I first heard about this publishing website through a Facebook sponsored post. The post invited authors to publish for free and since I was looking for a platform like Smashwords to republish my first book - which was stuck in Kindle Select - and my upcoming book, I clicked on the advertisement and took a look around.
Back then it was somewhere in May 2017, my first book was trapped until the middle of July and all I could really do was sign up and use the "track my amazon book" feature.
I started receiving emails from pronoun then and to tell the truth, even when I had absolutely no sales, Pronoun always congratulated me on how well I was doing... mmmh.
So, anyway... as I waited for my book to come out of the Kindle Select trap, I started researching the real intentions of Pronoun. As far as I could tell after reading blogs and forums, is that Pronoun (owned by McMillan) is a platform that right now is trying to gather data. My guess, like some others, is that at some point they will start charging for their service, but they aren't doing it yet. Pronoun also had horrible reviews a few years back, but starting in 2016 all I could see were wonderful reviews.
Is it worth it? So far my experience has been amazing. I know they may decide to charge in the future, but I also have a TeachersPayTeachers store and they charge a monthly fee and also a fee/% for every item you sell. It's still worth it. What I think is that, once Pronoun decides to charge, it will be reasonable... or at least I'd like to think so.
Now, the best thing about Pronoun is the interface. It is a pleasure to upload a book:
First of all, it has this amazing overview of all that you have to do when publishing a book. It is divided in "Create Your Book" and "Sell Your Book" and they take you by the hand every step of the way.
As you can glance from the picture above, the blue column is just the name of your book (and if it has a subtitle) and also, is it a part of a series? You also get the chance to add collaborators, if you have them.
The green column walks you through the cover.
If you've been following my blog, you'll know that
a cheap way to get a cover - if you don't have much
of a budget - is to go to Fiverr.
After using Fiverr artists more than once, I now
realize that paying for the photoshop file is useless.
Instead, I pay $5 for the design and $5 for the back
cover. Whenever I go to createspace to build my
paperback, I use my full cover file. Pretty awesome!
Talking about a the print book, there's also a place
to link your createspace book (using the ISBN) to your
digital book. Again, awesome.
But, I'm ahead of myself.
Once you upload your cover on Pronoun, it will show you similar book covers of books that are on our same genre. Cool, right?
On this green column you take care of your cover and
also your ebook file. This is where it gets really amazing...
This is one of my favorite features on Prounoun. It lets you choose between six different layouts for your book. If you go through the formatting instructions you need to follow to upload a file, you don't need a title page or table of contents. Just make your Chapter Names a Header and that's it. Pronoun will take care of the cover and table of contents, copyrights and author's page.
Make sure to see how your file will look with the layout you choose. For example, for my book "The Recruit" I wanted a subtitle for every title and not all of the layouts included that. I had to be careful.
Still, these layouts make your book look more professional.
You then choose your book categories. Pronoun is great with this, too, because they guide you as you are typing what you think your categories should be, they also give you an idea of how popular the category is and a sample of books that fall into that category so you can compare your book to other books out there.
After you're done with that, you get to choose 7 search terms. They also help you with that as you are typing.
Another main feature I like about Pronoun is that it lets you offer your book for free EVERYWHERE, including amazon. In case you are not familiar with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), it is forbidden to set your sell price for free. I now know that the first book in a series should always be free (or it's really recommended), and the only way to make it free on amazon is to have it for free on other retailer websites and then beg amazon to change it's price to free.
With Pronoun, you can do this directly.
They also asign an ISBN to your book (amazon will still assign their ASIN number to your book later). If you have purchased your own ISBN, then you can enter it on this screen.
Here's another cool feature... setting your release date! I don't know about you, but having my book be available for pre-order looks cool. It almost makes me feel like I'm a real author! (and I am, but you know what I mean).
If you upload your book you can choose to release it right away or set a date in the future. If you do that, then your book will appear for pre-order in all of the retailers you are distributing your book.
Finally, after agreeing to their policies, you choose the retailers you want to include in your distribution. Be careful not to duplicate your book. If you'r book is already in any of these websites, you need to unpublish it first. Once it's completely off the listings, you can distribute it via Pronoun. I did that with "The Recruit" and it took a few days for the changes to work.
You can also choose to distribute it through OverDrive and Bibliotheca. I know my brother uses OverDrive a lot and the only drawback is you only get reported the number of copies they buy from you. You never see how many people actually download your book.
Right after you click on the "Publish" button, you'll get an email from pronoun listing when they predict each retailer will have your book available and once they do, you will receive an email each time it is available anywhere:
Overdrive and Bibliotheca take a loooong time to be ready.
So, what do you think of Pronoun? Ready to give it a chance?
Once I have more information on how sales are displayed and how my books are doing, I will follow up in a post later in the year.
Good luck! You're all awesome!