Q. Why can’t I just upload my pdf version to Amazon?
A. For the user of a Kindle or any other eReader to have the ideal experience, content delivered to the device must be at a character level. This allows the user to adjust font size, search, text, and perform other advanced functions specific to each device. Since page #’s are assigned by the device (depending on the size of the font the user selects and the size of the device screen), you must have your table of contents dynamically linked to each chapter. In addition, the scale of each font is determined by specific tags coded in the file itself. This means that if you have a chapter header, and it is not tagged correctly, the font size will be the same as the rest of the text on the page, and thus the reader will not know that it is a chapter title.
Because so many authors/publishers have uploaded plain pdf’s & poorly formatted documents to Amazon, Amazon provides buyers a 7-day return policy on any Kindle title. You will get returns on your title (resulting in no royalty) if the title is not properly setup (resulting in a bad user experience). I can tell you from firsthand experience (as a publisher who originally did this the wrong way) that you will indeed get many returns and have unhappy readers.
Q. Why don’t I just use a service like Smashwords to convert my book to every format under the sun??
A. Well, you can. But this is exactly one of the pitfalls authors and publishers are falling into who are naively throwing their book into the ‘digital universe.’ Here’s the reality you need to understand; every single title uploaded to Smashwords is sold DRM free. Which might seem great (from a buyers perspective) because you can read a book from Smashwords on the Kindle, on the Nook, your PC, and many other devices… but, did you know that you can also take that same file and forward it to as many friends as you wish? EBook file formats are small by design – this makes they are easy to attach to an email. DRM free makes it simply too easy for someone to buy one book and forward it to a hundred of their friends. While there are arguments on why authors might want to make their books DRM free, I believe those arguments only hold up if you are someone who is already selling a lot of books otherwise, someone who is getting paid speaking engagements, and already has a strong following. I believe that for the majority of us, DRM-Free is not in our best interests. It just makes it too easy for someone to steal your hard work.
Also, as someone who has experimented with Smashwords, the conversion leaves a lot to be desired… as the author of a book, I want the book to look the way I intended it to look, whether in print or electronically!
Q. Does my book need to already be in print?
A. Not at all! In fact, most publishers are now releasing theirs books in digital form first. It allows them to see if there is enough demand for a title to justify taking it to print.
Q. Does Amazon charge a setup fee to sell on Amazon?
A. No. You can sign up for an account and publish titles to the Kindle Store at no cost. Only if you choose to be paid by check, will a small fee of $8 will be incurred for each royalty check issued.
Q. Do I need a new ISBN #?
A. Not for Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble nook, or Google Editions. The Apple iBookstore however, does require a specific ISBN for your ebook (it can’t be the same as your print ISBN).
Q. What are the currently royalties paid to authors/publishers?
A. If you price your book between $2.99 & $9.99, you retain 70% of the purchase price. If you price your book less than $2.99 or over $9.99, then you retain 35% of the price.
Q. How long does it take to get paid royalties for sales?
A. Amazon pays royalties approximately sixty (60) days following the end of the calendar month during which applicable sales of digital books occur.
Q. How are converted files delivered to me?
A. We deliver validated .epub & .mobi files that can be uploaded directly to your Amazon KDP, Barnes & Noble Pubit, Google Books, or Apple account. The format we provide is guaranteed to be compatible with all versions (past & future) of the Kindle.
Q. How much of my book will be available to preview for free?
A. Amazon gives anyone the first 10% to preview at no cost. In fact, this is a very important aspect to grasp. Because you only get to show the prospective buyer the first 10% of your book, you want to be sure that 10% hooks the reader and gets to the heart of the content right away. Because of this, we will recommend you move sections like ‘Acknowledgments’ and ‘About the Author’ to the back of the book. And add new sections such as ‘endorsements’ or ‘praise for ____.’ Doing so will help you sell more ebooks!
Q. How can I view ePub/mobi files on my Mac/PC?
A. The only way you can read an ePub on your Mac/PC is with Adobe Digital Editions. I recommend you use Dropbox to make your epub/mobi files accessible across all your devices. If so, you should see the folder on your mac with all your files. You can use the Kindle previewer to view the mobi file on your mac. Please refer to my tutorials page for more help.
Q. Can I send my converted ePub/Mobi eBook files to reviewers?
A. You can send out the epub and mobi files – they are usually very small files. Just keep in mind that when you do, there is no DRM on them – which means they could wind up in the wild and you can’t track who has ‘em! If you load it up to iBooks, they provide 50 promo codes you can send out to safely provide reviewers with a copy & still protect your files. Otherwise, what I do is offer to reimburse the reviewer for the cost of the eBook if they prefer to buy it on their Kindle or nook.
Q. How can I prevent people from forwarding my eBook to others without my knowledge?
A. Digital Rights Management (DRM) is an option you will need to check when you setup your titles at Amazon, BN, and Apple. As long as DRM is on them, there’s no way for them to share (or print) your eBook with anyone else (it’s locked to the device registered to the buyer).
Q. If I purchase an ISBN through your company, am I giving up any rights to my work?
A. No. The ISBN # is a technicality only required by iBooks – the fact I’m assigning you one of mine doesn’t mean you are giving up any rights. Technically, my publishing company, Wise Media Group, is assigned the ISBNs I purchased from Bowker (and from which I be assigning an ISBN # to you) – but Apple doesn’t do anything with it – it’s simply a means for them to filter out the serious authors from the people who feel they can publish anything they want. If you do purchase an ISBN from us, Wise Media Group, LLC agrees to the following:
- To waive all right to publishing control of titles associated with ISBN(s) assigned to Author.
- To waive all rights to royalties – past, present, and future – from sale of titles associated with the ISBN number provided to Author.
- To register the ISBN in the Bowkerlink database upon completion of work within 30 days.