Okay, so I'm sorry to be so harsh in my intro but I get angry when I see author's setting themselves up to fail. I just ran into two people on facebook and neither of them were in any of the main distribution networks. How is this possible? I know (or hope) that most people here already know all that I'm about to tell them. But in case there are a few people here that are just getting started please listen up.
The first guy mentioned "I just hired a publicist for my book xyz just the latest attempt in getting my writing noticed." My first thought was...did this guy just attempt to run before walking...So I went to Amazon with an intent to find what his ranking was...and it wasn't there. Nor was it on B&N! Further research showed in ONLY available on LuLu and for $17.99. Really? Seriously? So you've spent money to HIRE a publicist and your books aren't even available for purchase (lulu is not enough) and your price is WAY TO HIGH!!
The second guy announced "I've finally taken the plunge and released an ebook". Again I went out to the usual suspects and nothing...so I wrote to him (Maybe my search wasn't very good). "Are you on Amazon, B&N, ibookstore?" His response ... "Should be; I know Smashwords distributes to Amazon, B&N, Sony and Apple, among others." My thougths...So you're making an announcement before you have verified live links? UGHH!! Work with me people.
Okay rant over lets get some real information going.
#1 - If you do nothing else put a kindle version of your book up. It is free. Formatting takes just a little bit of time to learn and if you're not here - you're not really publishing your work. If you don't know how to format...there are many books on this (some free some $0.99 - $2.99) It really is not rocket science.
#2 - Once you have the kindle formatted use Calibre (free software) and make an .epub from it. Post it to B&N using PubIt...Also free and easy to do.
#3 - Open your kindle version in a browser (it is essentially just .html which is read by browsers and copy paste into word (don't use your original word file -as it will have lots of "overhead" you don't want or need for it's own formatting. Then follow the layout guidelines at Smashwords to format it the way their "meat grinder' wants it.
#4 - Post to Smashwords and go to their distribution area and turn off: Kindle, B&N (since you'll do direct) and turn on ibookstore, kobo, diesel, etc.
#5 - Watch your smashwords to see if it gets kicked out by their meatgrinder - if so make the changes they recommend then resubmit.
#6 - Wait until you see links available for your books at Kindle & B&N and then...you can announce to people.
Okay I'm back to work on other things. I plan to continue the "Goodreads thing" tomorrow. This just got me hot enough under the collar that I had to post.