Category: Self-publishing

Does Amazon own my book if I publish it through Amazon KDP?

No, Amazon does not own the rights to your book if you publish it through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program. When you publish your book through Amazon, you give Amazon permission to sell your book on Amazon. If you sign up for Amazon’s Expanded Distribution program, you give Amazon permission to list your print books at other bookstores.

You own the rights to your book when you publish through Amazon. You can sell your book at other bookstores.

Related Reading

Do you have other self-publishing questions?

I may have answered your questions in one of my other articles.

If you have a question that isn’t answered in one of my articles, you can go to the Contact page to email me your question.

Keep Scrivener from making the first words in a chapter all uppercase

When you compile a Scrivener project to create an EPUB or PDF book, you may find the first few words in each chapter have all uppercase characters. How do you stop Scrivener from doing this?

Choose File > Compile in Scrivener to open the compile sheet.

ScrivenerEditSectionLayout

If you move the mouse over the section layout, a small Edit button appears in the upper right corner. Click that button to edit the section layout.

ScrivenerSetOpeningUppercaseWords

Select the Section Layouts item on the left side of the section layout editor. Click the New Pages tab in the lower half of the section layout editor. Set the value of the Number of opening words to make uppercase setting to zero or whatever number you want.

Does Scrivener’s compiling frustrate you?

If you find compiling a Scrivener project to be frustrating and time consuming, take a look at Bartleby, a Mac and iPad book formatting app.

Use Scrivener for what it does best, writing books, and use an app designed for publishing books to publish your book.

Compile your Scrivener project to MultiMarkdown and import it into Bartleby. For most books that’s 99 percent of the work. Click the Publish button, and Bartleby gives you a professional looking EPUB book you can sell at Amazon and other online book stores.

Go to the Bartleby site to learn more about the app, download the Mac version, and find a link to the iPad version.

Do you need to buy an ISBN to self-publish a book?

A common question people new to self-publishing ask is if they need to buy an ISBN. This article answers that question.

What is an ISBN?

An ISBN is a number that uniquely identifies a version and format of a book. Bookstores use them.

A book with print, electronic, and audio versions would have three ISBNs: one for the print version, one for the electronic version, and one for the audio version.

Do you need an ISBN?

You need an ISBN for your book if you want to sell your book at bookstores like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

If you sell books only from your website, you don’t need an ISBN. I sell books without an ISBN.

How do you get an ISBN?

Many self-publishing platforms provide a free ISBN for your book that you can use. Amazon, Draft2Digital, Ingram Spark, and Lulu provide free ISBNs.

The downside of using the free ISBN is the publisher name will be the self-publishing platform, not you. If you use Amazon’s free ISBN, Amazon appears as the book publisher in the book’s store listing.

In the United States, Bowker is the company that issues ISBNs. Bowker charges a lot for ISBNs so I recommend using a free ISBN when starting out.

Some countries provide free or low-cost ISBNs. If you live in one of these countries, you can get an ISBN and use that to self-publish your books.

Should you buy an ISBN?

If you live in a country where ISBNs are expensive, such as the United States, the answer is No. Use the free ISBN your self-publishing platform provides.

Do you have other self-publishing questions?

I may have answered your questions in one of my other articles.

If you have a question that isn’t answered in one of my articles, you can go to the Contact page to email me your question.

How much does it cost to self-publish a book?

You can self-publish a book with zero upfront costs. Reputable self-publishing platforms do not charge upfront fees to publish books. They make money by taking a percentage of each sale.

Any company asking for lots of money to publish your book is ripping you off. Don’t use their services.

Do you have other self-publishing questions?

I may have answered your questions in one of my other articles.

If you have a question that isn’t answered in one of my articles, you can go to the Contact page to email me your question.

Selling books from your website

A common question new indie authors ask if they should sell their books from their own website. The answer to that question is Yes, and this article explains why.

Why sell books from your website?

You should sell books from your website because you can get more per sale by selling from your website than from bookstores like Amazon, Apple, and Barnes & Noble. Amazon basically prevents you from selling ebooks for more than $10(US) because they drop their royalty rate to 35% for ebooks that cost more than $10. If you are selling a technical book to a niche audience, you need to charge a higher price because the market isn’t big enough.

You have to do all of the work to get people to notice your book. People are not going to stumble upon your book by browsing Amazon. Your book won’t appear high in an Amazon search until your book sells a lot of copies. Why give Amazon 30 percent or more of each sale?

You control your own website. If you sell books exclusively on Amazon, Amazon can cancel your account for violating one of their guidelines.

Isn’t Amazon where most people buy books?

People will tell you that selling your books anywhere besides Amazon is a waste of time. Amazon is the only place people buy books. Authors will tell you they get 95% of their book income from Amazon.

Yes, Amazon is a very popular place for people to buy books. I’m not telling you to avoid Amazon or to stop selling on Amazon. Selling books from your own website doesn’t prohibit you from selling them on Amazon. You can sell books from your website and on Amazon.

Handling credit card transactions and collecting sales tax

People are under the misconception that if you sell books from your own website, you have to personally handle credit card transactions, sales tax collection, and shipping. There are ecommerce providers that you can use that will handle these details for less than the 30% that Amazon takes from each ebook sale.

There are many ecommerce providers, including Shopify and WooCommerce. But I recommend two providers for selling ebooks from your website: Payhip and Gumroad.

Why am I focusing on Payhip and Gumroad? Because they both have no upfront fees. They make money only when you make money. If you are publishing your first book, you are not going to sell many copies at the start. Why pay a monthly fee if your book sells only 1–2 copies in a month? You can switch to a store where you pay a monthly fee for lower transaction fees when you start selling hundreds of copies of your book each month. Payhip even has plans that take less from each sale in exchange for paying a monthly fee.

Using Payhip or Gumroad does not require much technical expertise. You must perform the following steps to use Payhip or Gumroad to sell your books:

  1. Create an account
  2. Add products for your books
  3. Add links to your store and books to your website

Do you have other self-publishing questions?

I may have answered your questions in one of my other articles.

If you have a question that isn’t answered in one of my articles, you can go to the Contact page to email me your question.