As promised, I’m following up with a short post to let you all know how it’s turning out.
I submitted two books ten days ago, and they’ve already appeared on Apple, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo (WHSmith in the UK). Over time, the books will appear in other stores as well, including Tesco (sort of the UK equiv of WalMart) and Waterstones, but I was warned beforehand that it could take anywhere from 2-3 weeks to appear in some stores. That makes sense since they’re being fed through fulfillment services.
So, yes, I can tell you all that I’m very pleased with the distribution services of EbookPartnership.com After my first books were submitted, they sent me a link to their ebookdata.net site where authors can see their sales stats. It’s slick, easy, and very intuitive. Of course, since my books have only been up for a matter of days, I don’t have any stats yet, but I was able to click around and see what was what. Everything about it impressed me! I don’t know if they have a demo account where people can get a look at it, but it might be worth asking.
I should also note that in addition to distribution services, EBP also offers formatting (including picture books), cover design, and narration (for Apple’s “read along” option). So, with the exception of editing, you could get nearly everything you need at one place. I haven’t used any of their other services personally, but I was referred to them by Catherine Ryan Howard, who said she was very pleased with their formatting services.
One last thing I wanted to address. When I first posted about this, I got a couple of emails/messages from people enthusiastic about Smashwords who were upset with me for ‘dissing’ SW or ‘not giving SW a chance.’ (I suppose waiting a mere 6 weeks for distribution made me downright fussy and impatient!) One such critic said “Smashwords is a free service, so you have to remember that when you’re complaining about them.”
Smashwords is not free.
Smashwords takes a percentage of your royalties. Therefore, you pay for their services. EBP does not take a percentage of your royalties. Instead, you pay a setup fee and a yearly fee for having a book on their service. Because I plan to upload at least 5 books within 6 months, they lowered my setup cost to £29 (roughly $50) per book. Now, some people who responded to me thought that seems like a lot. To me, it sounds like a bargain!
I don’t generally talk about how much money I make, because like most people, I was raised to think it’s tacky to do so. I confess that I like it when other people talk about how much money they make through indie publishing, and I never think it’s tacky when other people reveal how much they make. So, this is my way of apologising for what I’m about to say if your delicate sensibilities (like mine) blush and stammer when discussing one’s income.
Let me put it this way, if I had to give Smashwords their royalty cut in 2012, I would have given them more than $6000 last year. If I’d paid EBP’s fee to distribute my 5 mainstream titles and 3 pen-name titles, I would have paid them $400.
In the end, I suppose it comes down to how many books you think you’ll sell. If you have 8 titles, as I do, but you believe you’ll make less than $400 a year, well, no, EBP is not a good deal. =) That being said, if you have 8 titles, but expect to make less than $400 a year, I’m not entirely sure indie publishing is your best career choice.