I’m a fairly techie person. I’m on the computer so much, sometimes I think it could be more practical to possess a microprocessor implanted straight into my brain so I wouldn’t need to spend time at my desk constantly. But although I’m pretty expert with the Internet, social media, WordPress, webpages, etc., there are two areas by which I am a bit of a late bloomer. One is mobile technology (I’m going to be talking more about that in a later article). I only just got my first “smart” phone (a Blackberry) less than 6 months ago. And while Sometimes with authors Constantly, the second area that I’m admittedly a late bloomer is the realm of digital format books — eBooks.

Actually, both of these things (mobile technology and gifs books) are very, very much related, and if we authors don’t have a clue about them, and just how they work together, we’re most probably to overlook on half (or even more) of our potential book sales. Actually, a lot of my clients and colleagues happen to be enjoying #1 bestseller status in eBook rankings much more quickly compared to paperback (especially in the united states, where eBooks seem to have caught on faster than within Europe…but we’re making up ground fast).


I did previously think an eBook was just a PDF file that was pretty much a duplicate of your print book. And up until a few years ago, which was true. Then, along came the Kindle, and a totally new market opened up. But THEN, “smart” mobile technology, such as iPhones, iPads and so a number of other formats entered onto the scene. It is a confusing quagmire of technology, and it is VERY easy to get overwhelmed using the options.

So I thought I’d write a VERY basic summary of a few of the practical considerations for eBook creation and distribution for authors who are self-publishing.

Question 1:

Do you need to bother publishing your book within an electronic format for those who have a print edition?


Yes!!! Amazon actually sells MORE Kindle eBook sales than it sells print books! Can you believe I didn’t even own a Kindle until a few months ago? What was I thinking? Besides huge sales volume, the truth is you can charge less and make must more in royalties with an eBook than the usual paperback book.And lastly, eBooks don’t have to be so long as print book to ensure they are salable. I’ve bought some excellent eBooks that couldn’t happen to be more than 30,000 words, but were worth it I taken care of them.

Question 2:

What eBook formats exist? Which format must i use?


There are many formats, but the two you need to be worried about most are Kindle (a bespoke format from Amazon) and also the ePub format, which is often used by ipad and other companies.

books online

Kindle may be the big leader in eBook sales (being around for nearly Five years now), but ipad is doing currently nearly one fourth of all eBook sales at last count. Also, the ePub format is compatible with many other mobile devices besides the ipad. You need to use BOTH formats, in addition to PDF.

Question 3:

Where must i visit set up accounts for an eBook?


My suggestion is by using THREE: Amazon (for Kindle), Lightning Source AND Smashwords for other electronic formats. All of them distribute to totally different channels (the only real overlap I’ve discovered between LS and Smashword Kobo).

For Kindle, visit the Kindle Direct site and obtain started. Make sure to read almost all their guidelines before submitting anything. It’s not necessary to have an ISBN, but I think it is a good idea to have one.

For Lightning Source, visit their home page and download their listing of “CoreSource” Fulfilment partners (there are probably about 60 of these, including MBS Books, Lulu, CyberRead, The Book Depository, Kobo and many more. They deliver eBooks in Adobe Acrobat digital ebook reader, Microsoft Reader, and Palm eBook formats. You may need a new ISBN for the eBook version.

Should you go to the Smashwords website, you will see their distribution partners on their own home page as Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony Reader Store, Kobo and the Diesel eBook Store. Again, you don’t need an ISBN, however i think it is a lot easier to use your own, as it associates your book along with you like a publisher, and not with Smashwords.


Question 4:

How do I get my book into gifs for Kindle and ePub? Will i just upload my PDF of my print book?


Nope. Each company has their own formatting guidelines and it’s EXTREMELY important you follow them. If formatting isn’t your “thing” someone will help you ready your book for gifs. Smashwords may even give back a summary of suggested formatters, who’re all quite reasonably priced.

The Kindle Direct website is a little confusing (I believe it is because their gradually updating their information), but when you hunt around it enough, you may have a of suggested places where you can get the book formatted for Kindle. The one I’ve been using is known as “LiberWriter” (LOVE the name!) at http://liberwriter.com/. You can look at them out for free, after which if you wish to use their services, it’s $25 to make use of their do-it-yourself conversion, and $50 to have them format and convert for you personally. Additionally they actually react to personally to customer support requests (always a plus).

Question 5:

Let’s talk about money. How do I price my book, and what kind of royalties will I receive per sale?


The short answer to how to price your book reaches LEAST 50% LESS than your print version. So, in case your print book costs $15.95, then price your eBook around $7.95 or less. If, however, you use this book more or less like a promotional tool (as opposed to a proper “book”), consider selling for as low as $0.99.

Regarding royalties, it goes like this:


Wholesale compensation = 60% of retail (when in love with sites apart from their very own)

Example: if your eBook is selling for $7.95, the author would get $4.77.

Whenever your eBook comes Around the Smashwords site, you get 85%. In other words, if your eBook is selling for $7.95, the author would get $6.76.

Lightning Source

LS take 7.5% obtained from net (quite simply, the writer gets 92.5% of net sales). Net is calculated by taking the list price and subtracting the discount you are giving the distributor. For example, if your eBook is selling for $7.95 and wholesale discount is 50%, net world be $3.98, and also the author would get $3.68. Obviously, you can set your discount at a reduced rate wholesale discount in order to acquire a higher profit (example: at 30% discount, you would receive $5.14).


You can get up to a 70% royalty rate from Kindle, minus “delivery” costs. Deliver costs are in accordance with your quality. On Amazon.com, the delivery cost is $0.15/mb. So, if your eBook that’s selling for $7.95 is 5mb in size, your royalty would be: $7.95 X 0.70 = $5.57 – (5 X $0.15) = $4.82.

NOTE: to qualify for a 70% royalty your Kindle retail price must be between $0.99 and $9.99. If it is higher or lower, you are limited to 35%. This means that you will can even make More income selling your Kindle at $9.99 than you would should you be selling it at $18.99, and you could possibly sell a lot more Kindle versions of your book if you price it as little as is reasonable. For example, I make no more than $5.00 per print copy of my book that sells at $24.95, but I make almost $7.00 on my small Kindle sales which are priced $9.99.

ALSO: The 70% royalty isn’t valid in most countries. If you choose 70% and your Kindle sells to a person who not reside in one of the participating countries, you’ll receive 35% for those sales. It’s valid in countries such as US, UK, Canada, Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, Switzerland, and many more. The 70% royalty isn’t valid (at this moment) for sales designed to residents of the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand and many other countries. See Kindle Direct for the latest listing of sales territories that qualify for the 70% royalty.

Please note, these prices and calculations are correct as of this writing, and could have changed since that time.

The important thing idea with eBooks is to get your book OUT in as many formats, and in as numerous distribution channels you can. Ensure that links to where people can buy these products is very visible and simple to find on your website.

I really hope this short introduction has given a bit more information about the practical why, where and how of eBooks. There is lots more to talk about, especially steps to make probably the most of your eBook format and how to market it. But, we’ll save that for another day.

I would greatly welcome to hear about your own experiences, so please LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW or drop us a line via my website contact page to let me know what you’ve learned on your own eBook adventures.

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