Ebook Publishing Checklist - California State Writers, Sacramento
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Ebook Publishing Checklist - California State Writers, Sacramento



Learn how to prepare, publish and distribute an ebook to leading ebook retailers Apple, Barnes & Noble, Sony and Kobo. This presentation outlines a simple ebook publishing checklist to help writers ...

Learn how to prepare, publish and distribute an ebook to leading ebook retailers Apple, Barnes & Noble, Sony and Kobo. This presentation outlines a simple ebook publishing checklist to help writers publish and distribute a book at little to no cost. Presented by Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords, at the July 21, 2012 meeting at the California State Writers, Sacramento branch.



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    Ebook Publishing Checklist - California State Writers, Sacramento Ebook Publishing Checklist - California State Writers, Sacramento Presentation Transcript

    • My Backstory
    • Is Big Publishing Broken?
      • Books judged on perceived commercial potential
      • Readers shut out
      • Publishers unable to take a risk on every author
    • My Answer:
      • Ebook publishing and distribution platform
        • Authors decide what’s published
        • FREE ebook publishing
        • Distribution to major ebook retailers
        • Authors earn 85% of profit
    • How Smashwords Works
      • UPLOAD
        • Upload a Microsoft Word file, formatted to our Style Guide
        • Free conversion to 9 ebook formats
        • Ready for immediate sale online
        • Distribution to major retailers
      • GET PAID
        • Author receives 85% of net = 60% list from major retailers
    • Indie ebooks published at Smashwords 140 6,000 28,800 92,000 +
    • Ebooks as a percentage of US wholesale trade market Source: Association of American Publishers, publishers.org
    • Why ebooks are hot
      • Screens offer better reading experience than paper
        • Changeable font size A A A A
        • Portable and compact
        • Screens will get better/faster/cheaper
      • Ebooks offer better consumer experience
        • Lower price than print
        • Convenient sampling and purchasing
        • Huge selection
    • Ebooks Enable Democratized Publishing and Distribution
      • Free publishing tools empower authors
        • Free printing press in the cloud
        • Distribution to all major online bookstores
    • Indies Can Out-Publish Big Publishers
      • Asymmetric competition
        • field tilted in indie’s favor
      • Smaller indie authors
        • democratized distribution
        • instant access to global market
        • lower expenses
        • never go out of print
        • earn more per book
    • Indie ebook economics favor indies
      • Higher royalties than traditional
        • Earn 60-80% list price for indie ebooks vs. 5-17% from traditional publishers
      • Lower priced ebooks earn more per copy than traditionally pubbed print
          • Earn more on a $.99 ebook ($.60) than a traditional author earns on an $8 mass market paperback ( <$.40 )
          • Lower price = reach more readers = more sales at higher profits per sale
      MMP=Mass market paperback, aka “pocket book” in some countries
    • Planning your move to ebooks
    • Checklist for Publishing an Ebook
      • Finish the book
      • Format the book prior to conversion
      • Prepare cover image
      • Ebook conversion to multiple formats
      • Pricing
      • ISBNs
      • Copyright
      • Choose distribution methods, upload
      • Marketing *
    • Finish Your Book
      • Ebook publishing tools make publishing fast, free, easy, but…
        • These tools don’t make it easy to write a great book
          • You’re the publisher, act like one
            • Edit, edit, edit, revise, revise, revise
            • Involve beta readers (then revise again)
            • Hire professional editor if necessary
    • Ebook Formatting
    • Formatting is the process of preparing your book for conversion to an ebook
    • Formatting for Smashwords Over 140,000 Downloads!
    • Formatting Secrets
      • Forget (some of) what you know
        • Don’t try to make e- look like p-
          • Ebooks consumed differently than print
          • Less = more with ebooks
          • Liberate text from complex formatting and layout
          • Separate images from the text
          • Design for reflowability , small screens
    • Ebook devices (and customers) shape shift text
      • Example of Smashwords novel, All Good Things Die in L.A. by Anhoni Patel
        • iPhone, using the Stanza reader. User-selected options: Font: Verdana; Background pattern: Stone carving; text color: Dark Violet; Font size: larger than normal
    • Cover Image
    • Create Your Ebook Cover
      • Covers are important
        • First impression
        • Covers are both marketing and content
          • Marketing: Draw reader in
          • Content: Adds to enjoyment of book
        • Should look
          • engaging, matched to target audience
          • professional
          • good as thumbnail
          • good as B&W, greyscale
    • DIY Cover, or Hire Professional?
      • Many high-quality free graphics programs
        • Gimp
        • Paint.net
      • Unless you’re an expert graphic designer or cover designer, it’s usually best to hire
        • Email [email_address] for low cost cover designers and formatters
    • Don’t be Lazy
    • Don’t be Dim Le Peuple de L’Etat de New York Contre Dominique Strauss-Khan
    • Most of us design poor covers
    • So I Hired a Pro for $45.00 Send email to: [email_address] for “Mark’s List”
    • Conversion
    • Conversion = Turning your manuscript into an ebook file readable on multiple ebook reading devices
    • E-reading Devices
    • Ebook Conversion Options
      • Conversion Options
        • Automated (Smashwords, Amazon)
        • Direct from book layout software (save as PDF, EPUB)
        • DIY conversion tools (Calibre, Sigil: Google ‘ebook conversion tools’)
        • Hire ebook formatter/ designer/coder (Complex books)
    • Pricing
    • Pricing
      • Determine objective
        • Platform building, revenues, or both?
      • Think like a fisherman
        • Blended strategy of chum and hooks
      • Non-fiction supports higher prices than fiction
      • Price is not sole determining factor
    • Considerations Beyond Price
    • Considerations Beyond Price
      • Length
      • Reader passion
      • Author platform
      • Earn reader trust at each step?
      • Marketing that builds urgency
      • Series or not
      • Perceived value
      More info, Google: Pricing Strategies for Ebooks (Interview with Mark Coker)
    • ISBN
    • What’s an ISBN?
      • What it is:
        • Unique digital identifier
        • A 13-digit number
        • Helps supply chain communicate about book
        • Required for distribution to Apple, Sony, Kobo
      • What it is NOT:
        • Does not connote ownership or copyright
        • Does not imply “professional” or “real”
        • Not a common discovery method
    • Where to Obtain an ISBN
      • Go to Bowker.com
        • Expensive unless you purchase blocks of 10+
        • Lists you as “publisher” in Books in Print
      • Go to Smashwords
        • FREE ISBNs
        • $9.95 (not recommended), lists you as “publisher”
    • Copyright
    • Copyright Simplified
      • By publishing something you created, you have copyright
        • Copyright entitles you to an exclusive bundle of rights
      • The notation of © is optional
      • For best legal protection, go to Copyright.gov and register copyright online
      • Learn more at the Copyright Clearance Center at www.copyright.com
    • Distribution to Retailers
    • Ebook retailers want indie ebooks Mobile apps
    • Does Marketing Matter?
    • Focus on Discoverability (making your book findable)
      • Availability (distribution) precursor to discovery
      • MobileRead survey
        • See analysis at Smashwords Blog: How Ebook Buyers Discover Ebooks
        • Multiple touch points
          • 29% rely on recommendations from online communities/message boards
          • 18% search for favorite authors
          • Nearly 50% use some method of “random” discovery
    • The Plan Forward
    • You are the future of publishing
    • You are your own gatekeeper
    • YOU decide when your manuscript graduates to PUBLISHED BOOK
    • Support ALL your retailers Diversify your exposure
    • Take risks, experiment
    • Think Globally
    • Within a Few Years, the Market for Your Books Outside the US will Dwarf the US Market Already, ~50% of Smashwords Apple iBookstore Sales are Outside the US
    • You Have the Tools to Reach a Worldwide Market Today
    • Final Thoughts
      • Power of publishing is shifting to authors
        • You and your readers determine your success
        • Opportunity to reach readers with your words has never been greater
      • Go serve your readers!
    • Ebook Publishing Resources
      • Smashwords Style Guide (how to format an ebook)
      • Smashwords Book Marketing Guide (how to market any book)
      • Mark’s List – Low cost formatters, cover designers [email_address]
    • Thank you for listening! Q&A Connect with me: Web: www.smashwords.com Blog: blog.smashwords.com Twitter: @markcoker Facebook: facebook.com/markcoker HuffPo: huffingtonpost.com/mark-coker Email: [email_address]