By the time you are ready to hit the big E publish button on your new eBook, you’ve already ticked off quite a few elements on your project timeline. Proofread? Check. Edited? Yep. Design? Yep. Great cover? Check. Price, yep.
Going the self-publishing route can be richly satisfying. But navigating the maze of book formats and online sales monitoring tools also takes a lot of time. If you are not a technical wiz and are daunted by the format wars between the major bookstores, then an aggregator can offer a simpler path.
So what is an aggregator? Simply put, for a slightly higher cut of your royalty pie an aggregator can get your eBook into all of the major eBook stores; Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the Apple iBook store. In return you get a one stop payment, monitoring and management system.
Aggregators are not just middlemen. Apart from the convenience of a single on-line account to monitor your sales, aggregators also help navigate the technical standards maze and can help with advice on promoting and marketing your eBook.
They all feature on-line conversion software that greatly simplifies the process of turning your manuscript into the various eBook standards (ePub, MOBI, NOOK). Why is that important?
Although ePub is the official international standard for eBooks, Amazon, has developed its own unique standard for the Kindle. You can read a Kindle book on an iPad (with a Kindle reader app), but you wont be able to sell your book in iBook store unless it is in ePub format.
So you need to develop your book in multiple formats if you want it available for readers in the 2 largest eBook stores. Phew!
You can go it alone of course. Getting your eBook up on Amazon, NOOK or Apple iBook store in the correct format is only the first step. If you’re tech savvy you can do it yourself.
If not, you can hire some professional help to convert your book into the various formats. Once your eBook is accepted and goes live in the major bookstores, you still need to monitor your sales on 3 different platforms.