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Getting Past Good Enough Ebooks: Liza Daly
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Getting Past Good Enough Ebooks: Liza Daly

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Liza Daly's Digital Book World Presentation

Liza Daly's Digital Book World Presentation
January 27, 2010
http://digitalbookworld.com

Liza Daly
@liza
http://threepress.org/

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Getting Past Good Enough Ebooks: Liza Daly Getting Past Good Enough Ebooks: Liza Daly Presentation Transcript

  • Getting past “good enough” ebooks Liza Daly Threepress Consulting Inc.
  • What’s wrong with commercial ebooks today: A case study $7.16 from the Sony Store ePub format Picked entirely at random. Names obscured to protect the innocent.
  • Book Title Author Print Ebook
  • The reading experience: Book Title Author Page 1
  • The reading experience: Page 2
  • The reading experience: Page 3
  • The reading experience: Page 4
  • The reading experience: Useless print-only notice Information ISBN doesn’t match suggesting this is the any metadata on the paperback edition Sony ebook site, and is not the ebook ISBN Page 4
  • The reading experience: Page 5
  • The reading experience: Page 6
  • All ereaders provide a method of navigating the table of contents. Drop the TOC from book content! Table of Contents in Adobe Digital Editions
  • (The rare exception would be books with table of contents that contain authorial content or are specially designed.) A Field Guide to the Birds (Peterson 1934)
  • Finally we get to the book... Page 7!
  • Google and others have shown that in a digital world, milliseconds count. Users who encountered only an additional 200 ms delay in web page loading demonstrated a drop in engagement.
  • On ereading devices, turning a page can take from 2 to 20 seconds.
  • On ereading devices, turning a page can take from 2 to 20 seconds. You want users hooked immediately. They won’t page for up to a minute just to figure out if they like the book.
  • On ereading devices, turning a page can take from 2 to 20 seconds. You want users hooked immediately. They won’t page for up to a minute just to figure out if they like the book. They’ll go buy a different book.
  • On the Kindle platform, book samples are 5-10% of the total book size.
  • On the Kindle platform, book samples are 5-10% of the total book size. This sample book was 263 pages. 5% of 263 is 13 pages. This means half of the user’s preview was wasted on front matter.
  • It could be worse!
  • You want this:
  • Ebook buyers decide on purchases based on: Traditional marketing Online reviews Sample chapters
  • There’s no excuse for bad editorial just because it’s an ebook. Here the very first occurrence of the protagonist’s name is misspelled. (It’s “Vere.”)
  • How does this happen? Ebooks are created before the final proofs. They’re outsourced. Publishers lack the resources to evaluate the quality of the conversions.
  • A crash course in ebook quality control:
  • 1. Get a smartphone or eink device. Choose the one that best reflects where customers will be reading your books. If you only sell on Amazon, get a Kindle. If you’re selling business books, get a smartphone.
  • 2. Put the ebook on it and check each page through the end of the first chapter. Consider the 5% rule. After reading 5% of the book, do you know what it’s about? Ideally the very first thing you see should be “Chapter One”. “Front matter” can go at the end, or be removed.
  • 3. Basic editorial rules still apply! Ebook buyers don’t like typos or bad line breaks any more than print readers. Badly-formatted ebooks are often returned.
  • In some cases, pirated ebooks are superior to professionally-produced ones.
  • Official ePub edition has weird line breaks.
  • Pirated version has bi- directional TOC links, footnotes and endnotes even though it was scanned from paper. Nice color cover:
  • Ebook QA checklist • Reconsider releasing ebooks from early proofs. • Eliminate unnecessary front-matter. • Check on at least one commercial ereader. • The first chapter is your marketing plan.
  • Thanks. Liza Daly Threepress Consulting Inc. http://threepress.org/ liza@threepress.org Twitter: @liza