Ebook Retailers Grade for Upload Process

report cardJust finished an update to stay current with the e-publishing industry (not an easy task), then went to the sales venues to submit ebooks and paperbacks. Here’s the graded list in order of most efficient and user-friendly IMO to the least:

1. Amazon KDP. A+, love the subtle changes to their preview mode, still with the ability to both download the converted document or to view the newly enhanced on-screen version with Kindle options and working hyperlinks–very nice and fast. Available in the Kindle store in about 6 hours. This company has always done the most to sell ebooks and help me do it.

2. CreateSpace. A , the interior digital proof and final proof including cover design are miles better than years past. I love this company for paperbacks. Proofs went through in about 12 hours online and a physical copy delivered to my door in 3 days at the slowest shipping speed (because I chose to order a copy). Used to take a week. Fine quality and price is fantastic, can’t be beat by LightningSource or Lulu. Only wish they did more to proof the cover design online before submitting and perhaps add interior template options.

3. Smashwords. A-, some of this is my familiarity and loyalty but they still do a great job and give LOADS of advice on self-publishing. I wish approval times were faster for Premium Status, but it has sped up to around 24-48 hours compared to several days in the past. Also it can be a grizzly bear passing meat-grinder for newbies, but indies should learn proper formatting. SW is doing everyone a service by keeping formatting standards high.

4. Kobo. B, they have a great way of handling uploads for cover, description and content, but their Previewer needs work to get past the B grade. Don’t like the required download to view on Calibre or some other method–Kobo, keep up with the others and create an online Previewer. Props to them for more monthly sales than B & N, a pleasant surprise.

5. NookPress. B-, my first time uploading since the change from Pubit. Definite improvements with the ability to edit within their system and working links in Preview mode and an improved online Previewer. Still not as sweet as the way Amazon handles TOC but getting better. Needs improvements with the Editorial Review department, couldn’t get that to work right or to just delete it altogether. Now if they could fix their Nook Store search engine and get sales going (a long story), which is still affecting their overall grade.

6. Draft2Digital C+ My first experience with them and mixed feelings. Love how they’re attempting to simplify approval for authors without formatting experience, but does it currently come at a cost to those of us with experience? Maybe, maybe not. I’m only distributing to Apple through them and have been watching my book in Publishing status for a week now, assuming it will be distributed to iTunes soon. Excited for the promise of “real time” sales reports. Jury still out on this company but since they’re new, that’s understandable. Wishing them the best.

Besides the biggies, I upload to my own websites for direct sales (pdf, epub, mobi) and give that an A+ at both Webs and Yola. So easy and nice to sell books via PayPal.

I may update the samples at Scribd and other venues but doubt to upload again to Google Ebooks-Partners-Play, not even sure what they’re calling it theses days.

Your thoughts?

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16 Responses to “Ebook Retailers Grade for Upload Process”

  1. Catana Says:

    Are you saying that you can now download your book and check out your formatting, etc., without having to buy it? That’s been one of my biggest complaints about it, that the only way to check formatting and other details is through that little review app.

    I’m thinking about selling from my website, if I can ever get around to it. I’ve heard good things about Ganxy, so I’ll be trying it that way.

    Also, do you think that uploading to Scribd brings you any business? That’s another avenue I’ll probably try out.

    • Jason Matthews Says:

      Hey Catana, good to see you as always. Yes, you can download the converted file from all of these retailers. I like the way Amazon and Smashwords handles that the best. In addition, there are on-screen Previewers for KDP Amazon and Nook that work really well. It’s smart to check both the download and the on-screen in my opinion.
      Haven’t heard about Ganxy, thank you for the tip :)
      I upload 30% of my books for sale to Scribd with links at the end to buy. Does it bring business? I don’t know but they get thousands of reads so I figure it might.

      • Catana Says:

        Thanks. I really need to get off my butt with Scribd. I registered and looked through a lot of the submissions, but that’s where it stopped.

  2. Celesta Thiessen Says:

    Just curious, why did you decide to go through draft2digial? I’ve never heard of them before. When you say Apple do you mean iBooks? Why wouldn’t you use Smashwords for that or upload direct to iBook?

  3. Patrick Dacre Says:

    These are all digital printing options and epublishing needs two vital aspects which need attention(perhaps on another posting here?).

    1. Placement in communities of highly likely interest(affinity groups)
    2. Ease of review and sharing both pre and post sale.

    bring that to focus and this gets more interesting.

    Patrick
    Ebook Jungle Tour Guide

  4. Greta van der Rol Says:

    I use Draft 2 Digital. I’m very happy with the way they process their files. I particularly like the fact that you can check your epub and mobi output before committing. I wrote a review http://gretavanderrol.net/2013/04/11/two-thumbs-up-for-draft-2-digital-another-way-to-self-publish/ some little while ago. Since then, they’ve made improvements to their process and their output.

  5. My Rite of Passage Says:

    Jason, thanks for sharing. I want to sell via Paypal too; hope it’s not too difficult to do with WordPress.

    • Jason Matthews Says:

      Hi Belinda. It’s not too difficult to sell directly from your own sites with PayPal. The free WordPress only supports pdf files and not epub or mobi, so that may be something to consider. I use other (non-Wordpress) sites to host my files for downloading.

  6. Mary Gottschalk Says:

    Jason… thanks for a very helpful survey of the marketplace. Am increasingly leaning toward CreateSpace when my novel is ready to go.


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