Computers changed industry in a huge way when they became popular in the Eighties and Nineties. Then the Internet brought a new wave if innovation in the Nineties and Naughties. It is hard to imagine an industry that has not been profoundly altered by these excellent innovations. The latest industry to be shaken to its nucleus is the publishing industry.
Publishers used to have a stranglehold on which books got published and which did not. Publishers yardstick for whether to publish or not was simply financial: is the book liable to create money or not?
This is reasonable enough, but it means a weighty predisposition towards commercial novels written by well-known authors. It was very hard for new writers to put a foot in the door.
The music industry was the first part of the publishing industry to lose its hegemony over its sphere of influence. The book publishing sector will become the next to go and the change is already well underway. Nowadays, you can download a free publishing software package which is at least as feature-packed as MS Office.
Open Office has a highly-rated word processor with which you can write your book. It has an picture editor with which you may design the book cover and other images. It also has a built in PDF conversion module. This equals that you can publish your ebook in a format that any computer in the world can read.
When your book is ready to publish, there are at least two ways to go, if you live outside the US; within the US, Google will help too. Google’s Publisher works like Amazon’s more non-discriminatory system, so let us have a look at that one. First go to Amazon and then click through to Kindle Direct Publishing, a sister company of theirs.
Then you will have to open an account with Kindle DP. This is simple, free and quick. Go to your bookshelf and click on ‘Add A New Title’. Follow the directions and your book will get uploaded into the Amazon system.
You opt for how much you would like to sell it for and you can decide on how much of that you would like for yourself. It appears a daft question, but you may take up to 70%.
If your book is accepted by a reviewer, it will get assigned a unique book number and will be part of the huge number of books that Amazon sells worldwide.
It will become downloadable anywhere in the world; Amazon will process the payment and keep the money in your account. You will also be able to download a snippet of code to advertise your book on your own website.
The alternative is ClickBank. ClickBank will also arrange for your book will get showcased to over 100,000 affiliates who might be willing to help you sell your book for a percentage of the profits.
Look very cautiously at CB’s small print on paying out. I have sold things on CB and never received a bean from them, because of the small print. I do not bother with them any more.
Amazon is the route to go. In 2010 they sold more ebooks than paper books for the first time ever. They also have a motive to be promoting ebooks – the Kindle, which is their own ebook reader.
A traditional publisher would pay the author 5-6% of the profits on a book with Kindle it is 70% of the sales cost – that is a big advantage for the writer.