eBooks – Creation and distribution

An electronic version of your book (eBook) is a necessary stage in the book publishing process. eBooks have a wide range of benefits for independent authors so let’s take a look.

First, it is very easy to purchase and download eBooks and they are delivered almost instantaneously and are available for reading all from the comfort of your home if desired. There is no travelling to the bookstore or ordering online and waiting for delivery, nor the postage cost associated with delivery.

The fact eBooks are stored on device or computer means they are environmentally friendly as no trees are needed for manufacturing the eBook like there is for the printed version. The other obvious benefit is that eBooks are portable and user friendly without heavy weight in a bag or inconvenience when travelling. Fonts in eBooks can be resized, making it easier to read for people who need a larger font size due to any sight impaired disability. They are easy to handle compared to the various sizes and thicknesses of physical books making it even easier to access and enjoy.

ebook-image-png-1eBooks nowadays offer valuable bonus and external links for further information. The file themselves are searchable meaning you can access specific content within the file without having to manual search through the physical pages. They can be made to be interactive with the inclusion of video, audio and other animations which enhance the message or story for the reader.

We are in the content age; it is just flowing everywhere which means we can find eBooks on every possible subject, fiction and nonfiction. Some cost, some are incredibly cheap and some are even free. Considering non-fiction eBooks are about sharing knowledge means it is not sensible to evaluate the retail price of an eBook relative to the word or page count. The price should be determined by the information offered, its relevance, and the uniqueness of the information.

eBooks are fantastic promotional tools to the physical book and quite often during pre-sales campaigns they are used as added value when purchasing the printed version. eBooks are now a critical part of the new age of publishing, and while printing hard copy books is still an essential part of the publishing journey, releasing your eBook meets the needs of a growing audience and will undoubtedly give you more selling opportunities.

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After countless hours of research and testing various platforms, InHouse Publishing is dedicated to maximising the value and promotional opportunities available with the world leader in book selling – Amazon. We asked ourselves the question: does having our authors’ books on multiple eBook platforms mean a greater chance of success? The answer is no; the key has always been marketing. It doesn’t matter how many platforms your book is available on if it isn’t being promoted effectively. So many other eBook publishers are looking at multiple platforms, but do they understand the marketing process and the industry trends? InHouse Publishing is well and truly established in the new content age, where technological developments occur daily.

Publishing eBooks has become so easy that the market is swamped and it shows, as independently published eBooks hold around 30% share of the market. With more eBooks being published than paperbacks and price points getting increasingly lower, we recommend that you treat your eBook as a marketing tool to build credibility, interest in the hard copy version, and generate organic interest on Amazon with the aim you can get highly ranked. We suggest that you do not look at your eBook as a standalone product specifically, but more as an add-on to the overall vision – after all, the royalty return is nowhere near the return  available through physical book sales, so it is important to approach the promotional aspect of eBooks in an integrated way. Our eBook module is focused on setting up your Kindle account and ensuring the eBook is adaptable to the Amazon reader network.

EBOOK CREATION

ebook-image-jpg-2The eBook version of your independently published book is a standalone product that can be marketed differently to the hard copy. It also requires its own unique ISBN, separate from the paperback.

It takes approximately two weeks to create the eBook file from your approved print files. It then must be validated and checked by our team and yourself. We then action the distribution process so that within a day or two of approval, your eBook is available internationally at a click of a button.

There are no ongoing costs unless promotional assistance is requested. Payments are made directly from Kindle to your listed bank account at their specified intervals.

If your book fits into the following styles then a standard eBook is constructed using free-flowing text:

  • Your book is mostly text
  • Any images are small and sit between paragraphs, are not text-wrapped

This allows the eBook to be read on any eReader device and for the font size and style to fit each reader’s preferred reading preferences. There is no set pagination with this style due to the flexibility to change user settings on the chosen device.

But what if you have a book full of images, graphs, tables, and other heavy design elements? No problem! We create what is called a ‘fixed layout’ eBook. Fixed layout eBooks are ideal for comics, art books, cookbooks, and any books with background colours, text wrapping, and/or multi-column formatting. The pages of the eBook file are as the format states – fixed. Content will not flow across the page and it has less flexibility than the free-flowing files. However, most eReader devices will allow the reader to zoom in and out on each fixed page.

EBOOK METADATA

ebook-image-jpg-3Metadata is, in simple terms, all the relative information related to your book. It is an essential part of the eBook process as it directly relates to the marketing and promotion of the eBook. Metadata needed for your eBook includes: author biography, genre, blurb (back cover text), and keywords relative to your book for search engines.

Here are some ideas about preparing your metadata:

  • Research Amazon and look for books that are in similar genres to yours. What categories are they in? Review the book descriptions. See what words they’ve used to describe their books.
  • Using www.googlekeywordtool.com you can find words that online users and readers enter when they are searching for something.
  • Use the same metadata for all promotional and marketing efforts that you have for your eBook listing. Be consistent.

EBOOK SALE PRICES

There is no right answer here but we can learn from the ones who have succeeded previously. eBook prices are fluctuating constantly, so do some research:

  • What are eBooks selling for on different platforms today?
  • Which eBooks have done well historically?

Many believe that higher prices reflect the quality and value of their efforts, but be aware that there are a high number of authors achieving high levels of success when pricing their eBooks from $0.99c – $1.99. Authors are choosing to give up the higher royalty percentage in exchange for a larger number of customers.

ebook-image-png-2You may be thinking, ‘$0.99c?! Are you serious?’ Well, before you close the door on setting a low price, consider the following; pricing your book low encourages impulse purchasing. If you are an unknown author it may be the answer to building a relationship with your potential true fan base. Also, to reach the pinnacle of the Amazon rankings, you need volume, not cash flow. The more eBooks sold, the higher Amazon will rank you. Setting your price at a low sales figure could very well gain you high visibility.

No matter what you decide when pricing your eBook, it’s important to continue to market and promote your eBook. Also consider the percentage of sales you’ll receive from the retailers when pricing your eBook. To access the most up-to-date list of the KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) royalty rates, visit https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A301WJ6XCJ8KW0.

To receive 70% royalty rates, you need to price your eBook between USD$2.99 and USD$9.99. Anything else attracts a 35% royalty rate. The ‘sweet spot’ for eBook pricing is roughly USD$2.99; it attracts a 70% royalty rate for you, the seller, while being a coffee-priced bargain most readers won’t blink twice at (which means more potential sales). Ultimately, your eBook price is yours to decide.

MAKING CHANGES

If you require a change to the price, description, genre listing, or keywords for your eBook (metadata changes) once your eBook has been activated, these can be processed for a charge of up to $50 per occurrence – however this will need to be examined on a job-by-job basis. Any changes to your eBook’s content for editing purposes – to correct typographical or punctuation errors – can be made by our team, but do incur higher charges. More significant changes to the content or cover will require a new submission and ISBN number, as the book is now considered to be a second edition.

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