You know the shell game – where you have to guess under which shell there is something.
Some days I feel as if I am playing a shell game trying to figure out under which option is the best opportunity for publishing and marketing my books.
Of course, I do not think there has to be one strategy that best fits all my books. After all, I have fiction and nonfiction titles with some only as physical books, some only as ebooks, and some as both.
I do wish, though, that the different options with which I experiment for myself and my online marketing connections did not differ so drastically.
Also, I do wish these options could be more user-friendly.
Two examples of recent book publishing and marketing frustrations:
Amazon’s Kindle and CreateSpace:
I want to try out Kindle Select, which requires an exclusive 90-day period on Kindle with the ebook not available for sale anywhere else. I decided to use THE EDNALOR MYSTERIES, a physical book I self-published for 92-year-old author Shirley Windward via Amazon’s CreateSpace and that is not currently available as an ebook.
I wanted to take advantage of CreateSpace’s $69 option to convert to the Kindle format any physical book self-published through CreateSpace. (Yes, Kindle Direct Publishing has instructions to do this for oneself; I wanted to avoid additional aggravation.)
Obstacle: Even though I set up Shirley’s CreateSpace account, paid for various options, and did all the work, I cannot pay to have the book converted unless she puts me on the account as an “approved contact.” (Getting this accomplished has so far not been achieved.)
(Note: For CreateSpace you can upload a manuscript in pdf, doc, docx or rtf.)
BookBaby and Smashwords:
I used BookBaby to convert HOW TO SUCCEED IN HIGH SCHOOL AND PREP FOR COLLEGE for ebook formatting because I wanted to try BookBaby’s distribution channels.
And for BookBaby a manuscript can be uploaded in pdf. Great! I did not have to worry about making sure all the formatting codes in the manuscript were correct.
Now I want to add HOW TO SUCCEED to my Smashwords account, where there are two ebooks uploaded already thanks to using ebook converter Chris O’Byrne for those two ebooks.
Obstacle: Smashwords does not take a pdf or rtf; it requires a correctly formatted Word doc. Do I really want to spend the time to go through the entire manuscript of HOW TO SUCCEED and check all formatting codes before uploading to Smashwords?
At this point, probably not, because I am polishing the second and third ebooks in this particular nonfiction series for teens and young adults in addition to all my other work.
And here is another little whammy:
If I want to use CreateSpace to convert the second ebook in the HOW TO SUCCEED series in order to try out Kindle Select, I must first create a physical book on CreateSpace.
In other words, although I do not particularly want a physical book, I will have to create it (the price is rather negligible) in order to have the $69 CreateSpace Kindle format conversion option.
Clarification: Chris O’Byrne of www.ebook-editor.com does a terrific job of converting to various ebook formats, and I continue to use him for various projects and highly recommend him. In the examples given above, I wanted to try out some different publishing/marketing options.
Okay, back to trying to figure out the best strategy for my different book projects. If you would like to add your own opinions or experiences in the comments below, please do.
© 2012 Miller Mosaic LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter and @ZimblerMiller on Pinterest) is the author of books and ebooks as well as screenplays available for free download at Amazon Studios.
She is also the co-founder of the online marketing company Miller Mosaic LLC, which helps book authors and businesses effectively use online marketing and WordPress websites.