These guys are… new. They are super new. It seems to me that they were originally a service just for small press companies that has decided to now try to capitalize on the indie market. Which I have no problem with, given one of the more elusive locations that they distribute to.
So here’s the thing about PublishDrive. They only accept ePub as a file format. If you want to give them a doc to convert, I’ve heard quotes at $180USD for it. It sounds like they are very manual about the whole thing1 so I’d suggest converting it yourself.
Now, I have two options here: Calibre or downloading a premade epub from one of the places I’ve already uploaded my book to. I try not to rely on Calibre too much2 so I opted for the latter. Nice and easy.
Except no. The problems:
- The Smashwords epub has that Smashwords Edition page, so that was out.
- The Draft2Digital epub that I made has links in it that will get stripped out because some stores don’t allow your books to have links to other stores in them.
- The Kobo and Amazon epubs don’t have their required copyright page.
In the end, rather than creating a fourth and fifth file3 for the fifth outlet in Calibre, I just uploaded my Draft2Digital epubs and let them strip out the links.
Ah, the only reason I decided to try them out in the first place. They distribute to a lot of little, non-English markets, which is less ideal for me, an English speaker that knows tourist French and less than tourist Thai. They have exactly one outlet I’m looking for: Google. Since Google shut its doors to indie publishers ages ago so we couldn’t go direct, you pretty much have to use a distributor to get into this location. And since Draft2Digital doesn’t have them, I’m giving PublishDrive a chance.
Because I’ve been with them for less than a month and I’m still waiting for some of these books to process, I can’t say much about payment or extras or anything else. I don’t even know how my sales are because, despite being the first things I uploaded, I still haven’t gotten Syndicate or Return to Wonderland4 distributed.
They are new, so I’ll give them a lot of slack, but it feels really obvious that they weren’t quite ready to make the leap to indie pub at this point. The UI hasn’t been refined and, given what they said when I mentioned it, I think they are using a manual process for just about everything.5 Which is… concerning long term.
But that’s the end of the getting stuff into stores. Next, onto the thing I’m terrible at: Marketing.