Joel Friedlander over at The Book Designer has posted a video interview with Brian Felsen of BookBaby, a company that has recently entered the eBook distribution space. Like Smashwords, it caters to indie authors, and it has experience dealing with indie artists. Its sister company CDBaby is successful in the indie music space.
How does BookBaby differ from Smashwords?
- Rather than taking a cut of each sale, it charges an upfront fee of $99/title, and a catalog fee of $12/title/year thereafter. If you expect your book to sell well, this could be a cheaper route than Smashwords in the long run.
- BookBaby converts your Word file to an eBook by hand, rather than using an automated process like meatgrinder. If your book is straight text with few or no images, the conversion is included in the $99 fee. If it contains a lot of images, or elements like tables and graphs, you’ll have to pay extra.
- For an extra $39, it will convert PDF, InDesign, and Quark files to eBook format.
- Much faster reporting and payment (weekly).
- It doesn’t have its own storefront.
BookBaby also offers services that Smashwords doesn’t, such as cover design and author websites. You pay extra for those; they aren’t included in the $99 fee.
At the end of the interview, Brian reveals that BookBaby is looking into offering POD services. It will have to offer distribution options comparable to those of LSI and CreateSpace to be successful with that venture.
If I wrote mainstream fiction (rather than niche fiction for a small market), I’d consider BookBaby. Over the life of a book, it could be cheaper to pay the $99 + $12/year than to pay a commission on each sale.
The interview is definitely worth watching, so head on over to The Book Designer.