So I have been doing a lot of eBooks for clients lately and many clients began this relationship with so many questions. It made since to take some of these questions to a podcast to bring some clarity to the subject. So let’s dive in!
Hey Guys! Nicole Gabriel here! I hope you are well!
OK, first question might be: “why do I need an eBook?”
I generally would first respond “why not?” Next I would say that it provides credibility as a professional author. Furthermore, it provides diversity to how your message can be received and delivered. Your message can instantly become global as it’s not restricted by shipping and pricing issues. And, of course, with all things covid…It’s a safe digital file.
Every new author has a flurry of questions that surround all things eBook…questions around distribution, ISBN number, how and where to upload a file, and in general, they want to know why it’s so hard to do an ebook when it seems everybody has one. And, of course, everyone wants to know when is the best time to create the eBook or if they launch their printed book or eBook first.
Let me first begin by saying that, if you only produce an eBook, a publisher would never consider you a real author. But if you don’t care what a publisher thinks then you have nothing to worry about here. A publisher always wants you to have a printed book as well as an eBook. This gives you far more credibility as just a printed book author.
Most of my clients already have a printed version of their book and now want to create an eBook. Some wait an undefined amount of time before they produce and eBook and some do it while their printed book is off at the printer for its first production run. There is not really a right time to produce an eBook, as there is always a different marketing strategy.
The professional author would likely produce both a printed and eBook at the same time, but often times the cost associated with all things book can discourage the self-published author from wanting to spend another dime. The initial production of your book can be quite costly and time consuming and it often becomes an after thought.
If I were to advise you as your coach I would always say to do the most top-notch job out of the gate that you can afford…print a hard cover book, get your eBook conversion going as soon as you send the book off for a final print, and develop a marketing strategy so that you are not just simply rolling the books off the moment you have them in hand.
If your goal is to become a best seller, often times the eBook is the greatest tool to leverage that opportunity…selling a minimally priced eBook on Amazon is often a strategy to get that best-seller tag. But, because this is a well-known manipulation technique, selling an eBook for a minimal $.99 with a purchase of many copies from one buyer is often a red flag that you’re after the best seller accolade.
OK, so let’s look at what the conversion process looks like. Many years ago, when I wrote my first three books, I went to Book Baby to have them converted. I was told this was the best service. But, when it came time to do my 3rd book they had made far too many changes to make it a good solution for me. They asked me to remove far too many elements that somehow had become a legal or copyright or other unknown issue. I was asked to remove any competitor information…like references to Amazon or publishing. I was asked to remove publishing logos and ISBN numbers. But, for the fun of it I tried to submit my 4th book and that one nearly blew them up! I was asked to remove 90% of my content! Over the years I had clients submit their books and they were told it was a copyright violation or images where subject to legal issues and a variety of other strange things. There came a point where the books were getting altered far more than they needed to be and they were almost no longer self published.
So, as a book designer, I decided I needed to learn how to convert the books I was already laying out into eBook format. This would not only keep the purity of the book, but it would also allow the files to be in sync with the most current edition of the printed book. I was learning that every time a client wanted to make changes with these big ebook service companies and reprint their book they would submit their file for an updated eBook and be charged a brand new conversion fee. It just made since that I started doing the conversions for my clients.
In a nutshell, here is what I offer to my clients that I’ve already laid out a book for. I already have the images and layout complete, so it’s a pretty straight-forward conversion. Every time they make changes I can export out a current file for them to upload to their eBook distribution site to update that file as well. So, now that I brought this up…distribution…let’s talk about how this works.
In order to get your eBook out on all the distribution networks, you will need two different kinds of files. Not all eBook distributors take PDF files. Amazon, of course, is its own animal. One of the better eBook distributors I’ve enjoyed working with is IngramSpark (www.ingramspark.com). You probably don’t want to get involved with the print on demand system, but the eBook system is pretty straight-forward.
For every book format you own you will need an ISBN. The eBook, the hard cover book, the soft cover book, and/or the audio book. If you don’t already have an ISBN for your eBook from your publisher then you can get a free one from IngramSpark when you sign up to publish and distribute your eBook. Your eBook will get distributed to the top distribution channels here. Sometimes you have to set up Amazon Kindle or Apple iBook account separately. You can set up a Kindle account direct by going to their website at kdp.amazon.com. Whatever you set up with Amazon you will get paid for direct. When you sell a eBook they take a small distribution fee. Although, you have to do a bit of manipulation to get a properly laid out file—especially if you’d like linking in the table of contents.
One of the reasons we self publish is for control over our material. When you set up through a distribution channel directly you get the profit minus the distribution fees.
By using me as a Designer you may pay a bit more up front, but each time you need to make corrections or changes to your original manuscript you don’t have to pay an additional fee. The print file and the eBook file are the same file so they are always in sync.
I’d be glad to do both your interior design and eBook layout for you when you are ready. The turn around is far quicker with me (usually within a day or two) than the weeks you might have to wait with another online eBook conversion company. I can help you get the creative for the book cover and the files you need for distribution. I will also provide you with a PDF file with the front cover image as the first page so that you can sell or distribute a PDF eBook from your own website. I also give you an ePub file for the Apple iBook. And, in case you didn’t know this…if you want to give clients a section of our book you can open up the PDF file and go to print but instead of selecting a printer you select print to PDF and you can choose the pages you want to print…these will actually not print, but rather go to a separate PDF file for say chapter 1…or whatever the range is that you select. I’ve had many clients that want to send off a particular chapter to their coaching clients. This is a quick way to do just that.
OK guys…I’ve filled your ears in this podcast. I hope it helped. If you have any further questions please give me a shout. I’d love to work with you on the design, layout, eBook, or even coaching for your book!
As always…wishing you peace, love, and light.
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