How To Make The Ebook Route Your Publishing Priority

May 24, 2012 in Articles, eBook publishing

Until Amazon arrived as a major force in book retailing, aspiring writers had few choices when seeking to publish their work. And the choices themselves were fraught with dangers and delays that the publishing trade itself refused to tackle. The result: a lazy and inefficient marketplace dominated by a few powerful publishing organisations and retailers. Just the sort of place to intimidate the novice writer. Big players throw their weight around and rarely have time for newcomers. But ebooks are beyond their control. The internet, computers and ereaders mean that writers can publish to the world at large, bypassing many of the costly and time-consuming procedures associated with the traditional trade.

eBook PublishingA book can be written in weeks, months or years – that’s a matter for the writer alone. Once, however, a manuscript is accepted by a traditional publisher – and that process itself may take many months, and sometimes years – it’s highly unlikely your book will appear for sale in any bookshop for at least six months, and more likely nine. That’s the system. That was the system that faced all new writers. Daunting! Expensive! Off-putting!

If you have a well-written draft for a book, aimed at a specific readership, large or small – but well-defined, then a sensible course for you might be to publish this as an ebook, either independently, or with the help of a dedicated ebook publishing service. In a matter of weeks you will be a published author. There will be no guarantee that you will be a wealthy published author, but your book will be out there, for millions to see . . . and the cost in terms of time and money will be but a fraction of the traditional route.

Ebooks need to be edited and proofread with the same degree of care as their printed cousins. Skimp these necessities and your book will die a death and ruin your reputation. They also need to be formatted so that they read well on ereaders such as the Amazon Kindle and then professionally listed on the internet – a task for marketing specialists Attend to the above items and you will have given your book a decent chance of success. All that’s then needed is additional publicity; a task that you alone can bolster. Don’t pay anyone to do this for you. It’s money down the drain.

How much will all this cost. Not a lot!

If you have the time and ability, editing, with a professional online to guide you as you self-edit, needn’t break the bank. Beware of any service that suggests the more you pay the better the book will be. Nonsense. If you can write then that’s not true. If you can’t . . . you should be taking a writing course; much cheaper, and more productive. Formatting your manuscript and listing the book properly requires a set number of hours, depending on the length and demands of the text, but these too need not be onerous. Once your book is published, according to the deal you strike with your ebook publisher, you should be seeing a return on your investment in weeks. A brilliant and potentially lucrative alternative to the print route.

Ebooks –  How Your Manuscript Is Turned Into An eBook

March 21, 2012 in Articles, Formatting eBooks

Formatting eBooksComputers are wonderful things, but they do have drawbacks: the people who dominate the industry, with a few notable exceptions, have a limitless contempt for the average consumer. These technicians know how their machines function; we, the poor customers, can like it or lump it. And when they attempt to ‘come down to our level’ and offer guidance as to how to make the things work – get anything to work – they assume we already have a knowledge of geek-speak and have hours to spare trawling through semi-literate instructions to find what we want.

Ereaders, the hand-held products like Kindles that display ebooks, present this technical world with additional headaches. We now have a clash of the Titans: traditional publishers with their jargon-ridden world constantly harping back to an era where molten lead was poured into moulds to produce print, and excitable and money-hungry computer-savvy youngsters who relish the thought of bringing readers worldwide into their marketplace. Something had to happen. And it has. Confusion!

Amazon are doing well with the Kindle Publishing programme and if you have your wits about you, and have the time to spare to format your book properly, you should end up with your book listed in the Kindle Store. And your ebook should display reasonably well for readers who buy it.

An expert can usually negotiate the technical hurdles in a matter of hours; a novice should put aside days if not weeks because the learning curve is steep – especially if you want a decent ebook to result.

Many traditional publishers came a cropper when they started to convert their printed publications into ebooks. The quality of the ebooks produced was often appalling. Nowadays the wise ones take great care in only offering ebooks that have been monitored by humans first. Computers proved incapable of spotting the errors that the conversion processes were producing.

Our advice: look around for advice and support, and do look into the DIY route for publishing your book. If you can stay the course, you should see your book online in a week or two. But a more prudent route might be to leave the technical side of things to those who know what’s required. That will leave you free to get on with your next offering, happy in the knowledge that your published ebook is a professional one you can be proud of.

eBook Publishing

March 20, 2012 in

Are you considering writing or publishing an ebook? If so, we can guide you through all the stages.

We assist book writers to publish and sell ebooks online. And Amazon’s Kindle Store should be your priority.

If you have already published a book and would like an ebook version listed and selling on Amazon, in days, again we can help.

Your new ebook will be accurately described and displayed on the Amazon Kindle store, with a special cover photo, a description, and your name, as author, shown. Sales worldwide are possible the moment Amazon accept your files and publish the ebook on the Kindle Store. See the Writers Wanted page for further details about these services.

There is another way to approach ebook publishing however: handle everything yourself – self-publish (we list the things you must do below) and it will only cost you the time involved. Take a look and see if you think that is the approach you would prefer to take. There is little doubt the DIY route will save you money in the short term, but what you need to consider carefully is whether it will cost you money in the months that follow.

To get Amazon to accept a Kindle book for sale you need to:

1. register an account with Amazon on KDP, in your name, so that they pay you directly. You will then become the commercial publisher
2. prepare and send Amazon a computer file for the content (Amazon accept several different file formats), and a graphic image file for the ‘cover’. Amazon will attempt to convert the ebook files you send them to put them in their Kindle Store
3. write a description of the book (the selling copy). This needs to be punchy and literate to work. You enter this on the listing form.
4. choose two appropriate categories for listing on Amazon. This will guide buyers to your ebook’s page
5. set a price for your book that buyers will find competitive
6. choose seven keyword phrases. These should be ones that internet searchers frequently use to find books similar to yours
7. provide a profile about yourself, as the author, and add it to ‘Amazon Author Central’. This will interest potential buyers and is an additional means of promoting yourself and your book(s).
*8. create website pages dedicated to your book where you can, a), describe the book and its history and contents in greater detail, b), link directly to your Amazon listing to increase your chances of boosting sales and c), add further commentary about the book as reviews come in.
*9. prepare a PDF version of your book. This you can then email to interested journalists, friends and colleagues to gain publicity and sales. Use this to boost good reviews on Amazon’s Kindle store
*Items, 8 & 9. Website pages tailor-made for your book, and a PDF for emailing to journalists are essential marketing requirements
Amazon offers general advice on all of the above aspects, except items 8 & 9. Amazon do not charge for their advice so if you are computer-literate and have the time to read their documentation thoroughly you should, in time, be able to convert your existing files and then list your book, at minimum expense. We recommend you visit their website (click on the following link) and learn all about the things you will need to do, and not do. Amazon Self Publishing Help

Ebooks – The New Opportunity for Aspiring Authors

March 20, 2012 in Articles

Publishers worldwide are reeling from the impact ebooks are making on their ‘profession’. No longer can they ignore the fact that Amazon sales of ebooks through their online Kindle stores exceed those of their printed cousins. The ebook is here to stay, and readers and writers alike can savour a refreshed marketplace no longer dominated by outdated procedures and overly expensive distribution channels.

My personal view is that the total reading market will benefit from the ereader and ebook explosion. And printed versions of books will also prosper because, quite frankly, the tactile pleasure of holding a book is one a machine will never replicate. There will always be a place for both formats.

For new writers, ebooks represent a wonderful way of getting published. The process of formatting a draft and submitting the ebook for sale worldwide is relatively straightforward, and Amazon even offer to do it for free! But as with all no doubt well-meaning advice from such able computer technicians, when a layperson attempts to follow the ‘guidelines’ hair starts to fall out and tempers deteriorate. The amount of expert help required needn’t consume too many hours, however, and a professional product listed to maximise appeal should be possible for a fraction of the cost of a printed version. I have no hesitation in saying that writers can now call the shots with their offerings. And not before time.

Author Listing

January 26, 2012 in

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