While working on getting my book published, I've been researching a lot of information. I'm going to (attempt to) organize some of the things I've found useful. Soon, I will also be posting some tips and things I've learned (and screwed up!) while making this publishing journey.
Keep in mind that a lot of this is based on the decisions I've made, mostly because they will work best for me, personally. Everyone's path is different, and if you are choosing to self-publish your book, you may find another route that works better for you.
I have decided to start my journey by going through Amazon and their KDP select program.
What is this KDP select program you speak of (you may be asking)? KDP select is where you agree to publish your book SOLELY through Amazon and NO OTHER retailer. There are, of course, certain benefits and detriments to going through KDP select.
The obvious downfall: you can't publish anywhere else, and therefore may lose out on sales through other retailers like Barnes & Noble or Smashwords. However, you can opt out of the KDP select program after the first 90 days (IMPORTANT SIDEBAR! Amazon will automatically re-enroll you after 90 days! You must go into your account and de-select the auto-enroll feature).
The benefits to KDP select: Your e-book will be available for Amazon prime members to download for free, while you still get your royalty cut. Your book will be available to readers in Brazil, Mexico, Japan, and India (all those readers in India who love romantic comedies...).
Plus (and this was the big draw for me as a brand new, unknown author) you can pick between these two promotional tools:
1) Kindle countdown deals (where your book is available at a lower cost for a limited time to draw more readers, while you still earn royalties) and,
2) Free Book promotion where readers can download your book for free (you don't earn any royalties in that scenario, but you may reach more potential readers and move up the Amazon charts which means more exposure-a critical aspect of marketing when you're a newbie like myself).
I haven't decided which promotional tool I will use yet, but I'm leaning towards the totally free since I'm an unimportant nobody who really needs to focus first on exposure before working towards making all those millions of dollars with my books (hardy har har).
Another reason I am going with KDP select is because it will likely take me AT LEAST 90 days to figure out how to format and upload my book onto all those other platforms, so...win, win. After my initial 90 days and use of the promotional tools, I will be able to spread across other devices and websites.
Also, Amazon has made it AMAZINGLY easy to upload and publish, while other platforms are a bit more complicated and time consuming (from what I've heard/researched). And let's face it, Amazon is a GIANT retailer. It's hands-down the best place to get the most exposure.
Coming soon to a blog post near you: some tips and guides for formatting and publishing through Amazon, and some mistakes I've made, all in one convenient location (i.e. here)!