What ebook production problems are self-publishers facing?

Driven by curiosity (as always), I’ve just spend a large part of my lunch break browsing through various forums[1], trying to get a handle on what problems self-publishers are facing when they are creating their ebooks.

My impression is that, unlike what I expected from the work and challenges I face making ebooks for a traditional publisher, styling and formatting isn’t a major issue—formatting problems seem limited to edge cases. I’m assuming this is because most self-publishers are doing novels with very simple style needs.

The problems people seem to be facing, in no particular order:

Free Kindle version

Giving away the first book in a series is a good idea, right? Right? One fun fact people tend to forget is that Amazon puts a price floor on all self-published ebooks: they can’t cost less than $0.99 unless they come from a distributor (like Smashwords) or are being price matched with other retailers that do allow free books. Of course, I’d hoped that Amazon would have match the price of the Kobo and iBooks editions by now, but since they haven’t I’m going to post free mobi versions of the first book here.

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