What we do

We work for authors & publishers to convert their books to high quality ready-to-sell digital versions, suitable for publishing directly (without the aid of a 3rd party aggregator allowing you to retain 100% of the profit for life) to the major marketplaces. You only pay a small affordable one-time fee, we provide the file formats and all the training to assist you in uploading your titles, allowing you to become the digital publisher. This means you get paid directly by Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Sony, Google, and any other marketplace you choose to setup accounts with. We are a FULL SERVICE author/publisher services firm, offering a value proposition unsurpassed by others in the industry.  We work on a work-for-hire basis, meaning you retain all of the rights to your work (as it should be!).  In addition to eBook formatting & layout, we provide: * Cover design * Marketplace setup & optimization (to your accounts on Amazon, BN, and Apple ) * Print-on-Demand layout & setup * KDP select campaigns

*Pay only for the services you need. *|Most conversions are completed within 14 days. In addition to the services we provide, at no additional cost, you will also receive: * Over 3 hours of video tutorials to assist you with marketplace setup, optimization, and marketing. * 60 days of post-sale support through our Pixels To Profit website. * A copy of our ePub Template and with access to over 50 tutorials ($97 value). Unlike the large volume conversion shops, we aren’t satisfied until you are. You won’t be stuck with a conversion that doesn’t reflect how you the author intended it to look. You get to proof your eBook before it’s published and our conversions are guaranteed to be 100% compatible.  Before a converted file is delivered to you, we test it on each device.  If there’s ever a problem with the file, we’ll fix it for free.  You always have the option to revise your books at anytime for a low fee.

Our pricing varies depending on the complexity of the book and the file type provided.  You can submit a bid request here. If you have any questions whatsoever, we are hear to help!  Feel free to contact us anytime (we are based in beautiful Old Town Fort Collins, Colorado).

You can also receive one-on-one consulting with Brian Schwartz, the Kindle Expert, through Clarity.fm:

Posted in General, Marketing | 3 Comments

The importance of Self-Publishing your eBook

Dear author friends (& soon-to-be authors),

I want to share a less fortunate situation I see some authors getting themselves into.  If you let another company publish your eBook under their account, you are going to be at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to succeeding in the era of eBooks. If you let another company publish your eBook under their account, you are not actually self-publishing.  True self-publishing means you as the author are the publisher. You work directly with the marketplaces that sell your book, you buy directly from the printers who print your books. The beauty of self-publishing is that you retain 100% of your profits and purchase your books at the lowest possible price (no markup, no middle man).

Here’s WHY you should avoid letting anyone else publish your work under their accounts on the major eBook marketplaces:

  • If you ever want to setup the title under your own account (after it’s already been setup on another account), you will lose your ranking and reviews. This is because the marketplaces can’t simply transfer a title from one account to another. Instead, the title would have to be unpublished under the old account, and then setup as a new title on the new account. Amazon won’t transfer the reviews to your new listing and you have to start over working your way back up the sales rankings (which does take into account your cumulative sales).
  • If you want to participate in programs like KDP select – you need to be able to ‘unpublish’ your work on all the other marketplaces you might setup on (only for the duration you choose to participate in KDP Select). This is easy to do if you are the account holder, but impossible to do if you are not. This is one of the many reasons I’m not a fan of the shotgun approach of publishing your eBook in every marketplace under the sun.
  • One of the keys to being a successful eBook author is in being able to fine tune your listing. This entails updating your description, trying different keywords, changing categories, testing different price points, etc.. All which requires that you have direct access to make these tweaks whenever you want.

I’m not going to call out any of these companies by name, but the bottom line is that there are many different business models out there, and you need to be fully informed before you enter into an engagement. Some companies are charging an annual fee as well as fees anytime you want to update your listings. None of the marketplaces I recommend you publish to charge any fees whatsoever (they don’t have to because they get a % of every sale). Bottom line is that you should be self-publishing your eBook. Which means you as the author/publisher get paid directly by Amazon, BN, Apple, Google, Kobo, or any other reputable marketplace that sells your eBook.

What if your book has already been published in print with a traditional publisher?

If so, there’s a chance the contract you have with your publisher makes no mention of eBooks. If that’s the case, then it would be in your best interest to self-publish your eBook edition before the publisher does. If you wait, and the publisher will likely eventually publish it as an eBook on your behalf, and you will not have any easy time republishing it under your own account. Amazon won’t allow a title to be published as eBook more than once. If this as occurred, as I mentioned above – the only option is that you convince your publisher to unpublish the eBook so you can publish it under your own account. Your ability to do this will vary depending on the contract you have in place with your existing publisher. But many of the contracts were written long before eBooks existed, so there’s a good chance you own the rights to do this yourself. But if you hesitate too long, and the publisher does publish your eBook, you may be hard pressed to get the rights to self-publish it. Please note: Every contract and situation will be different, and by no means am I providing any legal advice whatsoever – you need to protect yourself and be sure you aren’t violating any terms with your existing publisher. You should try to get a letter from the publisher that they are rescinding any rights of the eBook edition. Amazon may ask you to provide written proof that you have the rights if they see the print edition was published under a different publisher. I’ve worked with many authors who had no problem getting the publisher to furnish this document. Sometimes all you have to do is ask!

Posted in General | 2 Comments

Wondering which Kindle eBook reader to buy?

I’m often asked as the Kindle Expert ‘Which Kindle should I buy?’

Feb.1, 2013 Update – I wanted to post an update on the what I wrote back in December-2012:

I mentioned that text-to-speech is really one of my favorite features of the Kindle. iBooks doesn’t have it. And several different Kindle models don’t either, so here’s what you need to know if that feature is as important to you as it is to me:

Text-to-Speech is available on:

Text-to-Speech is not available on:

Note: You can download the Amazon Accessibility Plugin to enable text-to-speech on the PC Kindle App.

The original post follows below

It’s that time of year again (this also happened last Christmas) – when the #1 question I get is: “Which eBook reader should I buy?”

These days, it’s really down to the Kindle Fire or iPad.  I do realize BN nook has a new device out as well, but honestly I don’t see them competing long term in the eBook space.  Perhaps Microsoft will change that, but for now, it’s a two horse race.

I feel the key advantage of Kindle over the iPad is that there is a much larger catalog of books available – and Kindle books tend to cost the least $.  Additionally, through Amazon Prime, members get access to thousands of titles they can borrow for free (1/month).

However – Apple iBooks (iPad & iPad mini) is superior for reading eBooks. It’s a more elegant reader, more natural (as if you are actually reading a book in print), and the ability to add notes and highlight text is far easier to use.  The big disadvantage of the iBooks reader is no text-to-speech – but sadly Amazon removed that feature on the Kindle Fire as well.

Currently, I feel the iPad/iPad mini is a superior device when it comes to reading eBooks – as I feel they are ahead of Amazon in the software aspect.

But the higher cost of the iPad is a barrier to entry for many, and the vast array of content for the Kindle makes it a more valuable investment from an eReader perspective.

So if I had to choose between a Kindle Fire or an iPad Mini ($329) – I would choose the Kindle Fire for the reasons above.  **The big game changer in my mind is that Amazon has a 4G data package that you can add for only $49/year **(only available on the the top end $499 Kindle Fire).

Amazon will continue to improve the Kindle Reader software, so I think that while Apple does have an advantage with the iBooks software, they won’t have the advantage forever.

Hope that helps in your decision to purchase your next eReader!  

Posted in Amazon, Apple, General, ipad, Kindle | 3 Comments

Extra Amazon author/publisher incentive to enroll in KDP Select (Dec-12 to Feb-13)

More good news for Kindle authors!

Amazon is offering a new incentive next month to get more of you to enroll with KDP Select. They are doubling the payout to authors who have their Kindle eBooks enabled to be ‘borrowed’, to Amazon’s Prime customers.

While you are receiving less from readers who borrow your book as opposed to buying it, it is still a decent payout (it’s calculated based on the # of borrows of your book and pulled from a pool of $1.4 million per month spread across all borrows). You might look at it as sales you likely would have not received otherwise. There’s little doubt that Amazon is trying to convert as many Kindle owners to becoming Prime members as possible – given the fact Prime Kindle owners can borrow one book/month (as long as the title is listed with KDP Select).

Amazon Prime is another way that Amazon is increasing demand for eBooks. It is a way of ‘pre-selling’ 12 Kindle books/year. When you factor in that Amazon Prime costs $79/year, which allows the Prime member to borrow 12 Kindle Books (1/month), it works out to an average price of $6.58/Kindle book that each Prime member receives. Not to mention all of the other Prime benefits (ie. free shipping, video-on-demand, etc.).

Few companies posses more marketing savvy than Amazon IMHO.

The only drawback for an author who does participate in KDP Select, is that you won’t be able to sell on BN or Apple – since Amazon requires an exclusive during the 3 month period you are enrolled in KDP Select.

However – I’m fairly confident that if you do run a KDP promotion (offering your book as a freeie for five days within the KDP three-month period), and you run a campaign to actually drive people to the page where they can download the freebie (on the days it’s free), then you will more than offset any lost sales through iBooks or Nook.

Ready to take advantage of KDP Select?

Hopefully you’ve published directly to KDP and not through a 3rd party aggregator or distributor. I’ve heard of some appalling fees that some distributors/aggregators are charging authors who want to put their book on KDP Select. If you are in that situation, I’d highly advise you pull your title from the aggregator/distributor and set it up directly on your own publishers account with Amazon. (We can help)

You may also hire to setup and run a KDP campaign for your title. Helping authors maximize their potential (& profit) is all we do!

 

Posted in General | 1 Comment

Over 50,000 views on YouTube

I was pleasantly surprised this morning when I looked at the number of views (for the first time) of the videos I’ve uploaded to YouTube since 2010. Our YouTube Channel currently has had more than 50,000 views!   If you haven’t already subscribed, you should because I have plenty of more videos in the works.  If you can’t attend one of my live workshops, this is a great way to stay in the loop for all things related to eBooks and publishing in the digital era. I began uploading tutorials to Youtube to provide support to my clients and those who’ve purchased the ePubTemplate to create beautiful eBook themselves..

Posted in Advice, Amazon, Apple, General, ipad, Kindle, Marketing | 1 Comment

How Amazon is Saving Bookstores

I’m truly grateful for all the opportunities I’ve been given this summer to speak to many authors at writers conferences, and with publishers at the publishing conferences I’ve attended.

A topic that inevitably comes up, often has do to with Amazon’s impact on traditional brick and mortar bookstores.  There’s a misconception (in my opinion) that they are slowly putting them all out of business.

I want to share with you an observation I’ve made after traveling around, including most recently to Cape Cod, MA where I chatted with a bookstore owner on how Amazon allows her to stay in business.

Savvy bookstore owners are using the Amazon marketplace (as sellers) to sell both new and used books. This gives them additional sideline revenues to offset the dips that come from running  seasonal retail business. Amazon provides them access to a worldwide audience and an avenue to unload inventory to free up valuable shelf space.

Bookstores can justify a higher price (just as I do in my own work) when they offer greater value and a personal touch that makes all the difference to customers.  Since bookstore owners are some of the most creative people in the world, I have little doubt they are figuring it out.

Indeed, Amazon has made a dramatic impact on the world of books and publishing in general.  But from what I see, more so in a positive way.  This is evidenced by the numerous studies proving how literacy has  improved thanks to the Kindle and other eReaders for the next generation of technology-centric youth who might otherwise shy away from books.

So next time you are in a heated discussion about Amazon, think about the positive impact they’ve had on the world in more ways than one.  If not for Amazon, I can’t imagine how many unpublished authors there would be waiting for an agent to get back to them or reading yet another rejection letter from a publisher.

Posted in General | Leave a comment