If you’ve been watching a course in miracles in publishing in recent years you will know that the publication of e-books for handheld e-readers and equivalent software has become a major factor. To get an e-book published; the single biggest challenge that aspiring self-publishers face is the fact that there are many different e-readers out there and no industry-wide formatting standards. The good news is that one particular player so significantly dominates the e-book sales and distribution industry that the choice of which e-book format to use initially is an easy one for self-publishers.
E-Books Here To Stay
Over the past few years a significant shift has been occurring in the book publishing world as e-books have emerged as a major factor. In fact, the emergence of handheld e-readers and their widespread adoption by book readers has started to turn the whole publishing business upside down. Suddenly, the term “e-books” has become a household word! Even my 85-year old Mother demanded an e-reader as her Christmas gift last year!
According to the latest statistics I’ve seen, e-books now account for about 20% to 25% of the total value of all “book” sales worldwide when all genres of paper backs and hard cover books are included. Because they are relatively new, it remains to be seen where that e-book sales figure will plateau.
Anyone Can Get Published
One of the most important impacts of the emergence of e-books is that they have significantly levelled the playing field in the publishing world. Nowadays, anyone who can cobble together a manuscript in a word processing program such as MS-Word can relatively easily format an e-book and then upload it directly to an e-book sales and distribution website such as amazon.com.
So, for tens of thousands of people worldwide, the long-standing barrier to entry — the traditional publishing middleman — has been eliminated from the process. This newfound ability to side-step the traditional publishing apparatus has been very liberating for individual authors, as well as for folks who aren’t published authors but have always fancied themselves as a writer.
No Standard Format
One issue that complicates things somewhat for aspiring e-book writers and/or publishers is the fact that there are a number of different e-book formats, and they are NOT universally platform independent. What that means is that not all e-book publishing, marketing, and distribution platforms accept all e-book formats. For example, amazon.com’s Kindle KDP e-book platform only supports the distribution of e-books that are formatted in its proprietary DTP format.
This would be bad news if amazon wasn’t such a dominant player. However, it’s a well known industry fact that the vast majority of e-books are currently sold via amazon’s websites. In fact, some reputable industry sources have stated that as many as 70% of all e-book sales are made via amazon.com’s Kindle platform!
Amazon Kindle – Obvious First Choice
This fact makes the decision as to which format to choose for your initial e-book publishing format a no-brainer. Clearly, if you want your e-book to receive maximum exposure, amazon.com Kindle is the way to go initially. Later, if you wish, you can also publish your e-book in some of the other formats as well.
That’s exactly what I have done so far with my e-books. I have initially made them available exclusively through the amazon.com Kindle platform. As a spin-off of that process, I recently published an e-book that details what I believe is the easiest and quickest way to get published online. That e-book is titled, “How To Publish On Kindle and Get Your eBooks Seen By Millions”.