- Nice eBook Creation (Distributed)
- How to Fill in Kindle Direct
- EBook Tips on Distribution
- Going Wide with Distribution
- Choosing Keywords
- Choosing Lesser-Used Categories
- Book Description (Blurb)
- eBook Formats
- eBook Costs
- Who will want to read my eBook?
What is a website book freebie called?
Let’s get this clear folks, lead magnets offered on your website are not eBooks! Generally, these ‘opt-in’ reports are 6-40 pages in length, and are nicely formatted in a handsome PDF. They are normally given away in exchange for an email address and then an autoresponder welcome series sends out relevant content to warm up and interest the reader.
If value-packed, they could alternatively be sold directly, if your website has a PayPal button (or ecommerce store) and download page.
As these PDFs are not distributed at resellers, they don’t need an ISBN. You could also offer up an ePub file, but this could become problematic with all various Kindle/Kobo readers and apps.
Authors can elect to use their first chapter as a giveaway. I recommend any of these email systems:
- GetResponse – more powerful business email systems
Nice eBook Creation (Distributed)
You can use Kindle Create to format your eBook for Kindle. This way, you download the program, input your file, choose style, etc. It has Kindle Previewer, so you can fix errors and see how it looks as you go.
The alternative is to get rid of all page numbering (including in any Contents list), get rid of excess spaces and tabs, make ‘normal’ style for all body text, make Heading 1 for all chapter heads, then upload your Word document for the wizard to make the Kindle file.
The other type of eBook file — ePub — can be outsourced to someone with the program called Vellum for as little as AU $50. (It must be checked as ePub compliant for premium partner distribution). I use Linda at Opal Editing (Brisbane, Australia).
HELP…. All Amazon eBook Manuscript Resources.
Go to Amazon KDP, and sign in with an Amazon password, when ready to load. I use the same account for everything; it really doesn’t matter as long as you always go to KDP.com.
Find out How to Fill in Amazon Kindle Direct
eBook Tips on Distribution
Here is a little more about why you’d want the Kindle Best-Seller ranking and how to get it (external link: Kindlepreneur).
Serious Multi-Title Author?
You can elect to subscribe to niche eBook sales research at K-lytics.com (US$37-47 p.m.) or… try the Publisher Rocket system by Kindlepreneur (for once-off US$97). Check out Dave Cheeson’s Kindlepreneur freebies once you’re on his free newsletter list.
‘Going Wide’ with Distribution
If you want the widest distribution for eBooks, you can elect to use an aggregator like Smashwords or Draft2Digital. These necessitate an hour’s setup and checking of files yourself. For a first-timer, I recommend Draft2Digital, with its simpler wizard to pass (a wizard is an automated eBook converter that is on their site).
When you distribute through Draft2Digital and a reader buys a copy, they’ll take 10% of the retail price of that book, for that sale.
If you’re a member of a country with a US Tax Treaty, like Australia, you fill out a WE8-BEN form equivalent to claim the treaty and reduce the 30% taxation penalty down to 5%. These days, they are done online. Go to “Account”, Payment Options, then click on TAX INTERVIEW.
After your details, you will put your country and tick the box below.
On this page, put YES for Do you have a TIN?, then put your Tax File Number for the Australia TIN part. This relates only to the entity put in the first part (i.e. if paid under your name: individual). Leave the box above it blank.
D2D hold your royalties until they add up to a minimum threshold ($20 for Payoneer, $10 for international direct deposit, and $0 for all other digital payments). We suggest using a Paypal account, although it takes the usual 2.4% in fees automatically. You may also use a bank account, if you have its SWIFT code.
Draft2Digital Distribution Stores
- Amazon (you can elect to not tick, if you want the usual Amazon account instead)
- Apple Books (a big sales avenue for some Australian ebooks)
- Barnes & Noble
- Kobo (including Kobo Plus)
- Baker & Taylor
Self-Publishers can select 7 Keywords that relate to their book’s content. When you are considering keywords, think about novices to the field and how they search.
Simple ways to find keywords:
- Typing into Google, they ‘suggest’ various keywords.
- Do many searches on Amazon in your topic field – what brings up the best book results?
This helps you select better keywords… keywords readers are using.
Even using your own affiliate (Associates) account to search top-ranking books can help you to identify titles which are current sales winners.
Firstly, understand that people are not going to usually type in your exact book title (unless they are your cousin), so this is why keywords help readers find your book.
I write money books. But if I choose “personal finance” as my keyword/category, I’m up against the likes of Dave Ramsay, Suze Orman, etc… in a very competitive arena.
Next, realise that you cannot jam lots of keywords in your book description and title, and suddenly rank way up there. Actually, putting the keyword in the title is against Amazon’s terms, as is inserting statements like “best”, “on sale”, “new” or “limited offer”.
Choosing Lesser-Used Categories
Basically, we can elect to choose the two most specific, in demand yet less competitive categories — books with similar content to ours. Sometimes they are tricky to find out (see a research tool in our tips above). Spend some time perusing the categories of favoured books in your area.
Your first two keywords will be the doorway to your chosen categories (the ones you have researched as low competition but relevant). Imagine you’re writing a book called “Prosperity Consciousness” and so the keywords of ‘prosperity’ and ‘success’ naturally befit that title, however Amazon says you cannot choose ‘prosperity’ as keyword because it’s in the title. So go ahead and choose ‘success’, ‘abundance books’ or another well-used synonym.
You can also target reader types in the keywords area, if you think people are looking for books in that way.
You can then categorise this book under “self-help : spiritual” and “kindle store: non-fiction: business and money: personal finance” because keywords open up related categories. (You can see the categories in this top-of-the-listing book here)
Kindlepreneur teaches a three step way to unlock rare, ‘secret’ Kindle categories. He also teaches you how to combine your Amazon internal keywords with SEO-style keywords, which are not restricted on Amazon. This can help your book rise to the top of a less populated search or topic, although it’s only any good if that leads to book sales.
You need to be a Jedi Knight with keywords if you want to use them well for marketing your books, so listen to Kindlepreneur and other Jedi masters. Also make your own experiments in these selections.
Book Description (Blurb)
The book description is incredibly important in clearly articulating what the book covers and who it is for. Make sure that you are keeping to the goals and pain points of your targeted book readers. There is no point trying to address “everyone in a workplace” on your first go. It will get lost amongst the rest of the tomes. Don’t go on about yourself, instead make the book seem irresistible to those “insert target market here” who want to solve a problem.
Should I mention my services in my sales blurb?
At no point would consultation services get mentioned, except a mention under “About the Author” or as part of a resources offer at the back of the ebook. Promoting services directly is best left to your website pages and LEAD GENERATING offer… following up with an email series… and ensuring people receive invites to events, notable news, etc.
If you find it hard to make a book sales page, try out BookLaunch.io. Free to try or around $10 a month with integrations. Using its handy sales page templates, you can get a fancy book sales page and set up a lead funnel, all in one go.
eBook Formats & Distribution
For a first attempt, try emailing your draft to your business-minded friends. Once you have got some feedback on it and ironed out the kinks with editing, then get a good cover design and get it formatted ready for ePub.
If using Word, these pre-conversion rules are usually needed:
- remove all headers and footers
- remove all page numbering in contents and pages
- remove all tabs (you might be able to ‘find and replace’: replace with nothing for this)
- use no more than two hard returns in a row
- make your large headings only 14 point or 16 point, not huge!
- remove font colours and make it ‘normal‘ text style (body is also okay)
- right-click on top of any images to fix in place and check their size is not tiny or huge once converted
Let the conversion system give your book a TOC, then ensure that that clickable TOC (on the left hand side) has all your chapter headings. Or simply CHAPTER ONE, CHAPTER TWO, etc. This is done automatically if you have selected each chapter heading and made it “heading 1” . Two heading styles is enough, and you can usually get away with a Quotes style as well.
Righto, with stripped Word Doc or already-created ePub format, you can load onto Amazon Kindle Direct OR IngramSpark and also onto Apple ibooks via Draft2Digital (and use their ISBN). However, you might like to hold back on this until you see some sales through Kindle.
When you have a manuscript in Word and a cover designed, it is not that much more work to format it for print, right? Well, actually it takes a lot more thought. There is:
- a minimum number of pages for perfect bound
- your high resolution cover has to be front/spine/back in the exact size (templates are available)
- there is correct print margins, e.g. minimum 13 mm
- footer/header – and do these change each chapter?
- page numbering, starting at 1 on the first page
- there is the typeface to choose,
- doing the index, references, about page towards the back
- registering for Cataloguing in libraries, ISBN and Copyright matter,
- the dedication, title and half-title sheet, preface, and
- perhaps some black and white illustrations.
It costs little to create an ebook of a PDF nature. You can do that for free and then get a web designer help to load it on your website. (Or use Instapage landing pages).
If you want to distribute it globally, you will need to get a cover designed, get the ePub formatted to specifications, upload (with/without a fee) and then the distribution part is free! (They can’t take all your money, can they!)
IngramSpark charges US$49 for both ebook and book (refunded on order of 50 print copies). They allow for a 55% wholesale discount on eBooks, leaving you with 45%. You can also elect to choose your own royalty amount, but I don’t suggest going below 40% wholesale discount as it is off-putting for resellers. Remember, retailers have costs!
If you make a change to your book manuscript after distribution is ticked, you pay a $35 fee, so make sure all your changes are in proofing stage.
Sometimes you can get out of the $49 fee with the code ALLI2019 (update to reflect year). Or sign up for IngramSpark newsletters for free upload codes. You’re welcome.
Using IngramSpark may well get you less in royalty compensation, but it saves time in distributing and you can use them for printing, with their higher print values. You may opt to use both Ingram and Amazon, as long as the expanded distribution is not ticked on both with the same book.
IngramSpark also offers a 60 cents per page (US) ePUB conversion service, which is mainly for plainer books, and thus waives the set-up fee. A time saver.
Planning to use them? See IngramSpark eBook Specifications.
Who Will Want to Read My eBook?
Do you think people will buy your eBook right off the bat? Perhaps they will need a little warming up with your trusted blog and Facebook posts first. Don’t pounce on new followers with ‘buy my ebook’!
If they do know you, they will want your best price. So make sure to have a $1.99 or $2.99 or similar special on your eBook for family and friends. This is easy if choosing to use Kindle Select (loyal to Kindle distribution)- but you can use discount codes elsewhere.
Make your eBook an attractive price, ensure you have a great cover that visualises your theme, and work on your title till it hurts.