Yesterday, I uploaded a manuscript of my work in poetry to a couple of sites. As of this morning, you can buy an electronic version of my book and you can purchase a print version as well, and it was all done for free.
With the internet, it is far easier for people to know each other around the world, although there is nothing better than actually meeting them in person and actually getting a chance to speak with them as well as get to know them. It is so easy for a person to create music at home without the need to go to a studio, to release there music for download and make a little money without the need of a record label or having to pay for management.
Authors and poets can enjoy this too. You don’t need to submit samples to every publisher you can find, hoping that one of them might give you a break. You can do everything on your own with very little cost. Sure, having a book deal or a record deal would be great, and having one seems to be just a little bit more litgit than doing it your self, but since your release is going to be on Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble or even i-tunes, why not keep the extra money for yourself.
Where do you go to publish your book? There are many sites, some will charge you money, but the two I used was free. They do have additional services that will cost money to receive, but for what I accomplished, I have paid no money except to order copies of my book, which I got at cost. The first site which was strictly for electronic devices is Smashwords. You must upload your book in a doc format. You can also upload a book cover as well. If you follow the Style Guide that can be downloaded called “Smashwords Style Guide”, your book should be ready for publishing without too many issues. If you want your book to have “Premium Status,” you must follow closely what this guide suggests. Once everything is uploaded and checks out, your fans can come to the website and buy your book that will work on their favorite electronic device.
The second website you need to go to is Createspace. This website is run by Amazon.com and is free to use as well with additional services that will cost extra. Here, you can upload your own version of the book cover, or you can modify one of theirs. You have to have a minimum of 24 pages to the book in order to publish. As an example, my book was 22 pages in Word, but I have to reformat my book so that it was 5.06″x 7.81″, which is smaller and drove up the page count to 38. After submitting everything, I had my electronic proof back in about 24 hours. You can order a printed version of the proof, but the digital version is just as good. The bonus is once your book is ready to go, it will also be available in about 5-7 days for sale. You can also go to Amazon and Barnes & Noble directly to upload and electronic version as well.
How do you get paid? Each site requires you to enter you bank information such as routing number and account number and what kind of account it is. When you do earn money, they will deposit your earnings there. They will also require as business ID number or your SSN in order to report taxes to the IRS. Each site is different on the percentage of royalties that will be paid to you. As an example, Smashwords will give you 60% for each unit sold. If you want to give your work away for free, you are welcome to do that on the sites that support electronic versions only. My opinion is, you put work into your creation, you should get something back, charge at least $0.99.
As a quick note for my musician readers, I recommend using Bandcamp. This is an easy to use site. You can sell just one track or the whole CD. You can give it away for free or you can have your fans name their own price.
Now you want to promote your work. There are many useful guides to follow. Find one or two that sounds good to you and give it a shot. I am starting that right now so I have no suggestions for you right now, but I may later.
Since we are talking about self promotion, you can pick up my book at:
Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/158003
Barnes and Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sailing-on-the-surreal-sea-duffy-laudick/1110590517?ean=2940014503747
Createspace – https://www.createspace.com/3860202
And for those who are interested, I have released a demo CD that you can download for free on Bandcamp – http://fracturedmachines.bandcamp.com/