Should I ‘just’ do an ebook? We’re far from a paperless environment Traditional publishers still have value
Wrong reasons Rejected by agents and publishers Traditional takes too long Traditional is too complicated to learn Self-publishing print is too costly http://www.publishyourownebooks.com/should-i-just-do-an-e-book/
Right reasons You’re passionate about your story. It’s been edited almost to a fault, by other than you. You are a serious writer, seeking to make a living as an author. http://www.publishyourownebooks.com/should-i-just-do-an-e-book/
Right reasons You’re positive this is as good as you can be. The book accentuates your brand or name. You want to reach out to the world. You have a well-honed marketing plan. You’re willing to bust your butt to self- promote http://www.publishyourownebooks.com/should-i-just-do-an-e-book/
“You don’t resort to e-publishing. You proactively choose it.” - Hope Clark
kdp.amazon.com 1.Open account on KDP 2.Company information (incl. tax) 3.Book details 4.Book categories (two) 5.Cover image 6.Upload file (DRM or not?) 7.Choose rights (worldwide) 8.Lending or not?
6. Upload file WordWord (.doc or.docx) ePubePub (.epub) Plain TextPlain Text (.txt) MobipocketMobipocket (.mobi or.prc) HTMLHTML (.zip,.htm, or.html) Adobe PDFAdobe PDF (.pdf) Rich Text FormatRich Text Format (.rtf) https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/help?topicId=A17W8UM0MMSQX6
Content Distribution That is, the four ways to get your ebook sold & delivered
Content Distribution 1.Direct to customer 2.Direct to retailer 3.Via a distributor / aggregator 4.Via a “traditional” publisher
1. Direct to customer High profit margin Direct contact with readers Retain all rights Customer service burden Credit card processing fees Tough to attract traffic
2. Direct to retailer Good profit margins Exposure to millions of readers Real time reporting Retain rights Time consuming to manage Not all retailers offer direct option Distributors may offer higher margins
3. Via a distributor Good margin Time-savings Access to multiple retailers Aggregated reporting and analytics Retain rights Delayed reports from retailers 7.5-10% commission on retail price
4. Via a publisher Advance, access to B&M retail Editing and revision Marketing and promotion, prestige Low royalties Reporting delayed up to six months Limited distribution Lose rights Can go out of print quickly
Ebook aggregators… …to deal with multiple workflows for multiple stores.
Ebook aggregators Instead of publishing directly to store Interface between author and stores Some offer print-on-demand and delivery, so not only ebooks http://www.publishyourownebooks.com/ebook-aggregators-comparison-chart/#ixzz1wzg4u8rl
Why ebook aggregator? If non-US resident (e.g. B&N requires US bank account / tax ID) Don’t have the hardware or software required to publish your ebook directly (e.g. Apple requires a Mac). Don’t know how to technically format the manuscript (e.g. to epub validation) http://www.publishyourownebooks.com/ebook-aggregators-comparison-chart/#ixzz1wzg4u8rl
About Smashwords Global ebook distributor –Authors, publishers, readers and major ebook retailers Ideal for novels, personal memoirs, poetry, short and long-form fiction, and non-fiction.
About Smashwords Readers: one purchase, multiple formats. 40,000+ authors globally 125,000+ ebooks published You control the pricing, sampling and marketing
About Smashwords Receive 85% of the net sales (Through Smashwords.com) 70.5% for affiliate sales Earn 60% of the list price for sales through retailers –Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo and the Diesel eBook Store, etc.
Smashwords Features Consolidated sales reporting Centralized metadata management ISBN management Ebook conversion (9 formats) Updates to book and metadata Marketing and selling tools
Smashwords Overview Upload –Author/publisher uploads a Microsoft Word file –Free conversion to 9 ebook formats –Ready for immediate sale online Distribute –To major retailers Profit? - Receive 85% of net = 60% list from major retailers
Four steps to publish through Smashwords (With many teensy tiny steps in between… the devil’s in the details)
Assuming you have a Word- formatted manuscript… … you’ll have to fix it.
Workshop Format a Word manuscript for publication on Smashwords
My first project In your project files, look for the Word document called manuscript.doc This document was prepared for print publication – pre-layout (so not stuck in an InDesign file) Our goal is to “fix” it for publication on Smashwords.
Overview 1.General notes on formatting A) Making Word Behave B) Formatting C) Building Navigation D) Front Matter E) The End of Your Book 2.Post-formatting 3.Uploading Your Book to Smashwords 4.How to Market Your Book
Steps… Step 1: Make a back up Step 2: Activate Word’s Show/Hide Step 3: Turn off Word’s “AutoCorrect” and “AutoFormat” features Step 4: Eliminate text boxes Step 5: The Nuclear Method Step 6: Unify Manuscript around Normal paragraph style Step 7: Managing and modifying paragraph styles, fonts Step 7a. How to choose the best paragraph separation method (first line indent or block?) Step 7b: How to implement your chosen paragraph separation method Step 7b-a: How to define a proper first line indent Step 7b-b: How to define trailing “after” space for block paragraphs Step 7b-c: Special tips for poetry, cookbooks and learning materials Step 7b-d: How to define proper line spacing Step 8: Check your normalized text Step 9: Why you should never use tabs or the space bar for indents Step 10: Managing paragraph returns Step 11: Managing hyperlinks Step 12: Designating chapter breaks, page breaks, section breaks Step 13: Working with images Step 14: Text justification Step 14a: Centering text Step 15: Managing font sizes Step 16: Style formatting, symbols and glyphs Step 17: Headers and footers Step 18: Margins, page sizes and indents Step 19: Add the Heading style to your Chapter headers (optional) Step 20: Building navigation into the manuscript Step 20a: Creating the NCX Step 20b: Creating the linked Table of Contents Step 20c: Advanced link building (Footnotes, Endnotes) Step 20d: Troubleshooting and testing Step 21: Front matter Step 21a: Blurbs (optional) Step 21b: Title and copyright page (required!) Step 21c: Add a Smashwords license statement below copyright page Step 22: The end of your book Step 23: Preparing your cover image Step 24: Review requirements for Premium Catalog distribution Step 25: How to upload your book Step 26: How AutoVetter works Step 27: After you publish – check your work Step 27a: Check for EPUBCHECK compliance (important!) Step 28: Read the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide (how to market any book) Step 29: Read the Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success (best-practices of successful authors)
Ebooks are different from print books Don’t try to make your book look exactly like print.
Ebooks are different from print books Ebooks look different on every device. Most ereading applications allow you to change font face, size, line spacing.
So stop trying to format for print. Or, fix manuscripts that were formatted for print…
Oh Word… I’d like to have a word with you. Word’s word processing facilities are extensive and useful However, current trade ebook formats are still pretty primitive Word inserts glyphs (visible and hidden) and other document objects that make conversion difficult, if not impossible.
Step 1: Make a back up Save as… Do this often (use date as marker) Disable “track changes”
Step 2 - Activate Word’s Show/Hide You want to see all paragraph returns, extra spaces, tabs, field codes etc. Basically, any hidden formatting.
Step 6: Normal paragraph style Many pre-set paragraph styles in Word Change everything to normal to avoid inconsistent formatting Normal becomes your standard style; any styles you create are based on the normal style from here on.
Step 7: Managing paragraph styles & fonts What you see is (not always) what you get. If the underlying paragraph style is e.g. 12pt Arial –And you change it manually to 14pt –The underlying paragraph style is still 12pt Arial… …which makes conversion unpredictable.
Step 7a. Best paragraph separation method (first line indent or block?) First line indents (most fiction, narrative non-fiction) Block paragraphs (most non-fiction)
Step 8: Check your normalized text Everything in normal paragraph style? Fix issues that cropped up.
Step 9: Never use tabs or space for indents HTML treats whitespace differently Most ebook formats are based on HTML Manage indents with paragraph style, not with tabs/spaces.
Removing tabs / spaces used as indents Manually: very time-consuming. Text replacement: –Ctrl+H –Edit: Replace –“Find what” - ^t –“Replace with” – nothing
Step 10: Managing paragraph returns ¶ Pilcrow (¶ symbol) –Indicates a paragraph return (or new line) Don’t use multiple ¶s to –force page breaks / arrange text. Can create blank pages Can create gaps in text Generally: never use more than 4 ¶s
Step 11: Managing hyperlinks Can point outside your book or to sections inside your book Consider hyperlinks & touch devices.. No affiliate links (violation of ToS)
Step 12: Chapter, page & section breaks Only PDF and RTF conserve page breaks Enter a ¶ or two before and after break –For formats that don’t conserve page breaks
Step 13: Working with images Never insert images as links
Step 13: Working with images Plain text doesn’t support images Use.jpg or.png images Manuscript can’t be larger than 5MB
Step 13: Working with images No floating images –Select “in line with text” –Then “center” image
Step 14: Text justification Left-justified generally works best Centred works well (esp. title/copyright page) Word’s “justify” command might cause PDF problems
Step 14a: Centering text Create a custom style for centered text –Avoid just using the “center” option Base this custom style on normal
Step 16: Style formatting, symbols and glyphs Graphical touches used to separate sections of book. Small, simple black images. http://geekweekend.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/glyphs.gif
Step 17: Headers and footers Remain in PDF and RTF, disappear on all others Recommend to remove Definitely remove auto-page numbering
Step 18: Margins, page sizes and indents Use Word’s standard margins for printing 8.5x11 inch or A4? (60% US customers)
Step 18: Margins, page sizes and indents If indents are hard to manage, set indent in paragraph settings –Select all text –Paragraph -> Left: and Right: indentation to 0
Step 19: Add heading style to chapter headers (optional) Some formats (e.g. EPUB, MOBI) automatically insert a page break before each heading style Also helpful to generate a table of contents
Step 19: Add heading style to chapter headers (optional) Apply heading style only to single sentence Never apply heading style across more than two paragraph returns (¶) Don’t use heading style for body text, front matter, table of contents
NAVIGATION Building navigation into your ebook – since you can’t literally turn pages.
Step 20: Building navigation into the manuscript Primary navigation elements 1. NCX file 2. Linked table of contents (ToC) 3. Intra-book links (footnotes/endnotes…)
Step 20a: Creating the NCX This is the table of contents accessible via your ereader. NCX – Navigation Center eXtended –Basically, an XML standard for navigating ebooks –Think “ToC” when you read “NCX”
Step 20b: Creating the linked Table of Contents Not a Word-generated ToC Entails the use of bookmarks hyperlinks Select heading styles to select the text that should appear Page number references irrelevant*
1. Type out your ToC Or select your ToC text via a style –if you’ve been consistently applying Ensure text is in normal paragraph style Don’t add new lines to separate items Only add items you intend to link
Text of chapters in Word Table of contents Chapter 1: PROLOGUE Chapter 2: DEDICATION Chapter 3: PREFACE Chapter 4: ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Chapter 5: FOREWORD 5.1: REFLECTION
These will become hyperlinks Table of contents Chapter 1: PROLOGUE Chapter 2: DEDICATION Chapter 3: PREFACE Chapter 4: ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Chapter 5: FOREWORD 5.1: REFLECTION
2. Insert bookmarks These bookmarks are your targets Places in the book you want to link to Each bookmark has a unique name –Try to use only alphanumeric characters –Don’t use spaces –Make names descriptive (see example)
Step 21c: Smashwords license statement Below copyright page All Smashwords titles are DRM-free Hence, default license statement to minimize accidental piracy Can also use a Creative Commons license.
Smashwords License Statement This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
Step 23: Preparing cover image Recommend: hire a designer –That also understands ebook covers Must be shaped like a book cover Generally 620x1000 pixels Various rules on content of cover –No nudity –No price –No web address (Apple rejects these)
Step 24: Premium Catalogue distribution Standard catalogue distribution is limited Premium catalogue – larger ebook vendors (and often stricter requirements)
Common disqualifiers 1.Book cover missing, doesn’t match dimensions, or missing title & author name 2.Lowercase author names 3.Book description, title in ALL CAPS 4.Poor paragraphing (block vs. indent) 5.Missing an ISBN
Step 25: Uploading book Publish – attach book file and cover file. Pricing –“Reader sets price” (only when purchased through SW) –Price should end in $.99 (Apple) Start the conversion process. SW now checks books for inclusion in Premium Catalogue
Step 26: AutoVetter Analyses book: formatting errors “Printed In” error. Possible copyright error Tabs, space bar spaces, textboxes and tables: critical errors Approved? Ship to retailers once a week.
Step 27: After publishing, check ebooks Check each format for quality Deactivate irrelevant formats (e.g..txt not suited for picture books) EPUB most important format (sent to retailers) –Adobe Digital Editions to check EPUB MOBI format popular for Kindle owners – dont’ deactivate. –Kindle for PC/Mac to check MOBI
Step 27a : Epubcheck compliance For Apple’s iBookstore (very strict) Epubcheck (http://smashwords.com/epubcheck)http://smashwords.com/epubcheck Online validator to help check (http://validator.idpf.org/)http://validator.idpf.org/
Step 27a : Epubcheck compliance Hyperlinks must have http:// Email address must have “mailto(mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org)mailto:email@example.com HTML and styling errors, due to hidden Word- generated content Misidentified image files – e.g. GIF instead of JPEG. Properties error - Examine properties in Word, remove strange HTML characters PlayOrder error – Recreate table of contents
Further reading Gary McLaren. Publish your own ebooks.Publish your own ebooks Mark Coker. Smashwords Style Guide.Smashwords Style Guide David Gaugran. Let’s get digital: how to self- publish and why you should.Let’s get digital: how to self- publish and why you should
Further reading Guido Henkel. Take pride in your eBook formatting.Take pride in your eBook formatting
Further reading eBound. 2011. ‘An introduction to HTML and CSS for EPUB’. Posted 10 June. This tutorial is based on EPUB2, not 3; nonetheless, it covers the basics needed.‘An introduction to HTML and CSS for EPUB’ O’Reilly. 2012. ‘What is EPUB 3? An introduction to the EPUB specification for multimedia publishing’.You can preview it online, but you must create an account on O’Reilly to download the free ebook version.‘What is EPUB 3? An introduction to the EPUB specification for multimedia publishing’
Further reading eBook architects: http://ebookarchitects.com/ http://ebookarchitects.com/ EPUBsecrets: http://epubsecrets.com/ http://epubsecrets.com/resources A list of resources that will help you create your ePUB files. http://epubsecrets.com/ http://epubsecrets.com/resources
Further reading Tallent, J. 2009. ‘Kindle formatting: The complete guide’. Kindle Formatting.‘Kindle formatting: The complete guide’ Kolwalczyk, P. 2011. ‘Creating Epub ebooks with Sigil: #1- getting started’. Teleread. Posted 7 October.‘Creating Epub ebooks with Sigil: #1- getting started’