I published both of my books first with Smashwords and then added Amazon. I did a lot of research before I made that decision, and I am so pleased with the choice I made. Smashwords has been great to work with, and unless something changes, they will continue to be my first choice. I decided to go the self-published ebook route because:
- I have stories to tell.
- After long thought, I decided I don't have time or desire to try to woo a big, traditional press. I have a demanding day job and an intense dislike for cameras. The day may come when I'll feel differently, but for today the ebook is the way to go for me.
- I have complete control of my work. Every word, every idea, the cover, the price and the coupons are all my own. Any typos you find are also mine.
- I have stories to tell. That's really it.
As a reader of ebooks, especially self-published ones like mine, there are things you can do to make that e library a better one.
- Forget outdated ideas about "vanity presses". There are a large number of authors out there who were successful with mainstream publishing and are now self-publishing. They have manuscripts that were rejected because they didn't fit the needs of the publisher, not because they aren't great books. Authors get to keep complete control of their work with self-publishing, and you get to see the story THEY want to tell.
- Leave reviews. Please! Give us stars and your honest opinions. If you got the book for free, please understand that the author is working on getting their book noticed. If you accept the book for free, the polite thing to do is to at least give it star rating before you move on to the next book. Your ratings push good books higher in the search ranks and let them be found easier, plus they encourage us to keep writing. Negative reviews are important, too. I have seen some ebooks that were atrocious. Dreadful spelling and horrid grammar DO need to be pointed out. Always play nice, though. Even a bad review shouldn't contain any profanity or personal attacks.
- Talk about the books you like. If you are a member of Goodreads, LibraryThing, Shelfari or some other social book site, talk. Tell your friends and co-workers. The biggest encouragement you can give to an author whose work you like is positive feedback and book sales.
Happy reading, everyone, and I'll see you at "Read an Ebook Week"!