On this, barely my third day of self-publishing an electronic ebook. I somehow feel qualified to pass on a few tips to anyone thinking of going down that road.
I quickly learned that I should not use lulu.com to build a wee self-contained community, where you can keep your beta customers up to date with future releases, because lulu.com doesn’t tell you anything about the people that bought your book (or if it does, I could not find the option).
So after a quick look around to see what I could do to prevent that happening with any more people joining the beta programme I found e-junkie. They offer a pretty simple system where they host the digital assets and provide custom URLs to purchases, and have a handy newsletter facility to help you mail anyone that buys a specific product. Hopefully this will work out better.
And because I couldn’t get the lulu.com preview function to correctly generate a 69 page preview, I had already moved my preview over to scribd.com, a ‘social publishing site’ for documents. This seems like a convenient hosting solution for pdfs so I may use this for other pdfs I have littered around my web site. (other alternatives to scribd.com)
So in three days I’ve managed to work my way through 3 different electronic distribution mechanisms.
I still plan on using lulu.com for the final distribution of Selenium Simplified, but at that point I won’t have to support the beta community so it should work out better.
And if you do plan on self-publishing, check out these must read blog posts from Gojko Adzic: