Wednesday, October 1, 2014

eBook Trends

Photo Courtesy
Many authors are choosing to publish their own books. 

With the advent of computerized processing that digitizes content, books can be read on specific devices that have compatible software.  

These books are more than PDF's they are eBooks.

Today I am offering you a lot of information on the topic of eBooks. It may take more than one read to chew through the information, but this post is sure to serve as a great resource for you. 

Many companies offer software to help authors with publishing their books. For example: Indesign, by Adobe, is one software available to help authors. Scrivener is another. And there are more! 

Two processes have been created to format book material. One is the format used for Kindle and the other is the epub format used with iPad, Nook, Cobo (a device used by many international readers). If you choose to publish your book as an eBook and want to have a greater amount of sales, consider formatting you book for both formats. 

Amazon has a direct publishing program with Kindle. This do-it-yourself program offers tutorials, but has some restrictions. These books are sold through Amazon only which reaches forty percent of the reading audience. Authors using this format can receive a royalty rate of 35-70%.

Lately, I've seen several books produced by Smashwords. They do eBook conversions for free and use their own distribution system. Some users have reported quality issues, although I didn't see any in the eBooks I happened to read. Just be careful to proof--very carefully.  Authors using this format can receive a royalty rate of 65-80%.

Authors need to be careful to check the rules before also formatting a book to a second format. While the intent is to reach a wider audience, legal issues could arise.

There are basically three types of companies that help authors with formatting and producing eBooks. 

*One type charges no up front fee and takes a larger portion of the royalties
*A  second type charges a small up front fee then takes a moderate portion of the royalties. 
*The third type charges a large up front fee then all the royalties go to the author.

For example: One Source is a company that charges about $800 up front (as of this time) then gives 100% royalty to the author.

Seven Trends about eBooks (Dave Sheets presented in 2014 Write to Publish conference):

1.  52% of books are being sold on line.
2.  eBooks have the ability to live forever. It won't go out of print.
3.  There are many steps to publishing an eBook. Authors need to weigh in the time costs.
4.  Faster for an author to get their eBook to market (hours/days) than through traditional publishers (12-18 months)
5.  Fiction books sell more eBooks than non fiction. Some authors have released the next title of their series in 3-4 months rather than waiting one year for a traditional publisher.
6.  Easier to take an eBook global than traditional. Third world countries are able to download texts from books onto their cell phones.
7.  There is a stigma that eBooks have poor quality. Anyone can throw something out on the Internet. Authors need to take the responsibility to proof and insure the quality of their eBook. The more quality eBooks reach the market the greater the trust will be in the product. Self publishing is not a second class choice.

*Be sure to do your homework. 
*Talk with others who have self published. 
*See what their experience has been with the different companies and software. 
*Ask what lessons they have learned. Take notes.
*Make sure your manuscript has been edited by an experienced editor.
*Give it a go.
*Take notes as you go through the process and be willing to share what you have learned with others. 

Information from this post is used with permission and taken from a class taught by
Dave Sheets, a book industry veteran with experience with some of the top publishers and distributors in the industry, including Tyndale House Publishers, Multnomah Publishers, STL Distribution and Harvest House. In 2008, David was named as one of Christian Retailing Magazine’s ‘Top 40 under 40,' in which CRM identified 40 individuals under the age of 40 “who are widely considered to be influential figures for the days ahead in the Christian product industry.”

From traditional publishing, Dave transitioned to independent publishing, first serving authors through a revolutionary digital print solutions company called Snowfall Press, which later led to a new printer called, a full service print-on-demand company. In September 2013, Dave became President of Christian Writers Guild, co-owned with Jerry B. Jenkins, and merged this organization with Believers Press, an eleven-year-old indie-publishing company.

Thank you, Dave.

YOUR TURN: Do you have any experiences you can share with us about self publishing. What did you think? Was it easy to learn? How has it been going?

For those who have not self-published do you have questions?


If you found any typos in today's post...Mary Vee, (that's me sheepishly grinning), is waving her hand as the guilty party. 

If you have questions or would like this topic discussed in greater detail, let me know in the comment section. I'll gladly do the research and write a post...just for you :)

Mary has moved to Michigan with her husband, closer to her three college kids. She misses the mountains of Montana, but loves seeing family more often. She writes contemporary and romance Christian fiction, is honing marketing and writing skills, and loves to pen missionary and Bible adventure stories on her ministry blog, God Loves Kids.

Visit Mary at her website and her ministry blog to families: God Loves Kids. Or chat on Facebook or Twitter


Jeanne Takenaka said...

This was very interesting, Mary. Thanks for sharing! :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

You're welcome, Jeanne. Hopefully you found something good to use.

Patty Wysong said...

I sat in on one of Dave's workshops at Maranatha. Very interesting and helpful. It's great to hear how much self-publishing has changed over the years and how it's no longer something to avoid.

Thanks for this recap, Mary.

Julia M. Reffner said...

Interesting stuff, Mary on the changing perspectives of the industry.

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Great info here! Thanks Dave!

Mary Vee Writer said...

So true. I was amazed how much of the ACFW conference classes incorporated self-pub info. We are all working toward one goal.

Mary Vee Writer said...

I continue to be surprised at the tremendous growth and strength writers are manifesting in self-publishing.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Amyes,
Thanks so much for joining us!