One of the most popular topics in the book publishing world is “do I need an eBook” or a printed book?
I talked about this topic in one of my earlier podcasts, but I wanted to bring it up again in a more recent episode with a bit more detail that I’ve picked up since my first podcast on the topic.
It always comes down what you’re trying to do with your book. Have you written a business plan? What is your why behind writing the book? And, what format corresponds with that plan?
If you have a ton of overseas business partnerships, family, or friends that you believe will have interest in your book then it may be best to set your book up as an eBook almost immediately. This will get your book there fast and you can avoid shipping charges.
There are also a few book launch tricks authors have learned too over the years…selling an eBook at launch can increase numbers sold and pop them up to the lead of the charts in their genre. It’s a quick way to get a best-seller tag on Amazon for example. If your goal is to get a best-seller tag for the few days it remains in the top spot then by all means start your book launch with an eBook! It’s a low cost portable option that everyone you know can afford. The eBook is also great for network marketing downlines and to train teams. If you want to get people trained quickly this is a great tool.
So how does an eBook work in terms of layout? Can you easily create one or do you have to hire someone? Generally it’s best to hire someone. You want the eBook to be laid out exactly like the printed version. Honestly, it’s best to layout the printed version then just have your designer convert it over to an eBook. As a book designer myself, I do this with my clients. It’s a pretty seamless approach. There are just a few tweaks that need to be made to do the conversion. But, hiring a 3rd party can get a bit tricker. Let me explain.
I have found over the years that more and more eBook conversion companies are dealing with liabilities and copyright infringement issues so they are getting more strict about what jobs they take on. Before I learned how to do the conversions myself I went to companies like Bookbaby and referred my clients there too. But, as the years went on I found them a bit more difficult to work with. They received my Let’s Get Your Book Published book and rejected it right away. They claimed I had placed too many references to their competitors in my copy. They also told me I had liability and infringement issues in the copy. It took me awhile to catch what they were doing but then I realized that my book about writing books was not one they wanted to take on…unless of course I re-wrote the entire thing. Now clearly I was happy with my book and it was exactly as I wanted it and I was not willing to change it. I looked for other suppliers and ran into much the same with the larger companies. I was either going to be forced to change the content or I would have to keep looking to find a company to to the eBook conversion. I grew frustrated and finally decided it was time to learn how to do the eBook conversion on my own. There was my true gift! I was finally forced to learn. I knew I needed to but now I was forced to. So, off I went to learn how to best layout my book. I learned about fixed and reflowable text and how to best create links and an index. In the end I’m very thankful I was rejected because I learned so much!
Now that I’ve learned how I am able to convert all of my clients books. I lay the books out with the idea they will be converted. But where the greatest challenge comes in is getting the book to Amazon. If you have ever tried to get your eBook on Amazon you know what I mean. Most of the eBook distributors will take a pretty typical eBook file and the book can get uploaded and available for sale, but Amazon is a bit different. There is a special conversion that needs to happen and that’s part of the service I offer.
As self-published authors we don’t want to have to change our manuscripts for our eBooks and we shouldn’t have to. I support self-published authors by not just laying out their books but allowing them to be converted unaltered and as they were written.
The best time to do your eBook really depends on you and your business model and plan for your book, but I think the best time to do the conversion is when you are waiting for your final book to be printed. You’ve generally already worked though many issues you’ve found in the proof book and you are committed to the print job and know there are no errors.
I’ve had conversations with clients in the past who created a word doc and converted it to a PDF and called it an eBook. Sure you can do this, but it’s not as professional. If you are going through that hassle just take a bit more effort to turn it into a printed book and hire a professional designer to give it a proper book cover and do a proper content layout. You can have it prepared for print then decide if you’d like to take it to print or simply convert it over to an eBook.
Just a quick show today, but I always like to leave you with an action item to keep you flowing in the right direction for your book project.
I want you to sit down and define an action plan for your book project. I want you to start thinking through all the reasons why you want to write and the message you wish to share. Now think about how you want to launch your book and how an eBook fits into that plan. Who is your ideal client and what is the best method for reaching them? What action do you want them to have with you once you’ve reached them?
As a publishing coach and using my online book publishing coaching system, I can help you with all phases of the project when you’re ready. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Don’t make your eBook an after thought. Write it in your business plan for your overall book project.
Keep going and keep up! Get clear on your vision and in no time you’ll work yourself into becoming an author.
Let me know what topics you're interested in and we can add those to a show for you to keep you going.
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