Where does one begin to talk about self-publishing? As I have traversed this part of the journey I equate it to walking into the forest and coming to a fork in the road, with a number of sign posts and no other information.
I like to do my research when I begin a project. However, worrying about self-publishing before writing the first book is the same as buying a $1,000 pre-paid gas card, not owning a car, and not knowing how to drive.
So I wrote the book and now came the research. We writer's seem to be a bitter group of people, with numerous opinions. WOW!
I found articles on "Why I Won't Publish With Kindle," followed by "Why I Only Publish With Kindle." "I'm Leaving Smashwords," I Love Smashwords." "Use an Aggregator," "Too Hell With the Aggregator." After reading numerous articles about self publishing, I would be better off taking up art restoration of the Masters.
One of the easiest steps was Calibre, a free download, which allows me to convert word documents into several other formats such as Mobi-Kindle or epub-ibooks and Kobo.
https://calibre-ebook.com/ (I found it to be a great tool.)
KINDLE- Was by far, the easiest to upload and work with, EXCEPT, KDP. KDP signs you up to an exclusive agreement with Kindle for 90 day intervals. It's good if you want to give them the exclusive. They control in excess of 75% of the marketplace, and it is good for delving into the self publishing if one is intimidated by the process.
I admit it here, I am a control freak, and wanted to know about all the different platforms which are available.
When starting the process with Kindle, there is a box that can be checked that allows the writer to decline KDP, but be warned, you're on your own. Marketing is up to you, and there are no free books to give away. That being said, after we uploaded to Kindle, onward and upward.
The next was B&N Nook, no problem. Uploaded, and a few days later it was up and published.
Next was Kobo, and here we have a glitch. https://www.kobo.com/writinglife
Followed there instructions, and it says that the book is in the process of publishing, but that is where we come to the mystery. At the writing of this entry, Kobo is indicating that it is still uploading the book for the last 5 days, which is unusual. I have contacted Kobo twice, and they have not responded to either of my emails. Unlike Kindle, or B&N, they are questionable at best.
ibooks is without a doubt, the most thorough as far as verifying all of your uploaded personal information, and is also very easy EXCEPT you need to own an Apple Laptop 10.10 or better. If not they will direct you down the road to an aggregator.
Enter stage left, Smashwords. They have over a 100 page "HOW TO" but for the hell of it, we skipped it, easily registered, uploaded the book, only to have an email come back that basically says, "Congrats you uploaded the book incorrectly," and redirected us to the necessary areas for correction.
I will continue to keep this part of the journey updated as we meet the necessary requirements for each. My general opinion is that with patience, I control my outcome. Frustrating, sure at times it is, but another part of this process. I will not be intimidated into believing I have no control.