Ebook Bootcamp NABP
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Ebook Bootcamp NABP

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In our Ebook Boot Camp presentation at PNBA we talked about everything you need to know about ebooks from a beginner’s perspective. We covered the vocabulary of digital publishing, the differences ...

In our Ebook Boot Camp presentation at PNBA we talked about everything you need to know about ebooks from a beginner’s perspective. We covered the vocabulary of digital publishing, the differences between ebook formats and ebook readers, why we need so many ISBNs for one book, how to navigate through digital rights management issues, the limitations and benefits of ‘going digital,’ and how to make the best creative and business decisions for your specific work.

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  • The basics:Self-contained package that includes all the content for a book—text, images, metadata, and more!Similar to a mini-webpageAllows readers to control the reading experience (typeface, font size, etc.)Reflowable text
  • Taleist survey Not a Gold Rush
  • By all reports, ebook DRM is trivial to breakInconveniences paying customersNot proven to have an effect on piracyKeeps people from sharing favorite authors with friendsStudies on music and game piracy have shown pirates to also be the top buying demographic
  • Most famously used by Pottermore for the Harry Potter ebooksThe IDPF is considering writing official specifications for watermarking epubs
  • Just about anything can be reimagined to be a really great ebook. The better question might be, what books DON’T make good ebooks.
  • Design limitationsArtisan Checklist
  • References to color must be addressed. In this pie chart, the orange section represents… Because:
  • And here’s what it looks like in gray scale. I have done NOTHING to the colors except impose a black and white filter as an eink screen would do.
  • So a novelist will probably only really run into this kind of problem with covers, but remember that when a reader is stuck at the doctor’s office and finishes her book, she will browse through the Kindle or Nook store on the device and a book cover is the best marketing tool we’ve got. So here’s an example, albeit hideous.
  • And here’s what happens when we view this book cover in grayscale.
  • Many traditional publishing houses, particularly large less agile companies are using this model. It works just fine and even has some advantages.
  • Some advantages: Print brand, publishing traditions, readability standards that have been refined through time.
  • For Digital Only or “e-riginals” this is the new model. This does not preclude a print version. It would go to the book designer at the same time it goes to ebook design. Some advantages to this process as well.
  • This is from a Kindle Fire
  • This is what the same file looks like on an eInk Kindle.
  • You are only guaranteed to have access to two fonts. A serif font and a monospace font. You CAN embed fonts and make your ebooks look really great, but you CANNOT make any information dependent upon font choices.
  • ISBN International Standard Book NumberBuy from Bowker or a subcontractor (like us)Retailer numbers issue: can’t tell if the book is the same product (sales numbers)
  • For over 30 years, BISG has provided a forum for all industry professionals to come together and efficiently address issues and concerns to advance the book community. The members of BISG has established a list Subject Codes used as industry standards. These codes are used in ONIX files that are exported to accounts. Many accounts won't load a book into their system unless a BISAC is assigned.

Ebook Bootcamp NABP Ebook Bootcamp NABP Presentation Transcript

  • Ebook Boot Camp Amanda Bryan Gommamanda@digitalbindery.com www.digitalbindery.com @agomm @digitalbindery
  • 1. What is an ebook?2. What is an ereader?3. How are ebooks used?4. How safe are ebooks?5. What books make the best ebooks?6. Accessibility in ebooks7. The ebook conversion process8. Distribution9. Sales and Marketing of ebooks
  • 1. What is an ebook?2. What is an ereader?3. How are ebooks used?4. How safe are ebooks?5. What books make the best ebooks?6. Accessibility in ebooks7. The ebook conversion process8. Distribution9. Sales and Marketing of ebooks
  • What is an ebook?General Definition:• A long form digital publicationSpecific Publishing Definition:• Self-contained package that includes all the data for a book
  • What is an ebook: FormatsTwo main ebook formats make up the bulk of the ebook market:• Epub: open standard developed by the IDPF• Mobi: Bought by Amazon in 2005, and is the basis for the .azw and Kf8 Kindle formats
  • What is an ebook: Epub FormatEpub 2.0.1• Open, non-proprietary ebook format• Read by the largest number of devices• Fairly basicEpub 3.0• New version, as of October 2011• Lots of bells & whistlesFixed layout• Intended for graphically complex layouts
  • What is an ebook: Mobi Format• mobi/azw is Amazon’s format for the older Kindle devices• Newer devices like the Kindle Fire support KF8, which has more bells and whistles• KF8 can be used to create fixed layout files for the Kindle Fire
  • Why not use PDFs? Reflowability
  • 1. What is an ebook?2. What is an ereader?3. How are ebooks used?4. How safe are ebooks?5. What books make the best ebooks?6. Accessibility in ebooks7. The ebook conversion process8. Distribution9. Sales and Marketing of ebooks
  • What is an ereader: Reading SystemsSoftware that interprets the ebook format for the device you’re reading the ebook on
  • Some reliable reading software:• EPUB – Adobe Digital Editions (Adobe) – Nook for PC/Mac (Barnes & Noble) – Reader for PC/Mac (Sony) – Readium (Google Chrome Plugin) – Azardi (Infogrid Pacific)• MOBI (Kindle format) – Kindle for PC/Mac/Kindle Previewer (Amazon) – Calibre (calibre-ebook.com)
  • What is an ereader: Devices• Four main kinds of devices: 1. Eink screens 2. Tablets 3. Smartphones 4. Computers
  • Eink devices• At this point, greyscale only• Slow page refresh rate• Very low power consumption• Most are not backlit• Many run on ADE
  • Tablet computers• Finer control of layout (eg fixed layout) is supported• Vibrant full color• Full video and audio is possible• More varied reading systems available, especially if apps are supported
  • Smartphones• Very varied reading systems• Audio and video content available• Serious screen size limitations make fixed layout books less possible• A recent Mintel survey shows 22% of respondents read on their cell phones
  • Computers• Wide variety of reading systems• Full audio/video capability• Recent survey showed the PC to be the second most common ebook reading device
  • 1. What is an ebook?2. What is an ereader?3. How are ebooks used?4. How safe are ebooks?5. What books make the best ebooks?6. Accessibility in ebooks7. The ebook conversion process8. Distribution9. Sales and Marketing of ebooks
  • Ebooks are used by•All ages•All income levels•All genres
  • 1. What is an ebook?2. What is an ereader?3. How are ebooks used?4. How safe are ebooks?5. What books make the best ebooks?6. Accessibility in ebooks7. The ebook conversion process8. Distribution9. Sales and Marketing of ebooks
  • Copyright issues• Anything you write is copyrighted as soon as you write it—don’t bother mailing it to yourself• Copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years• Registering your copyright can entitle you to statutory damages, and also serves to enter your copyright into the public record
  • Ebooks and piracy• Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology makes it harder for people to copy ebooks• Most major retailers will by default use DRM on your books• Privately licensing DRM on your own is extraordinarily expensive—Adobe doesn’t list prices, but reports say ~$16,000.
  • Does DRM work?“The problem for authors is not piracy; it’s obscurity” –Tim O’Reilly
  • Watermarking• Embeds a code in the ebook identifying the buyer of the book• Also called “social DRM” because it only uses social pressure to enforce copyright
  • 1. What is an ebook?2. What is an ereader?3. How are ebooks used?4. How safe are ebooks?5. What books make the best ebooks?6. Accessibility in ebooks7. The ebook conversion process8. Distribution9. Sales and Marketing of ebooks
  • What books make good ebooks?
  • Are there books that don’t really work as ebooks?• Large format books – Atlases and Star charts – Giant coffee table books• Typographically complex books• Workbooks
  • 1. What is an ebook?2. What is an ereader?3. How are ebooks used?4. How safe are ebooks?5. What books make the best ebooks?6. Accessibility in ebooks7. The ebook conversion process8. Distribution9. Sales and Marketing of ebooks
  • What can authors do to make things more accessible for those with print disabilities?• Provide alternate text for all images• Do not rely on color to communicate information• Avoid blocks of text that are difficult to read (italics, underlining, bold, all-caps)
  • a bc d
  • Black & White
  • Black & White
  • Black & White
  • Black & White
  • ReadabilityFourscore and seven years Fourscore and seven years Fourscore and seven yearsago our fathers brought ago our fathers brought ago our fathers broughtforth on this continent a forth on this continent a forth on this continent anew nation, conceived in new nation, conceived in new nation, conceived inliberty and dedicated to the liberty and dedicated to the liberty and dedicated to theproposition that all men are proposition that all men are proposition that all men arecreated equal. created equal. created equal.Fourscore and seven years FOURSCORE AND SEVEN Fourscore and seven yearsago our fathers brought YEARS AGO OUR FATHERS ago our fathers broughtforth on this continent a BROUGHT FORTH ON THIS forth on this continent anew nation, conceived in CONTINENT A NEW new nation, conceived inliberty and dedicated to the NATION, CONCEIVED IN liberty and dedicated to theproposition that all men LIBERTY AND DEDICATED TO proposition that all men areare created equal. THE PROPOSITION THAT ALL created equal. MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL.
  • 1. What is an ebook?2. What is an ereader?3. How are ebooks used?4. How safe are ebooks?5. What books make the best ebooks?6. Accessibility in ebooks7. The ebook conversion process8. Distribution9. Sales and Marketing of ebooks
  • The Traditional Path Book Author Editor Printer Designer• Write the Manuscript • Developmental Edit • Cover Design • Offset printing • Substantive Edit • Interior Design • Print-on-demand • Copyedit • Digital Short Run • Typecoding
  • The Traditional Path Ebook Conversion Book Author Editor Designer• Write the Manuscript • Developmental Edit • Cover Design Printer • Substantive Edit • Interior Design • Copyedit • Typecoding
  • The Traditional Path Ebook Conversion • Consistent look and feel Book across both formatsDesigner • Publishing traditions and standards are adhered to Printer
  • The New Path not to be confused with the new math Ebook Author Editor Design• Write the Manuscript • Developmental Edit • Cover Design • Substantive Edit • Interior Design • Copyedit • Typecoding
  • Ebook Conversion ProcessClean up the original files Rough conversion Design the content for digital Proofing• Remove print only material • Automated techniques consumption • Interior proof done by the• Replace sloppy design elements • “Meatgrinder” portion of the • Fix issues arising from automated converter should include a check on• Redesign non-reflowable or process process many devices including at least one consumable material • Similar to one-click conversions eInk device, one tablet, and one • Address accessibility issues computer• Add semantic markup • Redesign elements that lost formatting or are unsupported • Ebook is checked for errors• Add metadata introduced during the• Add alternate text for images • Add links and scripts conversion, inline errors, print artifacts, interactivity, form, and function Final Delivery Repeat for each format
  • Before and after
  • Limited Layout ControlBackground image Text ShadowsImage resizesto the screen Drop ShadowsRounded Corners Background color
  • Limited Layout Control
  • Limited font choicesRandom Generic Serif font Monospace Font
  • Converting images for ebooks• Many readers use eInk screens, so images that look good in grayscale are very important.• Ensure that references to important colors are clarified for grayscale devices (“red bar” on a chart, for example)• Images containing text are not advised• Covers may have to be modified, as they should be recognizable as thumbnails
  • Proofing an ebook• Proofing is the final stage of production—at this point, all the editing and design work is done.• Proofing is to ensure that there were no problems in conversion.• In addition to textual and formatting errors, we look for problems in various reading systems and display types• Make sure to proof on the devices you want to target!
  • On What Shall I Read It? Dear Liza Dear Liza1. The individual devices (beg, borrow, steal)2. Kindle Previewer3. Adobe Digital Editions4. iTunes Connect5. Kindle for Desktop/Smartphone App6. Nook for Desktop/Smartphone App7. Reader Desktop/Smartphone App8. Kobo Desktop/Smartphone App9. Firefox Reader10.Readium
  • What to look for• Links – Test all of them • Copyright page • Table of Contents • Footnotes/Endnotes • Index Entries • External Links
  • What to look for• Things that get lost – Inline items • Small Caps • Italics – Print References • Colors • Page Numbers • See Above/Below/Left/Right • Consumable Content
  • What to look for• Metadata – Title/Subtitle/Short title/Edition/collection – Author/Editor/Contributor/Illustrator/ Publisher – Series title and number – Subject/Coverage – Description – Publication Date – eISBN – Rights
  • What to look for• Sneaky technical troubles – &s, <s, >s, and #s – Encoding issues (seeing  s) – Code leaks <div or /> or anything that doesn’t make any sense – Pages that don’t turn the first time
  • What to look for• Crazy conditions – Check at all font sizes – Check in portrait and landscape – Check in night mode – Check without Publisher Overrides• Remember that there may be trade offs (if I make it look awesome in night mode it stops working on the Nook. Let’s not worry about night mode then.)
  • What to look for• Cover design – Does it look good at 12%? – Does it look good in gray? – Does the thumbnail show up on the iPad, Nook, and Kindle bookcases?
  • What to look for• Formatting changes – Ensure that the layout of the text is easy to read, and talk to your converter about any changes from the print version that you don’t understand.
  • 1. What is an ebook?2. What is an ereader?3. How are ebooks used?4. How safe are ebooks?5. What books make the best ebooks?6. Accessibility in ebooks7. The ebook conversion process8. Distribution9. Sales and Marketing of ebooks
  • DistributionPricing Models Most FavoredAgency Wholesale Nation Status
  • Distribution Traditional Distribution: Wholesale Model PublisherSubmits the electronic file and all the metadata to the Markets the book distributor Distributor Stores the file, delivers metadata and files to the Pays the publisher a royalty of 50-60% (on average) of retailer recommended retail price (RRP) per download Retailer Sells the book at whatever price they want Pays the distributor 60-75% of the RRP per downloadThere are a few online retailers (most notably the Sony Readerstore) that require this traditional model.
  • Distribution Distributing directly to retailers 35% Royalties Kindle Direct Publishing 70% Amazon Royalties KDP Select 65% Royalties B&N B&N Pubit!* 40% Royalties iTunes 70%DIY Apple Connect Royalties 45% Royalties Google Google Play 52% Royalties Kobo Writing Kobo Life Other Smashwords
  • ISBNs• International Standard Book Number• 13-digit number unique for each book sold• In the US, they are sold by R.R. Bowker• $125 for one, heavy discounts for bulk purchases (10 for $250, 1000 for $1000)• Bowker says, one for each format sold• Some retailers will sell without an ISBN and use their own number to track sales
  • BISAC Codes• Book Industry Standards and Communications Code• Created and maintained by Book Industry Study Group (BISG)• Some retailers will not accept a title without at least one BISAC code—some accept several• Codes can be generic (cooking) or very specific (Cooking / Methods / Baking)• The codes look like this: CKB004000 COOKING / Methods / Baking FIC022060 FICTION / Mystery & Detective / Historical• They can be found online (google bisac codes)
  • Sales and Marketing• Ebook retailers and distributors are not marketers—if you’re self publishing, marketing your book will be your responsibility• An online presence will help you market your books successfully. Don’t leave this for the last minute, as it takes time to build!• According to the recent Taleist survey, email campaigns and newsletters are the biggest contributor of sales• Established publishers like authors with an online following, too!
  • How do I set a price for my ebook?• Royalty issues $0.00 $0.99 $2.99 $9.99 $14.99 $199.99 $200.00Amazon X* 35% 70% 70% 35% 35% 35%Apple 70% 70% 70% 70% X XB&N Pubit X 40% 65% 65% 40% 40% XGoogle 52% 52% 52% 52% 52% 52% *Available as a temporary promotional tool for KDP select members.
  • How do I set a price for my ebook?• Marketing issues – Comparable titles • Author/Publisher type/reputation • Genre • Size • Target audience – Use price adjustments to attract audience • JA Konrath The List Experiment
  • Can I sell an ebook from my own website?• Yes!• Pros: you will receive 100% of the sale price• Cons: discoverability— without a bookstore you’ll be unable to grab those casual browsers
  • Getting books onto the device• Purchase through the associated bookstore
  • Getting books onto the device• Side load the content – iPad/iPhone • Plug the iPad into the computer • Open iTunes • Drag the book into the Books library • If you do not have a Books library download a newer version of iTunes. • Sync the iPad • The book will appear in the iBooks library
  • Getting books onto the device• Side load the content – Kindle for iPad • Plug the iPad into the computer • Open iTunes • Select your device • Choose Apps from the top nav bar • Scroll down and select the Kindle App • Drag books into Kindle Documents • Sync the device • These books will appear in the Kindle for iPad app
  • Getting books onto the device• Side load the content – Kindle/Nook/Smartphone • Plug the device into the computer • The device will appear as an external drive • Open the device to view the files • Drag the book into the correct folder – Kindle/Kindle Touch/Kindle Fire: Documents – Nook: My Documents – Nook color: My Files > Books – Smartphones are variable. Look for eBooks or Digital Editions. • No syncing is necessary • Eject the device
  • Getting books onto the device• Side load the content – Sony Reader • Remove the SD card from the reader • Plug the SD card into your computer – Note: if your computer does not have an SD card reader, USB SD card readers are an inexpensive solution • Open the SD card folder to view the files • Drag the book into the folder • Eject the SD card • Reinsert it into the reader
  • 1. What is an ebook?2. What is an ereader?3. How are ebooks used?4. How safe are ebooks?5. What books make the best ebooks?6. Accessibility in ebooks7. The ebook conversion process8. Distribution9. Sales and Marketing of ebooks
  • Questions? Amanda Bryan Gommamanda@digitalbindery.com www.digitalbindery.com 503-855-4397 @agomm @digitalbindery