E-Books Tips

Read these 14 E-Books Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Self Publishing tips and hundreds of other topics.

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What Types of E-books should I publish?

Creating an E-book

There are two types of e-books available to writers. The PDF reader opens files on a home computer. The digital versions use a hand-held reader to open the files. The Palmpilot, Adobe PDF reader, Mobipocket, and MS reader are the industry standards.

Authors need to consider the e-book markets before creating an e-book. Is the e-book to be sold through an e-book distributor, or from a private website? Ingrams, the nation's largest book distributor, will only accept e-books in the Palmpilot version. The three largest e-book stores, fictionwise.com, Amazon.com, and ebook.com will only sell an e-book if it includes a mobipocki version. E-books sold from a private website need to include an Adobe PDF version.

   
Should I release my book through a publisher or distributor?

Choosing Between a Distributor or Publisher

E-book publishing is a rapidly growing industry. The main US book distributors now accept e-books for release through the mega online bookstores. These companies charge less than $100.00 in set up costs and pay royalties. E-book royalties are the same whether the author chooses a distributor or an e-book publishing company to release their book. E-books sold from the distributor's website earn the author 50% in royalties. Books sold through the mega online bookstores earn 10% royalties.

   
How to I Create a Good Image For My E-book?

Improve The Image of An E-book

The stigma of self-publishing an e-book is the result of get-rich-quick companies that manage inferior online e-book portals. National e-book organizations are working hard to improve the image of the online e-book industry. Authors can work with these organizations to create a good image for their online e-books.

There are few basics that will protect an e-book's image:

  • Avoid listing with an online e-book store geared to the get-rich-quick community.
  • Do not use a free web site hosting service to sell online e-books.
  • Use a professional looking template instead of a homemade web site.
  • Self-published authors who want repeat sales need to add a blog, forum, guestbook, and mailing list to their website.

   
How Do I Choose a Good E-book Maker?

How to Choose an E-book Maker

It has never been easier to self-publish an e-book. Writers can create and market an own e-books for an unbelievably low price. In most cases, the writer keeps 100% of the profits, and total control of the content. Writers who can use a word processor can operate most of today's e-book makers. There are three things to look for in an e-book maker:

  • Only purchase an e-book maker from a reputable company.
  • The finished e-book must fit one of the commonly used readers.
  • Avoid free e-book makers. Many free and open-source e-book makers includes spamware that downloads onto the writer's computer, and may transfer to customer's computer.

   
sell an e-book, contract, Internet, writers, EPIC, publishing

EPIC Author's Association

The Electronic Publishing Internet Connection is the Number 1 association for published e-book and print authors. Its mandate is to provide strong voice for electronic publishers, and make it easier for authors to sell an e-book contract.

EPIC helps professional writers learn about the publishing and promotion opportunities on the Internet. They build networking opportunities, host writer's conferences, open up new markets to sell an e-book contract in, and exchange information with regulatory organizations within the publishing industry.

   
How to I Design a Profitable E-book?

How to Design a Successful E-book

Many writers are choosing to self-publish their e-books instead of sending their manuscript to publishers. The first step in self publishing is to choose an e-book design. The e-book stores sell e-books that duplicate the traditional print book design. These books give people information about a topic. These e-books are popular in the some fiction genres, but do not make popular non-fiction e-books.

The e-book design sold from private websites follows a more personal pattern. This style offers the highest income, and sales numbers for non-fiction authors. This e-book design follows a step-by-step pattern that explains how to complete a task by showing the e-book's reader how the author accomplished the task. Step-by-step problem solving e-books that focus on a narrow topic typically outsell general interest e-books.

   
What is The International Digital Publishing Forum?

The International Digital Publishing Forum

The International Digital Publishing Forum is the trade and standards association for the digital publishing industry, which includes e-books. Their members included industry giants like Ellora's Cave Publishing; Fictionwise, Inc; HarperCollins; McGraw-Hill Professional; Random House; and Time Warner Book Group. Their mandate is to gather information, share data, and promote e-books as a practical alternative to print books. The IDPF works to introduce consumers to the benefits of e-books. Self published authors who also sell e-books should review the IDPF site for new marketing venues and promotional tips.

   
How long should my ebook be?

The Long Game

Ebooks have become an important way of self-publishing, because they are cheap to produce and can be delivered easily. Ebooks vary in length depending on the publishers' requirements and the type of ebook. Most ebooks have about 250 words per page. Short non-fiction ebooks might be as little as 24 pages (6000 words), while longer ebooks are often between 10,000 and 20,000 words. The best approach to deciding the length for an ebook is to read publishers' or self publishers' guidelines to see what length they recommend for particular types of ebooks.

   
Does the publishing industry treat print and e-book authors the same?

The E-book Industry Has a Lot to Offer New Authors

E-book authors can expect the same financial rewards, respect, and prestige as print authors. E-book sales are growing so fast that print book distributors now distribute e-books. Even Barns & Noble and Ingram's realize that e-books are a valuable contribution to our culture.
The International Digital Publishing Forum surveyed 14 publishers in 2005 who reported that sales for the last three months of 2005 were in excess of $3 million. This has opened many doors for new authors to have their books published as e-books.

   
What E-book Cover Format Should I Use?

Designing an E-book Cover

The cover of an e-book has a dramatic impact on sales. Self published authors need to be careful when purchasing e-book cover software. Not all e-book cover software is created equal:

  • Avoid templates that insert a book title onto the pre-made image of a book.
  • Look for a program that accepts the book's traditional 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 cover image, and then twists it into the classic 3/4 view associated with e-book covers.
  • The traditional book cover style is a front cover view, saved in a .jpeg file, 79 dpi for advertising in an online bookstore.
  • The classic e-book cover is a small thumbprint 3/4 image of a book. It is used when selling e-books from a web site.

   
What is an e-book?

Definition of an E-Book

An e-book is a book designed and marketed to be sold online and downloaded directly to the buyer's computer as soon as they pay for the book. E-books are quick and convenient for the customer, and many e-book manufacturers sprang up seemingly overnight when e-books first became popular.

*Many are no longer in business, so if you plan to sell or market your book through an e-book publishing company, check out their reputation and longevity first.

   
How can I publish my book cheaply?

Publish an E-book

I want to know how to publish my book! I don't have a lot of money, but I'd determined to publish my book! Perhaps publishing your book as an e-book is the best way to start if you don't have a lot of money to invest. Many online bookstores now carry e-books for a percentage of the sales, and you can create an e-book cheaply but still be quite attractive and appealing to readers.

*If you're in a hurry and lack a lot of start-up cash, an e-book may help you get to the next level of self publishing.

   
How can I spot a self publishing company scam?

Watch out for Internet Scams

When you are looking for a self publishing company, whether an e-book publishing company or another self publishing company, beware of scams. There are many agencies and publishing companies soliciting author online and in e-mails that are simply scams to part you from your hard earned dollars.

If an offer from a self publishing company sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Ask for references, satisfied authors, and information on other books they have published. If they will not provide this information, then run the other way!

   
Can I trust reader reviews about e-books?

Ebook Comments and Reviews

With the advent of the Amazon Kindle, I-Pad and other mobile devices, people can read ebooks wherever they are. Anyone can publish short e-books on the Kindle. Amazon makes it easy for readers to leave a review of what they read on their website. These reader opinions will be shown below the book description. Whoever is looking for a book on any subject will read these reviews before they buy, so this will influence their decision to buy an e-book or not.

However, many people may not stop to consider that these reader reviews may not be truthful. The e-book authors themselves can hire a freelance writer to create a glowing review of their own book, and then publish this fake review on the sales website. On the flip side, a review that disparages an e-book as inaccurate or poorly written may be the work of another author who is promoting their own book on a similar subject.

   
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William Pirraglia