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Posts Tagged ‘ebooks’

Self-publishing FAQs

June 29, 2017 7 comments

I get these same questions so often that I decided to turn this into a blog post:

  1.  I have a manuscript. How do I self-publish it?Before you self-publish this:
    * If you have writer friends, get them to beta-read your manuscript.
    * Get your manuscript edited.
    * Get your manuscript proofread.

    Then:
    * Commission an cover for ebook (print/paper book cover will be separate).
    * Get the book formatted for ebook (and print/paper book, when you’re ready for it).
    * Create an account on Amazon and upload formatted ebook file.
    * Set a price and make it ready for sale with a click

  2. Do I publish as an ebook, or a print book?* Start off with the ebook.
    * Get it formatted as an ebook.
    * Upload to various vendors like – Amazon.com, Smashwords.com, pronoun.com etc. You cannot upload to many international vendors (like Apple) directly.
    * When you’ve learned more about the process, learn how to upload the files for print/paper books.
  3. How do I pick an editor?Ask around. If you’ve read a book you liked, check the acknowledgment section. The author will often thank the editor.

    Talk to multiple people. Ask for sample edits. Maybe the first three chapters, to see if the editor and you are on the same page.

  4. How much does it cost to have a book edited?Prices vary widely, but between Rs. 20,000 – Rs. 25,000 for every 100,000 words.
  5. How much does Amazon charge to sell my book?There is no charge for you to upload your book and sell it. The royalties they share with you will depend on the price you set for the book.
  6. What is ‘genre’?Each book needs classification in order to find a category to sell it under. Some examples of genres are: Romance / Horror / Thriller.
  7. Give me the formula to make my book a bestseller.No one can give you that, not even traditional publishers. If they could, they would ensure that every book of theirs was a best seller.
  8. Can you suggest a ‘banner for publishing’?I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. Self-publishing is when you, the author, create an account on Amazon, Apple etc, and upload your own book. You set the price, and you collect the royalties. If you give control of this to someone else, they will be the ones controlling this.

    At various self-publishing workshops I conducted, I heard horror stories of stolen copyrights, and stolen royalties.

    Do the research. Spend the time learning about what you’re getting into before taking the next step.

  9. I have a ‘package deal’ from a prestigious company. They are asking for money. Or: they want to share the printing costs.Money should flow from the publisher to the author, and not the other way around. Anything else, you need to be careful.

    Lot of reputable traditional publishers are trying to cash in on the self-publishing phenomenon. They’ve tied up with not-so-reputable vanity publishers. Since the vanity publisher often approaches the new author under the banner of the traditional publisher, understandably, authors are confused.

    A good rule of thumb: if they are asking for money to publish you, be careful. Traditional publishers do not need money from you – they already have your work.

  10. Can I get help with self-publishing?Lots of “publishers” will be desperate to sell you their services. Don’t buy packages because you don’t know the quality of editors, cover designers, book formatters etc. Join writers’ groups. Ask questions. Learn everything you can, before jumping in.
  11. What about ISBNs?Ebooks don’t require ISBNs. When you upload your book to Amazon, for example, they will assign their own proprietary ID for your book.

    When you do a print book, the vendor (like CreateSpace, pothi.com etc) will assign you an ISBN. If you want your own, apply from the government of India, though I have not bothered to do this.

  12. How do I get my royalties?When you upload a book, you set the price. If your book is priced between $2.99-$4.99 you can keep 70% of your sale. Otherwise 35%. No other charges. If your bank account is linked to Amazon, your royalties will get deposited there.
  13. I’ve self-published my book. Can I submit it later to publishers for traditional publishing? What happens to the ebook then?

    Unless you have cracked the Amazon/NY Times bestseller list, no, you can’t. Unless you can get creative and generate demand for your book, there will be a limited number of buyers for your book. Once you exhaust those, no publisher will be interested.

    In the extremely unlikely event that a trade publisher offers you a contract after you’ve self-published, what will happen to your ebook / printbook / audiobook etc. rights will depend completely on how much clout you have. You might be able to negotiate to keep certain rights though, honestly, I don’t see that happening because trade publishing contracts have gotten extremely restrictive. They are claiming rights to everything, and in perpetuity.

 

Can Indie Authors Afford to Quit Their Day Jobs?

July 2, 2014 8 comments

One of the questions I was asked in a recent interview –  Can a newbie writer hope to make decent money out of self-publishing?

I was startled to see this question because it seems very obvious to me (and to a lot of other Indies, I’m sure) that self-publishing is where the money is. Where else can you expect to get royalties of 65-70%?

In traditional publishing the superstars – the Stephen Kings and the Nora Roberts –  are the ones making serious money. Everyone else is obliged to hang on to their day jobs.

This is quite different from self-publishing where even mid-list authors – people you might never hear about – are quitting their day jobs because they are able to pay the bills. The reason you might never hear of them is that  they need to sell a mere 75 ebooks each day at $2.99 in order to make a living.  The amount people seem to agree is a  living wage? $50,000.

But I guess all of this may not be very obvious to a lot of people, so I thought I’d point you to a couple excellent blog posts. You can decide for yourself.

The Passive Guy: Indie Authors Are Quitting Their Day Jobs.

The second post is by the amazing Hugh Howey: Newbie Author Declines $120,000 3-book Deal

Literary #agents Reinventing Themselves

March 28, 2013 Leave a comment

With so many (inexpensive) options available to authors who are not traditionally published (and even those who are), literary agents are having to reinvent themselves. An interesting post from The Passive Voice.

Book Reviewers Sought: Los Angeles Review literary journal

April 12, 2012 Leave a comment

The Los Angeles Review literary journal is looking for three to five book reviewers. These reviewers will primarily be responsible for our new online review section, which includes reviews of self-published books. Some reviews may also be published in the print journal. Fiction, poetry and nonfiction reviewers are all welcome to apply. Online reviews are 200 to 500 words in length. Print reviews are 200 to 300 words.

Applicants should have some experience reviewing books, preferably for a literary journal. This is a volunteer position at this time; a stipend may be added in the future.

To apply, please send an email to the Book Review Editor, at LAReview.bookreviews(at)gmail.com (replace (at) with @) in sending email). A resume/CV and links to published reviews are appreciated. To find out more about us, please visit our web site at http://losangelesreview.org/.

Courtesy: the crwropps-b yahoo group

Ebook Millionaires: How Are Paperback Sales?

April 5, 2012 3 comments

Everyone knows that John Locke sold a million copies of his 99cent ebooks. Based on this, he signed a pretty lucrative deal Simon & Schuster. But his paperbacks haven’t been doing quite as well.

Amanda Hocking, on the other hand, who signed with St. Martin’s Press, is selling very well.

More on this story here.

Autographing ebooks

March 29, 2012 Leave a comment

With the rise in popularity of ebooks comes the need for electronic autographs. Kindlegraph’s been around for a bit, but only now do I see enough people using it. For a primer on Kindlegraph, click here.

Penguin Cites Piracy Concerns in Pulling ebooks Out of Lending Library

November 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Like previous news from Penguin about its subsidy press ‘Book Country’ wasn’t bad enough (see my previous posts), now comes news that Penguin is refusing to participate in ebook lending citing priracy concerns. For more details, refer to this story in mashable.com.

Not a good week for Penguin publicity-wise.

Amazon Launches ebook Lending Library

November 4, 2011 Leave a comment

Amazon has launched a digital book lending library which,  as you might imagine, isn’t making the big 6 NY book publishers too happy. The program is called Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. None of the big 6 is participating because they fear a loss in sales, especially from their back lists (ie.e older titles). Only 5000 titles are available at this time, and only to the subscribers of the Amazon Prime program who are also Kindle owners.

Wonder what this’ll mean for indie publishers and the self-published.

Before You Sign That (Book Publishing) Contract

November 3, 2011 10 comments

It is really hard for first time authors to get a foot in the publishing door, which can make them really desperate to be published. I should know. I almost got conned into signing away all my rights. Luckily, I backed off at the last moment.

When you’re ready to sign a contract (and this is especially true if you’re dealing directly with the publisher), don’t sign away all rights. For example, if you wish to give only print rights to the publisher, specify just that. Never sign away all rights. After all, five years ago who’d have thought to keep electronic rights for ebooks?

Royalties is another area writers need to watch out for. Click here for a great article by Patricia  in epublishabook.com.

BTW, if you like this site, please consider clicking on the ‘Like’ button on your right. I need at least 25 likes before I can get a vanity author page (i.e. http://www.facebook.com/pages/AuthorRasana-Atreya instead of http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rasana-Atreya/134736126622525). It’ll help when I finally get my book out. Thanks!

Don’t Write Obit for Paperbooks As Yet, Article Says

October 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Just when we were planning out the obituary of paper/physical books, comes the news that this might not be the case. According to an article in The Guardian, this year’s chosen 6, the Booker prize contenders, have already sold a combined 37,500 books in hardback, up 127% from last year’s contenders. Click here for the article.