Friday, October 15, 2010

Borders BookBrewer - Things to make you go, Hmmmmm... PT 1

This is going to be a long post but stick with me folks you might learn something.

Let me start off by saying the information in this blog post is based on my own experience in e-publishing. My books are available on the left if you're interested. No one is paying me money to say nice things or mean things about any companies listed in this blog. I'm an Indie author like many of you out there and just want to share the knowledge I have gained while stumbling though this often complicated and scary market.  

All over Twitter today I’ve seen a buzz about a new service being offered by Borders & Book Brewer.
http://borders.bookbrewer.com/

http://bookbrewer.com/content/borders-choose-bookbrewer-power-its-ebook-self-publishing-service

(Copied from Borders website)

Want to publish an eBook? You don't need to be an expert in anything but your own life, words, and dreams. Let us do the rest.
Copy/paste from your manuscript or import from your blog. We give you the tools to edit content, add images and drag it into chapters; congratulations... you're an eBook author! For just $89.99 and a small commission on each book, we'll send your eBook to Borders, Amazon & more, and we'll even assign a free ISBN if you don't have one!


On the surface this looks great. Another Easy peasy way to get your ebooks into Borders, one of the “Big Guys” in the bookseller world. (Please note that this is not the only way to get your ebook listed in Borders)

Anything to spread out the distribution of your ebook is a good thing, as long as it is cost-effective and easy to use.

So, before I go into the specifics of this new service,  let’s take a quick look at the three big choices (already on the market) when considering to self-publish your ebooks.

Amazon, the largest of the e-retailers and home of the very popular Kindle, allows you to create a free account with their DTP service .
https://dtp.amazon.com/mn/signin

You can publish your ebook for free and depending on the price you set, you will receive 35-70% royalties.

This service does require a little know-how on formatting but there are a variety of free resources out there to help you do this. You may have heard me mention MobiPocket Creator before.

http://www.mobipocket.com/en/downloadsoft/productdetailscreator.asp

Barnes & Noble, home of the Nook, another “big guy” in the bookseller world. I’m listing them second here because of name recognition. We all know Barnes and Noble to be a huge player in the bookselling maket and their Nook ereader is quite popular. They just released their own self-publishing venture called PubIt.
http://pubit.barnesandnoble.com/pubit_app/bn?t=support

Very similar to Amazon’s DTP service, PUBIT allows you to upload an already formatted Epub file.  This makes it available for sale on Barnes and Noble’s Nook ereader. According to their website, They have no initial setup fees and pay in royalties of 40-65% depending on the starting price of the book.
http://pubit.barnesandnoble.com/pubit_app/bn?t=pi_reg_home

Again, just like with Kindle, a little know-how is needed to properly format a book for Epub but again there is a wealth of information out there.
Excellent resource here. http://www.lexcycle.com/faq/how_to_create_epub

The third major player I want to talk about in self-publishing ebooks is  Smashwords.
https://www.smashwords.com/

Just like with Kindle and Nook, there are no setup fees to get your books into virtual print. There is however a very specific formatting guideline that you have to follow.

The major difference between this publisher and the last two is it formats your ebook and mkes it available to a wider audience via the multiple formats it creates:
Online Reading (HTML)
Online Reading (JavaScript)
Kindle (.mobi)
Epub (open industry format, good for Stanza reader, others)
PDF (good for highly formatted books, or for home printing)
RTF (readable on most word processors)   
LRF (for Sony Reader)
Palm Doc (PDB) (for Palm reading devices)
Plain Text (download) (flexible, but lacks much formatting)
Plain Text (view) (viewable as web page)

Because of their large distribution network an ISBN is required. Not all ebooks require them. Kindle for example has no real use for them when you publish with Kindle your book is assigned an AISN by Amazon.
So, when you publish with Smashwords you are given the option to use an ISBN that you own, use theirs for free (they are listed as publisher), or opt to pay for one at $9.95.

The cost for setting up your book is $0 and your book is made available to:
Barnes & Noble  -Nook   
Sony    
Kobo  - Borders eBook store is powered by Kobo
Amazon  -Kindle   
Apple    
Diesel

A little trick for those of you looking for a quick and easy way to streamline things. Smashwords allows you to download all of your formats for free. That means once converted, you will have fully functioning Epub and Mobi formats if you wanted to turn around and go to the other sites and load your books. 


Now that I've shown you some very good options, lets take a look at Borders BookBrewer.
Click here for the next post.



2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I posted a link to this on lifehacker http://lifehacker.com/tag/tips/ They should repost it as a lifehack because it can save you a ton of money if you do it your way! Thanks Katie

Katie S said...

Thanks for having a look and linking me!