e-Readers Galore!

Amazon has the Kindle.

Barnes & Noble has the Nook.

Borders releases their e-reader, the Kobo, this month.

Apple has launched the iPad.

Then there are the Sony Readers, Endless Ideas’ BeBooks, Bookeen’s Cybook, Samsung’s Papyrus, Ectaco’s JetBook, the iRex Digital Reader, and Sprint’s new Skiff. And this is not a comprehensive list! And I haven’t even mentioned the various Smart Phones that can operate as e-readers.

Is your head spinning yet? Mine is.

The ebook market is exploding. The growing number of e-readers can easily leave small publishers in the lurch. How do you ensure that your ebooks are available in formats that fit the different readers?

There are really only two options:

  1. Create your books in Kindle format. Upload them to Amazon.com and wait for Amazon to create apps to sell your ebooks in all the various formats required for display on all the various e-readers. Thus far, Amazon has created apps for the Nook, Smart Phones, and the iPad.
  2. Use an ebook distributor. With a distributor, you submit your books in pdf or epub format and the distributor makes your book available in the required formats for the various e-readers. In addition, the distributor places your book in ebook stores across the Internet; allowing your ebooks to be available in multiple stores, not just one.

It’s clear to me that option number two is the better option. So who should you use to distribute your ebooks?

I think micro and self-publishers are best served using Smashwords. Small publishers who are producing a few titles a year should consider Ingram Digital via Lightning Source Inc. or Overdrive.

Experts predict that in five years, 50 to 80 percent of book sales will be digital. If this prediction comes true, you will need to have your books available in multiple formats for various e-readers or you will get left in the dust.

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