My number one lesson learned and best advice before you upload: Organize!
Creating files formatted for the various vendors: I haven’t worked with book formats for ePub, Mobi, or even pdf for very long. That meant I spent a lot of time making changes – many, many minute changes. Easy to do? Yes. Time consuming? Yes. However, it’s one of those skills that gets easier with time. Four of the top five vendors use ePub files. That saved me time. Amazon is the only vendor I submitted to requiring Mobi files. The pdf files are for print books. I’ll discuss those in more detail in a later blog.
Uploading Files: Each vendor has its own method for uploading. In most cases, it’s a simple matter of pointing, clicking, and entering information.
Each vendor wants pretty much the same information, so make sure all the information for your ebooks is easy to find, preferably in one folder.
For starters, you need:
- Correctly formatted file for the filler of your text – ePub, Mobi, pdf
- Cover files – separate for ebook and paperback – jpg, pdf
- Back of book blurb
- Marketing blurb
- Book categories list
- List of keywords describing your book
- Pricing for each book in each format.
I was loading two books with similar titles, which meant I had to be careful I was working with the correct file at the correct time. Imagine loading both Voice of Midnight and Midnight Victories at the same time. By the end of the day, they sounded a lot alike. Next time, I’ll work with one book at a time.
Procedures for uploading are remarkably similar for each vendor.
Amazon: Even though I pride myself on my computer literacy, I had to stop many time to search for help. While not overly friendly, KPD follow the rules of efficiency of space. My biggest issue with uploading to KDP is continually waiting for the next action. With each step, I had to wait, wait, wait before proceeding to the next step. More than once I got a message that an error had occurred. When I left the site and returned later to redo what I had done, everything was fine. Very frustrating.
IBooks: Being familiar with Apple and its ways made the upload easy. For those not familiar working with Apple, the instructions for downloading and using the iTunes Producer might be confusing. The process for uploading is the same as Amazon, but it’s done within both the website and iTunes Producer. Give yourself a little extra time for this upload. Even thought I’m familiar with Apple – I alway forget the separate password required to use features like the iTunes Producer.
Kobo: This site is super easy to follow. Each section of information is laid out with ample negative space around it to help me focus on the information required. Kobo goes out of their way to make the upload and offering of books easy for the independent author.
Barns & Noble: This site is also very intuitive. There are simple screens and wide text boxes. On a side note, this site should be watched now that they’ve been purchased. For now, I’d easily recommend this site to the independent author.
Google Play: Once I found the right page with the correct links for uploading, it was easy to use. The side surprised me the most in its difficulty to locate. I’m a long time user of Google products, and until Google Play I would have said all their products are intuitive to use. Don’t get me wrong: It was not difficult loading onto Google Play, but it’s missing the clean, uncomplicated format other Google products follow.