It's been three weeks since I launched my first novel out into the world. I'm trying to figure out what I've learned in the process that will make next time go more smoothly... and also whether or not I have any words of wisdom that could make the first time less stressful for someone else. At the risk of showing how I really feel about my jumbled knowledge thus far: MEH.
First, there are the different epublishing platforms. According to recent statistics, Amazon (Kindle) currently has 58% of the e-book market, followed by Barnes & Noble (Nook) at 27% and Apple (iPad, iPhone, etc) at 9%. Note: I seriously suspect, based on nothing but personal observation, that the Nook's market share among YA readers is actually quite a bit higher - possibly equal to or even higher than Kindle. (I'm basing this on the fact that 100% of my son's friends who have an e-reader have a Nook. Yes, 100%.)
I've heard (recent writers' conference) that epub (used by practically every e-reader but Kindle) is more "stable" than mobi (used by Kindle only, as far as I know or care). Since my IT Department* handles the programming end of this whole thing, I don't completely understand that claim. However, I do understand the fact that we had far less problems, issues, and bouts of cursing at the computer and fate in general while doing the Amazon version. The Nook epub version was turned in early Thursday morning... but is still listed as Processing with the account In Review for no reason we can fathom.
Which means I've missed an entire weekend of my YA novel being available on the Nook - days after I bought a Nook (for testing purposes, I swear. Not because of the pretty color screen with the bookshelves and the applications... Ahem). The Pubit! Support site tells authors: "Your book will be available in 24-72 hours." Well, we're well past 72 hours, and... no book.
Adding to that aggravation, here's what we've figured out on Apple: Unless you own a Mac, you can't submit to them at all. Hmm. I'd think if I only had 9% of the market share, I would try not being a jackass on for size. ALSO - at the moment, everyone I know who uses an iPad or iPhone as an e-reader uses the Kindle app to do so, which makes me wonder if Apple plans to (1) not really support the Apple e-bookstore or (2) make those Kindle e-reader apps unavailable at some point in the future.
*Again, that would be my husband, Paul