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Should Indie Authors Try Pronoun Distribution?

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If you’ve been riding the self-publishing wagon for some time, you may be familiar with the eBook distribution service Pronoun. Launched in 2015 as a platform for self-publishing authors, it was acquired by Big 5 publisher Macmillan in May 2016. We tried the service, and it came with all sorts of perks.

Pronoun distributes eBooks to Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Google Play, and it does not charge for services, nor does it take cuts of eBook sales. After retailer companies take their 40-some percent, authors keep the rest.

The company’s services include a marketplace offering professional assistance with various aspects of publishing, a ranking of relevant eBook category options based on current competitiveness, keyword recommendations based on popular searches, and MOBI and EPUB files for personal distribution.

Other advantages encompass 70% of royalties for eBooks sold through Amazon for $2.99 and under, and 65% for eBooks $9.99 and over, as opposed to KDP’s usual 35%. With Pronoun, authors can also make their eBooks free at any time, pick and choose which retailers to sell through, and send simultaneous updates to multiple retailers (e.g. copies sold, total sales, estimated earning etc.).

At this point you’re probably thinking, how does a company of this nature survive without charging its authors or taking sale cuts? Pronoun not only is backed by Macmillan’s money, but it also works with enterprise publishers; this way, the company is able to be author-driven and provide free services.

There are, however, a couple of potential drawbacks. The sole payment option possible through Pronoun is PayPal, although we must say it is easy to get money through PayPal. Unlike book design templates for Word or InDesign, Pronoun does not provide print-ready files. Lastly, if their free ISBN is used, Pronoun will be listed as the publisher, which is why it is advised to purchase a personal ISBN.

For more info, interviews with Pronoun representatives have been released on janefriedman.com and selfpublishingadvice.org. Though the platform may not be everyone’s best fit, we found it good and convenient, and we recommend exploring it further.    


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