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Turn Your Social Media Content Into E-Books Overnight


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E-reading devices and tablets are skyrocketing in adoption. Having compilations of your work available via Amazon, Apple, and Google stores is becoming a must-have asset for audience development and monetization—plus it’s a wonderful service for your new and devoted fans alike. If you’re a prolific blogger, tweeter, or creator of digital content, it’s time to consider a curated collection of your best stuff, available in e-book form. With the free services and software available to you today, you can have your work available for sale within 24 hours of prepped files. This session walks you through the best distribution services to use and what tools you need to convert and format your files.

Published in: Self Improvement, Technology
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Turn Your Social Media Content Into E-Books Overnight

  1. 1. TURN YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT INTO E-BOOKS (OVERNIGHT!) Jane Friedman, Assistant Professor E-Media (CCM), University of Cincinnati | @JaneFriedman
  2. 2. Warning <ul><li>The e-book market is constantly evolving. </li></ul><ul><li>Services and agreements change quickly. </li></ul><ul><li>No real standard formats/devices exist yet. </li></ul><ul><li>Some information in this presentation will be out of date in as little as 3-6 months … or in 24 hours (!) </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>(Mostly) free to use </li></ul><ul><li>No gatekeeper </li></ul><ul><li>At-will basis </li></ul><ul><li>Nonexclusive </li></ul><ul><li>Change/modify books at will </li></ul><ul><li>Little tech expertise required </li></ul><ul><li>Worldwide distribution </li></ul><ul><li>Royalties: at least 30% but usually 50–85% </li></ul>What’s exciting about e-book distribution services
  4. 4. Rights Issues <ul><li>You keep all rights to your work </li></ul><ul><li>Registering for copyright is optional, but recommended </li></ul><ul><li>You can still traditionally publish later </li></ul>
  5. 5. You Can Start With a Word Doc <ul><li>Most services accept Word docs </li></ul><ul><li>You must go through an unformatting process </li></ul>
  6. 6. Scraping Wordpress Content <ul><li>Export as PDF, ePub, or RTF </li></ul><ul><li>Drag & drop organization and layout </li></ul><ul><li>Does not work with .com accounts </li></ul>
  7. 7. Scraping from other types of blogs <ul><li>Export as XML </li></ul><ul><li>Use Blogbooker website to export as PDF </li></ul><ul><li>Use your file converter of choice to get the text out of the PDF document (Google Docs can do it) </li></ul>
  8. 8. Social Media Exporting <ul><li>Twitter : Try Backupify, exports as PDF </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook : Allows you to export as ZIP (HTML) </li></ul><ul><li>Comprehensive guide for all types of files </li></ul><ul><li>up-to-date as of September 2011 </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  9. 9. Formatting & Conversion <ul><li>What does “conversion” mean? </li></ul><ul><li>Conversion usually refers to exporting files from one format into another, without any editing or styling (e.g., converting a Word file into an epub file) </li></ul><ul><li>What does “formatting” mean? </li></ul><ul><li>Formatting usually refers to editing and styling of a document (in any format) to ensure it looks “good” on an e-reading device </li></ul>
  10. 10. 3 Wonderful Software Tools <ul><li>Calibre (free, open source) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E-book conversion tool </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sigil (free, open source) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E-book formatting tool </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Scrivener ($45) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Formatting & conversion for all types of work </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. EPUB Check: Validation Tool <ul><li>Before you upload an EPUB file to any service, make sure you validate it through an EPUB check tool. </li></ul><ul><li>Will generate error list if you have problems in the file </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  12. 12. Let’s pause for a brief lecture about editing
  13. 13. Distribution Channels & Options <ul><li>Single Channel </li></ul><ul><li>Amazon KDP </li></ul><ul><li>Barnes & Noble PubIt </li></ul><ul><li>Apple iBookstore </li></ul><ul><li>Google eBookstore </li></ul><ul><li>Scribd </li></ul><ul><li>… many more ! </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple Channel </li></ul><ul><li>BookBaby ($99) </li></ul><ul><li>Smashwords (free) </li></ul><ul><li>PublishGreen (full-service, $399+) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Word, ePub, MOBI, HTML, RTF, plain text ePub and PDF Formats they accept ePub ePub, Word, HTML, RTF, plain text Single channel services PDF
  15. 15. Critical: Amazon <ul><li>Kindle sells about 60-70% of all e-books </li></ul><ul><li>Your Amazon page may be first and only page a reader looks at </li></ul><ul><li>Reviews, reviews, reviews! </li></ul><ul><li>Kindle bestseller list is watched closely </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t have to own Kindle to buy & read Kindle books </li></ul>
  16. 16. Amazon KDP <ul><li>Pays 70% royalties if you price between $2.99-$9.99 </li></ul><ul><li>Pays 30% at other prices </li></ul><ul><li>99-cent minimum price </li></ul><ul><li>Most important channel if you want high sales </li></ul><ul><li>Accepts many file formats, but converts to MOBI or K8 </li></ul>
  17. 17. KindleGen <ul><li>Amazon offers a free command line utility for Windows, Mac and Linux called Kindle Gen </li></ul><ul><li>Convert any HTML, XML, or EPUB book into a Kindle Book (MOBI or K8) </li></ul><ul><li>KindleGen plug-in for InDesign is available (CS4 and up) </li></ul>
  18. 18. Barnes & Noble PubIt <ul><li>Distributed to Nook </li></ul><ul><li>Accepts most file formats (EPUB native) </li></ul><ul><li>99-cent minimum price </li></ul><ul><li>Pays 65% royalties if you price between $2.99-$9.99 </li></ul><ul><li>Pays 40% at other prices </li></ul>
  19. 19. Google eBookstore <ul><li>Accepts PDF and EPUB files </li></ul><ul><li>Pays 52% of list price, or 45% if your work is purchased through a reseller </li></ul><ul><li>Books can be free </li></ul>
  20. 20. Apple iBookstore <ul><li>Must be setup through iTunes Connect account </li></ul><ul><li>Must be a Mac user (sorry) </li></ul><ul><li>Requires an ISBN </li></ul><ul><li>Only accepts EPUB files </li></ul><ul><li>Books can be free </li></ul><ul><li>70% royalty on list price </li></ul>
  21. 21. Blurb <ul><li>Great for 4-color </li></ul><ul><li>Sells directly from Blurb site </li></ul><ul><li>Can distribute to iPads and iPhones (at cost of $1.50 per download for the author) </li></ul><ul><li>Offers importing from </li></ul><ul><li>Instagram books </li></ul>
  22. 22. Scribd <ul><li>PDFs only </li></ul><ul><li>Great for complex, four-color, and illustrated work </li></ul><ul><li>Books can be free </li></ul><ul><li>Many view, preview, and download options </li></ul><ul><li>Pays 80% royalty (25-cent transaction fee per unit) </li></ul>
  23. 23. BookBaby: E-Book Distributor <ul><li>Pay $99 flat fee, plus $19 annual fee after the first year </li></ul><ul><li>You get 100% of list price </li></ul><ul><li>They do the conversion work </li></ul><ul><li>Extra $60 to convert PDF </li></ul><ul><li>Distributed to all major devices and retailers </li></ul><ul><li>Gives you ISBN for $19 </li></ul><ul><li>Other services too! </li></ul>
  24. 24. Smashwords: E-Book Distributor <ul><li>No upfront fees </li></ul><ul><li>Word docs only </li></ul><ul><li>You can make your book free </li></ul><ul><li>You get 85% of list price if sold on Smashwords site </li></ul><ul><li>Distributed to all major devices and retailers EXCEPT KINDLE </li></ul><ul><li>ISBNs available for $10 </li></ul>
  25. 25. Enhanced E-Books (Multimedia) <ul><li>Your distribution options </li></ul><ul><li>Apple iBookstore for EPUB format (no Flash) </li></ul><ul><li>PDF files via Scribd & Google eBookstore </li></ul><ul><li>Highly recommend: Elizabeth Castro’s Audio and Video in EPUB ($5 guide) </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  26. 26. If you have an agent … <ul><li>Talk with them first </li></ul><ul><li>Agents have access to different distributors and services </li></ul>
  27. 27. Resources <ul><li> (industry news & updates) </li></ul><ul><li>EBW Knowledge Base: Excellent overview for working with EPUB files, PDF files, and InDesign http :// / </li></ul><ul><li> One of the best professional services in the e-book industry if you want formatting help </li></ul><ul><li>Liz Castro: expert in digital book industry; follow her blog, publications, etc: </li></ul>
  28. 28. Continue the Conversation <ul><li>Site: </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter: @JaneFriedman </li></ul><ul><li>Contact: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Get session materials: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>