You may choose to publish your book in eBook format before or after publishing in paperback format, although I recommend publishing in both formats simultaneously as doing so may increase your paperback sales. Through Kindle Direct Publishing, you can publish your book in Kindle format. If you are not able to convert your manuscript to an eBook format, there are several services that will do the conversion. If you decide to do it on your own, Amazon publishes a handy guide entitled, Building Your Book for Kindle. By publishing your book on Smashwords, you can make your book available through all other major online booksellers, including Barnes and Noble, Itunes and Kobo. Amazon will assign an ASIN for your Kindle copy. Smashwords will assign an ISBN or you can purchase one from Bowker. Remember that each format of every title requires its own identifier number.
Many indie authors choose to publish exclusively on Kindle as this allows them to participate in a program called KDP Select. By participating in this program, authors can have their books go free for 5 days out of every 90 days, and can promote their free days through several sites. This will increase the number of downloads of your book, which in turn will increase your rank on Amazon. Many agree that Amazon is the biggest venue for indie authors and opt to participate in this program. This program, however, precludes you from publishing in other formats and this exclusivity, therefor, limits your exposure. For instance, by staying in KDP Select, you can’t have your book available through any other online retailers, which means that your book will not be available through such eBook platforms as Overdrive, which is used widely by libraries around the country. You will not be able to participate in Library Journal’s selfE program which will further increase your exposure in libraries. Also by not having your book available in other formats, you’ll limit your user population as not everyone has a Kindle or Kindle app.
In terms of pricing your Ebooks, there are many factors to consider such as subject, genre, and length. Fiction books tend to be priced lower than nonfiction books, the former averaging $2.99 to $3.99 and the latter averaging $4.99 to $5.99. In general by setting your price lower, you increase your chances of greater visibility and by making them higher, you increase your chances of making a greater profit. I tend to keep my prices low as I’m more concerned with increasing awareness of my books than making a profit. Another option which I suggest for those of you who have more than one book is perma-free, or making one of your titles permanently free. This can greatly increase your exposure and grow your audience, which as indie authors, is the name of the game!