Here's an article I wrote for Linux Journal last May on Linux tools that are available for ebook publishing:
Since then, a number of changes have occurred in e-publishing the world, not the least of which is that Amazon.com has become the big gorilla in the epublishing world. In one swift move last month, Amazon positioned itself to be the the number one book epublishing site by announcing the KDP Select program, as a huge incentive for authors to exclusively publish their works on Amazon.
Here's how the KDP Select program works: if you as an author of a Kindle-format book chose to sign up for the program, you
- allow your book to be published exclusively on Amazon.com as a Kindle-format ebook. In addition, you allow Amazon to place your ebook in the Kindle Owner's Lending Library.
- In return, Amazon will give you a royalty for each copy of your book that is borrowed, in addition to receiving normal sales royalties. To jump-start the KDP Select program, Amazon set aside $700,000 for lending royalties for January, 2012, and $600,000 for February. They promise to make at least $6 million available for lending royalties in all of 2012.
I expect that Amazon saw a flood of authors decide to accept the terms of granting Amazon exclusive publishing rights for their work in return for the additional exposure and royalties that the Kindle Lending Library will provide.
I know that I jumped ship and dis-enrolled my book, Second Cousins from Smashwords, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Sony, and Diesel. Amazon had already accounted for 95% of my sales anyhow.
Another update from the older Linux Journal post above: Amazon's book uploader seems to no longer need the special OpenOffice template mentioned in article in order to convert cleanly to Kindle format. A plain old OpenOffice or LibreOffice-produced file will work just fine, so long as it has the appropriate hyper-linked TOC and heading definitions.
One of these days I might post a how-to for producing a Kindle ebook.