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January 20, 2014

eBook Distribution—Which One to Use?

eBook Distribution—Which One to Use?

Last year I wrote a post comparing the pros and cons of using Smashwords or Bookbaby for ebook distribution. At the time they were the primary contenders for independent authors who wanted to get their books distributed to multiple platforms. A lot has changed in the industry since then. We have new players, new channels, and many new features/services from the early players. I thought it was time to do an updated comparison. I did my best to verify all data, but if you see something wrong, please let me know and I’ll correct it. Also, this post is very long. My apologies.

Channels Bookbaby Free Bookbaby $ ebookParntership $ Smashwords
Amazon* 60% 70% 70% 60%
Apple 60% 70% 70% 60%
Baker & Taylor 50% 60% X 60%
B&T Axis X X X 45%
B & N 42.5% 50% 50% 60%
Copia 60% 70% X X
Diesel X X X 60%
e-Sentral 64% 75% X X
Flipkart X X X 60%
Gardners 50% 60% 50% X
Google Play X X 52% X
Ingram X X 62.5% X
Kobo* 60% 70% 70% 60%
Library Direct X X X 70%
Overdrive X X 50% **
Oyster X X X 60%
Page Foundry X X 60% 60%
Page Pusher 60% 70% X X
Scribd 60% 70% X 60%
Sony 42.5% 50% 50% 60%
Waterstones X X 50% X

Amazon pays 70% on books priced 2.99 – 9.99. All others are 35%. If you are not in the KDP Select program, the territories of Brazil, India, Japan, and Mexico are a maximum of 35%.

*Kobo – 70% of list price in US, CA, AUS, UK & 45% in other territories

Copia is a social media e-reading platform with an excellent following.

e-Sentral is Malaysia’s #1 online bookstore.

Flipkart is India’s largest bookseller.

Oyster and Scribd are subscription services with different requirements for what constitutes a “sale.” See this article by Mark Coker, CEO of Smashwords, for details of their new agreement with Scribd. Note: Bookbaby’s deal with Scribd is for purchase only. It does not allow for subscribers to Scribd to read your book.

Overdrive is not known by many authors, but it is one of the big players worldwide, and will be a major force in the next few years. They also have an app for almost every mobile and desktop platform, including PCs, Macs, iPads, iPhones etc.

Additional Costs

costs Bookbaby Free BB Premium ebookPartnership SW
sign-up fee X $249/224 $99/40 X
Yearly fee X X $40 X
Conversion epub or $ free epub or $ free
Changes $ $ $ free

Annual fees

BookBaby Premium is $224 with 5 books. EbookPartnership is $40 per title with 5 books. (Plus $40 per year per title after that.) With both BookBaby and ebookPartnership you can buy credits, so even if you don’t have five books now, you can purchase the credits and obtain the discount.

Changes

Bookbaby allows one change per year to price. For content changes, the prices are: Up to 10 changes in your eBook – $50 (price goes up from there)

EbookPartnership’s policy on changes is on their website, but you do have to pay to make content changes or for updating retailer listings, and uploading new files/covers, etc.

Smashwords allows unlimited changes at no charge. (This is huge.)

Other factors:

ISBNs: I strongly recommend that authors get their own ISBNs. Bowker sells them, but they are ridiculously expensive for just one. If you buy 10 at a time, the cost is $250, or $25 each. If you plan on being prolific, you can purchase 100 for $575, or $5.75 each. If you go with both print and digital editions, you’ll need two ISBNs per book, so buying them in a block of 10 gives you enough for 5 books. The downside of using one from a distributor like SW, BB, or CreateSpace is that they are then listed as the publisher of record.

The Economics

For the sake of sanity, and because there are too many possible scenarios to consider, I restricted my calculations to two scenarios.

  • Using the distributors for Apple, B&N, and Kobo. (Going direct with Amazon)
  • Going direct with Amazon, Apple, B&N, and Kobo, and using the distributors for all other channels.

Scenario 1

Because of the different royalty rates, the only way I saw to do this fairly was to make a table for each of the three channels. The number of books sold is displayed on the top row, and the dollars earned on the rows next to each distributor.

B&N

books sold 1,000–99c 1,000–2.99 5,000–99c 5,000–2.99
Bookbaby 500 1,500 2,500 7,500
ebookPartnership 500 1,500 2,500 7,500
Smashwords 600 1,800 3,000 9,000
Direct 400 1,950 2,000 9,750

Apple

books sold 1,000–99c 1,000–2.99 5,000–99c 5,000–2.99
Bookbaby 700 2,100 3,500 10,500
ebookPartnership 700 2,100 3,500 10,500
Smashwords 600 1,800 3,000 9,000
Direct 700 2,100 3,500 10,500

Kobo

books sold 1,000–99c 1,000–2.99 5,000–99c 5,000–2.99
Bookbaby 700 2,100 3,500 10,500
ebookPartnership 700 2,100 3,500 10,500
Smashwords 600 1,800 3,000 9,000
Direct 450 2,100 2,250 10,500

Average Earnings

I averaged earnings based on market share. I used 20% total market share for B&N, 15% for Apple, and 5% for Kobo. I realize this might not reflect the worldwide market, but based on different channels represented this was the best way to do it. Remember, Amazon is not included, so under the first column it represents 1,000 books sold on the three channels mentioned. Using market share statistics, out of those 1,000 books, 500 would be on B&N, 375 on Apple, and 125 on Kobo. Here’s what the chart looks like.

books sold 1,000–99c 1,000–2.99 5,000–99c 5,000–2.99
Bookbaby 600 1,800 3,000 9,000
ebookPartnership 600 1,800 3,000 9,000
Smashwords 600 1,800 3,000 9,000
Direct 550 2,025 2,750 10,125

As you can see, if the numbers I used for market share are correct, you would earn the same amount of money across all three distributors. The difference is that BB Premium and ebookPartnership cost money. So, am I saying don’t go with the premium options? No. I’m simply presenting the data, as I understand it. Each author has to decide what to do based on where they sell and how much.

Note

There would be a big difference if you used a distributor for Amazon, as BB and ebookPartnership both pay 70% and SW pays 60%. I didn’t include Amazon because it seems as if almost everyone goes direct with them.

Scenario 2

This didn’t turn out at all like I expected, because I had no idea when I started this that authors would earn the same using SW as they did using the premium options for the primary channels. As it stands, scenario 2 is simply a matter of deciding whether the other channels offered by the premium distributors are worth paying for. Let’s take a look.

Bookbaby: To justify using BB’s premium service it’s simply a matter of identifying the channels either not available for free elsewhere, or where BB has a royalty advantage, and then comparing those channels to BB’s free offering. Those channels include: Copia, e-Sentral, Gardners, Page Pusher, Scribd. There is a 15% difference in royalties, so in order to justify $249 for the premium service, you’d have to earn $1,660 on the premium plan for these channels only. The table below shows approximately how many books you need to sell at several price points to break even. And remember, this is per book. If you have 3 books, you need to sell 3x that many.

BB Cost Books – 99c Books – 2.99 Books – 4.99
249 2,700 920 550

I understand that BB’s premium service comes with other benefits. Each person will have to determine whether those services add enough value to make the difference. You can look at what is included here.

ebookPartnership: Justifying whether to pay for ebookPartnership’s service is more straightforward since they don’t offer a free service. The channels unique to them are: Google Play, Ingram, Waterstones, and of the three you can go direct with Google Play, although their process is frustrating. I didn’t include Gardners because BB offers it free. I didn’t include Overdrive because it will soon be carried by SW free. Page Foundry and Sony are also offered by SW and/or BB. That leaves us with justifying the $99 cost ($40 with purchase of five credits) based on these three channels. The calculations couldn’t be simpler. Can you sell enough books on Ingram, Waterstones, and Google (if you don’t go direct) to pay for the service? The table below shows how many you need to sell, using 60% as the average royalty rate.

EBP Cost Books – 99c Books – 2.99 Books – 4.99
99 165 55 33
40 66 22 13

This chart might make you think—damn, I can easily sell 33 books at 4.99. If you have a good following in the UK, Waterstones alone could easily pay for the cost of premium distribution. The decision boils down to knowing where you sell. If you don’t know where you sell, and how much you sell, and at what price point, I suggest you go with free options until you get a handle on your numbers. I certainly recommend keeping a spreadsheet of sales by date, retail channel, price, and geography. These are all important factors to consider when determining who to use for distribution and what price to set for your books.

My Strategy

For those of you who are interested, here’s what I do. I go direct with Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, and Kobo. I use Smashwords and I opt in for every channel except the five I go direct with. I also use Bookbaby’s free option but I only check the boxes for distribution with the channels that Smashwords doesn’t cover. (Copia, e-Sentral, Gardners, and Page Pusher)

Note:

I am reconsidering my strategy and might opt to go to B&N through SW because of the terms at the lower rates.

The Promotions Consideration

If there is one factor that makes a huge difference to an indie author, it’s the ability to run promotions and sales whenever you want, and often on a moment’s notice. If you can’t respond quickly it costs you dearly. When I run ads on the big promotion sites: BookbubereadernewstodayKindle Books and Tips, and Pixel of Ink, I need to be able to adjust price up or down quickly. You can only do this if you go direct with the retailer. This might change in the future, but for now I don’t know of any distributor who offers price changes within hours or even a day. This can make a huge difference, because if you have a successful promotion, you want to take advantage of the recommendation algorithms that kick in at the peak of your run. When your book has reached it’s highest ranking (as best as you can determine) you want to raise the price to take advantage of the push from the retailer. (Some authors opt for a different strategy of continuing the sale at a low price.)

Payment Terms

Smashwords pays quarterly. Bookbaby and ebookPartnership pay monthly (assuming minimums are met).

Summary

Bookbaby (Free):

They’ve come a long way in the past year. I have always liked Bookbaby’s clean, easy-to-use site, and the channels they offered, but I felt the cost was high. Now that they offer a free service in addition to paid, it should please a lot more authors.

Pros: Good channels, including all of the major ones, plus Copia, e-Sentral, Gardners, Page Pusher, Scribd. BookPromo package offered to authors for both free and paid services.

Cons: Changes cost you dearly.

Other: For authors looking for a complete publishing package, Bookbaby has a range of services you might like. They offer cover design, print books, website hosting, editing services, book scanning services, and press releases. I have no idea how they rate in any of these areas as I haven’t used them.

EbookPartnership:

This is a fairly new player, at least to me, but they have a lot to offer. Not the least of which is an excellent distribution network on the international front.

Pros: Great channels of distribution, including all of the big ones, plus, Gardners, Google Play, Ingram, Overdrive, and Waterstones.

Cons: Costs $99 per title, and $40 per title per year after that.

Other: ebookPartnership also offers additional services for authors who need them, including a variety of ebook conversions, book scanning, cover design, and website hosting.

Smashwords:

They are the original and largest indie ebook distributor, but that hasn’t stopped Mark Coker from innovating or from continuing to improve.

Pros: In the past year they have started accepting epub files for uploading (December 2012), they introduced pre-order distribution to Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo (B&N doesn’t offer preorders to authors who upload through NookPress, but Smashwords authors get them). Smashwords authors also benefit from an online store, and coupons for custom author promotions.

SW also introduced a web site redesign that made the site more mobile-friendly, introduced enhanced metadata for series books with their Series Manager tool, introduced Smashwords Interviews, an author self-interviewing tool that helps readers learn the story behind the author. SW has strong distribution channels, including: all the big channels, plus Baker & Taylor Axis, Diesel, Flipkart, Library Direct, Oyster, and Scribd. Easy system for uploading, and conversion is free. SW already had one of the best distribution channels, but they continue to improve. Last year they signed a deal with Txtr, one of the big players in Europe, which should be up and running in the first or second quarter of this year.

Big News

I had heard rumors that they might be doing a deal with Overdrive. When I asked about the Overdrive agreement, Smashwords confirmed that a deal with Overdrive was forthcoming and that launch was expected in the next several months. This will make SW books available through the world’s largest library aggregator. One of the biggest pluses, for me, is the ability to opt in/out of channels and to make changes to a book’s content and/or price with no charge. To me, this is critical. If I had to choose only one distributor it would be SW based on this factor alone.

Bottom Line

Financially, the decision on which route to go will vary depending on your price point and your projected sales, but decisions are seldom strictly financial ones. Other factors come into play. Here are a few to consider:

  • Ease of use. Both SW and Bookbaby have easy to use sites. I haven’t uploaded to ebookPartnership, but I’ve heard from a few people that say it compares favorably.
  • Customer service. I love that Bookbaby has phone support, but that’s only for the premium option. They have email support for all others. SW and ebookPartnership also have email support.

Each person’s circumstances will be different. Before you decide, think of how each factor might affect you. If you have to make changes after uploading, there will be steep charges you’ll incur at Bookbaby or ebookPartnership, while Smashwords is free. Look hard at the charts. It doesn’t take long to rack up expenses that would eliminate all potential profits.

Another factor is the conversion costs. I have mine in epub so I don’t face the issues, but if you’re trying to upload Word documents it will cost you at BB unless you go premium. Be honest about how many books you think you’ll sell, and at what price. Then look at the charts and determine what makes sense. Don’t make a decision based on how many you’d like to sell. Be realistic. Remember, this is how many you’ll sell outside of Amazon, and any other channel you go direct with. Most authors won’t hit the break-even point.

My Take

It’s an absolute no-brainer to go with Smashwords. They have great channels, great support for authors, and it’s free. You can’t argue with that. One of the things I like best about SW is their approach to the business. SW is not trying to sell authors anything. SW doesn’t make any money unless the author makes money, and yet they have costs associated with hosting the site, etc. The only way they make money is to help authors sell books, and they don’t charge for doing that.

I think it’s also a no-brainer to go with Bookbaby’s free option. I signed up for free, but I only opted-in to the channels SW didn’t have.

For the premium options you’ll have to run the numbers. I haven’t gone with them, but I’m considering ebookPartnership if only for Waterstones and Ingram. Don’t let Ingram fool you. Ingram is the largest book distributor in the world and they have a substantial ebook network also. You can see a list here. And Waterstones is a major player in the UK market.

I would really like to see Bookbaby and ebookPartnership step up and cut their fees for changes, and also switch to free conversions without epubs. I’d also like to see ebookPartnership get a free option.

Note:

I looked into two other distributors but didn’t include the details. I didn’t include D2D (Draft to Digital), because they only distribute to Amazon, Apple, B&N, and Kobo, and their terms below the 2.99 price point weren’t as favorable.

I didn’t include Ingram Spark because you cannot opt out of their distributor list, with the exception of Apple and Amazon. They also only pay 40% across the board.

If you’ve made it this far, you’re braver than I expected. But since you persevered, why not sign up for the mailing list so you can be bored all over again when I do another post like this? You can sign up here.

If you enjoyed this post, please share.

 

Thanks for stopping by,

Giacomo

 

Giacomo is the author of mystery and suspense books, and he also writes a series of career books which you can check out here.

He lives in Texas where he and his wife have an animal sanctuary with 45 loving “friends.”

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35 Responses to “eBook Distribution—Which One to Use?”

  1. This is a treasure trove of information in one handy place. Thank you for all your hard work.

  2. Glad you found it useful, Diane.
    Giacomo recently posted..The Writer’s ToolboxMy Profile

  3. Wow, Great informative post! Can I share it at my blog too? With a link back here? I will post it on my writing FB page too. This took a lot of work. Thanks, Jim!
    Michelle

  4. Of course, Michelle. It’s for getting information out there. I did it because I heard so many people confused about who to go with or what to do. Thanks for stopping by.
    Giacomo recently posted..eBook Distributors—Which One to Use?My Profile

  5. This is a brilliant breakdown of the available avenues. Well done, Jim!

    Off to share it on Facebook.
    Maria Zannini recently posted..Walk Before You RunMy Profile

  6. thanks, Maria. I appreciate it.
    Giacomo recently posted..eBook Distributors—Which One to Use?My Profile

  7. Hi, great information. My strategy is to go direct where I can so I get the flexibility and use only Smashwords for the other distribution.
    So, I use Smashwords for B&N because they don’t accept direct from non-Americans. And I use them for Apple because I can’t rationalize the cost of a macbook to go direct to Apple. Although I’m struggling to get through the epub conversion for a new version of one of my titles – it passed a month ago, now it’s failing epub check -perhaps a macbook is in my future.
    The library access through Smashwords makes sense because it’s way too hard to get there direct.
    I’ve found a few new distributors and have uploaded this year to get a feel for their users. DriveThru Fiction and AllRomance both need you to upload converted files (thank goodness for Calibre).
    P.A. Wilson recently posted..Lessons I Learned in 2013 | Not another resolution blogMy Profile

  8. Thanks for stopping by, P.A. I agree about the flexibility, although SW has such a sweet deal with B&N I’m considering switching that. Good luck with the writing.
    Giacomo recently posted..eBook Distributors—Which One to Use?My Profile

  9. HI, Giacomo. One think to take into account before you switch is that any changes you make to the book may take months to get updated on the retailer site. B&N seems to be okay, but I’ve had books take months to update.
    P.A. Wilson recently posted..Lessons I Learned in 2013 | Not another resolution blogMy Profile

  10. Thanks, P.A. I’ll look into that.
    Giacomo recently posted..eBook Distributors—Which One to Use?My Profile

  11. Hi Giacomo,

    Thank you for this treasure of info in this important aspect of book publishing. I appreciate the research and tracking that went into this.
    It will help the rest of us make better decisions when choosing eBook distributors.

    I look forward to sharing it as well.

  12. Glad you liked it, and thanks for stopping by.
    Giacomo recently posted..eBook Distributors—Which One to Use?My Profile

  13. Hello Giacomo, great researcher—

    You certainly have gathered enough information to satisfy any promoting writer.

    Would you be offended if I said I’m not sure how to use this info? This is not a criticism of you. It is a confession of my own ignorance. All my books are digital—5 of them. They have been published by the digital arm of BookLocker which I thought was epub, though it seems if that is not it, the name is very close and you probably know what it is.

    They convert your MS Word documents into a format that can be distributed online, provide an ISBN, and distribute through Ingram. I don’t know if they distribute through other vendors nor how I might add a distributor if they don’t.

    As I read your data, I am not sure whether you are talking about publishers [e.g. BookBaby] that should be used or a distribution channel I could can contract with if that is not a violation of my publishing agreement with my present publisher.

    Giacomo, I’m going to read anything that will help me understand this. Meanwhile, with your permission, I will offer the URL to this site and recommend folks use it. I logged on from your link at LinkedIn [or maybe one of them if you’ve spread them around], but I may offer a shortened form of the URL some place on LinkedIn with a brief note where the link will take the clicker. I’ll include it on my FB professional page and on my blogs.

    I thank you heartily for sharing this information.

    I love you.

    Larry Winebrenner

  14. Larry, thanks for stopping by. I’m not familiar with Booklocker, but I took a quick look at them after reading your message. It appears that they distribute your ebooks through the four main channels only–Amazon, Apple, B&N, and Kobo. I don’t know what they pay you on royalties, but I can tell you if you look at the chart on the post, you can see what you’d get with the others. Smashwords has the widest reach of all the distributors and they’re free to list with. They take a small percentage of sales. Nothing else. Bookbaby has a free option and they also have a good selection of channels to sell through. If you have specific questions feel free to email me. My contact info is on LinkedIn or you can reach me through the website.
    Giacomo recently posted..eBook Distributors—Which One to Use?My Profile

  15. If you’re Canadian, ISBNs are free! 🙂

  16. Bonnie, you’re right, and in many other countries they’re free also. I think AU, S. Africa, and most of the rest of the world. But the UK and US charge for them, and a steep price, too.
    Giacomo recently posted..Six Billion Ways to Develop CharactersMy Profile

  17. Super writeup! I just want to confirm my understanding of something. Regarding ISBNs, you are saying that we only need one ISBN for all ebook platforms? For print, I’m going though Ingram Sparks and using only one ISBN for that.

    Thanks again!

  18. Cindy: You need an ISBN for print books. If it is your ISBN, you can use it no matter where you go, so you can use Ingram and CS if you want and use the same ISBN. The same thing applies to ebooks. If you have your own ISBN, not one supplied by a retailer or distributor, you use the same one for all formats.

    As to Vook, I like them. I am going to do a full report on them soon, but they have some nice features others don’t have. Signing up for a distributor is a decision based on a lot of factors. I know that file conversion is a big issue, but I wouldn’t let that alone determine what you do. Make sure you compare all of the features, and royalties, payouts, sales reporting…everything. Vook also has two different options for amazon; if you plan to use them for Amazon, make sure you choose the right one for you.
    Giacomo recently posted..CreateSpace VS Ingram Spark Part 1My Profile

  19. One more thing. Have you heard of Vook as an ebook distributor? Ingram Sparks recommended them for file conversion. What do you know about the company?

  20. Hi Giacomo,
    I found your site extremely helpful and plan to follow your strategy. I was wondering how you feel about KDP select if you have only published one book and it is a niche market (children’s book on moving).

  21. Hi, Lori. I’m glad you found it useful. As to KDP, I’m not fond of going exclusive. I realize that Amazon represents about 60-65% of the market for ebooks, but that still leaves 35-40% of the readers who wouldn’t be able to purchase your book if you go Select. I have found that it takes a little longer to get established with the other platforms, but I think it is well worth the effort. Word of mouth is an author’s best marketing tool. It can have a chain effect. But if you are in Select, and someone reads your book and recommends it to a friend who happens to read on a Nook, that chain comes to a sudden stop because they can’t read it. There are many other reasons I wouldn’t go Select, but the one I mentioned is a big factor in my decision.
    Giacomo recently posted..Smashwords and OverdriveMy Profile

  22. Hi Giacomo,

    Thank you so much for sharing this information. I can’t tell you how glad I am that I found your website!

    I’ve read through both Part 1 & 2 of your CreateSpace VS Ingram Spark and found them very helpful as a reference – including all the comments, too.

    Some time has passed since you last posted this article, and I was wondering if your thoughts were still the same on Smashwords. A friend of mine who writes Romance advised me to not use Smashwords and to use D2D instead, something about the Overdrive issue…anyway, if you have any thoughts on the subject, I’d love to hear it.

    Glad to be a new follower, and I love your new cover on A Bullet For Carlos!

    Best,
    Melanie

  23. Melanie: I’m glad you got something out of this. And yes, I still think Smashwords is an excellent choice for distribution. Re: the Overdrive situation–sometimes people make comments without knowing all of the details. I know quite a bit about what is going on behind the scenes there. Smashwords is not to blame for what happened at OverDrive, and I’m confident it will be worked out soon. Besides, if you have concerns about OverDrive, simply opt out of them on the Smashwords dashboard. As to D2D, they are also an excellent choice for distribution. They don’t offer OverDrive distribution yet, but I know they are working on it. I’ll be doing an update soon on all of the services; in the meantime, feel free to email me with questions.
    Giacomo recently posted..What Confidence Can Do For YouMy Profile

  24. Thank you Giacomo, I appreciate your level-headness about the whole issue; it’s refreshing.

    Melanie

  25. Hi Giacomo,

    Your blog post is very informative. I have one question:

    Would I be right in thinking all ebooks through Amazon are via Kindle, and would thus require to give Amazon 90 days exclusive?

    Regards
    Anthony

  26. Anthony: If you publish using Kindle, you do not have to be exclusive. There is an option that asks if you want to enroll in Kindle Select…make sure you don’t check that box.
    Giacomo recently posted..What Confidence Can Do For YouMy Profile

  27. Hi Giacomo,
    Thank you for the reply.

    Regards
    Anthony

  28. Hello,

    Nice post! Very informative. Just received my first proof from CS, and some pages had slanted text! Sent 2 emails, but no response yet. And I switched from Xlibris so I could reduce the cost, and I also spruced things up by using Jera Publishing and adding a review excerpt to my cover. Being concerned with printing issues at CS, I see that you susggest using Spark and CS, didn’t realize that was possible. I will be looking into this today and tomorrow. I just unchecked expanded distribution on CS. Do I also deselect the CS Direct under expanded distr.? Suggestions for the ebook version?

  29. Hi, Chris. Glad you liked the post. First, I’m glad you switched from Xilibris–good move. Do not use any of the options under CS Expanded or they will show up as duplicates with Ingram. CS actually uses Ingram for distribution to the bookstores. As to the ebook version…so much has changed since I wrote this post. I do posts for the Alliance of Independent Authors also, and recently wrote a few posts on Draft2Digital, Bookbaby, and earlier on Smashwords and others. You can see them here: http://www.selfpublishingadvice.org/author/giacomo-giammatteo/

    If you still have questions, feel free to email me gg@giacomog.com
    Giacomo recently posted..What Does Your Profile Picture Say About You?My Profile

  30. Thanks, Giacomo. I see you might use ebookPartnersip for Ingram, but are not likely to use Ingram Spark. I just want to verify that the two are differently-operating distribution groups? I’ve read your list of Ingram’s Distribution partners linked-to above, and I’ve read the list on Ingram Sparks’ website. Each list contains 50-plus companies, 19 of which are common to both.
    Also, can one always fine-tune within ebooksPartnership’s Ingram list to remove this or that channel from among those 50? I’m hoping to take advantage of the long list while avoiding reduncancies with sites I’m already on, like Kobo and Page Foundry. I’m not sure yet if I’ll even find a breakdown as helpful as yours on EBP’s site.

  31. James, there are a few questions lingering about the ebook distribution with Spark. I actually have a call with them next week which I hope will clear things up. I am also planning on an in-depth look at EBP, to get more answers from them. You don’t want duplicate channels, so it might be better to have solid answers before committing to one or the other. For the most common retail channels, Smashwords and D2D offer some of the best service and royalties, and they have both improved significantly since I wrote that post. I’ll be updating later this year. Neither one of them charges for changes either. If you want a more recent look at D2D, check out the post I did for the Alliance of Independent Authors here: http://www.selfpublishingadvice.org/author/giacomo-giammatteo/ There is also a post on Bookbaby there. And feel free to email me if you have questions.
    Giacomo recently posted..What Does Your Profile Picture Say About You?My Profile

  32. Thank you.
    I was pulling my hair out over all the details until I found this post (and the Ingram vs. CS post). I feel a whole lot better now.
    You answered pretty much every question I had.

  33. Glad to hear that, Raven. Feel free to email me if you have further questions.
    Giacomo recently posted..Smashwords and OverdriveMy Profile

  34. Hey, Giacomo. I have a question about BookBaby’s “free option”. What exactly do you mean by that? I’m curious as to how that happens. Also, there’s a feature on BookBaby that lets you figure out the cost of making orders (either 1 or 25-300). I am confused about this feature. I have to go through this feature to self-publish anything with BookBaby. Can you shed some light on that, please.

    Thanks so much, and I love, love, love this post!

  35. Robby: Bookbaby’s free option is over now. They charge. If you had already signed on as a free customer, you are allowed to continue, but new customers pay. As to your other question, I’m assuming you are referring to print books; if so, I do not recommend using them for print. You can write to me with questions, which I’m happy to answer, or check out my book on eBook Distribution, or my upcoming one on Print on Demand—Who to Use to Print Your Books. Thanks for reading.
    Giacomo recently posted..Everything Is Free and Nothing Is FreeMy Profile

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  • This blog will be a little different from many you see. Contrary to the characters in my books, I don’t really kill people, or catch those who do, so the blogs might be about reading, or writing, or animals. These are the things I have great passion for. It might also contain posts about food, or ancestry, or substance abuse. My oldest son is a great cook. My daughter is a genealogist (rootsintheboot.com) and my youngest son is a recovering drug addict. He has been clean for three years, and runs a rehab center (intoactionrecovery.com).

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    Giacomo

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