Learn about how authors and publishers can get their ebooks into readers's devices through the Kindle Store and Apple iBooks Store, and as downloads.
- [Instructor] Once you have created your eBooks, how do you get them into your readers' hot hands, or rather their devices and their e-readers? There's a bunch of different ways. I think one of the most direct ways is if you have your own website, why don't you just sell 'em from there? You can sell an ePub or a PDF without any problems right from your own site. You might need to give some instructions to people who are downloading them, how to open them, especially an ePub, how to add them to their device or which other programs they can install to open them on their desktop, but nothing's stopping you from doing so.
I'm showing you one of my favorite site, A Book Apart. These are the same people who put on wonderful conferences around the country for people who create websites, and they also have a side business which is creating and distributing these lovely eBooks. So you can see that this one on color accessibility workflows, it's available in ePub, PDF, and mobi for the Kindle. I'm not sure what kind of plugin they're using or what kind of software they're using to enable them to sell on their website, but there are a slew of them out there.
It all depends if you're using, say, WordPress vs. Drupal or just a regular site, but just search for e-commerce plugins for your website. Now, if you don't have a website yet, or even if you do, you might want to investigate a different service called Gumroad, which I've heard a lot about recently. It's supposed to be one of the best services for selling your own products on the web, and they have plugins for WordPress and other similar kinds of websites, but Gumroad says it's an all-in-one solution to sell your work and grow your audience, and they have all sorts of fun tracking and software and it's just wonderful, and I double checked, because usually Gumroad, when you get an account there, you create your own site and you sell from there, but if you already have an existing site and you want to integrate the Gumroad shopping cart and analytics into that site, then they have a page, how do I build Gumroad into my own website, with three different options where you can link to your Gumroad site or you can have a popover on your site or you can have it completely integrated in your site if you have access to the backend HTML.
But I want you to take a look at this chart. If you go to authorearnings.com, which is one of the best places to find out where authors are earning and how they're earning, in one of their most recent state of the state posts, they showed the breakdown of where eBooks are being sold. Look at the big guy, Amazon, 91% for people who are independent self-published authors. Same thing for small and medium publishers and big publishers, so Amazon, you need to get your eBook onto Amazon if you want to reach the largest market.
The second largest market is Apple as you can see on these other slices, and then we have Kobo and Nook, and basically that's about it. So you need to get your eBook on these websites. How do you do that? Let's look at Amazon, and we're going to look at this in more detail in the chapter on working with Kindle eBooks, but essentially you need to set up an account on Amazon as an author, and I have already done so. I'm going to sign in. But you just go to kdp.amazon.com, and then you can go ahead and create an account.
I'll choose sign in, and then once you sign in, you say I'm going to make a new Kindle book, and they just added the ability for them to create paperbacks out of the files that you upload, and then you enter in all your information about your new Kindle book and upload it and it should be on the website in a couple days. If you want to get your eBook onto the iBook store so that people can buy it in iBooks from Apple, then you need to create an account on iTunes Connect. On iTunes Connect, you fill in your Apple ID and your password and fill out some other information, and I've already logged in, I have it open here in this tab, and you get logged into your iTunes Connect account.
So you can see sales and trends, you can sign agreements that they can deposit your millions of dollars directly into your checking account, fill out trouble tickets and so on, but how do you get the books up here? There's no upload button. Well, if you go to resources and help, you'll see that there is actually another program called iTunes Producer. You download iTunes Producer which, of course, only runs in Macs, so if you want to get your book into the iBook store, you have to have a Macintosh, or a good friend with a Macintosh, then you use iTunes Producer which we'll look at in more detail later on in this course to actually enter in all the information for your eBook and then upload it to the iBook store, and it can take anywhere from a couple days to a few weeks for it to appear in the iBook store.
Similarly, you need to create accounts at other publishers that have online bookstores, so like, the Kobo, which is a very popular device, especially outside of the US, like in Canada I think it's a top selling e-reader device. You can get your book listed in the Kobo bookstore if you go to kobo.com/writinglife and then you can create an account and upload your eBook to Kobo, and do the same thing with Barnes & Noble and the Nook. Remember how tiny those slices were of Nook and Kobo though in that chart.
Of course those chart were just for mainly North America, but here you can create your own account at nookpress and get your eBook uploaded to Barnes & Noble. There's nothing stopping you from uploading your eBook to multiple places. You could sell it from your website and Kindle and the iBook store. Some of these places have their own rules and regulations about competition and you can't sell it cheaper in one place than you are there and so on, but as long as you follow their rules, you can get the market covered.
- Finding, downloading, and reading free ebooks
- Choosing the right format for your ebook
- Building reflowable EPUBs and fixed-layout EPUBs
- Using tools like Word, Sigil, calibre, Jutoh, Pages, PubCoder, and InDesign
- Adding animation and interactivity such as clickable buttons
- Creating ebooks for the Kindle
- Learning the pros and cons of PDF ebooks
- Creating reflowable and multitouch ebooks with iBooks Author