How To Do Your Own eBook Distribution – UPDATED


Kindle, Kobo, iBooks, Nook, Sony, Blio…. UPDATED FOR MARCH 2014

Here are some questions that keep authors up nights:

1. What is the best way to get my ebook up on all the major platforms?
2. How do I get set up?
3. What files do I use?
4. Do I use Smashwords? BookBaby?
5. Do I need to pay someone a cut or a fee to do my ebook distribution?


Here are the answers:

1. The best way to get your ebook out up on all major platforms is to spend an hour setting up accounts with Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Googlebooks and iTunes. The rest can wait. Seriously. Kindle alone is over 90% of ebook sales; so with Nook, Kobo, Googlebooks and iTunes included? You are ALL SET.


2. How do I get set up? EASY! Here are the links you need to set up your own accounts:




iBOOKS   (make sure you have a MAC for this one… they do not let PC’s upload files)



3. The files you will need are .epub and .prc. Most ebook platforms use .epub, but Kindle needs a .prc (or .mobi) file to look really good.

If you don’t know anyone who can turn your word document or pdf into a .epub or .prc file, email me at and I will get you hooked up. DO NOT pay more than $1 a page for this service. Too many authors are paying WAY too much!


4. You CAN use Bookbaby and Smashwords to do your book. They are both great companies, but they take a cut of your sales and very often the look of your ebook is not as professional or as top line as it should be. If you don’t mind giving up a percentage of your sales, they are a good option.


5. For about an hour of your time as an investment, however, you can EASILY set up your own accounts.
(At this point, I want to remind you all of something we here at New Shelves OFFER EBOOK DISTRIBUTION. We do it every day. I am telling you, you DO NOT NEED US to do your eBook distribution…. You can do it yourselves and save yourself the 50 cents a unit we charge or the hefty percentage that our competition charges. You can do it.)


6. As for the AAAARRRRGGGGHHHHH portion of the process? Here is a eBook account set up worksheet that will allow you to pull all of the information you need into one place before you start and that way you can move easily through the set up process on each platform.


Call me if you need any help.



7 Comments to How To Do Your Own eBook Distribution – UPDATED

  1. NSA Georgia | New Shelves Distribution says:

    […] How to do your own ebook distribution […]

  2. tracy says:

    Thank you for this. You said not to pay more than $1/page for conversion. Does that go for 4-color picture books as well? Is it $1/page for each format or a one time $1/page that will convert and give you many formats for each selling platform?

    Do you have any other advice for children’s picture books in e-book form?

  3. Great post that collects basic information in one place!
    Unfortunately, I have to use Smashwords for a lot of distribution as I’m not an US citizen and many retailers still won’t let you create an account if you live in Europe.

    • admin says:

      You are right… I had not considered that. VERY good point. But Bookbaby is also a good option and if not, we here at NSD handle free ebook distribution too!

  4. Book Marketing Blog Carnival – June 12, 2013 | Selling Books says:

    […] Collins presents How To Do Your Own eBook Distribution posted at New Shelves Distribution, saying, “It is not only possible to be your own eBook […]

  5. Gayle Glass says:

    Just starting to consider all this, so the timing of this article was excellent! Thanks for the info! I’ll have to do some research to make sure I understand everything it is talking about, but research IS my ‘thing’ – love to learn stuff.

    I’ll be sharing this with writer-friends, too.

  6. Excellent article, Amy! I presently use only Amazon KDP and BN PubIt (now Nook Press). On your advice, however, I think I will create an account with Kobo and maybe with Google books next, though I’m not sure if Google books will be worth it. Google is trying to poke their fingers into too many pies these days. It seems to me that they abandon operations almost as soon as they start them (their affiliate network which I joined just a few months ago is an excellent case in point).

    At any rate, I’m working on a self-publisher’s course of sorts which I hope to have ready for launch soon. It will include both a short book that explains many of the details for getting started as one’s own publisher and a nifty little applet I’ve created for making eBook preparation a cinch for the author with sophisticated computer skills (and almost a cinch for the raw beginner). I can’t put a target launch date on it yet, but I hope it will prove very helpful to entrepreneurial authors and therefore be very successful. If you like, I’ll let you know when it’s ready to launch so you can help me get the word out. I’ll even let you take it for a test drive first, if you like.

    If there’s anything I can do for you in return, please let me know, and I’ll do my best to help. Thanks again for all the helpful content you provide!

    In Christ’s Service,
    Michael L. White

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