Understanding Ebook formatting and conversions is important because conversion choices drive distribution choices. You want to make as many versions of your book available for possible readers and buyers. The more book sales = more readers = more referrals = more readers = more book sales. Most readers decide on a book based on referrals and word of mouth. Having your book available on multiple book seller sites helps your book be more available for readers to give your book those referrals. To do that you should understand what format each of the book sellers want. This blog post is a quick summary of our free webinar Don’t Pay for Ebook Conversion Until You Know These Three Things The webinar will go into much more detail and we highly recommend you watching it (and did we mention it’s free?).
Your first step is to choose where you want your book sold. Your choices are not limited to, but include Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, Smashwords, specialty shops (usually based on genre), your anchor site, and brick and mortar stores. The more places you have your book available the more opportunity you have to sell your book.
Here are the formats each of these sellers use:
You will need to have your manuscript available in different formats in order to have it available to a variety of readers. It’s also important to have your manuscript available for a print format. We recommend a Print On Demand (PoD) option, this way you don’t have to pre-pay for thousands of printed books and worry about unloading inventory. People can purchase the book and the single copy will be printed and distributed. Three different sites specialize in PoD services, Createspace, Ingramspark, and Lightningsource. Lightingsource is more for experienced self-publishers. Createspace will show your book in stock on Amazon, and Ingramspark will show up in the ordering system of most brick and mortar book stores.
When looking at PoD make sure your entire interior layout is finished before doing your cover design. This includes you back matter, your dedicaton page, and all that legal stuff like copyright. This will give your cover designer the correct dimensions for the design. You need both the cover design and the entire interior layout prepared for whichever PoD service you decide.
Once you have your books up on the various seller sites, and whichever PoD site you choose, make sure you have the links on your anchor website – whether that’s a blog hosted by a third party, your own website with your designated domain name, or even your Facebook page. You also have the option of direct sales from your anchor site. Gumraod.com is a service which will create a direct link from your site to sell your books. They even have the option of using a book trailer as your book cover.
A little bit about Digital Rights Management (DRM). We suggest you turn this off. DRM is designed so that your Ebook can’t be shared with others. People like to share their books with their friends and you want your book shared (think referrals and word of mouth).
This was just a quick synopsis, for more detailed information on conversions, please check out our free webinar: Don’t Pay for Ebook Conversion Until You Know These Three Things
If you just want to write and not deal with this stuff (and we don’t blame you), we have ebook conversion services. We do the format conversion, get it ready to send to the various book sellers, and hand you back your files….because they’re your files. Check out our Ebook Conversion service.