e-book design

Ebook Conversion vs. Ebook Formatting

Open-Letter-to-Amazon


Have you ever been wondering why it is possible to get a free ebook version from your online book distributor?  Or seen people offering to convert your novel manuscript into an ebook for $30 or $50?

.
While $30 or $50 are almost expensive for just clicking a button to import the (pre-formatted) manuscript, fill in a form with details about the book – such as title, author name, and retail price – click another button to add any required companion files to the project, then clicking one last button to output the ebook in the desired file format. It is mostly an automated process – done in less than 15 minutes.

.
I wrote a while ago that I had once paid $70 in advance for .mobi and epub, and received both versions after a wait of almost two months! and dozens of emails. I immediately transferred it to our distributor. He refused the epub version as it contained 63 !!! technical errors, and it cost me, even more, to have it done by a professional. Very frustrating!

.
Formatting an eBook – Especially Non-Fiction
Book formatting is mostly manual, because every manuscript is different, and the process of formatting a manuscript for ebook publication is primarily a process of minimizing and standardizing formatting.

.
List of eBook Formatting Steps for Mobi
Web content manager A. Hamilton once blogged this list:

* “Save As” to create Kindle file copy
* Insert cover image on the first page
* Remove blank pages
* Remove headers
* Remove footers
* Set margins to 1” all around, remove gutter
* Replace section breaks with page breaks
* Set two carriage returns before each pg break and one after each
* Insert page breaks before each chapter heading, if necessary
* Replace double spaces with single space between sentences
* Standardize body text style
* Turn off auto-hyphenate (Tools > Language > Hyphenation)
* Remove any tab or space bar indents, replace w/ ruler indents as needed
* Set line spacing to 1.5, max 6pt spacing after paragraphs
* Standardize chapter headings
* Standardize section headings
* Remove/replace special characters
* Reformat graphics as needed to 300dpi resolution & optimal size     (4×6” or smaller)
* Verify images are “in line” with text
* Insert page breaks before and after full-page images
* Modify copyright page to reflect Kindle edition verbiage
* Add correct ISBN to copyright page
* Insert hyperlinked TOC
.

Time and effort demands in creating ebooks are highly variable.  So, you better send a sample chapter and ask if the price quoted for the ebook conversion service includes formatting – and also the creation of any required companion files.

 

<><><><><>



The Important Last Pages of Your eBook

.
ebook-Layout

.

Short Excerpt from our upcoming book: 111 Tips on How to Market Your Book for Free
.

Not only is the content of your e-book crucial to win long-term readers, but the very last pages are equally important – not only to say thank-you for purchasing and reading your title but to invite your readers for more books, reviews etc.
.
Leverage Your e-Book Layout
Take advantage of hyperlinks.  An e-book is simply a specialized web page.  Use your e-book for “free advertising” of your other books, of your Social Media sites, to gather email newsletter sign ups and book reviews.
.

Set up the following pages, right after the books’ last page:

  • Review Links: Give your readers a reason to leave positive reviews and to recommend the book to others. Once readers have finished the last page and like your book, they are more inclined to leave an immediate book review.
  • Set up an opt-in link for your newsletter / mailing list
  • Link to all your Social Media sites, for example to your:
  • Amazon author page and all your book online retailers
  • GoodReads.com and other book communities
  • Your own website and blog
  • Google+
  • Twitter.com
  • Pinterest.com
    .
    If there are buttons already set up for Google+, Twitter, Goodreads, etc. on your website, just click on them, copy the URL out of the address bar on the bottom of your page, and create the link.
    .

Make it Easy for Reviewers
Amazon uses their own identifier for ebooks—ASIN—which means you have to wait until after the book is definitely published on the Kindle Store to create a link.  As soon as your book is uploaded, you can use your books Amazon page, and link to “Post your review”.

Building these links is just a matter of copy/paste. If you are not familiar with HTML, ask your e-book formatter or your web designer to do it.  It’s worth the small effort – and a great chance to make the next sale, get reviews, new fans who rave about your book and followers on your Social Media sites.

You can certainly use logos or sharing buttons. How this works is described by David Kudler for HTML-based ePub files and here for Word and Smashwords.

.
Retweet Buttons
People are naturally inclined to share content they find valuable. It shows to their followers that they are someone worth following because of the useful information they share, making them a valuable contributor to the social networks. Encouraging your readers to share your book’s content in social media also extends the reach of it to people outside of your direct network.

A special retweet button allows any reader to easily post a tweet into his or her Twitter account.  And it’s not just any tweet, but one that’s prefabricated by you and links back to your e-book.  Retweet buttons allow any reader to easily post a tweet into his or her Twitter account.  And it’s not just any tweet, but one that’s prefabricated by you and links back to the original landing page where your document resides.
.

Retweet Buttons: Step by Step Explained
Create a small graphic (a blue bird on the graphic gives a visual signal to Twitter users) you can place it in your manuscript.  Place the retweet image in more than one location of your future book.  So, where do you want to send readers? Certainly to your books’ sales page!  Use a link shortener, such as bit.ly, as the original Amazon link is too long.  Create a short recommendation text to accompany the link.

Acrobat Pro will allow you to create hot-links inside your e-book file.  Use the “Link Tool” in Acrobat Pro (under the advanced editing menu), locate the retweet buttons you added into your file and create a clickable link for each retweet graphic.
To keep the link type invisible, highlight style to ‘None’ and select ‘Open a web page’ as the link action.
Then hit the ‘Next’ button. You will be prompted to enter your special URL.
Now repeat the process for all the retweet buttons you have in your e-book manuscript.  More tips, for example how to do it in InDesign, can be found in this article by Marissa Treece.
.

Once you created all these URL’s, add these pages to the end of the book:

  • List of your previous books with sales page URL’s
  • Acknowledgements
  • “About the author” or bio
  • Bibliography
  • Index Links (for non-fiction books)

.
Remember: The first page sells your book. The last page sells your next book!
Setting up your book layout in the same professional way as trade publishers do and leveraging the fact that you can easily incorporate links, re-tweet buttons, sign-up forms and review encouragements in your e-book will bring you many more new readers for your books!
These tips are best for e-books because readers can directly follow the links. However, in printed books you can ask for reviews, refer to your website, social media channels, or invite readers to your newsletter as well.  Just quote the exact link path.

.

<><><><><>

.

If you would like to get a mentor and our support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer for three months all this and more for only $179 – or less than $2 per day!  Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting / Book Marketing for your success: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

To learn more about professional book marketing and publishing, please read also “Book Marketing on a Shoestring
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UAVL3LE

Our email newsletters with free insider tips are sent out once a month. To sign up, just go to the form on the right site of each blog post.



Book Cover: You Never Get a Second Chance …

.
file4881234132904
.

… for a first good impression!  Always remember : 
Your books’ title and its appearance is the first, and perhaps only impression you make on a prospective reader.  A great image on your book cover will undoubtedly catch your reader’s imagination, wondering what lies beyond it. A fantastic opportunity to draw readers in.

Not that an appealing cover means automatically a great book, but a book that is accurately and even interestingly represented by its cover, is more likely to catch the eye of someone who is going to enjoy reading it.  Interesting covers are going to get more time on shelf-displays, online and off-line.  We are a visual culture; naturally that is going to influence our book-buying habits.
A stunning book cover is one of the best marketing tools for any writer!
.
Bali Rai wrote in one of his blogs:  ”In 2002, as one of the judges on the Guardian’s Teenage prize, I remember a book called Thursday’s Child by Sonya Hartnett.  It’s a simple yet wonderful story of 1930′s Depression-era Australia, and it went on to win the award. However, it was not my choice for winner, simply because I thought the cover illustration would deter people from reading it. It was drab and old-fashioned in my opinion and had I not been reading and judging the book, it would have put me off completely.”
.

Here are some points you should discuss with your designer.

  • Use bold or complementary colors
  • Use light on dark for dramatic effects (if it fits to your book content)
  • Test the cover in thumbnail size to make sure it looks good at Amazon’s website
  • Use not more than different two fonts in total
  • Use not too wide vertical spaces between lines of text
  • Use few shadow, bevel, gradient or glow – keep it subtle
  • Align the cover text – centre, left or right
  • Place text on plain background to stand out
  • Use the same fonts for all your books and readers will be able to identify them easily
  • People read left to right, top to bottom. Position your elements in appropriate levels of importance.
  • Never, ever, use a white background for your book! White on white is barely visible and on websites your book will not stick out, as the sites’ background are almost always white.

.
E-books are bought online, usually displayed on a page with many other books. Therefore clarity, simplicity, brightness and information must jump off the screen.  A simple and arresting graphic element and bold clear text for the title and the authors’ name must be easy to read on the tiny online image.
.
A book that is brilliantly written, but lacks a good quality cover design will remain unnoticed and undiscovered.  It is absolutely crucial to have a book cover that grabs the attention of readers and book buyers and shows the heart and the soul of the book in one single image

Read more:

Lousy Book Covers
http://lousybookcovers.tumblr.com/

.
“23 Creative Book Cover Designs and their Story” is a showcase of creative book cover designs, indicating the typefaces used for the title or text:
http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/inspiration/creative-book-cover-story
.

Joel Friedlander wrote a great blog about brilliant book titles in one of his blogs:
http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2010/06/how-to-write-book-titles-for-people-robotsJoel
.

“40 Extraordinary Photoshop Text Effects” shows detailed tutorials, how to create amazing book title effects, step by step and using lots of screen shots.
http://www.problogdesign.com/resources/40-extraordinary-photoshop-text-effects

Fonts for book titles:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typeface
http://www.dafont.com/themes.php
http://www.1001freefonts.com
http://www.identifont.com

.

<><><><><>

.

If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $159 for three months! Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/ to advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 960 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing
http://www.111publishing.com
http://www.e-Book-PR.com/
http://www.international-ebooks.com/
http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+
http://pinterest.com/111publishing/

.

Hyper Smash

Pingate


Tagged: book cover as marketing tool, book cover design, Book Layout, book shelves, Cover art, e-book cover, font for book cover, front cover, People read left to right, top to bottom, You never get a second chance, Your title and its appearance


Have Your Chocolate – And Loose Weight Too

.
102212-chocolate

.

Recently I read this sentence somewhere on Twitter:

“I’m a positive writer and when that doesn’t work, I eat chocolate.”

Made me laugh, as it fit’s perfectly to me, even I am not a writer per se, more a blogger and compiler of non-fiction guide books.  E-book formatting companies often dread non-fiction as they are the hardest to convert into an appealing layout and they sometimes charge more for this kind of e-books. Well, it is more work for sure than to convert a novel due to many small chapters, all with their own headline and lots of lists, often numerous images…

Short after I read this “chocolate” sentence, I discovered a non-fiction e-book on Amazon which touted the benefits of chocolate:  How to Have Your Chocolate and Lose Weight Too!  Written by Michelle Van Otten.  Well, I was hooked and after discovering the 5-star reviews, I ordered it. 

Eat Your Chocolate...

Eat Your Chocolate…

I was up for a nice surprise.  Not only by its content, which I just scanned, as I had no time yet to read it yet, but more by the great formatting job of this e-book. One of the very few books which has a really beautiful, clean layout. Easy to read and very appealing to the eye. An amazing e-book design job!

See for yourself on Amazon:  Click on the books cover and you can “Look Inside”.  Prime Members: borrow for free from their Kindle. And if you need an affirmation for your chocolate cravings:  It is only $2.99 for Kindle.

.
<><><><><>
.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are almost 600 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Follow on Twitter: @111publishing

And don’t forget to spread the word on other social networking sites of your choice for other writers who might also enjoy this blog and find it useful. Thanks, Doris

.

.
Hyper Smash

Pingates



Be Spoiled for Choice …

.

… how you want to learn book promotion.  And there is a lot to learn: Publishing evolves constantly and the success of your book(s) is very much depending on you, no matter if you self-publish or if you go with one of the big publishers. 

Choices in publishing, essentials of book / e-book layout and design, your platform and brand,  optimizing social media, use of non-traditional ways of book marketing, book distribution, online retailers, learning about  marketing on a shoestring… it’s over-whelming.  But not if you get help from someone who has studied e-publishing and marketing for many years – and practices it all.

Choose between weekend seminars or sign-up for customized online marketing training (special offer in December)  

… or plan ahead for a publishing and book marketing seminar on a 5-day Caribbean Cruise on board of the Carnival Breeze, a brand new cruise liner, taking off in Miami, FL, on November 3, 2013.  Make your travel plans soon, bookings for this offer start at the end of this month!  

.

Cruise2012-12-04_1149

.

Hello, I’m Doris-Maria Heilmann with 111 Publishing.  We are not only publishers of traditional and eBooks, we extensively market our authors books.  We also host informative seminars for authors on the “art” of promotion. 

During the last years, publishing books has totally changed. Nowadays we writers need to build our own platforms, identify our own demographics, and find our own market share – even if we are with a traditional publishing house!  The profession has changed and we need to adapt in order to succeed.   

Our unique “Seminar-At-Sea” will help authors to:

  • Strategically establish a writing career
  • Create our own brand
  • Identify our target readers
  • Find out how to reach these readers
  • Market and publicize our books on a budget
  • Find free book publishing funding sources

Soon I will be announcing all the details of this spectacular opportunity.  But for now…mark November 3, 2013 on your calendars!!  Connect with your peers and learn invaluable information to enhance your writing career…all while having the time of your life on an exotic Caribbean Cruise!!

Doris-Maria Heilmann

.
<><><><><>
.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are almost 600 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Follow on Twitter: @111publishing

And don’t forget to spread the word on other social networking sites of your choice for other writers who might also enjoy this blog and find it useful. Thanks, Doris

.

.
Hyper Smash

Pingates



Improve Your Amazon Page, Sell More Books

.

.

One of the greatest benefits of selling your e-book or paper book at Amazon (or Barnes & Noble) is the space they provide you to “advertise” your work.  If you are a savvy author, take advantage of this marvelous opportunity and insert as much information about your writing and yourself as you can.

Look at it from the standpoint of a reader; which e-book or book would you buy: The one that shows just a boring cover, name of the author, and a very short introduction to the book – or the one that:

  • has a beautiful cover
  • an all-embracing editorial review
  • an authors bio with a portrait on the author page
  • lots of customer reviews

So, what can you do to improve your appearance on Amazon and improve book sales? A lot indeed! Starting with the book price to earn the maximum:

  • an appealing cover
  • lengthy editorial review
  • a marvelous author’s bio
  • lots of customer reviews from readers, fellow authors and journalists that are writing for newspapers book review articles

1. APPEALING COVER

Rule # 1 for your book cover at Amazon is NEVER to use a white background! White on white is barely visible and your book will not stick out, especially when you chose to have the text in black. Your book cover should be:

  • be aesthetically appealing
  • appeal to the book’s intended audience
  • represent the book’s content
  • use a clean, readable font
  • use bold or complementary colors
  • use light on dark for dramatic effects
  • visit a bookstore to research book cover designs

And most important:
Test the cover in thumbnail size to make sure it looks good at Amazon’s website!

If your funds are too limited to hire a cover artist try this for an appealing book cover: Use software, such as bookcoverpro,  if you are computer-savvy and creative / artsy or hire a professional at Freelancer  or Elance  or just get in touch with your local colleges’ graphic design class to find a young and eager cover artist. Lots of free photographs and graphics can be found at “111Tips to Create Your Book Trailer“.

.
More about editorial reviews, author page, customer reviews getting more visitors to your Amazon page in my next blog. Stay tuned!

.

<><><><><>

.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts (there are more than 560 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Follow on Twitter: @111publishing

And don’t forget to spread the word on other social networking sites of your choice for other writers who might also enjoy this blog and find it useful. Thanks, Doris

.

.
Hyper Smash

Pingates



Help Me to Choose a Cover Image

Hi everyone!
May I ask you for your help today?  I just cannot decide which one of these photos to choose as a cover image for a book on “SEAPLANE FLYING” – which is the title.

Please vote for the image you think is best suited as a background image for the book cover. If the horizontal photo is the most popular, it will be set in the middle of the book cover. Top and bottom will be dark blue, showing the title and author in blue/silver fonts.

Looking forward to your comments!  Thanks in advance!

Possible Cover Images for Seaplane Book

.

Possible Cover Image for Seaplane Book

.

Possible Cover Image for Seaplane Book

.

.

Possible Cover Image for Seaplane Book

.

Possible Cover Image for Seaplane Book

.

Possible Cover Image for Seaplane Book

.

.
Hyper Smash

Pingates



5 Helpful Tips: How to Format an e-Book

Margaret Kell Virany

Guest post by author Margaret Kell Virany
From Paperback to Kindle: Five Problems & Five Solutions
When I decided to publish my paperback book as a shorter Kindle with a new theme I had a lot to learn. Luckily, I found places to go to solve my problems, and I didn’t even go broke.

Problem # 1
I thought I could upload a PDF created in Open Office and it would be as good as using Microsoft Word. That was how I self-published my paperback in 2008 and, for all I knew, Amazon Digital Services had used the same PDF without doctoring it when they turned it into a Kindle book in 2010. I didn’t know I was on a wrong track.
Solution:  I consulted the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) website.  A PDF file contains hidden html formatting codes which are not accepted by the Kindle publishing platform unless converted. I had wasted time, for example, by using the tab bar and a variety of fonts, sizes and headings. KDP warns against using  tab-spacing, since it won’t convert to Kindle. I corrected that by setting  the ‘paragraph’ formatting to indent automatically, then deleted my manual tabs.

Problem #2
I downloaded a conversion program, Mobipocket, which didn’t work so I was stuck. KDP had said this would put my PDF into a Kindle-friendly format. However, it rejected my Internet Explorer 7. Should I buy a more expensive converter program? Was a new browser necessary?
Solution:  I clicked on ‘Community’ in the KDP page’s top menu and found out I wasn’t alone. Other authors were having similar, or worse problems than I had and were seeking or giving advice.

Problem #3
I had resisted getting a new word processor program
Solution: I spent $138.00 for a Microsoft Word10 program and installed it.  I saved my manuscript in it and created a picture file.

Problem #4
I still had no idea how to do the finishing touches
Solution:  I discovered jtbigtoad , a forum participant, was offering the best advice. He is experienced, goes into minute detail and keeps things simple. He explained how to put in the Table of Contents, links, page breaks, headings, etc.

Problem #5
Creating a good cover
Solution:  At Fiverr.com you can hire a graphic designer who will do a book cover for $5.00.  Mano, a true professional, did the cover for my book, Kathleen’s Cariole Ride.

Success
I uploaded the book with Jtbigtoad’s instructions in front of me, showing the commands that would appear on the computer screen and where to click. No converter was needed and the actual publishing took 25 seconds!

Margaret Kell Virany

.

.

.

.

.
Hyper Smash



The 7 Worst Mistakes And How To Fix Them

Traps

Traps

Joanna Penn recently wrote in her phantastic article: To be an independent author means taking your book project seriously. But most of us haven’t been in publishing for our whole careers it’s inevitable that we make mistakes along the way. Here is her list:

  • Not spending enough time learning about you, your book and your audience
  • Not getting a professional editor
  • Not getting professional interior and cover design
  • Doing a print run without having a distribution deal
  • Paying way too much for services you can do yourself with a little education
  • Doing no marketing at all, or getting shiny object syndrome
  • Focusing everything into one book

Read how you can fall into these traps and how to get out – or avoid them all together.
http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2012/03/04/7-worst-mistakes-indie-authors/

.

.

.

.
Hyper Smash



%d bloggers like this: