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Digital publishing tips

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Quick guide to ePublishing

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Digital publishing tips

  1. 1. Future Authors Tools & Tips for Publishing eBooks Dr. Cynthia Calongne CTU Student Support Community, Oct. 11, 2014 Image by Lyr Lobo; book design by Imagechef.com
  2. 2. Agenda • Your Career • Terminology • Advantages • Publishing Tips • Resources
  3. 3. Terminology • Digital Publishing vs. Self Publishing – Both involve publishing your own work • Digital Publishing focuses on eBooks • Self publishing includes printed material – Distribution concerns – Print on Demand – CreateSpace – Book signings
  4. 4. Self Publishing • Amazon CreateSpace (2014) – Writing the book – Hiring an editor – content and typographical – Book cover design, including the flyleaf – Converting to .epub, .mobi, .doc – Marketing • Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (2014) – Do it yourself guides – (Jacobs, 2014, April 25) – (Writer’s Digest (2013, February 21)
  5. 5. Digital Publishing • eBooks – you are responsible for – Writing the book – Hiring an editor – content and typographical – Book cover design, including the flyleaf – Converting to .epub, .mobi, .doc • Unless using Smashwords – Marketing – Back Matter
  6. 6. ePublishing Sellers • eBooks – Amazon – Nook (B&N) – Smashwords – Kobe – iTunes, iBooks – And many others
  7. 7. Digital Publishing Advantages • Larger % of the profits – up to 70% • Control of your book cover – The best marketing tool is a good cover – Don’t forget the fly leaf for print and icon readability • Control of your content and brand – Ensure quality control – back matter • hire an editor & a graphic artist • For authors - printing your backlist – eBooks do not have to go out of print – eBooks can be updated – new covers, back matter – Preorders! (Hoffelder, 2014, July 7)
  8. 8. Smashwords • Mark Coker (2014a, 2014b) • Smashwords – free eBook publishing & distribution – Every writer deserves the right to publish – Can upload MS Word .doc or .epub for conversion – Distribution to major eBook retailers and libraries – Free resources – Tools that help readers discover your book
  9. 9. Smashwords’ eBooks (Coker, 2014a) • 2008 – 140 • 2009 – 6,000 • 2010 – 28,800 • 2011 – 92,000 • 2012 – 191,000 • 2013 – 276,000
  10. 10. Smashwords Earnings • Authors edit & upload their work (Coker, 2014a) • Smashwords distributes it – iTunes, Nook, OverDrive, Scribd, Oyster, Kobo – iBooks, Flipkart, Blio, Diesel, Baker & Taylor, Aldiko – Axis360, Page Foundry, and more • Earnings – Authors earn 60% of list price (60%-80% list) – Retailers earn 30% of list price – Smashwords earns 10% of list price
  11. 11. Smashwords Reports • Readers prefer longer eBooks – 2014 survey results – Romance rules! (Coker 2014a) – Top 70 Bestselling Smashwords’ romances 96,197 words – 70% of the top 100 Smashwords bestsellers • Romance authors experiment, write series & publish more books • Romance genres: Contemporary, General, Paranormal, Young Adult, Historical, Suspense and other
  12. 12. eBook Tips • Hire a professional editor • Design a great cover – Hire a graphic artist or cover specialist – Use a good font for the cover title – Make sure that the book cover icon is easy to read – Publish in several formats (ePub, Mobi, HTML, PDF) • Write books, release a new one every few months – Increases your author visibility, readership & rankings – Increases discovery of your books – Authors with more books tend to sell more books • Readers prefer longer books
  13. 13. Bestseller Lists (Gow, 2014, February 3) • The New York Times (NYT) • ABA IndieBound (ABA) • Barnes & Noble (BAN) • Publishers Weekly (PBW) • The Boston Globe (BOG) • USA Today (USA) • The Denver Post (DPO) • The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) • The Los Angeles Times (LAT) • WalMart.com (WAL) • BN.com • Amazon.com
  14. 14. Bestseller Tips • Amazon Bestselling Hot Releases, Teen List • For NYT, need x sales in a week, not total sales • Pre-orders for 7-12 weeks count as 1st week sales • Attractive pricing – Free first book in a series or promotional sales – $3.99 is a popular price for fiction – Can get up to $6.99 for fiction, but fewer sales – Non-fiction tends to be priced higher – Amazon pricing strategy for Kindle Direct Publishing – NYT (2014). Best Sellers. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers- books/overview.html
  15. 15. Fiction Pricing • Free books - 39 times more downloads (avg) • Was 91 times in 2013 and 100 times in 2012 • Great for intro to a series of books – platform builder • 35 million free downloads of Smashwords titles at iBooks in a 12 month period • Prices – to increase unit sales - $3.99 is most popular – Most common are $.99, $2.99 and $3.99 – $1.00-1.99 and $4.00-10.00 have lower sales
  16. 16. Non-Fiction Pricing • Most downloads (Coker, 2014a) – Over 140% for prices $.99, $2,00- 2.99 – Over 110% for prices $9.00-9.99
  17. 17. 2013 Author Earnings (Coker, 2014a • Prices; 100% = average earnings – 155% for prices $3.00-$3.99 – 126% for $6.00-6.99 – 125% for $4.00-4.99 – 120% for $10.00+ – 113% for $2.00-2.99 – 112% for $5.00-5.99
  18. 18. The Writer’s Journey – Analysis (Vogler, 1998) 1. Ordinary world 2. The call to adventure 3. The refusal to take the call 4. Meeting the mentor - the supplies and confidence to continue the journey 5. Crossing the threshold - committing wholeheartedly to the adventure - you gotta want it - hard on your ego and heart BAT. (n.d.). The writer’s journey: Mythic structure for storytellers & screenwriters by Christopher Vogler. Retrieved from http://bornagaintechnologies.org/ohs/moodledata/8/Summary_of_Hero_s_Journey.pdf Vogler, C. (1998). The writer's journey: Mythic structure for writers. Studio City, CA: M. Wiese Productions.
  19. 19. The Writer’s Journey - Analysis II 6. Test allies and enemies – who is part of your tribe? Lifelong allies 7. The approach to the innermost cave - progress among all the rejections 8. The dark night of the soul - the hero accepts rejection (and death) 9. The reward -the consequences of surviving death - celebrate it!
  20. 20. The Writer’s Journey – Analysis III 10. The road back - to the ultimate destination - smell like authors, researchers, game designers, players 11. The resurrection - the final moment of death and rebirth 12. Return of the elixir - to improve the ordinary world
  21. 21. Writers’ Tools • Writer’s Diet – to identify balance in writing – http://writersdiet.com/WT.php – Use the tool, refine, re-evaluate – Focus on the areas that are read first • Word Frequency Counter – ID trends & overuse – http://www.textfixer.com/tools/online-word-counter.php • Grammarly – to evaluate with 250 grammar rules – http://www.grammarly.com/
  22. 22. Digital Publishing Resources • Calibre eBook Management - free – eBook Conversion tool – http://calibre-ebook.com/ • Scrivener – http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php • WriteItNow – http://www.ravensheadservices.com/ • Delve Writing – http://www.delvewriting.com/ • Writer’s Digest – tutorials, webinars, job opportunities – http://www.writersdigest.com/
  23. 23. Additional Tools • Text2Mindmap – http://text2mindmap.com/ • 13 browser-based tools for writers – http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/13-browser-based-tools-writers/ • Distraction-free writing tools – FocusWriter, Pen io – http://www.gradhacker.org/2011/09/07/distraction-free-writing-tools/ – 7 apps to catalogue home library • http://www.gradhacker.org/2014/06/13/7-apps-for-cataloguing-your-home-library/ – Using Evernote to store research records and notes • http://www.gradhacker.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/gh-Evernote.png • Writer’s Digest – http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/the-basics-of-diy-e-book-publishing
  24. 24. APA References Amazon CreateSpace. (2014). CreateSpace: Authors are at the heart of what we do. Retrieved from https://www.createspace.com/Products/Book/ Amazon KDP. (2014). Kindle Direct Publishing. Managing your sales: Sales reports. Retrieved from https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A3VJZKPUQXAU57 Apple. (2014). Working with iTunes: Authors & Book Publishers: Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved from https://www.apple.com/itunes/working-itunes/sell-content/ books/book-faq.html BAT. (n.d.). The writer’s journey: Mythic structure for storytellers & screenwriters by Christopher Vogler. Retrieved from http://bornagaintechnologies.org/ohs/moodledata/8/Summary_of_Hero_s_Journey.pdf Coker, M. (2014a). Hit the ebook bestseller lists with preorders. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/Smashwords/hit-the-ebook-bestseller-lists-with-preorders-a-guide-to- preorder-strategy Coker, M. (2014b). Money Money Money: Facts & Figures for Financial Payoff: New 2014 Data. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/Smashwords/2014-smashwords-survey-how- to-sell-more-ebooks
  25. 25. APA References 2 Gow, K. (2012, February 3). What being a “bestselling author” really means. Retrieved from http://www.fastcompany.com/1813678/what-being-bestselling-author-really-means Hoffelder, N. (2014, July 7). Smashwords’ new 2014 survey shows the value of pre-orders. Retrieved from http://the-digital-reader.com/2014/07/07/new-smashwords-2014- survey/#.VDmyvRai-1V Jacobs, D. (2014, April 25). How to self-publish your book through Amazon. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/deborahljacobs/2014/04/25/how-to-self-publish-your-book-through-amazon/ Smashwords, Inc. (2014). Slideshare Presentations on Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/smashwords/presentations Vogler, C. (1998). The writer's journey: Mythic structure for writers. Studio City, CA: M. Wiese Productions. Writer’s Digest (2013, February 21). The basics of DIY e-book publishing. Retrieved from http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/the-basics-of-diy-e-book-publishing
  26. 26. Questions? Future Authors Tools & Tips for Publishing eBooks Dr. Cynthia Calongne CTU Student Support Community, Oct. 11, 2014 Image by Lyr Lobo; book design by Imagechef.com

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