Sharing Your Digital Content: Beyond the Kindle eBook

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1-rightWhile Amazon’s Kindle ebook is the 800 pound gorilla of online eBook publishing, there are other eBook publishing options to consider.

By making your book available in a variety of formats on a variety of platforms, including Kindle, you have the opportunity to reach more readers and sell more books.

Developing a Publication Strategy to Include Participation in the KDP Select Program

Amazon offers an optional program to Kindle authors called KDP Select. By participating in the KDP Select program, authors are able to participate in Amazon’s revenue sharing program by agreeing to allow their Kindle books to be loaned out to Amazon Prime members.

This also provides Kindle authors the option to offer their KDP Select enrolled books, for free, for five days, during each 90-day contract.

It’s important to realize that in order to participate in the KDP Select program, you must agree to have the digital version of your book available exclusively on Amazon for a full 90 days. This does not exclude you from publishing to other digital platforms after this time frame, it just requires you to be organized and keep track of the dates of your publications.

Keep in mind that when you enroll in the KDP select program, Amazon automatically sets your book up to be reenrolled in the program for another 90 days, once your current 90-day contract expires. That’s not a problem though as you can easily uncheck the auto-renew feature from your KDP dashboard.

Once your 90-day obligation to offer the digital version of your book exclusively on Kindle has been fulfilled, or if you are not planning to list your book in the KDP select program, you can explore and participate in other digital publishing options.

Beyond the Kindle

2-rightIn addition to Amazon Kindle, there are many eBook publishing options available to authors today. Here is a list of some of the most popular eBook publishing platforms:

• Adobe Acrobat: PDF
• Barnes and Noble: Nook
• Apple: iBooks
• Smashwords
• Kobo
PDF – Portable Document Format (Adobe Acrobat)

3-leftAn alternative or additional option for providing a copy of your book to potential readers is for you to offer your book right from your website. You can offer this for free (to members or book reviewers) or for sale.

Another option is to offer a free chapter or two of your book as a way to grow your list of email subscribers. By adding an opt-in form to your website, with a service such as aWeber, you will have the opportunity to build an ongoing relationship with new readers.

Visitors to your site will have the opportunity to enter their name and email address in exchange for a chapter or two of your book.

You can find out more about adding an opt-in form to your site by visiting:

To learn how to add a PayPal button to your site so that you can sell your eBook, visit:

EPUB Format – For Nook and iBooks

Barnes and Noble’s Nook, and Apples iBooks require that your document be converted into the EPUB format. Each of the platforms has their own system and requirements for formatting and uploading your manuscript to their site.

Here’s an interesting article on: How to Make an EPUB File For The iPad, Nook, Kobo & More

Publishing to Barnes and Nobel’s Nook

To prepare your manuscript for Nook, you’ll need to format your book as an .html, .doc, or .txt file. Supposedly the .doc version of the file is the easiest to work with.

Here’s a guide on formatting for Nook that walks you through the process.

Create a PubIt! Account

In order to publish to Nook, you’ll need to create a PubIt account on Barnes and Noble. You can do that by going to: Look for the “Create an Account” link at the top right of the page.

Apple’s iBookstore

Publishing your book for the iBookstore, can be done by PC and Mac users alike using services such as Smashwords, which I introduce below. However, if you do have a MAC, you can download the iBooks Author app, which will allow you to create a highly interactive, multimedia book.

It is extremely easy to use this program and the books are beautiful and engaging. You can then save them in the PDF format or you can publish them to the iBookstore.

When publishing to the iBookstore, you’ll have the option of giving away or selling your books. Take note that there are very strict rules regarding publishing a book to the iTunes store and the rules vary depending on whether your iBook is available for free or for a fee.

The first step to getting your book into the iBookstore is to format the book in EPUB format. There are several tools out there but one of the most popular is Calibre.

Example of a PDF Version of an iBook

4-rightiBooks provide a fantastic format for course materials. To demonstrate this concept for one of my courses, I created a multimedia PDF version of an iBook using the iBooks Author app. Click here to view the example. It is so easy to use the iBooks Author app and the result is equal to books that are designed with programs that take months, if not years, to learn how to use.

You can find out more about this free app for the Mac at:

How to Submit Your Ebook for Publication on iBooks

Publishing your book in the iBookstore is a little more complicated than publishing your eBooks to other platforms. Once you format and publish your book, the last step which you have no control over is, waiting for Apple to approve your publication for the iBookstore.

Hot Tip: One way to get your book to show up on the iBookstore more quickly is to use a 3rd party aggregator such as Smashwords. This won’t allow you to offer the iBooks Author multimedia version, but it will allow you to get your book published to the iBookstore.

You can find a list of approved aggregators here.


5-leftSmashwords is a free, eBook self-publishing platform and an online book store. As an eBook aggregator, Smashwords provides authors with a platform for publishing and distributing their books to numerous outlets.

Authors can upload their manuscript as a Microsoft Word, .doc file, and Smashwords instantly converts the manuscript into multiple eBook formats. The eBooks are readable on any eBook reading device.

Smashwords is an independent eBook publishing and distribution platform, available to any author globally with premium distribution to Amazon Kindle, Apple iBookstore, Sony, Kobo, and other platforms.

6-rightThe founder of Smashwords, Mark Coker, has published several, informative, free guides to eBook publishing and marketing. Scroll down to the resource section below for direct access.

Join in the Conversation

Did you learn something new in this article? Do you have an additional tip to share? Which platform(s) do you publish your eBooks on? Scroll down to join in the conversation in the comments below…

eBook Publishing Resources

Discover another emerging digital publishing site called Kobo at:

Receive a list of cover designers and eBook formatters from Smashwords by sending a blank email to:

Learn How to Publish and Distribute EBooks with Smashwords

Recommended Reading



The Secrets to EBook Publishing Success (Free)
By Mark Coker




8-bookSmashwords Book Marketing Guide (Free)
By Mark Coker




9-bookPublishing eBooks For Dummies
By Ali Luke




10-bookiBooks Author – Publishing Your First EBook: An illustrated guide to creating and publishing multi-touch books with iBooks Author
By Maria Langer



Digital Publishing Online Intensive

D'vorah Lansky
D’vorah Lansky, M.Ed., is the bestselling author of Book Marketing Made Easy: Simple Strategies for Selling Your Nonfiction Book Online. She is also the founder of the Digital Publishing Café, which provides workshops, interviews, courses, and resources to help you produce, publish, and promote your digital content. Connect with D’vorah and receive a collection of digital publishing tips and resources.
D'vorah Lansky
D'vorah Lansky
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  1. Thanks for all this valuable information. I was just on a webinar where they said not to use KDP because you won’t be able to have the book on your own website or any place else for that matter while you are in the program.

    • Toni, what some authors do, including myself, is to publish to the KDP program exclusively for 90 days. Then before the 90 days are up, uncheck the auto-renew subscription for your Kindle book. Then, after 90 days, you can sell your book on Kindle, your own website, Smashwords, Nook, etc. – just as long as you have completed your 90 days of the KDP program and have unchecked the auto-renew box for your Kindle book.

      This is the best of both worlds! Of course, if your book is already on other sites and you want to join the KDP program, you can simply remove your book from all sites but Amazon for the period you are enrolled in the KDP program.

  2. Thanks for doing all the research for this enormously helpful blog. Like many other e-book authors I hadn’t thought of anything beyond the Kindle. Now I will.

  3. This is a fantastic article, D’vorah. Love the resources and books you’ve recommended. I can see I have my work cut our for me.