Someone asked me the other day how to publish as an indie. They were a little overwhelmed and wanted a brief overview of what to do. Below is my response. I thought I'd share it here as well, in case any of you were considering the same.
"In short, publish on Amazon: https://kdp.amazon.com
are the 800LB gorilla in the ebook world. If you sell $100 worth of
books on amazon monthly, you'll sell less than $10 everywhere else.
Later on, you can publish everywhere else through Smashwords premium, but the learning curve is steep and, like I said, probably not
worth your time in the beginning.
Createspace is an
amazon subsidiary and can make POD paperbacks for you. Again, there's a
learning curve, but after you get the hang, you can have a manuscript
uploaded in about an hour.
Audio versions of your books can be created on ACX. Like Createspace and Smashwords, this can wait. Focus on Amazon KDP.
For cover work, try GIMP and Google's Picassa software. There
are tons of sites that sell stock photos that you can buy the rights to
and then modify using either program. GIMP is very powerful, but I do
most of my coverwork in Picassa. Inkscape is another option
Forget trying to get your book in local indie bookstores or other things like that. Focus on Amazon sales. It's the best bang for your buck.
Amazon has 3 royalty tiers.
$0.99 - $2.98 = 35%
$2.99 - $9.98 = 70%
> $9.99 = 35%
That 70% royalty tier is your sweet spot, so tailoring your writing to fitting within that price range is most profitable."