Tag Archives: publishing

MS to Ebook: A Cleaning Guide

This is the third installment in my series of posts about ebook creation. Like the others, it was originally posted on Joel Friedlander’s wonderful resource for indie publishers, TheBookDesigner.com

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been talking about just what an ebook is, and four basic methods for creating them.

This month, I’m going to get a bit more into the nitty-gritty — how best to prepare your manuscript for conversion.

Whichever of the methods you use to create your ebook, it’s essential to have the original file be as clean as possible.[*]

What do I mean by that?

Basically, it comes down to one thing: Continue reading MS to Ebook: A Cleaning Guide

4 Ways to Create an 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):

  1. From scratch
  2. Saving from a word-processing or page-layout application into ePub format
  3. Using a conversion app or online service
  4. 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

Everything Amazon Slides

Here are the slides from my presentation with Ruth Schwartz on Everything Amazon:

It was — as always — a great meeting! If you have any questions about any of the slides, please comment.

ETA: The URL for CreateSpace (slides 8–12) should be http://createspace.com, not createspace.amazon.com.

All Things Amazon

Along with Ruth Schwartz, I’m going to be offering a presentation at the monthly meeting of the Bay Area Independent Publishers Assocation ambitiously titled All Things Amazon!

Come join us in lovely Novato — the meeting is from 9:00–4:00, but our presentation is from 11:00–12:15. (There are going to be break-out sessions in the afternoon.)

Here’s the blurb: Continue reading All Things Amazon

What IS an Ebook?

bigstock-Woman-Holding-Traditional-Book-91915880Recently, 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.

Defining “eBook”

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?

So you want to start your own small press?

Over on Quora, an anonymous reader asked me to answer the question, “How should I go about starting a small, independent press?

This question was asked by someone who was already publishing his or her own work, but who was considering expanding beyond that to publishing others’ books.

This got me thinking. Thinking a lot. Probably way more than the poster wanted. If you don’t want to read all of what I came up with, the TL;DR version is down at the bottom.

Here’s what I had to say:

Continue reading So you want to start your own small press?

How can I promote my book for free?

Bookstore by Natalia Romay; used through a Creative Commons LicenseEvery author wants to know how to get the word out about his or her book — and most are frightened that it’s going to cost an arm and a leg. To be honest, the most effective marketing that an author can do doesn’t involve paying money. Just lots and lots of time and effort. So not free, really, but no-cost, at least!

Before you hire a publicist or start looking at paid ads on Facebook, Goodreads, Google Adwords, Bing, Twitter, etc., be sure that you have done everything that you can to let the appropriate people know about your book. Contact all of your friends and family, obviously, and encourage them to share the information about your book with everyone they know. Send well-crafted, focussed press releases to newspapers, magazines, and radio stations that might be interested in your subject. Continue reading How can I promote my book for free?

How Much Money Can a Self-Publisher Make?

More retro clipart at http://www.clipartof.com/Here’s a question I’ve been asked a number of times: What’s the average income from self-publishing a book?

My answer isn’t necessarily a terribly helpful one. It truly depends one what you mean by average — do you mean the total amount earned by the number of authors (the mean), or do you mean the amount that the average KDP author/publisher earns (the median)? Continue reading How Much Money Can a Self-Publisher Make?

How Long Can Video in Ebooks Be?

Video PixelsEnhanced 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?

From BAIPA Audiobook Presentation

Here are are the PowerPoint slides for the presentation that Becky Parker and I gave at BAIPA today (and the audio files, since the audio was on the fritz!): Continue reading From BAIPA Audiobook Presentation