When deciding where to sell their books online, most writers will make them available through Amazon, which dominates ebook sales, due in large part to the popularity of the Kindle. Another option for self-published authors is Smashwords, which distributes ebooks through many different retailers, including Barnes and Noble, Apple iBooks and Kobo. Amazon and Smashwords each require correctly formatted manuscripts and they will need to be uploaded in an electronic format, as specified by the platform you are using. An author might save money by submitting their manuscript to each retailer individually. However, one of the benefits of using Smashwords is that they will convert your ebook manuscript file into the particular electronic file format that each of the retailers they supply requires, simplifying the process. If, in addition to text, your ebook contains illustrations, then you should be aware of the associated requirements and costs.
For most business owners, deciding upon the best price at which to sell their product or service is one of their greatest challenges and will often require some market research and testing. As a self published writer, you will need to decide how much to sell your book for, so that you are left with sufficient profit from each sale. Authors who are not US residents and are selling their books through US based platforms, such as Amazon or Smashwords, will need to be aware of their position regarding payment of taxes. Some countries, such as as the United Kingdom, have tax treaties with the United States, allowing their residents to claim an exemption and pay no tax to the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). However, the author would need to complete and submit the necessary forms and register with their own countries tax authority.
Some writers decide to sell their books through their own website, either in addition to or instead of making them available through platforms such as Amazon and Smashwords. Although this has some potential advantages, such as having greater control over branding and keeping a greater percentage of the sale price, the cost and time needed to develop and run an eCommerce site can be considerable. In addition to selling ebooks, you might also want to make your book available in a physical format, as many people still prefer to read a paperback version, rather than reading ebooks on an electronic device. Rather than spending a lot of money up front on a large print run of their book, most self-published authors choose to use print on demand services, such as those provided by Amazon.