Aspiring authors just got an early Christmas gift with the opening of Barnes & Noble's, 'PUBIT.' Amazon was way ahead of the game when they made it possible for self-publishing authors to market their books on the Kindle platform over two years ago. At that time, the Kindle had the e-book market pretty much to themselves. Others had tried, but it was not until the Kindle reader came out that e-books started to make a dent in the publishing business. How things have changed!
In 2010, several new e-book readers were released by major competitors, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Sony, and Android. Apple's iPad has been selling at a rate of around 1 million units per month since it was introduced last summer. They are not the only competition though. Barnes & Noble has brought out the, "Nook," Sony is selling the "Sony Reader" through Walmart, and Android's software is appearing on a lot of Smartphones other devices that can also be used as e-book readers.
As far as the self-publishing author is concerned, the main difference between Amazon and the others is in the format needed to get your book listed in their sales platforms. Amazon uses a proprietary, 'mobi' format while Apple, PC, Android, And Barnes and Noble have opted for E-Pub. E-Pub seems to be the standard for the rest of the industry with the exception of Sony, which also has its own proprietary format.
The addition of these new markets has really opened the field for self-publishing authors. At present, if you can get your book list on Amazon, (Kindle) and Barnes and Noble, (iPad, iPhone, Nook, PC, Android) you can cover most of the e-book marketplace.
As an author myself, this has made a huge difference in the way I market my books. Before Barnes and Noble's PUBIT, I had to go through the hassle of formatting every book I wrote individually for each E-Pub reader. Now, I just upload my manuscript and the PUBIT software does all the conversions for me. It's not quite that easy, but close. My last three books on PUBIT took about 20 minutes each to get listed and, 'for sale' on the Barnes and Noble website and book stores.
PUBIT is much easier than Amazon's DTP conversion process. But Amazon's Kindle is still the king of the e-book readers so as an author, you need to have your books listed on both sites. Both sites are virtually 'free' to get your book online. Amazon pays a royalty of 70%, while Barnes and Noble pays 60%. I'm guessing they will up their royalty to 70% soon, just to stay competitive.
The bottom line is … new authors finally have a market where they can get their books distributed by two of the biggest and best distributors in the world for free, and get a royalty that was unheard of even a year ago. As more and more e-book readers are sold, it will only get better.
I paid $ 359 for my Kindle back in April of 2008. Now you can get the WIFI model for $ 139. I'd bet it will be below $ 100 soon. And other e-book readers are competitively priced as well. Some (Apple and NooK) even have color versions …
If you're an aspiring author … you could not pick a better time to get your book ONLINE and FOR SALE in the lucrative e-book market!