On a less attractive note, here's a question that came through on one of the publishing lists I'm on.
"as far as e-books go, what is the best, cheapest converter? And do I have to choose a company that manages my accounts? Can I do it myself and avoid paying someone to do this?"
Let take this one point at a time. I'm confused. Why do you need a "converter"?
You upload the document file to BN or Amazon or Smashwords and they convert it for you. What more can anyone ask for or need? What's the point in using Calibre (or Sigil which I can't make work and both are free) convert it to anything else? Unless you're using InDesign which is overkill for this exercise.
What do you need a company for? What kind of company? I just spent most of last week researching epublishing and I have no idea what this person is talking about. What?
Can you do it yourself? I have no idea. It would have taken a five minute Google search to answer these questions but that was apparently too difficult. BN, Amazon and especially Smashwords (totally gone out of their way) provide FAQs detailing their requirements. Smashwords is very specific on how to do the formatting, they have a free book on it.
Take control of your life, your career and your business and find out what's needed. This is not rocket science. It is annoying and time consuming, I admit that. I admit that just turning the thing over to have someone format it for you and charges $100 looks appealing. Will you ever make that $100 back? Can you afford that $100 in this financial climate? Or will going through the process of self publishing teach you skills you wouldn't have otherwise?
It's been one year since BN opened PubIt to self-publishers. It's only one year.