Confused by the different Amazon programs and platforms when it comes to wanting to publish your own digital e-book, print book or audiobook?

Many people are, so here is a quick primer on the difference between the Amazon publishing programs:

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing – KINDLE is Amazon’s platform for retailing published e-books. Kindle, the Amazon e-reader which is far and away the most popular e-reader on the market. The Kindle uses proprietary formatting, .mobi, you can easily upload MS Word versions of your e-book and it will convert. The other major e-book format is .epub support on e-readers from B&N Nook.

Other popular e-book retailers include: Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Nobel Nookpress, and Kobo,

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing “Select” Program – You can choose to publish your e-book through Amazon using the KDP Select program where there are exclusivity requirements preventing you from publishing the same version of your e-book elsewhere. This option provides you with additional marketing and promotional opportunities not available by publishing elsewhere but making our e-book available on Kindle.

It does mean you will have to change your e-book if you want to also publish on other platforms such as Smashwords or Bookbaby

CREATE SPACE is Amazon’print on demand publishing arm. If you want a print paperback version of your e-book available on Amazon then Createspace is a good option as are other options such as Lulu or Ingram’s Spark

With Print on Demand you manage the wholesale discount which is usually in the 40-50% range, you then pay print costs (Ex $4 on a 200 page, 5X7 paperback with white matte finish pages), set your price and keep the difference. In addition, there are modest setup fees and some additional wholesale discounts if you want CreateSpace or others to market your book more widely – where you may end up with 55% discounts or more.

In our case, we sell mainly e-books, but often use Createspace to produce print on demand versions of our e-books for customers that want them as well as order some ourselves for back-of-room sales, publicity promo’s and supplying local book selling locations with physical copies.

Keep in mind that publishing print-on-demand books requires ISBN which in the US you obtain through Bowker (where you control your own ISBN) costing between $125 and $300 depending on how many you order – alternatively the POD publishers will let you secure an ISBN through them, but this is less desirable as they they own the ISBN making it more challenging distributing your book somewhere else. In Canada, you can obtain ISBN’s at no cost, but it does take some time to process.

Audible – ACX – Finally, audio ebooks are undergoing tremendous growth, you can publish your e-book or print-on-demand book into audio format using audiobook distributors such as ACX (AudioBook Creation Exchange from Amazon) which publishes your e-book into Audible – the audio ebook arm of Amazon.

Audio ebooks allow you to keep 50% royalty as a new audio ebook publisher and scale up from there based on audio ebook sales and special promotions.

There are many great options for you to self-publish your own e-book, print on demand physical book and audiobooks – most are similar in nature. A good option is to publish using a service like Smashwords and on Amazon, include Createspace if you want print version and you will be well covered off.

In addition, I like to bundle my ebooks with other bonuses and products selling that higher-priced bundle from my own website using Clickbank or Ejunkie where affiliates and partners can choose to distribute and make higher commissions than they would as an affiliate of Amazon (for example).

You can learn more about planning, pricing, creating and launching your own digital and print products over at InfoMarketer’sZone – including the 45-day InfoProfit Product course that gets you from idea through profit within a 6-week (or less) timeframe.

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