Is Ready for Prime Time? has announced an anticipated end date of January 15, 2018. claims to be a “free publishing platform where authors can create, sell, and promote their books.” The service is owned by Macmillan Publishing and had a previous incarnation as Vook. This blog post will help you discover what that means.

Once you have written your book, there are several steps you must take before it appears as an e-book on the shelves of any of the online retailers. Several rounds of editing are critical. Cover design is becoming more important every day. Formatting the interior and putting the whole together, as well as uploading to the various retailers, can be the most technically challenging pieces. Making sure your book is discovered is a time-consuming process.

What Does

Owl Carrying e-book uploaded via reader clip aspires to be a “one stop shop” free service for authors to upload a manuscript and book cover, design the final product, and publish your e-book to Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, and Kobo. Probably the most valuable service is the tools to support keyword and category choices based on their market research.

Some of my fellow romance writers have lauded the keyword services. From personal experience, I know picking the right category to maximize sales on Amazon can be time consuming. These are welcome features not available on the more commonly used formatting/upload services such as Smashwords and Draft2Digital.

Another feature my fellow authors were happy about was the ability to upload using their system to Google Play, unlike Smashwords and Draft2Digital. The only other way to get your book on Google Play is to upload it directly.

According to this blog post by Jane Friedman, also allows you to set “free” pricing on all retailers, including Amazon. Otherwise it’s a contorted process of setting your book “free” on all other retailers, then contacting Amazon to tell them you’ve found a lower price. They may or may not make your book permafree at that point.

Currently, they also offer higher royalties in some situations than other services.

Promotion services at this time consist of providing an author page.

Is for You?

When we took for a test drive, we discovered:

  • You need to sign up in order to find much of the information.
  • It still has some kinks to work out, although they are frequently making improvements. That means some patience may be required if you hit a spot that isn’t quite working.
  • The website is slick, but is short on easy-to-find tutorials. Information is found by following links in pages. You also need to sign up in order to find much of the information. If you are reasonably tech savvy, you’ll probably be able to work their way through the process. If not, you may feel will be asking you to do things with little explanation of why.
  • Author pages are only as good as the effort you put into them. A knowledge of how to write good book and author copy is still required, as you can see by these examples.

Future Services

Woman on couch with computer editing for will be rolling out “pay for” services to assist with editing, design, etc. in the future. Currently, they are asking their authors to enter and rate the names of the people who have assisted them with cover art, editing, etc. This allows to display a vetted list of author services. has many raving fans. It might be worth experimenting if you’re ready to try something new.

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