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If you want more details about the whys and hows of ePublishing, check out the inexpensive short book, Fast Fun ePublishing.

This short booklet, available in a variety is formats, is itself a good example of how a basic eBook looks and operates. It gives you an overview and head start, whether you are just wondering about publishing, or are actually ready to dive in and publish right now.

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There are a number of things to consider as you are choosing an ePublisher. Check out their distribution channels, how their finished eBooks look, ease of use, and how much they pay in royalties.

Because this changes over time, check with each company when you are ready to publish.

Amazon will have a new royalty structure this summer: http://forums.digitaltextplatform.com/dtpforums/ann.jspa?annID=142

You can find Lulu’s structure here:
http://www.lulu.com/publish/ebooks/

And Smashwords offers royalties depending on your price structure and distribution channel. http://www.smashwords.com

You generally should not pay anything up-front for ePublishing a story or book. There are enough good choices now where the ePublishing companies rely on percentage of sales to pay their way.

The one exception is if the company offers services such as formatting, designing covers, or editing, and you specifically hire them for this, in which case the costs should be clearly stated on their websites and in any contract.

Lulu offers these services, Amazon and Smashwords do not, but can refer you to outside sources.

If you have ever published a traditional book, you know that you get pennies, maybe a dime, from each dollar your readers pay for your book, because of the multitude of costs of paper book publishing.

With ePublishing, you get a much higher rate–but you have to do most of the work traditionally done by book publishers.

Check with the companies to see what their royalty/author payment rates are currently. These are changing–for example, Amazon will offer a new royalty rate  at the end of  June 2010.

So you will not have up-front costs unless you hire someone for tasks like editing or book cover creation.

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