publishing & marketing resources for learning all the tricks of the trade. There's a new gold rush afoot, and it all starts with a book, a vision, and a desire to head West.

Major Online Book Retailers



Amazon.com Kindle Store

Amazon has dominated the eBook distribution market in such a massive way that most of NYC's publishing industry has dubbed them "The Evil Empire." No single entity threatens to take away publishing marketshare from the Major Sister Sixth Publishers like Amazon. They also haven't won any popularity points by adopting their own proprietary eReader format that can only be read on the Kindle, or on other devices like the iPad or Blackberry through their Kindle apps.

They may be The Evil Empire, but the Kindle accounts for 50% eReader market, so Amazon's Kindle Store should be your first e-pubbing stop, but cetainly not your only stop.

Use our AQ guide for Creating a Kindle Direct Publishing account, and realize that once your work is on the Kindle Store, you're going to find it difficult to get exposure unless you're actively engaged in additional self-promotion.

Barnes & Noble's Pubit!

Barnes & Noble is the second largest retailer of eBooks after Amazon.com, so it's no surprise that their PubIt! program—which allows its users to publish and sell eBooks on BarnesandNoble.com—is gaining momentum with e-pubbing writers. Plus, their wireless NOOK eReader has grown in popularity with ePUB/non-DRM fans, usurping Sony eReader's initial glory. Plus, they've recently entered into a partnership with Microsoft for their NOOK division, which means deeper pockets to compete against Apple's iPad, Amazon's Kindle, and Google's Nexus in the never-ending tablets wars.

Creating a NOOKbook and distributing it through BN.com is an easy-peazy process compared with the Amazon rigmarole, especially if you already have a properly formatted ePUB file of your work.

If not, BN.com claims that they will automatically convert your uploaded manuscript into ePUB format, but when you actually read the fine print, they do encourage you to come to the table with an ePUB file. And their NOOK emulator will show you how your NOOKbook will display on both their NOOK and NOOKcolor eReader displays.

In terms of cover art, PubIt! requires your image to be .JPG or .JPEG format, between 5KB and 2MB in size, and all sides must be between 750 and 2000 pixels in length.

Smashwords
Smashwords is quickly becoming the darling website of the indie e-pubbing world. They offer an eBook publishing and distribution platform for ebook authors, publishers and readers, and they do it through multi-format, DRM-free ebooks that are readable on any e-reading device.

This kind of "open source" e-reading experience has helped to make Smashwords a popular, user-friendly website with both writers and readers. Plus, their free Smashwords Book Marketing Guide is worth a read.

They'll accept an ePUB file, and like Amazon and BN.com, it's free to publish and distribute your work through their website because they take a commission from every sale.


INDEPENDET MARKET DISTRIBUTORS, BOOK MARKETING & COMMUNITY REVIEW WEBSITES:



GoodReads.com
A community for book lovers to find, share, review, and recommend books they are reading

FictionWise.com
Fictionwise.com is committed to providing the internet's most comprehensive collection of fiction (and yes, nonfiction too!) in the most popular eBook formats.

Scribd
Millions of documents and books at your fingertips. Upload PDF, Word, or PowerPoint docs to share them with Scribd's community of readers

FiledBy
Social networking community of authors and readers

Figment.com
Share your writing, connect with readers, discover new stories — from sci-fi to mysteries, short stories to cell phone novels

PUBSlush Press
A youthful, innovative publishing platform for aspiring authors that allows new writing talent to emerge by connecting writers directly with their readers through social media.