What is the ideal cover size for an eBook cover?

I get this question a lot!  In fact, probably more than any other question… so, to answer it once and for all.. here’s the answer (which incidentally has changed since the Kindle Fire came about):  But the ideal cover size is a .jpg that is 800 pixels wide by 1066 pixels tall.  This will result in a full size image on just about every eReader.  This isn’t to say that other cover sizes won’t work… 600×800 is still very common, it just may be scaled to fit the screen (in some cases) and result in a slightly lower resolution.  If you use a larger file, that’s fine as well – but doing so may result in a larger file size (& thus increase your delivery fee.)

*One caveat is Apple iBooks. They changed their cover requirements this year, and now require the cover image to be a minimum of 1400 pixels on the shortest side.  So be sure to also get a ‘large’ version of your cover to meet Apple’s requirements if/when you decide to publish to the iBookstore.

Hope that helps everyone who ever wondered what size to tell their eBook cover designer to use… All my best to your self-published success -Brian Schwartz, Kindle Expert

Posted in Advice, Amazon | 5 Comments

Creating iBooks Promo Codes for your Title

Did you know that as an Apple  iBooks author who has published directly through iTunes Connect you can request promo codes that’ll give you an option to offer a secure complementary copy of your ebook to reviewers?

I advise my clients to try and avoid ever sending out non-DRM (Digital Rights Management) versions of their epub, mobi, or unprotected PDF file to anyone.   Of course this presents a problem if you do want to give someone a copy of your ebook.  But if you’ve hired us to get your ebook up on iTunes, you now have the option to send out  up to 50 iBook review copies.

ePubConversions.com provides more options for authors and publishers than any other eBook conversion service (all of these are included in our one-time fee):

  • .mobi version for Amazon Kindle.
  • .ePub version for BN Nook, Google Books, etc..
  • .ePub version for Apple iBooks.
  • PDF version of your ebook suitable for print-on-demand (page #’s will be added to the table of contents).
  • Step by Step yutorials to walk you through the title setup process at Amazon, BN, and Apple.
  • Over 3 hours of  fresh marketing materials including our ’7 secrets’ marketing map a one hour webinar on how to optimize your book for maximum exposure on Amazon.
  • Optional: An ‘affiliate badge‘ so you can give your readers and fans a way to help promote your ebook.
We provide you the source files and tutorials so you will are in full control of your listing.  Why is this important? Because when you let another company act as your so-called ‘ebook distributor,’ they will charge you a fee ($50-75 per occurrence) anytime you need to make changes to your listing (price, category, keyword,  description, etc.), cover, or interior. Don’t make the same mistake other author have who have their hands tied! Or let us help you get ‘free’ from these companies who in my mind are exploiting the naive author.

 

How to create promo codes for your iBook edition through your Apple iTunes Connect account:

  1. Login into your iTunes Connect account
  2. Choose ‘Manage Your Books’
  3. Select ‘Promo Codes’
  4. Send your reviewer the promo code which they will be able to ‘redeem’ through the iTunes store.
Note: If the ‘Promo Codes’ button is not available for your title, you may need to first add the Promo agreement to your account. Personally, I don’t remember having to do this for my titles, but in the world of eBooks, things change everyday!

Here’s some screenshots:

Manage Your Books option in iTunes Connect

After you select your title, click the 'Promo Codes' button.

Here’s more about Apple’s iBooks promo codes (from Apple’s FAQ):

What are promo codes? 

Promo codes can be distributed to provide free copies of your book for promotional or publicity purposes. Once you have distributed a promo code, the recipient can redeem it in the iBookstore for a free copy of your book in any territory where the book has been marked Cleared For Sale or Not Cleared For Sale. 

How do I get promo codes for a book? 

You must enter into a separate Promo Code agreement to request promo codes for a book, and so the requestor must have the Legal role to request promo codes. You can request a maximum of 50 promo codes per title. Promo codes are valid for 4 weeks from the date they are requested.

To request promo codes, locate the book in the Manage Your Books module and click Promo Codes. Enter the number of codes you would like to request and click Continue. After reading the contract, check the box to agree to the terms and click Continue. After agreeing to the contract terms, click Download to download the promo codes. 

Why don’t I see the Promo Codes button? 

Only users with the Legal role can request promo codes. The Promo Codes button will only display for books with a status of On Store or Ready for Store in at least one territory. An admin user can assign the legal role to another user via the Manage Users module. 

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How your Kindle edition can get you more reviews on Amazon

Do you have as many Amazon reviews for your book as you’d like?  As a publisher of over 50 books on Amazon, I can share first hand that there is indeed a direct correlation between the number of reviews a title has and that title’s book sales.  The more reviews an author has (good or bad), the more he/she will sell. How many reviews?  I recommend getting as many as you can, but a good, realistic goal is 1-2 per month.

So how do you go about getting yourself more reviews?  By issuing a call to action!  Thankfully, Amazon does this automatically on its Kindle books with a pop up screen at the end of the Kindle book asking the reader to leave a review (& providing a live link to make it easy for them to do so). Of course that assumes they get to the end of your book.

So I recommend you provide your readers an added incentive to post an honest review earlier in the book.  Perhaps halfway through. Tell them that you would be grateful for their authentic feedback (whether it’s good bad) and that you are willing to provide something in return.  I like to offer either a $10 Amazon gift card, or if it’s another author, I’m happy to return the favor and write them an honest review.  I say honest because I’m not going to just give someone a 5-star review because they asked me to. Why? If your reviews are only good reviews,  they won’t carry as much weight when readers see your other reviews.

This is yet another good reason why it’s important to have your book available on Kindle.  If your print & kindle editions are properly linked, any reviews left on your Kindle edition will also show up on the listing for your print edition.

Still struggling with getting your book up on Kindle, Nook, or iBooks? Hire us and we’ll take care of the ebook layout and conversion for you – usually with 10 days, and we guarantee you will be pleased with the result (often our clients like the eBooks we create even better than their print edition). I’m proud to share that most of our business today comes via referrals, so you can move forward with confidence because we will do whatever it takes to make you glad you hired us (& thus refer future clients to us).

Posted in Advice, Amazon, Kindle, Marketing | 2 Comments

Wondering whether or not you should signup for KDP Select?

Dear Author friends,

I received several emails shortly after Amazon announced the KDP Select program.   Everyone was asking me what I thought they should do.  I honestly couldn’t answer because I didn’t know the answer!  But today, I can.  I received an email from a past client that validates how incredibly powerful the KDP Select program can be!  Keep in mind this is a first book, she published it herself (with the help of KindleExpert.com) and is just about to finish her 1 week KDP promotion of offering her Kindle book at a $0.00 price on Amazon (which you get to do only if you sign up for KDP Select).  As of today (3/5/12), in the short time it’s been up (since 3/1/12), she’s had over 30,000 downloads and The Eighth Sea is currently ranked #1 in the historical fiction category and #5 Overall (Free) Kindle books (whoa!).  She’s even outselling Charles Dickens! Time will tell whether or not the explosion in exposure will translate into sales, it’s her only book. And she’ll be putting a price back on her book on 3/8/12).  I’ll report back in a couple months how well her sales have been.

But based on Nancy’s experience – I would give an enthusiastic thumbs up on the KDP Select program.  If you are a talented author, as Nancy is, you can see how much of a boost the KDP Select program gives.  I would not be surprised if she gets calls from NYC literary agents and major publishers.  Not bad for a first time author who just published her first book on Amazon 3 months ago!

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Two titles that have broken into the Kindle top 5000!

I wanted to send out a quick update… this unusual to say the least, but two of the books I just finished converting to Kindle are now among the top .5% of all Kindle books sold. In other words, they’ve broken into the coveted top 5000 spot I often speak of.  This equates to a huge amount of visibility (& profit) to both the authors. Congrats!!

The two titles I am very proud to have worked on are and just published to Kindle that are among the top .5%:

As of today (2/29/12) – here are their rankings respectively:

Fisherman's Language by Jim Henry

Feel Younger Now! by Don McGrath, Ph.D.

I often tell authors – if you have a single goal, it should be to break into the top .5% of Kindle books. The rewards will be reflected on your commissions report and you’ll be hooked to doing it again.

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