“Selling” for free
I had a client ask me recently why you can’t price an ebook as free on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform. The author wanted to promote her first book by giving it away — she’d been told that was the best way to make a splash.
I told her that you CAN “sell” your ebook for free on Kindle Direct Publishing — they just don’t make it easy. And it often isn’t a good idea.
Why don’t Amazon make it simple to set the price of a KDP ebook to $0.00? Continue reading Free for all: giving your ebook away on Amazon
Last month I discussed how to clean up your manuscript to prepare it for ebook conversion. This time I’m going to be looking at how to do the same thing with images.
There’s one big difference, however: where the advice that I gave you about getting your text squeaky clean was equally valid for preparing to convert your words to either print or ebook format, these suggestions are ebook-only.
What’s the difference?
Well, in either case, you’re going to start by finding the perfect picture to go with your words. You’re going to crop the picture (cutting out any extraneous bits) and enhance it (or get someone who knows how to do so) so that it looks beautiful.
However, there are two enormous differences between the image files you want to use in an ebook and ones you’re going to get printed on paper:
In a print book, color is expensive, while in an ebook beautiful color costs (essentially) the same as black and white.
On the other hand, in print, you want the image file that goes off to the printer to be as high quality (that is to say, large) as possible, while in an ebook, every kilobyte costs you (I’ll explain how below).
Continue reading In the Picture: Prepping Images for Your Ebook
This is the second in my series of blog posts about ebook creation. It was originally posted on Joel Friedlander’s wonder resource site, TheBookDesigner.com.
Last time I talked about just what an ebook is — a website in a box. Ebooks come in a number of flavors, but for the purposes of this discussion I’m going to stick with the most common and most malleable format of ebook, the ePub file that is the basis of all of the major retailers’ ebook offerings.
There are four basic ways to create an ebook (that is, an ePub file):
- From scratch
- Saving from a word-processing or page-layout application into ePub format
- Using a conversion app or online service
- Hiring a designer
The trade-off among these methods involve quality, time, and price. As the old saying goes, you can generally pick two. In order to get all three, you’re going to need to become an ebook maven yourself, which will take a fair amount of time, but which will allow you to control all of the variables yourself. Let’s look at the options, and you can see whether that’s the road you want to take. Continue reading 4 Ways to Create an Ebook
Recently, I was honored to have been invited to post on Joel Friedlander’s The Book Designer on the subject of ebooks — a subject I love talking about, having been designing ebooks since 2010. (In this industry that makes me practically an old-timer.) This is the first of a monthly series of posts on the subject. It was originally released here.
There are lots of very complex questions when it comes to ebooks:
- text and image formatting,
- different file formats,
- various workflows for creating ebooks,
- and much more.
For this post, before we get into the more esoteric issues of ebook design and publishing, I’d like to start by defining the subject: just what is an ebook?
This may sound like a very simple question to answer, but it isn’t as straightforward as you might think, and being able to answer it correctly will make many of the thornier issues of creating ebooks just a bit easier.
Continue reading What IS an Ebook?
Enhanced ebooks have been a cause of much excitement over the past few years — and with good reason. One of the things that an ebook can do that a paper-and-ink book can’t is to add embedded video and sound. (There are many other ways to enhance an ebook— but those are the most common enhancements.) Here’s a chance to make the book something truly new!
At Bay Area Independent Publishers Association, we have a group that is meeting regularly, discussing enhanced ebooks, led by a long-time digital publisher, Joe Sinclaire. One of the members of that group recently shot me an email recently asking about how long a video she could reasonably add to an ebook — two minutes? Five minutes?
Here’s my answer: Continue reading How Long Can Video in Ebooks Be?
Just wanted to pass along an announcement from Joseph Campbell Foundation about the formal release of Masks of God: Oriental Mythology, the newest ebook in the Collected Works of Joseph Campbell! It’s a project that we’ve been working on for more than a year, and are pleased to see come to fruition.
The ebook, the first release in a digital edition of the Masks of God series, explores the evolution of the myths of the Middle East and Asia from the dawn of history up until modern times, looking at how they have changed from country to country and millennium to millennium, and how they’ve remained the same.
The ebook is currently available only on the foundation’s website, JCF.org, as a thank you gift for donations of $9.99 and greater. Continue reading New Joseph Campbell ebook: Oriental Mythology