Frequently Asked Questions

Australian eBook Publisher's Top 5 FAQs

What is an eBook?

An eBook (electronic book) is any kind of book that is read in an electronic format, whether that is on a computer screen or on a handheld reading device. Right now, the eBook industry is in a growth phase and there are myriad ways readers are choosing to buy and read content.

Where the industry goes from here depends on which outlets offer the simplest and most cost effective options for their customers. Thus far, Amazon Kindle and Apple iTunes bookstore seem to have two of the best systems, however there are other ebook distribution platforms (vendors) that may be important for different kinds of books, including Kobo, GooglePlay Books, Ebsco, Vital Source, Overdrive and Barnes and Noble Nook.

There are also scores of independent vendors as well as smaller systems using the Adobe Content Server technology, which enables corporations and institutions to control licensing of their ebooks and sell direct to their reader-base without compromising on copyright protection (digital rights management).

In our opinion an ebook may be any or all of the following:

  • A standard reflowing ePub
  • A standard reflowing Mobi
  • An enhanced reflowing ePub (with interactivity, video and/or audio)
  • An enhanced reflowing Mobi (with interactivity and/or audio)
  • A fixed layout ePub
  • A fixed layout Mobi
  • A fixed layout enhanced ePub (with interactivity, video and/or audio)
  • A fixed layout enhanced Mobi (with interactivity and/or audio)
  • An App (ebook as app)
  • A PDF (web-ready, interactive, distribution options are limited—see blog article for details: "The Proliferation of PDF")

    Of the above options, only the first two are standards that will work on most devices. The others are designed with specific devices in mind, depending on their level of support for the technology involved.

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Can you scan my published book and create an ebook?

Yes. Normally when we work from a hard copy of a book, we will scan it with OCR, highly accurate software but also proofread it because no software no matter how sophisticated can get correct text and punctuation out of a printed book. A human being also needs to go through and reformat it back into a reflowing document, so that it will all come together in a readable fashion as an ebook.

You may also need help determining whether your existing book would be better as a reflowing ebook or a fixed layout ebook. Please see "What's the difference between standard epub and fixed layout"

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What ebooks sell the most?

Here at Australian eBook Publisher we often get asked what ebooks sell the most. We are hesitant to highlight any particular genre as being more successful than another. There are far too many variables involved with each project, book, author and marketing plan to take the narrow view that only the genre was relevant in the book's success. In addition markets are continually changing, so one person's success with a certain title one year, might be irrelevant for someone the following year. Within our own list of books we have seen successes for both fiction and non-fiction.

There are four keys to ebook selling success.

  • Quality product
  • Availability
  • Positioning
  • Promotion

Read More

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Why use Australian eBook Publisher when free options are available?

Using a premium service like ours is very different to using a meatgrinder like those found at automated self-publishing websites. Australian eBook Publisher offers you the valuable services of an English-speaking, highly-trained human being who will look carefully and personally at your book, convert it to the desired formats, add The Designer's Touch™ if desired, and work with you to create an excellent ebook.

The team at Australian eBook Publisher are trained graphic designers, book designers, programmers and editors. We use software and computer systems that cost thousands of dollars to carefully set your work in the correct format. Free cookie-cutter cruncher ebook distributors are automated robots that smunch your work through a meatgrinder, costing nobody anything (per job) and turning out a piece that matches closely what you put into it.

Your choice between a premium ebook service like Australian eBook Publisher’s and a meatgrinder is really about time. Your time. And your frustration due to lack of skills or lack of flexibility in the meatgrinder itself.

How much is your book worth to you?

How much is your time worth?

After spending hundreds of hours on your content, is it really wise to cut corners at this final, critical stage of making it presentable and saleable?

When you choose to work with a meatgrinder, it is up to you to wrangle with the formatting of your original document. This is fine for many writers, especially those who have a simple book layout (mainly text) and are familiar with using styles in Microsoft Word, or can create HTML. Even then, the result is likely to be far less attractive and workable on different platforms than if you use a premium ebook design team like Australian eBook Publisher.

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What are the ebook distribution options with Australian eBook Publisher?

We are very flexible and understand that different people have different abilities, priorities and needs. When it comes to distributing your ebook, there are three options for you to consider:

  • Let us be your publisher with ebook vendors
    We pay 85% royalties (90% for those with 10 books or more under contract with us) quarterly, along with a simple receipt and sales report. If you’re registered for GST we’ll pass any GST component of your sales to you to be included in your BAS. If not, we will pay it to the ATO directly.
  • Be your own publisher with ebook vendors
    You may feel confident to do this all on your own. If not, Australian eBook Publisher is here to help. In certain circumstances, director Amanda Greenslade may agree to provide publishing consultation for you to sell direct to vendors yourself. Please make an appointment with her by phone to see if she is available when needed and that you qualify for this service.
  • Be your own publisher with direct sales
    If you wish to sell ebooks directly to customers via websites and email, please consider the following issues:
    • You are expecting your customers to be able to side-load ebooks to their devices.
    • You may have to provide some customer-service, technical support etc. to enable this.
    • You will have to set up an automated delivery once payment has been made, or be forever chained to your desk so you can manually email the files to the customer.
    • Piracy is all the more likely, as the epub and mobi files you release can be transferred from person to person. Digital Rights Management (DRM) is the industry’s attempt to combat this, and it is done at the Point of Sale. You may be able to embed some kind of DRM into your website e-commerce, but it is likely to be costly to set-up and maintain.
    • Your ebook marketing will go to waste on anyone who is accustomed to searching on their vendor of choice (eg. Apple iBooks) if, when they go searching for your book there, it is nowhere to be found. Will they bother to go hunting for it on your website, setting up a payment option with you etc.? There is a reason why people use the giant ebook vendors like Apple, Amazon, Kobo and Google Play and it starts with the letter “e”.
    • You should look into self-publishing to understand some of the steps you should take to protect your IP and make your book more findable (ISBN, copyright, Library submissions etc.).

Having read the above, it is certainly still possible for you to self-distribute your ebook, and therefore keep 100% of the sales. This may work for an organisation with a large following already.
If you wish to have the ePub and Mobi files back after we've set them up, then you can sell them through your own website and whatever other ebook outlets you can create an account with. You may need to buy your own ISBN and manage the information with Thorpe Bowker yourself (can be time-consuming, especially when learning how to do it).

If you wish to sell direct to vendors, from Australia you can create an account with Amazon quite easily, however they will only pay you once each Amazon store owes you $100 (and you will lose approximately $20 off each payment on bank fees). Amazon will also ask you to complete a W8-Ben form, which is to do with tax and the US government. For any other issues with Amazon please go to kdp.amazon.com and/or research your own financial situation with your accountant.

To sell ebooks on Apple you have to register for an EIN with the US government and be registered for GST in Australia. You need a Mac with iTunes Producer installed and an account with iTunes Connect to sell content. There are some hoops to jump through, but it is relatively easy (though not as easy as Amazon). See http://itunesconnect.apple.com

Selling on Android devices can be achieved through several different channels. At present we only deal with Google Play and Kobo. Most authors would use Kobo Writing Life to self-publish ebooks with them, however there are limitations, such as 20Mb file size, which require a publisher account with Kobo, and a more professional approach and skillset. Getting set up with Google Play is a drawn-out process, but with someone who is dedicated and has the time to read through and figure it all out, it is fairly Easy. See  https://books.google.com/partner.

If you wish for Australian eBook Publisher to distribute your titles for you we charge a set-up fee. This pays for our time to carefully carry out our loading/aggregation process. We use the files you supply and meta-data you complete in our information form. The files you supply may include ePub and/or Mobi plus JPGs of screen shots and the cover. If you would also like your book to have an ISBN we offer one ISBN and management/registration of your book with Thorpe Bowker for a set fee.

On an ongoing basis we also keep 10–20% of the net receipts (therefore you get 80–90% royalties) to pay for our time to manage books for sale, articulate sales report data to you in a simplified manner and transfer money to your bank account once there is enough owing. Our Aggregator Distribution and Conversion Contract outlines these details.

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About Australian eBook Publisher

What is the advantage of working with an ebook aggregator like Australian eBook Publisher?

We are a premium quality ebook design firm, something completely different to what you may have encountered elsewhere in the industry. We actually care about the quality of your ebook and we have wide-ranging experience in book design, web functionality and human ebook reader behaviour.

The advantages of working with Australian eBook Publisher include:

  • We are book designers whereas many of our competitors are merely programmers or—worse, programs!
  • You be the judge of the quality of your ebook and control how it looks and functions prior to seeing it up for sale.
  • Using us will save you time and reduce technical challenges.
  • We are a rich information source and provide top quality, personal customer service
  • You will be able to make changes once you have seen a draft and we will complete the changes at our hourly rate.
  • We provide a second and third pair of (experienced) eyes on your precious work, rather than you being on your own and releasing your book onto the internet without proper quality control.
  • We are located in Australia, saving you the hassle of working with overseas entities.
  • We are a small team managed by Amanda Greenslade, a fast decision-maker who can change procedures and products to stay on the cutting edge and in-the-know in this rapidly evolving industry.



The Ebook Designer's Touch™

We can simply convert your original supplied file, or if you haven’t thought about it from an aesthetic point of view and your budget allows for the Ebook Designer’s Touch™, we can design your ebook carefully and semantically with the eventual human reader in mind.

Quality Control

During our quality control phase, we keep a semantic view of your work where possible. For example even if we aren't engaged by you to edit the book contents or marketing text, we are likely to notice if there are lots of errors and let you know it needs editing. Depending on our quote with you, any footnotes and end notes we find will be converted to hyperlinks.

Another good example of our semantic view is that if we notice any references to page numbers we will prompt you to let us change them to hyperlinks like a web page with no reference to a page number as such. For example:

We would change:

For more on 'book marketing' refer to page 234.

To something like:

Read more on 'book marketing'.

Anything that should send the reader to another part of the book or a website for more info., like your name or your company name, can easily be hyperlinked.

Our process is more thorough than you can expect from other ebook conversion service providers. Our team consists of project coordinators, graphic designers, editors and XML programmers. The methods we use result in a project workflow that is easy to control and change, including things like page breaks, the table of contents, images and captions, tables etc.

You will be able to interact with us on your preferences for special formatting, end notes, cross references, publishing details, copyright pages etc. within the limitations of the formats. We are flexible on all these things during the process, which means you can receive a draft ePub and/or Mobi file from us, see how it looks, then ask us to change something, which we will complete at our hourly rate.

We also host extra content on www.australianebookpublisher.com.au free of charge when desired (for example if you have some tables or charts that aren’t very useable or readable on small ebook screens).

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Why use Australian eBook Publisher when free options are available?

Using a premium service like ours is very different to using a meatgrinder like those found at automated self-publishing websites. Australian eBook Publisher offers you the valuable services of an English-speaking, highly-trained human being who will look carefully and personally at your book, convert it to the desired formats, add The Designer's Touch™ if desired, and work with you to create an excellent ebook.

The team at Australian eBook Publisher are trained graphic designers, book designers, programmers and editors. We use software and computer systems that cost thousands of dollars to carefully set your work in the correct format. Free cookie-cutter cruncher ebook distributors are automated robots that smunch your work through a meatgrinder, costing nobody anything (per job) and turning out a piece that matches closely what you put into it.

Your choice between a premium ebook service like Australian eBook Publisher’s and a meatgrinder is really about time. Your time. And your frustration due to lack of skills or lack of flexibility in the meatgrinder itself.

How much is your book worth to you?

How much is your time worth?

After spending hundreds of hours on your content, is it really wise to cut corners at this final, critical stage, of making it presentable and saleable?

When you choose to work with a meatgrinder, it is up to you to wrangle with the formatting of your original document. This is fine for many writers, especially those who have a simple book layout (mainly text) and are familiar with using styles in Microsoft Word, or can create HTML. Even then, the result is likely to be far less attractive and workable on different platforms than if you use a premium ebook design team like Australian eBook Publisher.

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Copyright: Who owns the copyright for my ebook?

When an original work is created in Australia copyright is automatic and endures until 70 years after the death of the creator (50 years for deaths prior to 1955). As part of our contract with you, we assign the copyright that exists in the final designs and ebook files to you after all invoices are paid.

While you do not have to actually do anything to legally own the copyright of your unique expression of an idea (your manuscript), publishing it with a proper publishing details page and the CiP registration that we include on our quotes is a good way to prove it, should you ever need to.

Please also respect the intellectual property rights of others. You must ensure you own the copyright for, or have permission to use, all text and images in your book or ebook.

For more details on Australian copyright law please contact Copyright Agency Limited or the Australian Copyright Council, your local arts law centre or an IP lawyer. You may also find the Wikipedia page on Australian Copyright Law useful.

Also see:

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If Australian eBook Publisher distributes (aggregates) my book, will I be free to sign up with another Publishing House?

Yes, however there may be an early termination fee, as we will have to delist the book from sale and implement our close-out procedure. It may be worth considering that if you do release the book with us, then first publication rights are gone. From what I understand, mainstream publishers would only take over a book that had already been published if it was very successful already. And if it is very successful already, why would you then sacrifice up to 95% of your sales income to a mainstream publisher? I suppose you might if you really wanted their help to put it in print and distribute worldwide (i.e. if the money you were obviously already making from ebook sales couldn't allow you to do this yourself, or you didn't know how to). It's a bit of a catch 22 issue for self-publishers.

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Can you publish my book like a traditional publisher?

Australian eBook Publisher is not a traditional publisher. We are in the assisted self-publishing industry, which means you pay for our services. We are up front about this not being a traditional author-publisher arrangement. We are a service provider and our team is made up of editors, designers, web coders and publishing experts. You pay for our services, we produce and distribute your ebook. You market and sell it, we send your royalties.

In 2016, our director, Amanda Greenslade, set up a new traditional publishing imprint called Tigerace Books, and this imprint is accepting submissions for certain genres.


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What are the submission guidelines?

What is Ebook Designer’s Touch™?

This is our signature service, which we have trademarked because we feel it is very important. It involves decisions for ebook design that are often skipped over by people who release manuscripts directly to ebook without going to print. Read more about Ebook Designer's Touch™ here.

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Do you design interactive PDFs and distribute to any PDF sites?

We can design ebooks as PDFs, but most people are not demanding that service unless they’re distributing directly from their own website. There are ebook-as-PDF distribution outlets, such as Adobe Digital Editions, but PDF is the old-school way of doing ebooks. They are hard to read on small devices, for example, as they do not reflow. In some circumstances, depending on your marketing plan, PDF ebooks would still be useful. Ask yourself if you think people would actually print your PDF-ebook out to take with them on their journey? You can just create a PDF from Word. But if you want us to typeset it, design the interactivity and test it, we can provide a quote to do so.

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How much will it cost for Australian eBook Publisher to set up my eBook?

As in the printed book industry, you pay your production costs and each company involved in the distribution chain takes a cut of the RRP. The publisher is left with a certain percentage out of which they hope to pay their writer(s), cover their production costs and make a profit. Production costs include paying editors, designers, publicity/marketing professionals, buying and maintaining hardware, software and network architecture and purchasing ISBNs.

In the publishing of your ebooks, you are the rights holder and Australian eBook Publisher’s charges to you should be factored into the budget for your production costs. We can provide a quote or charge our hourly rate and can give you an idea of the time your project will take.

If your book is already in print and you can provide a book cover image, text-based PDF, InDesign file or Word document and meta-data then Australian eBook Publisher will only be charging you for the actual eBook production.

If your project requires OCR-scanning, book cover design, editing, typesetting, formatting, The Designer's Touch™ and/or meta-data creation, it will take longer.

For your free ebook conversion quote, please submit your project details using our quote request form.

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How long does it take to publish an ebook?

Australian eBook Publisher offers a complete publishing project management service. We do as little, or as much, as each client requires to achieve their unique publishing goals, and to produce their unique ebook. The actual work of conversion for the first draft (eg. Word doc to epub) might only take us a few days or a week, but it is the project management aspect that requires a timeframe of months.

Here are some examples of project timeframes that we commonly experience. Allowing enough time in your planning for self-publishing will give you realistic expectations and will give your ebook publisher a reasonable amount of time to interact with you and carry out their work.

Ebook Timeframe Example

Project specs:

70,000 word novel, no images, no special formatting + cover design

Start-up date:

9 May 2016
Deposit paid by, manuscript and info forms supplied by.

Contract signed by client:

16 May 2016
1 week allows time for communications and questions about the contract, forms etc. with your Publishing Coordinator. It allows time for you, the client to take everything in.

Draft conversion done:

6 June 2016
3 weeks allows us time to design your cover and apply Ebook Designer's Touch™ ebook formatting, if included, convert and test your ebook, and possibly go through two or three drafts before we’re satisfied with the quality and can send ‘round 1’ to you, the client.

Conversion complete:

2 July 2016
4 weeks allows one week for you, the client, to go through your draft ebook files, test them on devices, communicate any conversion issues, or even make content changes, which can be done (though may affect the timeframe and will be charged as extras). There is further work done by Australian eBook Publisher and a second round send to you. This process may go backwards and forwards 2 or more times, as we take very seriously the goal of making your ebook function and look as great as it can be. This is why 4 or more weeks are needed before the conversion is complete (100% approved by you and your Publishing Coordinator).

Published/distributed by:

9 July 2016
7 days are allowed from conversion complete until distribution so that your Publishing Coordinator has adequate time to ensure all information is correct and everything is ready for publication. Sometimes this can be done sooner, depending on client decision-making speed.

This is exactly 2 months from start-up date, and in reality this is sometimes brought forward or pushed further back, depending on the client usually.

Marketing and promo ready:

13 July 2016
Because vendors may not propagate (release all info. For 1–3 days) it is not wise to plan promotions for the exact day of your launch, just in case it does not eventuate. One way around this is to use a pre-release, however we need a long lead time to ensure this is handled well, and no risk of missing it, which could penalise our ability to do ebook pre-releases in the future.


Delays
Sometimes complexities will require more time on our part, but delays are usually caused by clients not by Australian Ebook Publisher.

Extra time for extra services
Editing + 4 weeks
If you also require editing, please allow time for our editing process, your approval of the tracked changes, and any subsequent rounds of checking you contract us to provide prior to ebook conversion.

Usually one month is the minimum we will allow for the addition of one round of editing on a book. A novel the length of the example above (70,000 words) may require two months or more, depending on your speed in dealing with the edited file.

Even a shorter work often requires at least one month of extra time purely because you, the client, will need to find time to go through the changes and submit the final manuscript that is ready for publishing.

Printed book design + 4 weeks or more
This require a completely different quote and timeframe, so please discuss with your sales person. The reason is, time will be required for handling more complexities in communication and project management, as well as designing the back and spine for print (with bleed), typesetting the internal pages, deciding on printing, outputting to the printer’s specifications etc.

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How long does it take to publish a book?

The length of time it takes to publish a book in print and as an ebook varies from project to project and author to author. We usually allow 3–4 months. You would usually need to add on top of this any time to print and ship the books, which again varies depending on the printing method chosen and your involvement in the process.

If you'd like to know more about what's involved, please read about our services:

The rest of this answer assumes you are utilising our Book Design, Ebook Conversion and Print on Demand services.

There is an example schedule below, of four months, that shows how it might be possible to get the project done. It even allows time for an advance copy prior to approving the bulk of your printed copies (eg. 100–500). It is wise to allow an extra month after the time you expect to receive the bulk of your printed copies before setting the date for your book launch or other event.

Project specs:

70,000 word novel or non-fiction book, no images, no special formatting + cover design

Start-up date:

17 October 2016
Deposit paid by, manuscript and info forms supplied by.

Contract signed by client:

24 October 2016
1 week allows time for communications and questions about the contract, forms etc. with your Publishing Coordinator. It allows time for you, the client to take everything in.

Book layout done:

17 November 2016
1 month allows time for us to typeset the interior book and design the cover. Only after interior is completely approved by you can we finalise the cover, as the final page count will affect the thickness of the spine. Once you approve both the cover and interior ready for print, we will order your advance copy (if included in your project quote or scope).

Draft ebook conversion done:

1 December 2016
2 weeks allows us time to convert to ebook formats, test and send draft epub and mobi files to you. Before sending to you we will test your ebook, and possibly go through two or three drafts before we’re satisfied with the quality and can send ‘round 1’ to you, the client.

Advance printed copy of book:

3–17 December 2016
Printed advance copy of book reaches you. You give us feedback and changes or approve the final order for the rest of the books as per your quote. Nb. Our printer needs 2–4 weeks to print and ship books within Australia (b&w soft cover).

Ebook conversion complete:

17–31 December 2016
A further 2–4 weeks allows one week for you, the client, to go through your draft ebook files, test them on devices, communicate any conversion issues, or even make content changes, which can be done (though may affect the timeframe and will be charged as extras). There is further work done by Australian eBook Publisher and a second round send to you.

This process may go backwards and forwards 2 or more times, as we take very seriously the goal of making your ebook function and look as great as it can be. This is why 2 or more weeks are needed before the conversion is complete (100% approved by you and your Publishing Coordinator).

Published/distributed by:

10 January 2017
7 days are allowed from conversion complete until distribution so that your Publishing Coordinator has adequate time to ensure all information is correct and everything is ready for publication. Sometimes this can be done sooner, depending on client decision-making speed. Across Christmas there is also a need for about two weeks contingency due to people being away, office being on Christmas break, etc.

Publishing is occurring appx. 3 months from start-up date, and in reality this is sometimes brought forward or pushed further back, depending on the client usually.

Marketing and promo ready:

20 Feb 2017
Client receives bulk of printed copies.

Nb. Our printer needs 2–4 weeks to print and ship books within Australia (b&w soft cover).


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How do you define complexity in book design and ebook conversion projects?

We usually ask a lot of questions about the features of each book and what files we will be working with. The parameters of your project will define how much time it takes to do a stellar job.

We will find out:

  1. Whether your project is basic, medium or complex
  2. Whether it is going to be in print or ebook
  3. For ebooks, whether it is going to be reflowable or has a fixed page design
  4. For fixed page design, whether the design has been done yet, and on the right size/spec
  5. Whether you need cover design or not
  6. Whether you need ISBNs, CiP registration and ebook distribution or not (any or all of the above)

The following will also impact on your project quote—the exact number of:

  • words
  • images, symbols, dinkuses or equations
  • tables or break-out boxes
  • pull quotes
  • references
  • etc.

Our quoting system factors for all kinds of complexities. Please see our request a quote page for the full list we use to get the ball rolling.

As a client, you won't need to worry about what parameters we use to define basic, medium and high complexity, but if you're curious, here's how we define complexity usually.

Basic Book Design and Ebook Projects

What does basic mean? If your book is mostly made up of text and headings with basic formatting like bold and italics. This can also include single-level bulleted or numbered lists, poetry, indentation, paragraph spacing, etc.

Medium Complexity Book Design and Ebook Projects

What does medium mean? If the book has any of the following more complex types of formatting:

Tables, graphs, flowcharts [<10]

Marginalia [<10]

Images with captions [<20]

Complex nested lists (bulleted or numbered) [<20]

Footnotes (end notes) [<100]

Image credits [<10]

Pull quotes [<10 centred]

Poetry [<10]

Math equations [<10]

Shaded sections, boxes etc. [<10]

Special font requirements (eg. more than 50 font changes, between paragraphs)

Cross-references or an index

Under a medium-complexity ebook conversion or print layout we will allow some of the above types of formatting (usually up to the number shown in square brackets). 

High Complexity Book Design and Ebook Projects or High Level Design

In addition to the above-listed items (more than the number in square brackets) highly complex standard ebook conversion may include things like:

  • Magazine-style full-colour page design
  • Face to face consultation and planning meetings
  • Technical support and extra communication for non-computer users
  • Complex tables with captions, long notes and sources
  • Figures (image with caption and hyperlink to/from text)
  • Mathematical equations (boxed and inline)
  • Complex nested lists and tables
  • List of tables and figures in front matter
  • Unsupported entities (symbols that are provided in your original file in unavailable fonts or that are not valid in regular XML)
  • Glossary with links
  • Large and complex diagrams
  • Index footnotes links
  • Index Table Figure links
  • Conversions for customer to distribute for Bluefire Reader or Adobe Digital Editions, eg. through Adobe Content Server or similar.

Also see here for ebook complexities we can deal with.

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About eBooks

What is an eBook?

An eBook (electronic book) is any kind of book that is read in an electronic format, whether that is on a computer screen or on a handheld reading device. Right now, the eBook industry is in a growth phase and there are myriad ways readers are choosing to buy and read content.

Where the industry goes from here depends on which outlets offer the simplest and most cost effective options for their customers. Thus far, Amazon Kindle and Apple iTunes bookstore seem to have two of the best systems, however there are other ebook distribution platforms (vendors) that may be important for different kinds of books, including Kobo, GooglePlay Books, Ebsco, Vital Source, Overdrive and Barnes and Noble Nook.

There are also scores of independent vendors as well as smaller systems using the Adobe Content Server technology, which enables corporations and institutions to control licensing of their ebooks and sell direct to their reader-base without compromising on copyright protection (digital rights management).

In our opinion an ebook may be any or all of the following:

  • A standard reflowing ePub
  • A standard reflowing Mobi
  • An enhanced reflowing ePub (with interactivity, video and/or audio)
  • An enhanced reflowing Mobi (with interactivity and/or audio)
  • A fixed layout ePub
  • A fixed layout Mobi
  • A fixed layout enhanced ePub (with interactivity, video and/or audio)
  • A fixed layout enhanced Mobi (with interactivity and/or audio)
  • An App (ebook as app)
  • A PDF (web-ready, interactive, distribution options are limited—see blog article for details: "The Proliferation of PDF")

    Of the above options, only the first two are standards that will work on most devices. The others are designed with specific devices in mind, depending on their level of support for the technology involved.

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What are the different types of ebooks?

  • PDF
  • EPUB
    • Standard ePub (reflowing, universal support on devices, links, pics, no video, no ‘pages’)
    • Fixed Layout ePub (fixed pages, beautiful design, limited support from devices, links, pics)
    • Enhanced ePub (Can include audio/video/javascript)
    • Enhanced Fixed Layout ePub (Can include audio/video/javascript)
  • MOBI
    • Standard Mobi (reflowing, supported by all Kindle devices, links, pics, no video, no ‘pages’)
    • Fixed Layout Mobi (Also called KF8 for Kindle Fire - fixed pages, beautiful design, supported by Kindle Fire primarily, links, pics)
    • Enhanced Mobi (As above but can include audio/video, which will work only of Kindle Apps installed on devices that support video - not Kindle devices themselves)
  • IBA
    • Multi-touch (Apple only. Landscape, designed for iPad screen – multi-choice questions, audio, video, interactive animations and more)
Read more about our ebook formatting

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Why not just have PDF eBooks?

PDFs are not reflowable, which means they are difficult to use and read on mobile devices and, to a lesser extent (depending on the page layout), tablets as well. Reflowable content is part of the accessibility standards being set by many organisations, including government departments, for websites, and it will not be long before this requirement is applied to digital books as well.

The simple fact is that reading a PDF on devices is often difficult because you have to swipe and scroll around to try to find all the content. Even reading one on a computer screen is annoying because most are designed for print or simply at A4, and that means half the screen is wasted. Reflowing content (eg. digital ebook files like epub and mobi) fits the screen you're using, whether it is small or large.

You cannot sell PDFs through Amazon or Apple and most other ebook vendors. Although these devices usually do open PDFs, the features required in books for sale are not handled ideally in PDF. The format is owned by Adobe so it is also not an open industry format like ePub. For the history of ePub do a Google search or look on Wikipedia.

Some people are happy to read PDFs on their computer, print them out or spend the necessary time saving them to their eBook devices. As stated above, PDF is a great eBook format when you need to include fancy formatting and want your images to stay put exactly in relation to your text. However, one reason why e-reading devices have gone in the direction of ePub, mobi etc. is because those formats are flexible to the screen size and text size—they allow reflowing. Sometimes web pages are like this. Depending on how wide your screen is or how you size the window, the text on the page will fit into a wider or narrower column so you can still see it all without having to scroll left/right. Left/right scrolling on eBook readers is even more pesky than on computers and interrupts reading.

PDF also does not allow the DRM (Digital Rights Management) that ePub and other formats allow. So, your decision about which format to use depends on your needs and your book.

Also, if you really need to have a fixed layout design, but you also want to distribute on Apple and Amazon, there are fixed layout ePub and Mobi options.

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How do I publish an eBook?

If you have the time and technical ability, you can learn how to publish an ebook yourself. You may need to consider legal issues (such as copyright, licensing and defamation), establishing a publishing brand, purchasing (and registering) ISBNs, managing your files and versions properly, banking and tax implications.

The below scenario is an ideal way of going about eBook publishing with the intention of actually being able to distribute and sell on the best platforms (including Amazon Kindle and iPad/iPhone):

eBook Distribution Ingredients

  • A final, edited version of your manuscript in Microsoft Word
  • The latest Adobe Creative Suite software, especially Dreamweaver and InDesign or you may be able to use other software
  • A Mac with OS 10.6 or higher
  • Certificate of registration for GST
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS for selling ebooks

Steps to publish an eBook in Australia

  • Apply on the Apple website to become a seller. You need to get an EIN if outside the USA and you need to be registered for GST.
  • Have a front cover designed
  • Decide on your meta-data
  • Get us to convert your manuscript to ePub and Mobi or do it yourself in InDesign, Dreamweaver, Sigil, Calibre and/or other appropriate software. Nb. some publishers find it faster/cheaper to OCR scan the actual book from a PDF than use an old broken print layout in InDesign, Pagemaker, Quark, Publisher etc.
  • Test and check your file on your device and on your computer using ebook preview software like Kindle Previewer and Adobe Digital Editions.
  • Validate your ePub file using ePub Check (nb. as at July 2012 this validator does not work in Firefox, but does work in Internet Explorer).
  • Load your Mobi file onto Kindle Direct Publishing.
  • Once approved load the ePub to iBooks using iTunes Producer from Apple.
  • Now that the easy part is done, you need to market your book.
The last step is the hard part. If you find any of the above daunting and would like to be able to concentrate on selling your book, why not get Australian eBook Publisher to take care of the details for you? Contact us for a free quote.

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Contact us to discuss your ebook project

What ebooks sell the most?

Here at Australian eBook Publisher we often get asked what ebooks sell the most. We are hesitant to highlight any particular genre as being more successful than another. There are far too many variables involved with each project, book, author and marketing plan to take the narrow view that only the genre was relevant in the book's success. In addition markets are continually changing, so one person's success with a certain title one year, might be irrelevant for someone the following year. Within our own list of books we have seen successes for both fiction and non-fiction.

There are four keys to ebook selling success.

  • Quality product
  • Availability
  • Positioning
  • Promotion

Read More

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What is Apple iBooks Author Format?

Ebooks can easily be developed for Apple iPad using thedrag-and-drop interface of Apple iBooks Author, a program made available by Apple. Apple iBooks Author produces a hybrid fixed layout/reflowing ebook format that can be viewed on an iPad and iMac (not an iPhone), as the interactive elements applied to the book cannot work on a smaller screen.

Apple iBooks Author offers multiple functions you can add to your ebook, like video, sliding galleries, multiple choice/questions and answers, fillable text boxes and more. To see an example of what can be achieved with Apple iBooks Author, check out Australian eBook Publisher’s titles:

Also take a look at the Apple demo videos.

Please note: Apple does not allow authors and publishers to refer to their ebook as an ‘iBook’, so you must not do so within the text or meta-data of your Apple iBooks Author project.

Australian eBook Publisher can aggregate your iba (iBooks Author) file, or you can request a quote for us to create one for you.

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What is a ‘Kindle Interactive Edition’?

Amazon Kindle Interactive is the ideal format for text books with multimedia, but it will also work well for photo-rich non-fiction books and children’s picture books, especially those with audio or video.

Kindle Interactive will work onAmazon Kindle Fire devices 3rd generation and newer (eg. Kindle Fire HDX). It will also work on Android devices using the Kindle App, but is currently not supported by Apple. No surprises there—Apple would not be in a hurry to allow its competitor Amazon to offer an alternative to iBooks Author.

Amazon's Kindle Interactive format is currently still in beta, and is primarily being used in the USA and the UK. At the time of writing, Australian eBook Publisher was the only Australian ebook house working with this format. Indeed we are even ahead of big US ebook conversion companies, which are not as agile as we are to adapt to technology changes.

Amazon Kindle Interactive ebooks can be read on Fire tablets and free Kindle reading apps for iPad, iPhone, Android phones, Android tablets, PC and Mac. BUT, the interactive features like audio, video, and image pop-ups are currently only available on 3rd generation or newer Fire tablets and on free Kindle reading apps for Android phones, Android tablets. They will not be made available on Kindle eInk readers.

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Can readers zoom in on images in reflowable epub?

Yes, if the ebook designer has coded for this.

Whether or not an ebook designer chooses to set up enlarging images depends on:

a) the type of device the epub is optimised for, and to a lesser degree, thevendors and software platforms it will be for sale on
b) the type of images (photos, illustrations, diagrams, charts etc.)
c) the size and resolution of the images
d) the level of detail in the images
e) the position of the images within the text (layout)

There are two fundamental needs that have to be met before we would choose to set up enlarging images:

1. If your ebook would be improved by allowing readers to zoom in on images
2. If the images you supply are large enough and good enough quality to enlarge

If the above two criteria are met, when we design your reflowable epub we will usually set up small versions of your images along with a link to zoom to the larger version.

To achieve this we will (a) ask for the files we need from you and (b) do the best thing possible for your ebook, as per quote and project scope.

For an example of how images can be zoomed in reflowing epub, please download Christmas Recipes: Ink & Cleaver or the free sample. There are photos as you read the book, and the reader can double tap to make them larger (zoom).




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What size images do you need for ebooks that can be zoomed in on a tablet?

There are two parts to this question, as image size has two fundamental aspects: 1 - dimensions, 2 - resolution.

Dimensions
To fill the screen, images must be at least 1536x2048 pixels for an iPad or similar sized tablet. Depending on if the reader is holding their iPad normally or sideways, the image will rotate to fit the screen.

Resolution
Images must be at least 264 DPI. Books designed for print will have 300 DPI, while websites usually have images that are 72 DPI. The DPI is the amount of pixels there are in a square inch of the image. The higher the DPI, the sharper your image will appear.

The current (4th) generation iPad screen is only 264 DPI, so images larger than this won’t see any increased quality, but images smaller than this may appear pixelated.



(Example of pixellation)

If your book has a lot of images, we may suggest lowering the DPI (we do this) to reduce the overall size of your ebook file.

Australian eBook Publisher will normally advise you during your quotation period if your images are too small to display well.

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Do ebooks have curling pages and a book look?

Fixed layout epub usually has a left and a right page (spread) with a fold (fake shadow) down the middle. Many ebook apps will also simulate the curling up at the corner of pages when the reader swipes to turn the page. This is done by the device app so, for example, Apple iBooks does it. Some ebook apps do and some do not apply the curling page effect. Amazon Kindle devices and apps (format KF8 mobi) usually don't have curling pages. 

With epub, readers can also zoom in to one page, and can even zoom in a bit further if necessary (such as on a mobile phone to make it readable), but it maintains a book look.

For examples of fixed layout ebooks, please download some of our free samples of these books: http://www.australianebookpublisher.com.au/our-books.php#fixed

With both epub and KF8 mobi, we do have control of whether to let it show the left-right spread or not. So, for example, with my book Myra and the Magic Motorcycle it is set by us to only show one page at a time, in portrait view. Dudley the Lucky Duck, on the other hand, has spreads, so if you need the left-right page look as well as the feel of curling pages, go and check out Dudley the Lucky Duck on Apple iBooks. 

Read more information about fixed layout ebooks.

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About Printed Books

What’s the difference between Print on Demand and Offset Printing

Offset printing describes the printing process where the image (or page) is inked in each individual colour of the CMYK colour group (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) and then transferred to a rubber surface before being rolled onto the final printing surface.

When we say ‘print-on-demand’ we’re actually describing a business model and not a printing process. Print-on-demand is a service that allows an individual to supply their print ready files and have a book printed as they need it (on demand). This can be as little as a single copy. Print-On-Demand uses digital printing. Read more on this topic here.

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What is Print-on-Demand?

Print-on-demand enables you and others in the bookselling industry to order books that are printed as needed. See more here.

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Why are there sometimes two title pages in printed books?

Go to a library or, if you have books in the same genre as the one you have written, your own book shelf and take a look at the various different layout structures of books. Many books do have two title pages. The first one is actually a half-title page and only has the title (in the same font of the title on the front cover). The second one is the true title page and it features the title, sub-title, author name and publisher. It may also include a book graphic or publisher logo. The reason for the half-title page is so that when someone first opens the book they see a clean, attractive page reinforcing the title of the book. They don't see an ugly copyright details page, list of the author's other works, or anything else distracting from what this book is. They see the title of the book they're about to read. The copyright page needs to be a left-side page, on the back (or verso) of the title page.

Alternatively, your book designer can jump straight into the story and have no title pages at all. In that case, the designer may choose to fit the copyright details onto the back cover or on the inside of the front cover. In any case, something nice, like the story itself or a title page (whether one or two of them) needs to be the very first page (a right side) seen in the book.

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Why does my print-on-demand book on Amazon say 'temporarily out of stock'.

Amazon do not always stock a print-on-demand titles, especially when they are new and not in demand. The suppliers of print-on-demand, other than Amazon, have a wider distribution network, and are operating in competition with Amazon's self-publishing brand CreateSpace.

Read more on our blog:


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What’s the difference between a PDF designed for ebook conversion and one designed for printing a book?

PDF for Ebook Project PDF for Printed Book
Detailed quote and contract (serves as project scope/brief) Quote, contract, creative brief, project scope and careful, detailed project management
Front cover only Back, spine and front cover. Spine width determined by printer after interior and paper size determined.
No bleed factored Bleed required in design files and workflow (usually 3-5mm)
Page size geared for tablets Page size geared for printing at appropriate size for book length, genre norms, shipping weight etc.
Margins adequate for visual appeal on-screen Margins generous – to outer edge of pages as well as extra large for the inner margin (into the fold) depending on number of pages etc.
Single page up or spread – depends on distributon method, content and design Always a spread (left and right page seen next to each other)
Image quality at least 150 dpi Image quality at least 300 dpi at exact size required on the printed page (avoid stretching)
All colours (text and images) in RGB All colours (text and images) must be converted to CMYK towards the end of the design process (and also keep the working files all in RGB for quality and integrity when going back to edit them)
  Use canonical black for type or consider relationship on page for canonical vs rich black elements
  Ensure ink density is appropriate for type of printing being used
Web readyness factored (such as no spaces in file names and including hyperlinked content) No web readyness factored
  Print on an inkjet printer to ensure design and image quality is at a high standard.
  Export pages according to the printer’s specifications: may involve certain margins, bleeds, singles v. spreads, trim marks etc.
  Troubleshoot, test and make adjustments once sample print out (galley) is received. Then do final prepress tasks and export for printing.

In the above table, the dark blue text represents the more time-intensive and particular skill requirements. As you can see, there is generally more work and time involved in designing books for print than for fixed layout ebook. It also requires different skills and experience.

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Will releasing an ebook affect the sales of my printed book?

There is no black and white answer to this question, because the relationship between print and ebook sales depends greatly on your entire approach to distribution and marketing of both the print and ebook editions.

In my opinion, however, the people who prefer ebooks vs hard copy are different people or have different purposes in mind (eg. gifting) therefore I don't think that one damages the other, it's just more availability for different people's preferences.

Some genres do well as ebooks: eg. science fiction because the target market tends to be tech savvy; horror as it is harder to get in print; erotica because it is not embarrassing to be seen reading as nobody can tell what you're reading on your iphone or kindle. Some genres do less well in ebook format: eg. children's books, because most parents, teachers and librarians are still set on reading to their kids with a hard copy book, and it will take more for these attitudes to change.

If you are concerned that releasing an ebook edition will negatively impact sales of your hard copy, first do a comparison chart or table asking yourself where you think the two markets overlap. If your print edition is only for sale directly from you or your local bookstore, then there is very little overlap, and of course you should put your ebook out as well.


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Why should I have a professional design my book cover?

The design of your book cover will affect sales. Whether your book is in print or exists only as an ebook, it is imperative that you have a professionally-designed cover. To achieve this requires three things:

  • Find a graphic designer who specialises in book cover design to design your book cover.
  • Be prepared to pay for artwork or photography that will truly help sell your book within the intended genre.
  • Get multiple opinions and demand multiple drafts and options from your designer.

If your book doesn’t have a professional looking cover, it will be like a red flag to people in the industry (book shops, reviewers, websites and the media) and also to most of your potential readers, who don’t want to waste their time reading something that is less than professional.

At Australian eBook Publisher we offer book cover design for print as well as ebooks, two slightly different approaches to book cover design. We can also work on a shoestring budget, or with a Marketing Success mindset, whichever you prefer.

Our aim is always to create a cover that looks professional, attracts the eye, is easy to read, and draws a reader in.

Your cover should:

  • Indicate to potential readers the book’s genre and content

Your potential readers know what kinds of books they like to read, and they will know what kinds of covers reflect those books. If your cover is not relevant to your book’s content or genre, your readers will pass right over it.

  • Attract your target audience

When you wrote your book you knew who you had in mind to read it. For example, romance novels are usually targeted towards adult women, and the covers often contain images of women or men in seductive poses. Non-fiction book covers often picture the end-goal of what the book is about, for example children consuming a beautiful meal on a cook book cover, adults with perfectly-toned bodies on a fitness book cover.

Children’s picture books are targeted at specific age groups, and the covers are designed to attract mothers to buy them. The quality of the illustrations is paramount to catch the eye of the discerning mother, who is bombarded by products for children that are of the highest quality (not just books). Because of her experience judging and buying myriad products for her children she will know in an instant that your book is not professionally made if the front cover contains pencil sketches and a title squished into a poorly planned space in the sky. She will not buy a book like this when there are a thousand others vying for her attention.

A gimmick book (in print) must appeal to someone who either has an interest in the topic themselves or is looking for a gift to buy someone else. Therefore a book of funnies and one-liners about motorcycles might have a motorcycle being ridden by a laughing person on the cover.

Your cover should be geared towards your target market, not your target audience. The target market are those who will BUY the book (eg. mothers, wives) whereas the target audience are those who will read the book or have it read to them (eg. children, motorcycle riding men).

  • Stand out

You need to balance having a cover that fits well in your genre and attracts your target market with one that stands out. Visit a book store or library and peruse a range of books in the same genre as your book. Note the similarities and differences between the covers.

     
Some book covers Australian eBook Publisher has designed

With ebooks cover design can be considered particularly important, as the reader does not have the tactile experience of picking up the book and flicking through the pages. Your ebook, as it is listed on a vendor page, will have a book description (blurb) and sample text, as well, but it is the cover that will make your book more appealing (or less appealing) than the millions of other ebooks it is surrounded by.

The design of ebook covers is also slightly different, as the cover will only be seen on screens, not in print. This allows designers a bit more freedom and results in covers that are brighter and more colourful (RGB for screens is more dynamic than CMYK for print). When a buyer is considering your ebook they will sometimes only be able to see a small version of your cover (such as on the Apple iBookstore with only a thumbnail about 150 pixels wide). You will notice in the example below that the text at the top of the book cover design for Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins is not readable on the iBookstore.
 

Once the book is purchased the cover can sometimes be seen largeron devices, but more often than not it is only ever seen as a thumbnail in the reader’s library.

Here at Australian eBook Publisher we are not constrained by what big publishers are doing, instead we tackle the fast-changing nature of ebook design and distribution head on and quickly.

We usually insert ebook covers into the first page of the interior so that readers will have the chance to enjoy the cover design. If we do this for you, bear in mind that your ebook will be read on a wide range of devices, so an inserted picture of the cover has to suit a number of different screen sizes. For this reason it is ideal to keep the cover simple enough that it remains readable on a screen as small as an iPhone, but still dynamic enough to be attractive on a tablet as big as a Kindle Fire (for example). At the time of writing, the meta-covers as per Amazon’s own specifications were not big enough to fill the screen of a Kindle Fire 8.9"! There are complexities and flexible aspects to every book cover and every ebook that we design.

You might be getting the picture now that cover design is not as simple as whacking on a nice picture and adding a title and an author. There are a number of different things book cover designers take into account for each book. A good book cover designer will consider all of these things and more.

Choose Australian eBook Publisher today.

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How long does it take to publish a book?

The length of time it takes to publish a book in print and as an ebook varies from project to project and author to author. We usually allow 3–4 months. You would usually need to add on top of this any time to print and ship the books, which again varies depending on the printing method chosen and your involvement in the process.

If you'd like to know more about what's involved, please read about our services:

The rest of this answer assumes you are utilising our Book Design, Ebook Conversion and Print on Demand services.

There is an example schedule below, of four months, that shows how it might be possible to get the project done. It even allows time for an advance copy prior to approving the bulk of your printed copies (eg. 100–500). It is wise to allow an extra month after the time you expect to receive the bulk of your printed copies before setting the date for your book launch or other event.

Project specs:

70,000 word novel or non-fiction book, no images, no special formatting + cover design

Start-up date:

17 October 2016
Deposit paid by, manuscript and info forms supplied by.

Contract signed by client:

24 October 2016
1 week allows time for communications and questions about the contract, forms etc. with your Publishing Coordinator. It allows time for you, the client to take everything in.

Book layout done:

17 November 2016
1 month allows time for us to typeset the interior book and design the cover. Only after interior is completely approved by you can we finalise the cover, as the final page count will affect the thickness of the spine. Once you approve both the cover and interior ready for print, we will order your advance copy (if included in your project quote or scope).

Draft ebook conversion done:

1 December 2016
2 weeks allows us time to convert to ebook formats, test and send draft epub and mobi files to you. Before sending to you we will test your ebook, and possibly go through two or three drafts before we’re satisfied with the quality and can send ‘round 1’ to you, the client.

Advance printed copy of book:

3–17 December 2016
Printed advance copy of book reaches you. You give us feedback and changes or approve the final order for the rest of the books as per your quote. Nb. Our printer needs 2–4 weeks to print and ship books within Australia (b&w soft cover).

Ebook conversion complete:

17–31 December 2016
A further 2–4 weeks allows one week for you, the client, to go through your draft ebook files, test them on devices, communicate any conversion issues, or even make content changes, which can be done (though may affect the timeframe and will be charged as extras). There is further work done by Australian eBook Publisher and a second round send to you.

This process may go backwards and forwards 2 or more times, as we take very seriously the goal of making your ebook function and look as great as it can be. This is why 2 or more weeks are needed before the conversion is complete (100% approved by you and your Publishing Coordinator).

Published/distributed by:

10 January 2017
7 days are allowed from conversion complete until distribution so that your Publishing Coordinator has adequate time to ensure all information is correct and everything is ready for publication. Sometimes this can be done sooner, depending on client decision-making speed. Across Christmas there is also a need for about two weeks contingency due to people being away, office being on Christmas break, etc.

Publishing is occurring appx. 3 months from start-up date, and in reality this is sometimes brought forward or pushed further back, depending on the client usually.

Marketing and promo ready:

20 Feb 2017
Client receives bulk of printed copies.

Nb. Our printer needs 2–4 weeks to print and ship books within Australia (b&w soft cover).


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Why does Australian eBook Publisher keep some of my printed book sales?

Book distribution requires different organisations to work together, and these are businesses. By providing a means to get your product to market, distributors, wholesalers and retailers in most industries keep a percentage of the selling price. You may be able to go direct to these wholesalers or you may need a distributor to do it for you.

Australian eBook Publisher adopted the aggregation model of distribution as a way to keep its fees and commissions fair. A book that is selling in large volumes is going to require our time to input sales data to our Royalties Dashboard, which matches to payments from vendors, and then one of our staff pays royalties every quarter. To account for this time, we keep a portion of the net receipts, a ‘commission’.

We have invested over AUD$16,000 in setting up our Royalties Dashboard to make this entire process smooth, accurate, efficient, and accessible for Australian authors. Our authors can log in to check their data anytime. A book that is not selling does not have to contribute commissions for the ongoing work of distribution. And that is fair.

You can read more about how print on demand works here. The net receipts are what we receive from our POD-supplier of choice. The portion we pay to our authors is called ‘royalties’ in our contracts, and the portion we keep is called ‘commission’. In our full-service projects (not our budget options) usually, we pay 85% of the net receipts and keep 15%. You can opt to pay a higher upfront aggregation fee if you wish to have 100% of the net receipts.

Please also see:
Print on Demand VS Printing Offset—What's the Difference?
Print on Demand VS Printing Offset—Pros and Cons
How to self-publish a book
How long does it take to publish a book?

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Can I bring my own cover design for print?

Yes, maybe. It depends what you mean by your own cover design. Are you a graphic designer? Do you know how to design a print-ready book cover design (back, spine and front)? Until the interior is done this is not possible, as the spine thickness can only be determined by the printer once the exact paper type and page count is known.

Instead of including cover design on our quote, we can let you know our hourly rate to support you and/or check what you send us. To send you the spine width and printer specs, and help you manage to provide what our printer needs, we need a minimum of 2 hours. This time is for helping clients (and/or their own designer) come up with a book cover design that will (a) look good and (b) that the printer will accept.

Other Designers Files

When working with, including, or taking over from, other designers' attempts at providing print-ready PDFs we also require the acknowledgement of our Client Design Files Disclaimer


Our standard charge to design a cover includes one stock image to the value of one credit. This price can be reduced if you can provide the main image(s) or illustration for the cover. We then simply position it, add a background of some kind, for the back and spine (if the illustration doesn't include it) and put all the text on.

See some examples of our award-winning Australian book cover designs.

Our work on covers usually includes:

  • Crafting the layout of the title, author and selling text on the front
  • Positioning image(s) across back, spine and front
  • Back cover blurb proofread
  • Back cover text positioning
  • Back cover ISBN barcode added
  • Back cover about author (non-fiction)
  • Back cover publishing logo(s), links etc.
  • Spine text (title and author)
  • Spine logo
  • Meeting all printer specifications, including bleed, trim, crop marks, dpi, colour space, quality, dpi (resolution) etc.
  • Print-out to ensure sizes and positions are good, not too close to edges etc.

As you can see, we take cover design very seriously as it can make or break the success of a book. We also recommend getting a marketing consultant's involvement in your book cover design. See Marketing Stage 1.

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Can I bring my own interior book design or layout for print?

Yes, maybe. It depends what you mean by your own book design. Are you a graphic designer? Do you know how to design a print-ready book layout (managing left-right pages, gutter, spacing, headers, page numbers and bleed, for example)?

Instead of including book design on our quote, we can let you know our hourly rate to support you and/or check what you send us. To check your existing files, send you the printer specs, and help you manage to provide what our printer needs, we need a minimum of 2 hours. This time is for helping clients (and/or their own designer) come up with a book design that will (a) look good and (b) that the printer will accept.

Other Designers Files
When working with, including, or taking over from, other designers' attempts at providing print-ready PDFs we also require the acknowledgement of our Client Design Files Disclaimer.

See some examples of our award-winning printed book designs.

Our work on book design usually includes:

  • Design conceptualisation
  • Book setup (set up master pages, margins, spacing, paragraph styles, fonts etc.)
  • Front matter (title pages, copyright details etc.)
  • Text formatting (detailed work on every single page on text)
    • applying and adjusting the paragraph and character styles that were set up at the beginning
    • fonts and colours
    • drop caps
    • dinkuses
    • page numbering
    • readability
    • widows and orphans
    • text frames line up
    • chapter lead pages
    • paragraph styles
  • Designing images
  • Print layout book proofing (checking the layout with a fine-toothed comb)
  • Back matter, incl. about author (non-fiction)
  • Meeting all printer specifications, including bleed, trim, crop marks, dpi, colour space, quality, dpi (resolution) etc.
  • Print-out to ensure sizes and positions are good, not too close to edges etc.

As you can see, we enjoy being thorough and making sure your book design is not intrusive but supports the reader's every effort to engage with your text and images.

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eBook Design

Can images be left or right aligned in ebooks?

Q: My book has a very fancy font used for the drop caps. Is it possible to insert these as images and have the images left-aligned with the text wrapping around, giving the effect of drop caps? From what I've seen you can't have images with left or right alignment in ebooks (like on websites). Why is that?

A: Yes, we can insert the drop caps as images, with the text wrapping around them. Images with left or right alignment are possible in ebooks, but sometimes when images are too large it creates problems, such as: text overlaping images when viewed on smaller eBook readers or if viewed with big font sizes, which varies between the different eBook readers. To combat this we usually make the images center aligned so that text and images will not overlap each other.

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What formatting works in eBooks?

Standard/reflowing eBooks are more like websites than printed books. Most of the formatting that works in a printed book can be done in an eBook, however it has to be able to re-flow and fit on all the devices you're planning to market the product to. Columns, boxed content and wide or complex tables will present problems, and we will work to resolve these issues with you.

The fastest eBook conversion is for a document with no images, tables or complex formatting. Your document can have bold, italics, underlining, headings, numbered or bulleted lists. You are encouraged to use styles in your Word document as these will translate into InDesign and/or into CSS and XML (the coding used in ebooks). Images can be included, but will not stay in exactly the same place. This is partly because eBooks, by their very nature, reflow depending on what size text the person reading the book sets it. It is challenging to wrap text around images in an ebook, so please be prepared for some flexibility. Most fonts can be embedded.

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Why should I have a professional design my book cover?

The design of your book cover will affect sales. Whether your book is in print or exists only as an ebook, it is imperative that you have a professionally-designed cover. To achieve this requires three things:

  • Find a graphic designer who specialises in book cover design to design your book cover.
  • Be prepared to pay for artwork or photography that will truly help sell your book within the intended genre.
  • Get multiple opinions and demand multiple drafts and options from your designer.

If your book doesn’t have a professional looking cover, it will be like a red flag to people in the industry (book shops, reviewers, websites and the media) and also to most of your potential readers, who don’t want to waste their time reading something that is less than professional.

At Australian eBook Publisher we offer book cover design for print as well as ebooks, two slightly different approaches to book cover design. We can also work on a shoestring budget, or with a Marketing Success mindset, whichever you prefer.

Our aim is always to create a cover that looks professional, attracts the eye, is easy to read, and draws a reader in.

Your cover should:

  • Indicate to potential readers the book’s genre and content

Your potential readers know what kinds of books they like to read, and they will know what kinds of covers reflect those books. If your cover is not relevant to your book’s content or genre, your readers will pass right over it.

  • Attract your target audience

When you wrote your book you knew who you had in mind to read it. For example, romance novels are usually targeted towards adult women, and the covers often contain images of women or men in seductive poses. Non-fiction book covers often picture the end-goal of what the book is about, for example children consuming a beautiful meal on a cook book cover, adults with perfectly-toned bodies on a fitness book cover.

Children’s picture books are targeted at specific age groups, and the covers are designed to attract mothers to buy them. The quality of the illustrations is paramount to catch the eye of the discerning mother, who is bombarded by products for children that are of the highest quality (not just books). Because of her experience judging and buying myriad products for her children she will know in an instant that your book is not professionally made if the front cover contains pencil sketches and a title squished into a poorly planned space in the sky. She will not buy a book like this when there are a thousand others vying for her attention.

A gimmick book (in print) must appeal to someone who either has an interest in the topic themselves or is looking for a gift to buy someone else. Therefore a book of funnies and one-liners about motorcycles might have a motorcycle being ridden by a laughing person on the cover.

Your cover should be geared towards your target market, not your target audience. The target market are those who will BUY the book (eg. mothers, wives) whereas the target audience are those who will read the book or have it read to them (eg. children, motorcycle riding men).

  • Stand out

You need to balance having a cover that fits well in your genre and attracts your target market with one that stands out. Visit a book store or library and peruse a range of books in the same genre as your book. Note the similarities and differences between the covers.

     
Some book covers Australian eBook Publisher has designed

With ebooks cover design can be considered particularly important, as the reader does not have the tactile experience of picking up the book and flicking through the pages. Your ebook, as it is listed on a vendor page, will have a book description (blurb) and sample text, as well, but it is the cover that will make your book more appealing (or less appealing) than the millions of other ebooks it is surrounded by.

The design of ebook covers is also slightly different, as the cover will only be seen on screens, not in print. This allows designers a bit more freedom and results in covers that are brighter and more colourful (RGB for screens is more dynamic than CMYK for print). When a buyer is considering your ebook they will sometimes only be able to see a small version of your cover (such as on the Apple iBookstore with only a thumbnail about 150 pixels wide). You will notice in the example below that the text at the top of the book cover design for Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins is not readable on the iBookstore.
 

Once the book is purchased the cover can sometimes be seen largeron devices, but more often than not it is only ever seen as a thumbnail in the reader’s library.

Here at Australian eBook Publisher we are not constrained by what big publishers are doing, instead we tackle the fast-changing nature of ebook design and distribution head on and quickly.

We usually insert ebook covers into the first page of the interior so that readers will have the chance to enjoy the cover design. If we do this for you, bear in mind that your ebook will be read on a wide range of devices, so an inserted picture of the cover has to suit a number of different screen sizes. For this reason it is ideal to keep the cover simple enough that it remains readable on a screen as small as an iPhone, but still dynamic enough to be attractive on a tablet as big as a Kindle Fire (for example). At the time of writing, the meta-covers as per Amazon’s own specifications were not big enough to fill the screen of a Kindle Fire 8.9"! There are complexities and flexible aspects to every book cover and every ebook that we design.

You might be getting the picture now that cover design is not as simple as whacking on a nice picture and adding a title and an author. There are a number of different things book cover designers take into account for each book. A good book cover designer will consider all of these things and more.

Choose Australian eBook Publisher today.

Fill in a Quote Request Or Contact Us

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What is the best structure for my ebook?

Every book is different in its requirements for structure. However, we usually find these three are the most common:

  • SIMPLE (Publishing Details, Body (the cover and table of contents are in meta-data only)
  • TRADITIONAL (Book Cover and/or Title Page, Publishing Details, Dedication, Content TOC, Acknowledgments, Foreword, Body (story))
  • COMBO (Title Page, Copyright Details, Foreword, Body (story))
We tend to prefer the simple structure, as it leaves a lot of the bulky pre-book text in the meta data which can be accessed via the device’s e-reader menu.
  • To ensure legal notices are prominent.
  • So that as soon as they reach the end of the ebook, your readers will immediately see the any device- or vendor-generated notices like ‘Review or Rate This Book’.

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Can the same fonts from my printed book be used in an ebook?

We can try to use your fonts during the ebook conversion process, but as there are no comprehensive lists of all the fonts in the world and their compatibility (or lack thereof) with all the devices and ebook formats in the world, it is not possible to answer this question free of charge.

Sometimes ebook vendors do not accept embedding of certain fonts. Even the same format of ebook may appear with different fonts on different devices. Amazon ebook formats, for example, will often appear with different fonts when viewed on Apple devices. It is our understanding that this is because Apple does not allow its competitor, Amazon, to install fonts from within the Amazon Kindle app.

When we design ebooks we tend to focus on the headings and let devices (and readers) choose the body font. Fonts chosen for printed books are not always the best for screen reading. However, if it is important to you that we try to use the exact fonts from your printed book, if you can supply said fonts, we can attempt to include them.

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Can I bring my own ebook cover design?

Yes, as long as you can provide a JPG at least 1400 pixels wide that includes the title and author. Whether it will be good, depends what you mean by your own cover design. Are you a graphic designer? Do you know how to design a book cover image (in Photoshop, not Microsoft Word).

Our standard charge to design a cover includes one stock image to the value of one credit. This price can be reduced if you can provide the main image(s) or illustration for the cover. We then simply position it and put all the text on.

See some examples of our award-winning Australian book cover designs.

Our work on ebook covers usually includes:

  • Crafting the layout of the title, author and selling text on the front
  • Positioning image(s)

As you can see, we take cover design very seriously as it can make or break the success of an ebook. We also recommend getting a marketing consultant's involvement in your ebook cover design. See Marketing Stage 1.

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eBook Conversion

What is eBook conversion?

Ebook conversion involves taking a manuscript or published (printed) book and converting it to the required ebook formats. Some of the possible workflow processes involved in ebook creation:

1. Hard copy of book » OCR scan text » Create eBook formats
2. Text-based PDF of book » Reformat text » Create eBook formats
3. InDesign layout file(s) » Rework for eBook version » Create eBook formats
4. Raw Word document(s) » Create InDesign layout » Create eBook formats
5. Raw Word document(s) » Convert to XML » Create eBook formats

Throughout all of the above workflows, images are converted to the optimal size for ebooks.

eBooks are created in various software depending on your starting format, your budget and time constraints, the complexity of the book and the level of perfection you require. You may have noticed that even some prominent fiction ebooks from big publishers have more errors in them than the printed copy. This is probably because the publisher decided to OCR a PDF of their book rather than extract each segment of text or rework their inDesign (or older page layout) files.

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Do I need both an ePub and a Mobi?

ePub is the industry standard format for ebooks (fixed layout and reflowing). It is an open format that has been taken up by 95% of the publishing industry. Mobi is the proprietary format used by Amazon.

Whether you need both or not depends on your target market, your marketing and promotion plan, your technical expertise and/or production budget.

If you are willing to work with a professional ebook design team like Australian eBook Publisher, there will be no question of whether you'll be able to create good ePub and Mobi files, test them on devices, and distribute them. However, if you are planning to DIY, there will be questions about your expertise, software and goals you may need help to answer.

Perhaps the best way to decide is to ask yourself where your readers are likely to buy your ebook form.

I buy ebooks on Apple. We also buy them on Amazon (even to read on our Apple iPad). Even though I like Kobo I have no intention of starting up yet another account on Kobo, to buy ebooks through Kobo. Just because one author's book was on Kobo (and nowhere else), it may not motivate me to go to the bother of setting up a Kobo account and apps on my devices just to read that book. I am in a habit, you might say, of using Apple iBooks. That's what I'm most comfortable with. Likewise, your readers will use whatever device and app they like.

Statistics on our ebook sales show that about 80% of the book sales occur on Amazon, 15% on Apple, the remainder on others. This does largely depend on the marketing carried out by the author, but the fact remains that more people buy where they are most comfortable buying, and that is Amazon.

Although Amazon represents the majority of sales for most of our ebooks, there are plenty of people out there buying on Apple and the others, especially if you are going to market in Australia.

We include project management time and customer service in our quotes, so going only with one format and less vendors will not make a huge difference to the price. Once you've gone to all the effort of writing your book, having a beautiful front cover designed, thinking about sales and marketing, you must give proper time and attention to this final critical piece of the puzzle.

Prioritise your final design and distribution stage, focusing on quality and control prior to release, and do not let it be the area you try to cut corners.

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How do I find an eBook converter?

You have just found one. Australian eBook Publisher is an Australian eBook converter as we take your manuscript from final format in Word, PDF, Hard Copy, InDesign, Pages or HTML etc. and convert it to an eBook (mobi and ePub). This conversion allows your eBook to be distributed through the major eBook stores including Amazon Kindle and Apple iBookstore.

Fiction books and text-based books with no images are the simplest to produce, but even with these, trying to convert your ebook yourself with ebook conversion software will probably result in loads of lost time and frustration. Save yourself the hassle and enjoy the benefit of having a professional looking after your precious manuscript. Take advantage of our very reasonable prices.

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Can I use iBooks Author to make my own epub and mobi files?

iBooks Author cannot create epub and that is not what it is for. We do not use any of the so-called ebook conversion software (hodge-podge DIY methods) to create an epub, as more often than not the resulting "epub" will not be coded correctly for all devices and, most importantly, it may not be acceptable for professional distribution on ebook vendors (publishing), such as Apple, Kobo and GooglePlay.

The team at Australian eBook Publisher uses hard code and solid workflows that include testing on devices and adhering to ePub 2.0 and 3.0 standards, best practice mobi or KF8 design, and Design Thinking.

The best project management for publishing ebooks is for us to create both an epub and mobi file, test them on devices then upload the epub to Apple, Kobo and Googleplay and upload the mobi to Amazon Kindle.

Amazon will accept just about any format and will smunch, crunch and meat-grind it into a mobi if you don't give them one. This usually looks poor. Some people don't care or are incapable of noticing, others prefer a more careful approach.

Save yourself a lot of time and stress, and get the professional touch on your self-publishing project!

Contact us for a quote

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What's the difference between standard/reflowing and “fixed layout”?

If your book has a medium or high level of page design complexity, the ebook version could look exactly the same (with a left page and a right page and everything positioned just as it is in print). The drawback to this fixed layout is the resulting ebook file is not as compatible on a range of devices. It is mainly designed for Apple iPad and Kindle Fire. It would be very hard to read on a mobile phone as the reader would have to keep zooming in and flicking around on the page to read the entire text.

Normally I recommend a reflowing format, such that you end up with paragraphs of text followed by images and captions. They are no longer aligned left or right with text wrapped etc. The reflow format is much more compatible, and can be read on any device or app.

An ebook can be done either reflowing or fixed depending on project goals, budget and distribution.

We recommend downloading a sample of fixed and reflowing to make the decision as to what works best for your project.

An example of a fixed layout ebook: H.G.’s My Healthy Appetite. Links for download are available here.



An example of a reflowing ebook: Joel Owen’s Urban Favourites. Links for download are available here.


Read more about our ebook formatting

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What is eBook Meta-data?

Ebook meta-data includes things like your book's title, contributor names (author, editor, illustrator), categories, price, blurb etc. Some of the meta-data is entered into the actual ebook files by us, others are only entered at the point of sale, such as with a vendor like Apple, Amazon, Kobo or Google Play. When you work with Australian eBook Publisher we provide all the information you need to give us the applicable meta-data for your project. If you want us to determine some or all of the meta-data for you, we offer this as part of our Marketing services.

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Once I've submitted my manuscript to you for 'processing' into an ebook, will I get the chance for one last read and/or comment on layout etc.?

If drafts are included on your quote, yes. If not, you may need to pay extra as it does take us time to help people with side-loading ebook files, teaching them what to look for, then dealing with any problems they might notice after looking through their ebook. We usually find that these are content changes, which could have been picked up at the manucript stage by the author.

Content changes (charged extraneous to quotes) include:

  • Corrections to the supplied text (typos and errors from your manuscript that you didn’t notice until you looked at the ebook)
  • Formatting and layout changes that should have either been done at your end or where you should have commissioned us to apply the ‘Designer’s touch’
  • If customers have a need for non-standard features or formatting, in our opinion, based on years of experience with book and ebook design and norms and best practice procedures in the industry

Once you've been through your draft ebook files we will fix any conversion issues free of charge, and will charge our hourly rate for any extraneous work, such as content changes.

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Can you scan my published book and create an ebook?

Yes. Normally when we work from a hard copy of a book, we scan, OCR with highly accurate software but also proofread it because no software no matter how sophisticated can get correct text and punctuation out of a printed book. A human being also needs to go through and reformat it back into a reflowing document, so that it will all come together in a readable fashion as an ebook.

You may also need help determining whether your existing book would be better as a reflowing ebook or a fixed layout ebook. Please see "What's the difference between standard epub and fixed layout

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Do I need to worry about line spacing when I write my ebook?

No. Inconsistencies in line spacing would only be an issue if you were to go to print. Even then, an Australian eBook Publisher book typesetter will apply all their own paragraph styles, which will correct any inconsistencies in the local formatting you've done.

With the way ebooks are handled by devices, and the way they are coded, we cannot control line spacing. It is standard and set by the devices (depends on the device or app). With a reflowing ebook the reader can change their text size and the device or app will have associated line spacing it uses for that text size.

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How should I format large quotes in my manuscript?

An Australian eBook Publisher editor or designer can look into this for your particular manuscript. Generally speaking, we think that indented block paragraphs look better and are easier on the eye than large chunks of italics. With newspaper quotes, letters, diary entries or in YA or children's books, using a different font for block quotes might be in order. We would approach this on a case by case basis during an editing or book design job.

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Can advertising be included in ebooks distributed on Apple, Amazon etc.

No.

The Apple iBookstore Ebook Formatting Guidelines state:

12.19. Advertising. Books must not contain marketing materials or advertisements except as part of a catalog. Books may reference related products that are offered on the iBookstore, iTunes Store, Mac App Store, or App Store (for example, "Other books by this author…").

Most ebook vendors also expressly prohibit you mentioning any of the other ebook vendors, so you can't advertise your Apple edition inside your Amazon edition, and vice versa.

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Is it only Apple that supports enhanced ebooks?

No. Media Overlay (narration track of your book with words getting highlighted as they are read out) is supported on Apple, Amazon and Kobo but only devices that can play audio will play the audio of course.

Australian eBook Publisher customers receive support and training on enhanced ebooks, when requested, as we are experts in producing these formats. This is a complex question that depends very much on you, your book, your marketing and distribution plan etc.

Apple iBooks currently has the best support for enhanced ebooks, but it is not the only one that supports enhancements like audio and video. We have started using Amazon’s new multimedia “text book” format, Kindle Interactive, in 2016 and invite you to take a look at Myra and the Magic Motorcycle on all platforms to see what we can do.

Until recently Amazon ebooks could only play audio and video in the Kindle app for Apple iOS because Apple devices have the hardware to play such multimedia content. We have avoided releasing such ebooks because they wouldn't have multimedia functioning in the Amazon devices themselves. Now there is the Amazon interactive format (used for big text book publishers for example). This format is primarily for Amazon's newest kindle fire devices, for sale in the USA.

For an example of the media overlay and audio sound effects buttons, take a look at our Fixed Layout Enhanced Ebook showcase project Myra and the Magic Motorcycle Interactive edition on Amazon here.

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Will my book work perfectly as a fixed layout ebook?

If your book layout is already done, Australian eBook Publisher can analyse whether the existing book design will translate well to fixed layout ebook formats. We usually do this for free during quoting, to a certain extent. Also, during our standard conversion process we do whatever we can to make the book as compatible on the widest variety of apps and devices possible, with a major focus on the primary devices each vendor distributes to. Find out more about fixed layout vs reflowing ebooks.

If your printed book is not designed optimally for ebook reading apps, it may need to be re-designed. This is especially the case if you want to sell your ebook to people using a desktop computer. Believe it or not, even though a computer screen is bigger than a tablet device like an iPad, the apps used to read ebooks are even more problematic for viewing very detailed images on desktop computers. For a complex analysis like this, please take us up on publishing consultation.

Australian eBook Publisher is very good at working with whatever the team is given. In the majority of cases we can find a solution that would enable distribution on ebook vendors, such as Apple, Amazon, Kobo and GooglePlay. The work involved in re-designing a book and converting to ePub may be worth it for you if it brings digital rights management and ease of sales worldwide.

One of our consultants will need to discuss your specific situation with you, after viewing your book designs, to find the best solution. This must be done over a period of days using phone and email, as one of our ebook technicians may need to be involved. We will discuss the project and consult with you, before settling on our recommendation of the best direction for your e-publishing project.

You may also be interested in this video about reflowing vs fixed layout ebooks.

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Are fixed layout ebooks on Amazon Kindle any good?

Some are and some are not. It depends on the design and the devices it needs to function well on. Until 2016 there was no pinch and zoom technology in kindle fixed layout ebooks. Now that it is here, in Kindle Textbook format, Amazon are starting to take down ebooks developed in older software that need to be updated.

Read More

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Can you develop a fixed layout ebook for Amazon Kindle app?

Yes, but as a matter of standard procedure we do not usually focus on developing fixed layout Amazon files (KF8) for the Kindle App on Apple iOS, due to the added expense. If you have a strong focus on fixed layout ebook for Kindle App, we will charge extra and manage your project differently to accommodate this request. Firstly we have to see all the files we would be working with. Secondly we make it clear to our clients that we use our experience and expertise to handle the Kindle App during development, while also developing for Kindle devices, but the ebook has to be actually released for sale on Amazon before it can be properly tested and troubleshooted for the Kindle app for Apple iOS.

It is impossible to test fixed layout Amazon format on the Kindle app for Apple iOS. The way the technology works means that the installation of a fixed layout ebook via Kindle App cannot be done except after purchase. If you consider that Apple and Amazon are rivals, you will see that one does not help the other to make it easier for publishers or readers to use their competitor's software. For example Apple does not allow the Amazon app to install fonts, so embedded fonts do not usually work in the app. So there are a lot of challenges with the Amazon Kindle app, especially when it comes to complex non-standard formats like fixed layout and enhanced ebooks.

We do not claim to be able to create an ebook that will work perfectly on the Amazon Kindle app because (a) it is impossible to test this till after the book is released for sale, and (b) difficulties caused by Amazon's lack of fixed layout support and their difficulties with Apple, are out of our control.

Most people tend to buy and read ebooks on Apple devices FROM Apple, and on Amazon devices FROM Amazon, etc. That's the best way to see quality in your ebooks.

Problems with fixed layout ebooks on Amazon Kindle app for Apple iOS will usually occur because either (a) the Amazon Kindle app for Apple iOS lacks support for the required feature, or (b) the author or publisher did not design the ebook for tablets. Ebooks are often created cart before the horse. That's why we created Myra and the Magic Motorcycle, a full colour fixed layout enhanced ebook that works perfectly on all devices we have distributed it on. To prove it can be done right. :)

You can also find more Enhanced Ebooks on the Our Books section of our website.

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Why Does My Ebook Look Bad in Desktop E-reading Software?

If you're asking this question, it may be that you've had a poor experience with an inexperienced ebook conversion house that has not done a good job. If that is the case, please send us your files and we will do Ebook Quality Assurance for you. There are a few other possibilities, some of which our Managing Director, Amanda Greenslade, covered in the blog article on this topic. Read More.

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Is it possible to print/order hard copies of an ebook?

No. Not unless a book designer has set-up a print-ready file, in which case it is not an ebook anymore, but a set of printed book layout files. This will include a book cover file that encompasses the back cover, spine, front cover and bleed. Ebook covers contain only the front cover.

Ebook files are essentially a zip file containing website files like HTML, XML and JPG images. These cannot be printed, at least not in such a way as to appear like a book. For one thing, ebooks are for screen reading so they are set at screen colour (RGB) and resolution, whereas printing usually requires either grayscale or CMYK.

Printers require their specifications to be met, and these are not simply a case of providing any old PDF. They're much more specific than that. The proliferation of PDF and the rise of DIY desktop publishing means that many people think they can do it all, but if you are not a graphic designer you may struggle to have success with a printer.

Printers require a fixed page design (with left and right pages) so the printing machine can be set with a particular paper type, page size etc. and print exactly what it is told to on each page. 

Australian eBook Publisher loves to offer professional book design.

Another point to consider is that if your ebook is a reflowing ebook, no typesetting or layout has been done that would translate into a print-ready file. If it has the front cover designed and some formatting (which we call Ebook Designer's Touch™), some of the existing font choices will be easy should you decide to get a designer to typeset it for print. 

One issue we sometimes have with customers going from ebook to print, is figuring out where the latest version of the text and pics is. A book designer needs a current up-to-date Word document, for example. If content changes were made during the ebook project, those might be missing from your latest Word document. 

We can provide a meaningful and reliable printed book design quote once we know what we would be working with. It is also useful to know what size book you want. Eg. B format (129x198mm), how many copies, full colour or grayscale, shipped to where, hard cover or softcover, print procurement (1,000+) or print-on-demand (<500).

You might also be interested in:

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eBook Distribution

Why does Australian eBook Publisher keep some of my ebook sales?

Ebook distribution requires different organisations to work together, and these are businesses. By providing a means to get your product to market, distributors and wholesalers in most industries keep a percentage of the product value. Books and ebooks are no different, except that nowadays you can make sales directly to consumers if you have a big enough following.

Because most authors do not have access to a ready market, or a means of getting products to consumers (whether print or electronic) they need to use existing ones like Amazon. Some authors find that using an aggregator to reach these markets frees their time up for more writing or marketing efforts. Australian eBook Publisher adopted the aggregator model of distribution as a way to keep its fees and commissions fair. A book that is selling in large volumes is going to require our time to input sales data to our Royalties Dashboard, which matches to payments from vendors, and then one of our staff pays royalties every quarter. To account for this time, we keep a portion of the net receipts, a ‘commission’.

We have invested over AUD$16,000 in setting up our Royalties Dashboard to make this entire process smooth, accurate, efficient, and accessible for Australian authors. Our authors can log in to check their data anytime. A book that is not selling does not have to contribute commissions for the ongoing work of distribution. And that is fair.

You can read more about how ebook aggregation (distribution) works here. The net receipts are what we receive from vendors like Amazon and Apple. The portion we pay to our authors is called ‘royalties’ in our contracts, and the portion we keep is called ‘commission’. Usually, we pay 85% of the net receipts and keep 15%. You can opt to pay a higher upfront aggregation fee if you wish to have 100% of the net receipts.

Please also see:

What are the ebook distribution options with Australian eBook Publisher?

Should I distribute my ebook or should I use your ebook aggregation service?

How much and when do I get paid for sales of my ebook?

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What are net receipts in publishing/royalties?

The money that a publisher earns, in their local currency, for sales of books after all taxes, bank fees and exchange rates are factored. In other words, the final dollar amount received in the publisher's bank account.

If you are an Australian eBook Publisher customer, please request and read our 'Royalty Payments PDF' to learn how royalties are calculated. Also look at the next FAQ article:
'How much and when do I get paid... ?'

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How much and when do I get paid for sales of my ebook?

Different outlets offer different payment scales and some have multiple scales depending on where the book is going to appear for sale. There are commissions kept by eBook outlets, bank fees and taxes withheld and, like the world of print books, each organisation along the distribution chain, sometimes including the government of that country, takes its slice of the pie. The publisher of an ebook will end up with anything from 30–70% of the pre-GST sale price.

The amount you get paid when one of your ebooks is sold depends on your price, the options you choose when your book goes up for sale and the services you are using Australian eBook Publisher for.

If we are providing ebook formatting (design or conversion) services only, Australian eBook Publisher provides you with a validated ePub and/or a mobi file so that you can publish them yourself online using whatever distribution method(s) you see fit. This is the lowest cost option with us. You will get the maximum royalty from the ebook sellers.

If we are aggregating the book for you, we use our own accounts to publish and distribute your book with eBook sellers like Amazon and Apple. We draw up an aggregator publishing contract for you that usually pays a percentage of the royalties to you. For this example let's use 85% of the net receipts. (Net receipts are the proceeds we receive from all the ebook vendors (booksellers/distribution platforms) combined less taxes, bank fees, after exchange rates have been taken into account etc.).

For example:

  • Sales taxes are worked out by the vendor based on the RRP (Eg. 10% GST for sales in Australia, 5% for sales in the USA)
  • Vendor royalties are worked out by the vendor (anything from 30–70% of the pre-GST sale price).
  • The vendor pays us our royalty by cheque or wire transfer. Bank fees and the exchange rate are applied to the vendor payment prior to the money showing up in our account. What shows up in AUD is the net receipts.
  • Our database calculates our commission, based on our contract with you (usually 10-20% depending how many books you have under contract with us).
  • We pay your royalties (as per our contract with you) by direct deposit to an Australian bank account.

For further details see How are my royalties calculated by Australian eBook Publisher?

If you are using our consulting services to get your own distribution accounts set up, you will pay Australian eBook Publisher by the hour to assist you with the set up for distributing your eBooks. You get to keep all of your eBook earnings (whatever they happen to be).

Australian eBook Publisher will not engage in detailed discussions of the ins and outs of what royalities the eBook outlets pay you and when, suffice to say payments to us may occur 40 days after the close of each quarter (sell ten eBooks in January, receive payment in mid-June) and we will pass payments due to you in the next accounting cycle. Our accounting cycle is quarterly and we pay royalties when at least AUD$100 is owed.
This is outlined in our Aggregator Conversion and Distribution Contract.

If you want to have tight control over this and track the details, you should consider managing your eBook publications yourself either from the very start or after Australian eBook Publisher has set your accounts up for you.

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What countries do you distribute ebooks to, and are these identified in the sales data of your Royalties Dashboard?

Our book Royalties Dashboard displays the number of copies sold through different sellers as well as which region of the world the purchases were made in.

The final list of countries varies from vendor to vendor and changes from time to time. Below is the current list of countries we distribute ebooks to through Amazon and Apple:

AMAZON
Andorra
Australia
Austria
Belgium
Brazil*
Canada
France
Germany
Gibraltar
Guernsey
India*
Ireland
Isle of Man
Italy
Japan*
Jersey
Liechtenstein
Luxembourg
Mexico*
Monaco
The Netherlands
New Zealand
San Marino
Switzerland
Spain
United Kingdom
United States
Vatican City

APPLE
Australia
Austria
Argentina
Belgium
Belize
Bolivia
Brazil
Bulgaria
Canada
Chile
Colombia
Costa Rica
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
El Salvador
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Guatemala
Guyana
Honduras
Hungary
Ireland
Italy
Japan
Latvia
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta, Republic of
Mexico
Netherlands
New Zealand
Nicaragua
Norway
Panama
Paraguay
Peru
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Suriname
United Kingdom
United States
Uruguay
Venezuela

For print-on-demand questions, please see our printed book FAQ or contact us.

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With ebook distribution royalties, should I choose the 35% or 70% earnings on Amazon Kindle?

Australian eBook Publisher provides a training PDF (Payments PDF) to its customers to help understand this and all the royalty factors to consider in relation to the ebook vendors we distribute to. To understand the specifics in relation to your book you might like to purchase a Publishing Cost Benefits Analysis and work with Publishing Consultant Amanda Greenslade.

Basically if your ebook file is going to be under 10Mb as a Mobi then you should go for a price that enables 70% earnings on Amazon (eg. USD 2.99 / AUD 3.99 to USD 9.99 / AUD 11.99). The two most common scenarios where the 35% earnings option would a better choice are:

1. Where the price needs to be lowered to USD 1.99 or less (for example to take advantage of promo deal websites and email lists like Book Bub and Kindle Nation). To have a price this low in the US market we will be forced to go with 35% royalties in all markets on Amazon.

2. Where your mobi file is larger than 10Mb, consider the download fee that will be deducted from each sale if we choose 70% earnings. This may lead to you being worse off than if we simply chose the 35% earnings option, which incurs no download fees.

For specifics to do with your project and/or ebook, please purchase a Publishing Cost Benefits Analysis

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Why don’t you distribute to more ebook vendors?

Other ebook service providers sometimes boast about ‘worldwide marketing’ to hundreds of outlets. Our approach is stay focused on those that really matter. Also, we find it misleading to use the term ‘marketing’ when it really is just ‘distribution’. After all, being listed on 500 ebook vendors will not automatically result in sales. Like any product, ebooks need to be marketed in order to (a) reach the intended audience and (b) stand out from the crowd. In some cases you need to think about building an author platform, not just marketing one ebook. To sell ebooks you need a sound marketing machine behind you to succeed. This may involve things like a website, magazine articles, a newsletter, a speaking platform, social media, blog etc. For more marketing ideas please visit our ebook marketing page or contact us.

For more on what's involved in distributing ebooks yourself, please see here:

Read Amanda's blog post on What's involved in self-distribution of ebooks direct to vendors?

http://www.australianebookpublisher.com.au/ebook-consulting.php#consulting

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Should I distribute my ebook or should I use your ebook aggregation service?

It's up to you. You can get us to aggregate your ebooks (publish/distribute) or you can take care of the ebook distribution yourself. We also provide consultation services for those who need a helping hand determining whether they can and exactly how to distribute their ebooks themselves.

If you decide to keep things simple and get us to distribute ebooks on your behalf, we will offer you an Aggregator Publishing Contract. Ebook vendors, like Amazon and Apple, list us as the “publisher” or we can list your business name instead. We have distributed more than 450 books and/or ebooks and sold over 150,000 copies (as at March 2017).

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How do I decide the price of my ebook?

Of course it depends on each individual book. A large textbook with graphics and video would cost more than a novel containing only text.

We suggest having a look at books that are similar in genre and content to yours on the vendors you are hoping to aggregate to in order to establish an average price. Once you have done a bit of research you will be able to see what the standard pricing is for a book like yours.

A very general guide you can work with is around half the price of the printed book.

More established authors are more easily able to have higher prices and still receive sales. A book by a relatively unknown author would be easier to sell at a lower price.

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Do I need to get an ABN?

Not if we aggregate the ebook for you. One reason you would need an ABN to sell ebooks is if you wanted to self-distribute to Apple, which requires you to be registered for GST, and you can't be registered for GST without an ABN.

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Should my book have DRM or not?

DRM is Digital Rights Management and it occurs at the point of sale, i.e. through Apple or Amazon. DRM is not applied to actual ePub or Mobi files themselves. By default Australian eBook Publisher does apply DRM to all the books it aggregates. Some would argue it makes it harder for semi-tech-savvy people to do what they want with the ebooks they have purchased, and those who are tech-savvy enough can get around it anyway. Our view is that for most people DRM ebooks are user-friendly enough, they download to your devices you’ve purchased it for, and you can read the ebook. For most people it is not necessary to be able to port ebooks across various other devices rather than the ones it was purchased for in the first place.

If you would like us to release your book without DRM that is fine by us. Whether your book has DRM or not there is still a possibility that it will be pirated and released on P2P or torrent websites without your authorisation. You might choose to take action against this if it occurs.

Being able to take someone to court for copyright violation would probably require you to have made some effort at keeping tabs on ensuring nobody is violating your copyright. Having copyright notices in the work, registering it with all possible registration services (when we are your publisher/aggregator Australian eBook Publisher usually offers to do this for you with Thorpe Bowker and the National Library of Australia) etc.

It is labour-intensive to try to manage piracy as you basically have to create your own accounts on such pirate websites and search for your own work, if you think it might be an issue, send take-down notices and report the infringing websites to Google. For more on this you might like to read Internet Book Piracy by Gini Scott.

It may also be a good idea to set up Google Alerts with your book title and your author name, so you can see where and when these pop up on websites. Also search these on social media regularly. This is not only a good idea for protection of copyright, but also for maximising marketing opportunities.

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How do I sell ebooks on my website?

As an aggregator that works with the biggest ebook sellers in the world, we often get asked about ways to avoid the perceived loss of income represented by selling through companies like Apple, Amazon, Kobo, GooglePlay and a myriad of others. This is an individual decision that depends on your book, your author platform or your business. One thing to bear in mind is the simple fact that readers are buying ebooks from the above vendors, especially Amazon and Apple. It is a well-established marketplace, whereas your little corner of the web may not be.

Write a list of the pros and cons of vendor-distribution vs selling ebooks from a website. It might look something like this:

Selling Ebooks Through Major Ebook Vendors like Amazon and Apple

Pros

Cons

Easy for readers to obtain the ebook (no side-loading)

30% of your sale price (net of taxes) will be kept by Apple and 30% or more by Amazon, depending on book price, file size and distribution settings. On other vendors, you will have to factor into your pricing that up to 50% of your sale price will be kept by the wholesalers.

DRM

These big vendors will pay sales tax to governments of each country they sell into (which is deducted from the sale price of your ebook)

Discoverability through browsing

 

Familiar brands that readers might prefer to use, rather than buying direct from an unknown, therefore unreliable, entity

 

Participate in vendor promos and benefit from best seller ranks and reviewers

 

More professional

 

 

Selling Ebooks Directly Through a Website

Pros

Cons

You can keep 100% of the selling price

Readers have to side-load the file to their device

You might not need to pay sales tax—talk to your accountant

No DRM (or very expensive to build it in to own website $2,000 set-up + monthly fees)

You may be able to keep track of who your buyers are (eg. by requiring certain information when they create an account during check-out), analyse this data for the sake of marketing and/or send email newsletters to promote your other products

Your ebook cannot be found by people browsing online book marketplaces

 

More work (cost) for your website to be set-up with a payment system (shopping cart)

 

Tech support may be required for some buyers who will be coming to you for support, as you are the seller

 

Lack of trust in you or your website may lead to a loss of sales

 

Having to manage ebook file provision manually (email your buyers the ebook files or links to download) unless your budget allows for a website with digital file transfer in the shopping cart.


Is it a good idea to sell ebooks directly from your own website? For help answering this question, please engage us for Publishing Consultation, as it could very much depend on your exact circumstances.

You can distribute ebooks directly from your website as simply and quickly as using a PayPal Buy it Now button, then you get an email telling you where to email the files to. Or you could go a bit more sophisticated in order to automate the processes and offer other payment options. For example you could use a shopping cart on a CMS like Wordpress or Joomla. That way you wouldn't have to manually email out the epub and mobi when people order your books.

You would not have "DRM" however in a CMS you can sometimes get a solution, such as Shopify, that will stamp the buyer's contact details onto the digital files prior to them being sent out. That way, if that person releases the files onto P2P (peer to peer or pirate networks) or tries to republish it, it will be obvious it is a fake and where it came from.

Another challenge with direct distribution of ebooks is you are expecting your customers to be able to side-load the ebooks manually to their devices.

You may also be interested in reading our FAQ articles:
Can we obtain the contact details of people who buy our ebooks?
Can I allow multi-seat licenses for organisations to purchase my ebook?

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How much money will I make?

A summary for writers wanting to sell ebooks
This is an important question and really depends on the saleability of your work, your sales plan and the amount of effort you put into marketing it. Australian eBook Publisher does not guarantee sales as that is not our area of expertise. Our role is to help you with the technical and creative aspect of ebook production and marketing. It is your job to sell your eBook.

People will be able to see your eBook in various catalogues and/or online searches, but you still need to market it. Take a look at the new release list on Amazon Kindle. There appear to be over 70,000 new ebooks coming out on Kindle every month. With that sort of competition it would be easy for your book to become lost in the crowd. So while there is buying power in the international audience, you must have a writing platform and a marketing plan to sell a decent number of books.

Australian eBook Publisher can assist you with the creative and technical aspects of your marketing plan, but it is up to you to direct and manage your sales efforts—in short, it is up to you to sell your eBook.

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Handy Hints For Using iTunes Producer to Publish Ebooks

Q: What folder on my Mac do itms files get saved for itunes producer?
A: The ITMS files get saved in [username]\Music\iTunes Producer\Playlists\[then by ISBN]

Q: Sometimes when I have re-uploaded an ePub in iTunes Producer, it doesn't get updated on the iBookstore or iTunes Connect.
A: We have encountered this problem a few times, usually because there have been too many revisions of a particular project. Apple will need to be contacted about it (submit a ticket on itunesconnect.apple.com).

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What counts as ‘explicit content’?

When uploading your ebook to Apple there is a special requirement that you select whether or not your book has “explicit content”.

If your book does have explicit content Australian eBook Publisher will let Apple know when we upload your book. Choosing to alert Apple to explicit content will help parents with parental controls enabled on their devices.

Apple says:
In iOS 6, Parental Controls are now available for books. With iBooks 2.2 and higher, if you turn on Parental Controls, books in your library marked as containing sexually explicit content will be hidden. You cannot open, read, or download these books again with Parental Controls active.

In iOS 6, if you turn on Parental Controls, books marked as containing sexually explicit content in the iBooks Store will be disabled from purchase, preview, and sharing. When you turn on Parental Controls, if you try to view books marked as containing explicit sexual content in the iBooks Store:

This message will appear: "This book contains explicit sexual content. To download it, you must first go to Settings and edit your restrictions."

  • The Buy and sample buttons will be disabled.
  • No sharing link will appear.
  • A generic book's image will appear on the product page and in search results, rather than the original book's image.

There is no specific guide from Apple as to what is classed as ‘explicit content’, so you must use your own judgment. A rule of thumb might be to consider whether you would be okay with having children under the age of 13 read your book.

What Explicit Content Will Get Your Ebook Rejected?
Apple will reject explicit content if it considers it to be Prohibited Explicit or Objectionable Content.

    Books must not contain prohibited explicit or objectionable content, which includes but is not limited to:
  1. Depiction (photo or drawing) of a child in a sexual situation, even without contact.
  2. Photographs of penetrative sex, oral/genital contact, or genitals.
  3. Textual encouragement to commit a crime (e.g. books supporting, encouraging or defending rape, pedophilia, incest, or bestiality or books detailing how to commit a sexual crime).
  4. Photographic content intended for the sole purpose of sexual arousal.
  5. Excessively objectionable or crude content.

For more on the definition of explicit ebooks please see our blog article http://www.australianebookpublisher.com.au/17_dec_2014.php

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Can you distribute my iBooks Author ebook?

Apple iBooks Author produces .iba (working format) and .ibooks (publish-ready format), not epubs. iBooks Author is free to download from the Mac App store and comes with ready-to-publish templates. Using these templates will ensure you have a working ebook, but please try to be creative about your book design and keep the end user experience top of mind always. iBooks Author is good for producing multi-touch fixed layout ebooks, which are highly designed, interactive and feature multimedia. It is not ideal for novels, short stories or books that are mostly text.

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Why can't I see the prices for my ebook on Amazon.com?

If you do a search on Amazon.com for your book(s) they should be listed with prices in the Amazon search results. If you go into one of the books then you may not be able to see the price or click anywhere to buy it, but Amazon may be offering you the option to continue and buy it from Amazon.com.au. This occurs because you have changed your own Amazon account over to purchase from Amazon.com.au. Then if you're in Amazon.com, on the book page itself, you can't see the US price or buy the book. To see how it would look to someone in the USA you will need to log out of your Amazon account first.


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Can you distribute my ebook in China?

Based on information at July 2014, no, sorry, we can't.

Is there an Apple iBooks Store in China? On Apple we can release ebooks in Chinese if they are free of charge, but there is no "China" available to us as an actual territory selection. I'm not sure where/if people in China can use iBooks Store.

Is there an Amazon Kindle store in China? Yes. However, the relationship we have with Amazon (KDP) does not enable distribution into China. Only big (commercial) publishers can get into Amazon Kindle app in China. There are details about the different territories for Amazon KDP ebooks here: https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A29FL26OKE7R7B

There may be significant censorship and legal hurdles to distributing products in China, and we are not currently geared to handle this. And that's probably why KDP does not allow it.

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How will my ebook royalties affect my Australian income tax return?

Each person's situation will be unique, but for many self-published authors, ebook publishing is more of a hobby activity than a business. Under Australian tax law, irregular or small amounts of income derived from hobby activities are not subject to income tax.

So, this means that earning royalties does not necessarily need to be factored as income and taxed. Only if it qualifies as a business activity. There is no particular dollar figure on this ruling, but it is based on a number of factors like whether the income is on a scale, regular, has some permanency and is something that you are truly trying to profit from (and succeeding).

The ATO website has a handy article "Am I in Business" which is directly relevant to this question of whether ebook royalty income is taxable. See: https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Starting-and-running-your-small-business/In-detail/Getting-started/Am-I-in-business-/

I am not an accountant or financial adviser so this is purely my take on the situation and not to be construed as financial or legal advice.

--Amanda Greenslade

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Why is my ebook's sale price reduced on GooglePlay (GoogleBooks) on Android?

First of all, please be aware that the royalty payment from GoogleBooks is not affected by their ebook sale price discounts. In other words, Google are taking a loss on ebook sales in order to get more people buying ebooks from them.

As part of its strategy to gain market share in sales of digital media, GooglePlay sells ebooks at a greatly reduced version of the RRP set by the publisher. We cannot control this. We haven't been able to work out the exact percentage but it appears to be somewhere in the area of 25-35%. This effectively means that they are undercutting the prices of ebooks that are for sale on multiple platforms (eg. Apple, Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble Nook).

Only if Amazon cuts the price of the ebook to match GoogleBooks would the royalties be affected. We do get an email from Amazon warning us about the price problem prior to this happening. And we would deal with this problem then by increasing the ebook price on GooglePlay, or taking it down from GoogleBooks (as per your preference).

As a general rule, GoogleBooks is the cheapest place to buy ebooks. These games with ebook prices don't do authors and publishers any favours and we are hoping for a future where authors and publishers have more control over the prices of books and ebooks, without this constant downward pressure on pricing.

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Can my ebook price be free on vendors?

Apple iBookstore, Kobo and Google Books accept listing ebooks for free.

The minimum Amazon allow us to load an ebook for is 99 cents, unless your book is exclusively with Amazon. In this case we can use Amazon Kindle Select to put the ebook into a promotion mode where it is free for a limited time.

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What if a traditional publisher wants to take over my self-published ebook?

We sometimes get asked what happens if one of our customers novels get picked up and published by a publishing house while with Australian eBook Publisher. What financial or contractual obligations are our customers under during each two year Aggregation term?

With a normal Australian eBook Publisher Aggregation Contract, you hold your copyright and subsidiary rights always. Depending on your Aggregation Contract with us, it usually only grants us a exclusive right to release the Digital Edition of your Book in the Territory (usually worldwide) for the term of two years. It does not restrict printed book rights.

You can request to terminate your contract with us at any time and we will consider the circumstances of each arrangement and may or may not comply within that two year period. If we agree to terminate your contract in writing, there may be a fee to delist (unpublish/remove from sale) the ebook from the vendors.

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Why can't I find my ebook on my iphone when I can find it on iBooks on my computer?

Is it an iBooks Author produced ebook?

iBooks Author files are not designed for iPhones. They are designed for iPads or Macs only. Please see the link below and refer to the heading “How do you read books created with iBooks Author?” on that page.

http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT5557

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Do you provide tech support for people having difficulty viewing purchased ebooks?

Wherever the ebook is bought from (the vendor) is the appropriate place for the buyer to go to about any problems; however, if there is an error that is the publisher's responsibility then that would fall back onto the author or to the publisher. If you sell directly from your own website rather than using vendors (or as well as) then you may come across technical support issues. Please see our FAQ article about how to side load ebooks here (link http://www.australianebookpublisher.com.au/faq.php#chapter2).

We do provide consultation on this issue for our hourly rate.

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How can a school or library purchase a class set of my ebook?

In 2017 Australian eBook Publisher commenced distribution to EBSCO, a worldwide distributor that is used by libraries, corporations, educational institutions. Once your ebook is available here it should be possible for a school to buy a class set (multi-seat license) for your ebook from EBSCO or one of its representatives. If they're not sure how to commence this relationship they should contact EBSCO Australia directly. We intend to add Overdrive to our vendors soon as well, to facilitate provision of our ebooks into Queensland state schools.

If digital rights management is disabled, or if you set your price as FREE, it would be possible for anyone to buy your ebook and share that file with other people.

If you want to get paid for all the readers who will be reading your ebook, you need to consider digital rights management and possibly even site licensing. The mainstream ebook vendors—Apple, Amazon, Kobo, GooglePlay and Barnes & Noble Nook—do not enable site licenses. If digital rights management is enabled (our default) each digital product (including ebooks) can only be installed by the account that purchased it. Usually this is limited to 5 devices.

In other words schools or libraries can buy and display your ebook on up to 5 of the school tablet devices. It is not possible for them to transfer vendor-purchased ebooks with digital rights management to other people's devices at all. Whether they would do this or not is a question for each school or library. Digital books are new and many organisations have not solidified their purchasing procedures, so take the opportunity to shape the industry you are in and get out there and find out what your target market really needs!

Some libraries and schools buy ebooks through the vendor Ebsco, which is why Australian eBook Publisher can, as of January 2017, distribute ebooks to Ebsco. Ebsco offers digital content distribution on a "concurrent user access model" for more than 870,000 ebooks and 360,000 serials (eg. magazines). Ebsco ebooks reach millions of end users worldwide at more than 50,000 institutions.

If your book is popular, there may be financial advantages to using Ebsco, however the institutions and libraries that source content from Ebsco only have to buy 1 copy of your ebook and can lend it out multiple times (up to 365 times per year per seat). If your ebook is very popular and more than one person want it at a time, they will buy additional seats.

There are thousands of libraries, organisations and corporations around the world using Ebsco so we feel it is a worthwhile inclusion in our line-up of ebook vendors. While there are only financial gains to be made by popular titles, the potential exposure for our authors within libraries worldwide is a valuable opportunity for those undertaking book marketing.

Going it alone to sell ebooks to educational institutions is likely to meet with failure because librarians, like all institutional book buyers, are busy people and prefer to choose from catalogues with hundreds, if not thousands, of books on offer, not individual authors.

Whatever method you choose for distribution and licensing and digital rights management for your ebook, you need to set your price accordingly and structure your marketing and communication about the product around this.

For more on lending rights please see our blog article (http://www.australianebookpublisher.com.au/2015_feb18_blog.php)


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Can you distribute my ebook to Angus & Robertson online bookstore?

Yes. To get ebooks selling through Angus & Robertson, we can distribute to Kobo for you. A&R even sell Kobo devices. See http://www.angusrobertson.com.au/electronicss/ereaders/4555/. It is an extra $45+GST for us to load the book to Kobo.

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How do I get my ebooks onto Booktopia?

Booktopia used to be a reseller for Google, but when Google ended its reseller program in 2012, they switched to Ingram's CoreSource. Source

In our opinion, the sales of ebooks through Booktopia, Dymocks, etc. are not significant enough to invest time or dollars. Authors and publishers should spend their limited resources on the most productive pursuits, and, for most, this is either in selling direct, or using the major ebook vendors (big 4, apple, amazon, kobo and googleplay).

Retail outlets, including book stores (online and offline) are trying to jump on the ebook bandwagon, but appear to be largely failing.

Australian eBook Publisher recommends that authors focus their distribution and marketing resources on the big 4, Apple, Amazon, Kobo, GooglePlay


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Can I put a website address into my book blurb on Amazon?

No.

Putting a website URL into a book blurb is against the terms and conditions of Amazon and Apple.

Amazon KDP's terms and conditions:

"You may not include in any Digital Book any advertisements or other content that is primarily intended to advertise or promote products or services."

And the other vendors have similar rules as well.

Even if you have seen this done before it would probably have been moderated and removed soon after you saw it.


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What taxes will be deducted from each sale of my books?

Each country has its own taxation system. Book and ebook vendors remit taxes directly to each government where they sell goods and services. Any information given on this website is not guaranteed to be up-to-date and is not to be taken as legal or financial advice. In our recent experience, with the correct paperwork filled in, Australian eBook Publisher advises its authors to ensure all pricing includes the relevant taxes. As we generally accept only an AUD and a USD price, all other pricing is calculated automatically using currency exchange algorithms at the vendor. Therefore it makes no sense to attempt to micro-manage the taxation component.

In Australia there is a 10% GST included on every book or ebook sale. Apple will pay us, the publisher, this GST and we pass it to either (a) the author if they are registered for GST, or (b) direct to the ATO (Australian Taxation Office) if the author is not registered for GST. Please see an example of the net receipts you may be able to obtain from book sales within Australia.

In the USA there may be up to 30% withheld from foreign entities' sales of books and ebooks, however the US-Australian tax treaty means that we can apply for a reduction to 5%, which Australian eBook Publisher has done.

For our update about the European tax situation in January 2015 please see our email newsletter.

If you would like more specific advice about your book's money-making potential please consider the following services from Australian eBook Publisher:

1. Pre-publication Consultation
2. Manuscript Assessment
3. Cost Benefits Analysis
4. Marketing Stage 1

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What is legal deposit?

A legal deposit is a copy of your book submitted to a library required by law. Currently it is a legal requirement to submit all ebooks and printed books published in Queensland to the State Library of Queensland, the National Library of Australia and the Queensland Parliamentary Library, with some exceptions.

Before February 2016, ebooks were not compulsory submissions at the national level; however, the Copyright Act was amended to include them. The NLA will be sending out requests for ebooks to be submitted to legal deposit over the course of the next year or so. Australian eBook Publisher will manage these requests for ebooks aggregated via Australian eBook Publisher if it was included in the client’s quote, or will get in touch with the author to mange themselves if it was not.

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Will any delivery charges or fees be deducted by ebook sellers for my ebook in addition to the percentage of sales they keep?

Amazon charges a delivery fee or download charge for ebooks that are set to pay 70% royalties. Whether or not this is an issue for you, depends on your book, especially the file size and the sale price.

For example, a low resolution PDF that is nearly 10mb, would result in a mobi file (for loading to Amazon) of less than 10mb. However, if you want better quality images in your ebook than your low resolution PDF that will make the mobi a bit larger. Once you go over 10mb it's worth considering the impact this will have on earnings, if you want 70% royalties.

Australian eBook Publisher will go into more detail on this with its customers. You can purchase a Publishing Benefits Cost Analysis if you want this service on its own.

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Can we obtain the contact details of people who buy our ebooks?

Sorry, no. The booksellers we work with do not have a system whereby their customers' contact details (or anything more specific than the city of each buyer) can be released to publishers. We are also not aware of any such bookseller that would do this. There are privacy laws in most countries that would prevent this sort of practice.

However, if you were to sell direct to consumers yourself then you could potentially invest in setting up such a system through your own website. This could (a) subscribe buyers to your email newsletter, (b) apply digital rights management to your ebooks, and (c) manage multi-seat licenses. Ask your website manager to look into Adobe Content Server, including third party resellers of this technology that specialise in services to publishers.

A word of warning about self-distribution of ebooks
Most people would find this option prohibitively expensive and it is generally only going to be viable for publishers or organisations with hundreds of ebooks. It is arguably more difficult for people to access your ebook through your own webstore (as opposed to using booksellers like Amazon and Apple). Even if your customer prefers to read ebooks on Amazon Kindle, they will be required to use Adobe Digital Editions or BlueFire Reader on desktop computers and tablets. This is a question for your marketing department. If you require consultation or advice, please contact us.

You also then do not get the potential exposure and searchability of being on big ebook retailers like Amazon Kindle and Apple iBookstore. So, you might choose to do both.

Australian eBook Publisher can develop the epub and mobi files you will need to sell direct to consumers as well as for us (or you) to load to ebook vendors like Amazon and Apple (ebook aggregation).

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Can I allow multi-seat licenses for organisations to purchase my ebook?

The booksellers we work with, Amazon, Apple, Kobo and GooglePlay, allow each ebook to be installed on up to 5 devices, so in effect they are already multi-seat, just not any higher than 5 before the organisation has to (a) have another Apple account and (b) buy another copy of your ebook.

If you need to let an organisation purchase more than this you can consider two options.

  1. Sell the ebook file directly to them (providing a download or flash drive for them to side-load to their devices). If you're concerned about illegal file-sharing, we can stamp your ebook with each buyer's name and address as well as a copy of the license so that anyone who realises the license is being breached will have the information to inform the buyer or you. This is known as social DRM.
  2. Set up a digital rights management system on your own website (see above question). Most people would find option 2 prohibitively expensive and it is generally only going to be viable for publishers or organisations with hundreds of ebooks. See above FAQ question for more information.

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Why, on my mobile device, do I see “This title is not currently available for purchase”?

If you are sure your publisher has released your print on demand and/or ebook for sale, how do you make sure everything is up for sale correctly? You have to test every marketplace, not just Australia. But sometimes you may see unexpected messages like 'This title is not currently available for purchase'. In our experience, this usually happens when the author is not testing the link to their book for sale properly. By properly we mean as a buyer would approach it.

There are a few things to consider here, with the way you are testing this.

  1. Amazon.com ships printed books to Australia not Amazon.com.au.
    Amazon.com.au is ONLY for Kindle. i.e. Amazon does not have a physical presence in Australia at all, and it ships books here from the US.
  2. Trying to shop from an Apple mobile on Amazon can be difficult.

Apple do not make this easy. To read Amazon ebooks you use the Kindle app, but to buy Amazon ebooks you use the Amazon app (or your desktop computer and a browser). The 'Amazon' app is Amazon’s marketplace app. Most people do not use a mobile phone browser to buy from Amazon. They use the Amazon app.

If you want to test this in a browser, make sure you are signed in to get a proper idea of what an Amazon account holder would see. If you're not signed in, then it may not show it as available to you in print. Also if you somehow manipulate a URL rather than searching, you may get unexpected results. The key is to do what a user would do. Search your title, search your author name. If you only see an ebook edition and you're sure your print edition should be for sale by now, click on 'See all formats and editions'.

If in doubt about what you're doing, or if your book really isn't showing for sale correctly, please contact your publisher. If that's us, we'll be happy to assist you. Contact us.

Also see blog article: Why does my print-on-demand book on Amazon say 'temporarily out of stock'.

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What advantage is there to using Kindle Select for my ebook?

Kindle Select is a marketing decision. You get extra promotion through the Amazon network when on Kindle Select and you can run Kindle Count Down deals (price reductions) and free days. You may be able to time these promo days to coincide with social media marketing, email newsletter advertising (search for mailing lists that promote free or $1 books to their subscribers) and other marketing mechanisms.

This may help you create a snowball effect with your ebook marketing; the more people who read your book the more will review it. The more Amazon sees your book be purchased, borrowed, wish-listed, read, reviewed, rated, etc., the more it will be recommended by Amazon to other readers.

The ultimate aim, of course, is to see your book start to climb the sales rank and therefore be seen by other potential readers. Success breeds success. But getting the ball rolling is the most difficult part.

Kindle Select also enables your book to participate in Kindle lending programs where more readers will get to see your ebook. In addition to any outright purchases of your ebook you will get paid from a global pool of funds. These payments will be based on the number of pages of your book that are read by subscribers to KOLL (Kindle Owners Lending Library). KOLL readers who love your book may review it, which helps with the sales rank etc.

The most effective way to use Kindle Select is with an Australian eBook Publisher marketing consultant, a rigorous marketing plan and advertising budget to go with it.

For help planning this and making it happen, please commence your marketing services with Australian eBook Publisher's Marketing Action Plan.

For us to manage Kindle Select for you, without the full services of Marketing Action Plan, please visit our Kindle Select Management page.

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What is the process and cost for post-publication revisions?

With ebooks, we can make adjustments, recreate epub and mobi files and reupload to vendors at our hourly rate. Meta-data can also be adjusted. The minimum charge for either of these updates is 1 hour.

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Reading eBooks

What Australian ebook readers are there?

Australian ereading devices include the Amazon Kindle and Kindle Touch (and mid 2013 they also released Kindle Fire in Australia), Apple iPad, Kobo, Nook and more. Some Australians also enjoy using mobile (cell) phones and iPod touches for reading e books.

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What formats and devices does Australian eBook Publisher cater for?

ePub - standard/reflowing
This is the most important format as it is an open industry format, supported by the Apple iOS devices (iPad, iPod touch and iPhone), Android devices (phones and tablets), Kobo, Sony Reader, Barnes & Noble Nook, most mobile apps (Stanza, Aldiko, Shortcovers), and many other eBook readers.

Mobi - standard/reflowing
Mobipocket is an eBook format supported on the Amazon Kindle ebook devices and tablets.

We also offer fixed layout ePub, Mobi and iBooks (multi-touch) services. Contact us for details.

Also see our Services list.

PDF
Portable Document Format is a file format that has been around for many years and is readable by most devices, including handheld ebook readers, tablets, mobile phones and computers. This is one option if your work contains fancy formatting, charts or images, which are difficult to render in eBook formats. PDFs are relatively easy to generate from other formats including Word documents and book layout files (InDesign, Publisher, Pagemaker etc.).

With PDF ebooks, you need to bear in mind that the text and images in a PDF that is readable when printed on an A4 page may not be large enough when viewed on the smaller screen of an e-reading device.

If Australian eBook Publisher is designing a PDF eBook for you, we will optimise the reading/viewing for an eBook device screen. This is usually a different size and layout to what you would use for a printed book or booklet, however we could reach a happy medium like landscape A5, for example.

Also see ‘Why not just have PDF ebooks?

Enriched ebook layout
If you prefer to stick to actual ebook formats that are designed for modern tablets, you may want to consider a fixed layout ePub, a multi-touch ebook (Apple's fixed layout option) and/or the new Kindle Fire format. As well as being beautifully laid out and image-rich, some of these formats can include video, audio and 3D animation (depending on the support provided by the devices you intend to distribute on).

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How do I side-load ebook files to my reader?

How to load your ebook

When you purchase ebooks from vendors like Apple, Amazon, Kobo and Google Play, the ebook files get ‘pushed’ to your devices, including apps you have installed on multiple devices. There is usually a limit of around 5 copies you can have running on different devices. When you buy or download an ebook directly from a website, or if an epub or mobi file is emailed to you, you will need to know how side-load it, in order to get it onto your device.


Side-loading is a skill that some readers do not have, so authors should be careful about deciding to go it alone with ebook distribution. So have a think about your target market before going down this path. Self-distribution, direct to readers, also raises the more likely chance of your book being shared (pirated) without your consent, as there is no DRM inherent in ebook files.

So how do you load ebooks onto devices or into various apps? We have covered some of the major ones below.

Any Device

Sometimes the easiest way to side-load an ebook file is to email it to your device or use a file-sharing app like Dropbox or Google Drive and press the icon or button to "Open With" then choose a reading app like iBooks or Kobo (for ePub) or Amazon Kindle app (for mobi).

Apple Devices

For PCs and Macs up to (not including) the Mavericks OS
To load an ebook onto your iPad you will need Apple iTunes installed on your desktop computer.

  • Plug the iPad in
  • Open iTunes
  • Drag the ePub file, from a folder on your computer, onto your library
  • Click your iPad in the list on the left and ensure either (a) Synch all books is ticked or (b) if you don’t want to use synch all, make sure the new book you just put into your library is ticked on the iPad’s specific list
  • Synch your iPad with iTunes.

For Macs with Mavericks
For Mac users who have Mavericks OS you will also need iBooks installed and will use it to perform steps 1 to 3 above. Step 4 (synch your iPad) will still be done from within iTunes.
If the above information did not help you, you may need to search the Apple website for other tips and tricks or contact a local IT support person for assistance.

Amazon Kindle To load an ebook onto your Kindle device you will need to plug it in using the cable that came with it, then copy and paste the mobi file you have purchased into the ‘Books’ folder. It will then turn up in your Home library list.
To side-load mobi files to the Amazon Kindle App on another device, you will need to ensure that device has been registered to your Amazon account as one of your Kindles, then email it to yourself using the email address supplied by Amazon. Alternatively you may be able to email it to yourself using any address you can check on the device, then when you try to open the mobi attachment the device will offer for you to open it with the Amazon Kindle App.

Android Devices Eg. Kobo Arc, Samsung Galaxy Tab and other Android devices

There are simply too many Android devices for us to detail the side-loading practice of each one. However, Android as an operating system allows you to copy and paste files quite easily via USB cable or over a network. ES File Explorer is a useful app for doing this.
You can then attempt to open the file in your installed apps. However, not all apps will allow you to open files this way. For example, Google Books requires you to use their website to upload books manually, and there is a file size limitation. At time of writing there was no known way for readers to side-load large epub files (eg. 40MB or higher) and make them open in the Google Books App. However, publishers are able to allocate reviewers who can download a free copy from the Google Play store.
On Android devices, we recommend using Kobo eReader, which can be downloaded direct from the Google Play store if it's not already installed on your device. On Microsoft devices, Kobo eReader is also available on the store. Once you have installed the Kobo eReader, you can transfer the ePub file using the cable that came with your device. The location to put the file will vary depending on the directory structure of your device. It will probably be called 'Kobo' or 'eBooks'. You may need to get some assistance online or from an IT support person if you're not able to work out from these instructions how to side-load ebooks to your device.

Can't see your device in the list above? If you cannot see your device in the above list, you may still be able to load your eBook to your device. Our ebooks are made to current ePub specifications. Our fixed layout ePubs are designed primarily for Apple, however many other devices are following suit or there are apps available for them that support fixed layout epubs designed for Apple.

Can I read it on my computer?
PCs can be used to open and test-run mobi files, but they should not be used for epub. Unless your readers will be able to buy your ebook on a PC, there's no point testing it for PC ebook-reading software. Through Australian eBook Publisher the epub distributors on offer are Apple, Kobo and GooglePlay. These ebooks are read by the end-user on devices like Apple iPad and iPhone, Android mobile phones and tablets, not on desktop PCs.

If it is more convenient to use your PC, you could try Google Books for epubs and use Amazon Kindle Reader for mobis, but only an experienced ebook designer can properly manage getting your ebook ready for the end-user, by testing it for the devices the end-user will be using (not PCs). Macs can be used to get a good idea of the end appearance of epub, as they have Apple iBooks for desktop (whereas PCs do not).

As the point of an ebook, as opposed to a hard copy, is to be able to have it with you on a mobile device like a tablet, the necessity for being able to open them on a computer has been minimal.

Some notes about fixed-layout
It is harder to deal with side-loading fixed layout ebooks because they are often larger in file size and/or contain multimedia that may not be supported by your device or reading app.

If your ereader or tablet is greyscale or smaller than an iPad, we do not recommend using it to view fixed layout ebooks.

If you have purchased an ebook that is described as a fixed layout epub, it is probably only suitable for viewing on large tablets or ereaders such as an Apple iPad or Android tablet. We recommend using a tablet to view fixed layout ebooks, not your mobile phone.

You can use the Kobo eReader App, on most devices, to view fixed layout epub files designed by Australian eBook Publisher.

The larger screen size of a tablet makes using richly-illustrated, fixed layout ebooks a breeze.

In most cases use the same instructions above to side-load fixed layout ebooks. However, if the size is larger than 20Mb, you may have difficulty emailing it to yourself or uploading it to Google Books. Please bear this in mind when buying and selling fixed layout ebooks.

Amazon Kindle Fire devices can display full-colour fixed layout files, which is suitable for text books, picture books, photo books and comic books.

To find out more about Amazon Kindle's support of fixed layout ebooks please read our blog article Zoom Zoom Kindle Fixed Layout!

Fixed layout mobi KF8 files should be previewed on an Amazon Kindle device. If you do not have one then you must use Amazon Kindle Previewer, not the Kindle App on your computer.

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Can you print from an ebook?

Readers should know that you can’t print from an ebook, unless you take screenshots and print them.

Publishers should know that while you can’t print directly from an ebook, you can include links to downloadable PDFs that can then be sent to print.

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Marketing Books

How do I write a blurb for my book?

A fiction book blurb is a piece of art in and of itself. Children's book blurbs, novels, novellas and other forms of fiction each require their own subtle strategy, starting with a deep understanding of the target market and of the book itself.

A non-fiction book blurb (short description) needs to state the problem your target market has (the pain point) then demonstrate how the book will help them (sales pitch). Take a look at the best-selling books in your genre to get a feel for the kind of wording that may be working best.

In independent publishing, a good balance between cost and effectiveness is to follow these steps to formulate a short description for your book:

  1. Review what other best-selling books in your genre are doing
  2. Write a book blurb yourself and test it on people you know
  3. Send it to a professional book marketing consultant who is also an editor to rewrite
  4. Send the new draft book description to the editor of your book for their feedback and to proofread
  5. Wait a week, then revisit it

These words will be used in online selling platforms, and on the back cover, if your book is in print. The short description (used in online platforms) can be longer than the blurb, and there is often less space in advertising situations, so make sure you have three versions of your blurb in varying lengths for use in these different circumstances.

For more detailed assistance, please engage us for professional book marketing services.


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How do I write an author bio?

The length will depend on your author platform and credentials, as well as where you intend to use it. Develop a bio of up to 200 words, bearing in mind that only the first 30 words will be used and/or read most of the time.

Most author bios should cover the author's name, any qualifications they have to support their authority to write the book, any specific experiences or relevance to the author personally (their passion for the topic etc.).

I usually write a different bio when I release each of my books. Here is my master author bio (the large version) on my website. Here is the bio for my newest book Casey and Aon: Cybersafety for Kids due out later this year:

Amanda Greenslade (B.Comm) is an Australian writer of new adult fantasy and children’s books. She aims to make every book she writes entertaining and thought-provoking. In her books, she aims to support creativity, diversity, equality, multi-culturalism and individuality; and make reading fun.

A multimedia and ICT professional since 2003, Amanda Greenslade combined her knowledge of the internet with her writing and parenting skills. Originally inspired to produce Casey and Aon for her nephews and sons, Amanda hopes to continually update the book to keep pace with changes in cyber safety, internet security and trends.

Amanda has been involved in the publication of more than 470 books through her self-publishing business Australian eBook Publisher. Born in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Amanda presently resides there with her husband and two children. www.amandagreenslade.com


For more detailed assistance, please engage us for professional book marketing services.


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How do I get a good book cover design?

Readers do judge a book by its cover, so it's important to hire a top quality book cover designer. Find out how you can maximise the sales potential of your book by learning about the three elements that make up a fantastic book cover design.

1 - Cover Image
2 - Title and Author Name
3 - Sales Lines

For more detailed assistance, please engage us for professional book marketing services.

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I need help marketing my book—can you help me?

The first step is for a member of the Australian eBook Publisher marketing team to have a proper look at your book, analyse the selling information, target market and what you're already doing. What channels are already open to you?

The initial analysis, meta-data (including blurb) edit, marketing plan and consultation is $600+GST for print and ebook. There is a lot involved in this, so please have a read of the details here: http://www.australianebookpublisher.com.au/marketing-stage-1-analyse-option-a-ebook-only-3-books.php.

Our Marketing Action Plan will give you specific instructions and information about marketing books and/or ebooks. You then take the steps we agree are the most important or you can engage our services further. For the full list of services we most often provide, in terms of book marketing, please have a browse around on AustralianBook.Marketing.

Usually the author is the best person to market their book, and this work cannot be outsourced completely (at least not viably) for most self-published authors.

For this reason, our aim usually will not be to do all the marketing for you, but to develop a strategy, in conjunction with you, that we can follow together. You may identify some steps you need help with from Australian eBook Publisher, and we will provide one-on-one training, consultation and information to help you prioritise your time and money. How can you best get information to your contacts, and to your target market, that will allow those who want to review or buy or promote your book to do so?

Find out more on AustralianBook.Marketing or phone Amanda on 0410 381 333 during business hours.

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Can I reduce the price of my book for a period of time?

We can do this for you if you wish. Australian eBook Publisher aggregation contracts offer one free meta data change per year. So it would be free for us to adjust the book to a lower price, but it would cost to put it back to the higher price. Amazon allows its exclusive (Kindle Select) authors to use “Count-down deals” as a promotional tool for ebooks, but as most of our authors are distributed across multiple vendors, Kindle Select is not available to them. We do not see this as a big drawback, but in some cases an author may be better off focusing on Amazon distribution only. You’re welcome to discuss this with your contracted Marketing Advisor at Australian eBook Publisher.

As far as we know there is no other program like this on any of the other vendors that we work with, so lowering the price wouldn’t necessarily gain you any more visibility of your book. It would be up to you and your marketing efforts to push this low price period.

If you need to discuss marketing options, please contact us today.

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How do I get my ebook highlighted on Apple iBooks and Amazon Kindle?

Amazon and Apple, along with the other ebook vendors, use various tactics to encourage readers to buy ebooks. This may include featured books, highlights, ads in headings of each genre and promotions (price reductions). These are editorially-driven and are separate from any other promos publishers and authors can run, such as the Kindle count-down deals available to self-published ebook authors on Amazon Kindle Select.

We consider iBookstore product highlights to be a "vendor promo". Amazon also has editorial promos that it runs on some books and these have a big impact on sales for a short period of time. Editors at the vendor will decide what ebooks to highlight. Publishers can put forward suggestions, but a solid marketing plan is required for the vendor to take such requests seriously. Vendor promos are supported by Australian eBook Publisher via Marketing Stage 1 and related marketing services. Should you require more information, please contact us for our Apple Merchandising information sheet (existing customers only).

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Can I arrange for free copies of my ebook for readers/reviewers?

You can email the epub and mobi files Australian eBook Publisher has developed for you to those who you wish to have a free copy. If you do this, it is important that you trust the person, as these files aren’t locked down with DRM, which means they could share the file with whoever they wish as well.

If you need DRM on the files then arranging free copies has to be done through a vendor. Free copies for promotional purposes are available through Apple. Each ebook may have up to 50 promo codes to give out to book reviewers or similar, to help with marketing. These expire 4 weeks after being requested. Australian eBook Publisher charges $70/hr + GST for marketing services with a minimum charge of $15 per session, so each time you request codes it will cost $15 + GST.

If you need to discuss marketing options, please contact us today.

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If I release more than one ebook will each one assist in the sales of the other?

Potentially, yes. The more activity and the more products you have available as an author (whether print or ebook) the more likely there will be some cross-selling. This tends to apply to books all within the same genre, or at least with the same target market.

Visitors to ebook vendor apps like Apple, Amazon, Kobo, Google Play and Nook will be able to click on your author name to see what else you have written. Ebook vendors automatically connect author names when they match in the meta-data. If you have the same name as another author it is possible all your books will appear in cross-selling panels. Vendors can usually be contacted to rectify problems like this.

If your books are in different genres, you will probably find that the target market is different. This is why some authors use two or more names. In regards to how you present yourself in your marketing, as the author of two books, this always gives a bit more credibility and some more product options when you do face to face sales (eg. at events).

You can manage your own author pages on Facebook, Twitter, Amazon Author Central, Good Reads and your website or blog, in your advertising and at events. You will have more to talk about if you have more than one book.

By having multiple ebooks for sale in different genres it probably will not make much difference to the sales of either title, especially if you don't do anything else to market them both online and offline.

Have a read of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books (2006). It's getting old but there's still a lot of useful information in here, especially about marketing strategy and self-belief for selling books.

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What’s the difference between a blurb and a synopsis?

Those who have written or read books will have heard of these terms. However, quite often people think these words reference the same thing. In reality they are very different.

A synopsis is a complete description of your book and the important plot points. These are generally full of spoilers. A synopsis is generally used when you’re talking about your book with professionals.

A blurb, on the other hand, is a teaser. A blurb is that little snippet you see on the back of a printed book, or the description provided with an ebook. A blurb is your chance to make someone want to read your book. There are no spoilers, but there can be hints of twists.

Think about it this way: a synopsis has spoilers, a blurb teases.

A new term for blurb in the ebook world is the meta-data ‘short description’, which tends to be a little longer than a printed book blurb, as there’s a higher limit of space for ebook sales information.

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Should my book be in Australian English or US/American English?

When you are writing your book, it is important to consider your audience’s location. One of the largest book markets in the world is the USA, and their brand of English is not the same as what’s in use in Australia. Because of this, an American audience may not understand all Australian English.

To this day, you will often find two versions of a print book, one in UK or Australian English, and another in US English. These two editions would be sold in the relevant markets (UK and AU English in Aus and Britain, US edition in USA). Think Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone V Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. However, with ebooks there is usually global distribution to think about. There is usually only one version that is sold everywhere.

So, it comes into question what language should you use? As Australians, we obviously prefer Australian English (Mum over Mom). The question to ask yourself is, who do you want to cater to more? If your book is going to be sold largely in the US, it is perhaps a good idea to use American English.

An in-house opinion would be to use the setting of your book as an indicator, ie., a book set in Brisbane should be in AU English, while a book set in Chicago should be in US English. Ultimately this choice is up to you.

For more on differences between Australian English and US English, read here.

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Can you make my ebook rank better on the Amazon and Apple webstores?

We may be able to, yes. Firstly by getting the meta-data right and optimising your title, keywords and blurb. Please see Marketing Stage 1.

Every author wants their book or ebook to rank first on page one for the searches done by readers on book stores like Amazon, Apple, Kobo, GooglePlay and Barnes & Noble. Assuming you have perfectly optimised your meta-data already, why is it that an exact search for some words in your book may still not be bringing your book to position one?

The answer is not simple to divine. Bookstores do not make their search algorithms common knowledge as that would open them to manipulation and ultimately make them less effective. It is in their interest to rank your book if it is relevant, but the recommender system used on these webstores does not know your book is relevant until it has more to go on than just the meta-data.

It is not possible to do ebook-store-optimisation like it is possible to do search-engine-optimisation. It's more about the sales rank, which is generated based on number of purchases and pages read. In the absence of sales, then the starting point is to create some buzz that results in ratings and reviews.

This can be achieved through marketing, because the ebook stores rank books higher if they are selling. So when they are not selling, like when they are new, there's little data in the recommender system of each store to push it up higher for whatever search. So the only way to rectify that is to get it moving through marketing. The idea is to create a snowball effect.

There are loads of ways to improve the Amazon sales rank. As for the other vendors, there's less you can do within the vendor itself, but all the internet marketing should help drive sales on those platforms as well, which will impact on their own recommender systems, which are even more mysterious than Amazon's.

Please read more on Marketing Stage 1.

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About ISBNs

What is an ISBN?

An ISBN is your International Standard Book Number. It has thirteen digits and labels your book by title, edition, format, publisher and author.

For example, the ISBN for Write it Right! is 978-0-9875110-0-3

The thirteen digits in an ISBN are separated by dashes into four groups. These smaller groups represent different things. These are:

  • Group or country identifier which identifies a national or geographic grouping of publishers;
  • Publisher identifier which identifies a particular publisher within a group;
  • Title identifier which identifies a particular title or edition of a title;
  • Check digit is the single digit at the end of the ISBN which validates the ISBN.

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Can I use my own printed book ISBN for my ebook?

Yes, you can. We can work with your supplied 13-digit ISBN or we can supply one for each format of your ebook (we recommend one for each of epub, mobi, interactive PDF, enhanced etc.). This decision is up to you. We do not recommend using the same ISBN for ebook files as for printed books, but there is nobody out there with a big stick penalising publishers for doing so. This is more about project management, versions and editions, sales data tracking, library records, etc.

We prefer not to work on a book publishing project that lacks an ISBN altogether.

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What does an ISBN do?

If every unique edition of a book has its own ISBN it “guarantees publishers are paid the correct amount for book sales, customers know exactly what version of what title they are purchasing, libraries can file eBooks and stock physical books once rather than mistakenly buying the same title twice, and retailers list books correctly in their databases.Source

An ISBN also gives you more exposure and professionalism. Authors who have made the effort to purchase ISBNs for their books show that they are serious about their publishing ventures. They can sell their books through more channels and drop some of the stigma of being a self-published author. Something else to note is that if you want your book to rank higher on Google.“Purchasing ISBNs gives you the ability to list your book in Bowker’s Books in Print database, which is licensed to search engines like Google. If your eBook is not included in the Books in Print database, it may not show up in internet search results.Source

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Why do I need an ISBN?

To sell your book and/or ebook on multiple vendors you need an ISBN. Most booksellers utilise ISBNs to keep their databases and products organised.

Out of the vendors Australian eBook Publisher works with, Apple, Google Play and Amazon Kindle don’t require an ISBN, but we do recommend using one. ISBNs are essential for our custom Royalties Dashboard to function and they help us to manage projects, so Australian eBook Publisher will only aggregate ebooks that have their own ISBN.

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I’m publishing a second edition of my book, do I need a new ISBN?

Yes. If the changes are substantial enough for you to decide to make it a new edition then they are substantial enough to make it a new product. A new product requires a new ISBN. Every new edition of your book requires a new ISBN. You should also use a different ISBN for any print editions vs the digital editions. Print and digital are different mediums, distributed in different ways, with differents sorts of sales data.

Although industry bodies like Thorpe Bowker do not enforce the use of different print vs digital ISBNs, we highly recommend it. In fact the Australian eBook PublisherRoyalties Dashboard requires separate digital and print ISBNs.

We also recommend using a new ISBN if you are publishing an enhanced version of your ebook.

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When I buy an ISBN from Australian eBook Publisher what do I get?

If you purchase your own ISBNs through Bowker you will pay a much higher price because a single ISBN is more expensive than buying in bulk. As Australian eBook Publisher can buy our ISBNs in bulk, we factor this into the price when we sell to our customers.

Included in our ISBN charges, Australian eBook Publisher will also complete your Bowker entry (the ISBN register). This gets your book or ebook listed on Bowkerlink, which is a data feed used all over the world in bookselling.

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I’m updating my ebook’s cover, do I need a new ISBN?

No, seeing as you’re not changing the text, there’s no need to assign a new ISBN.

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What’s a CiP?

A CiP entry is a Cataloguing-in-Publication entry. It is a record kept by the National Library of Australia about your book. Your CiP entry is created by using your title, subtitle, series information, author information, blurb, format and ISBN among other things. The CiP entry then includes your Dewey decimal number, subjects/topics and bibliographical details and more. All books that have a CiP can be searched on the National Library of Australia catalogue and Trove.

A CiP entry is relevant for print and electronic editions. It improves the visibility and professionalism of your title. It is imperative for authors and publishers who want their books to be carried by a distributor (printed book wholesaling), or purchased by libraries or schools. Your CiP is used by researchers, suppliers and libraries who might then make an order. It is not relevant outside Australia.

If you do not have an ISBN, you cannot be assigned a CiP entry.

A CiP entry is not compulsory.

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Does my ebook need two ISBNs?

Yes, we recommend using one for each file type or edition or your book. In other words, one for ePub and one for Mobi. Then for each new edition of the book—for example after making a series of content changes or updating the cover—two new ISBNs. These records also need to be updated with any book registries you've had to use, depending on your country of publication. Eg. Bowkerlink and the National Library of Australia.

Also see Can I use my own printed book ISBN for my ebook?

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Self Publishing

If I use a pen name who owns the copyright of my book?

The original author who wrote the material owns the copyright of the material, if it is a unique expression of an idea. The real need in the above question is how would anybody actually connect the real you to the made up pseudonym? This might be necessary if, for example, someone pirated or stole your manuscript and sold it on, and you wanted to get a vendor to take it down and/or sue the alleged thief for IP infringement, or something similar.

When an Australian eBook Publisher author uses a pseudonym, they can choose to put their real name, or a business they own, in as the copyright owner. We will write what they tell us to in the publishing details page of their book.

Some authors don't put their real name anywhere in their book because they're trying not to associate their real identity with their author brand. In that case, I believe that our contract with them is sufficient legal documentation should the need ever arise for them to defend their copyright under their pen name.

For legal advice, please consult with your own lawyer.

Also see:

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Why do you charge more than XYZ printer, distributor, conversion service?

A key value in our services is local Australian project management. No business can compete with its own suppliers, so we only offer printing and distribution to those who want this additional service (to save their own time). If you'd rather go direct to a printer or distributor, that's fine by us. That's why we also offer ebook conversion only or book design only options. Whatever pieces of the puzzle you need.

Often when you find a cheaper alternative, what it really means is that you will be doing most of the work. This is what some authors need. But for those who want experience, high-quality work, control over the effectiveness of their ebook on each ebook vendor, and to save time, Australian eBook Publisher is the best service in Australia for self-publishing.

Please see more about the advantages of our Professional Local Publishing Services.

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Will self-publishing my book make a return on investment?

Return on investment is possible, but like all forms of publishing it's a small percentage of authors at the top that make the money and the rest have varying degrees of success or failure depending on how you define that. We can make no guarantees about sales.

Whether you will make an ROI is a complex question with a complex series of answers.

1—Cost
First, we need to know how much you have or are going to spend on all aspects of editing, production, printing and marketing to self-publish your book.

2—Selling criteria
Second, we need to understand how much your particular book would have to sell for, and how many copies—of print and ebook—you would need to sell, and at what royalty arrangements, in order to turn a profit. All these figures must be worked out within the constraints of what is possible in self-publishing, factoring for different countries, exchange rates, taxes etc.

If you plan to print 3,000 copies via offset printing then the unit cost will be low, but what if you have no way of actually selling those 3,000? On the other hand, if you go with print-on-demand the unit cost is high, meaning you don't actually have much profit at the end of the selling process through the automated POD distribution networks (Amazon etc.).

To answer this second question you can purchase from Australian eBook Publisher Cost-benefits analysis.

3—How many will sell?
Third, we need to make a calculated guess at how many copies of your book are likely to sell. This is where traditional publishers have their strength, and it is why they focus on particular genres. They can look at their own statistics to find trends and also know what is happening at any given time, to judge this. Apart from researching Neilsen Bookselling data, self-publishers have no way of doing this. We publish books in any genre.

What we can offer is Marketing Stage 1, which tells you how to market your book. Asking me how successful you are going to be at marketing and selling your books is the same as asking me to predict how well a complete stranger will do in a new job.

The book publishing industry is cruel and the reading public fickle. If you have an awesome book, I would like to think you will succeed. It could take years to cover your costs, but that would not be unusual even in traditional publishing, for most of their books. Only the very top best-sellers carry the publisher and the rest are slightly better than deadweight.

That's why it's so hard to land a traditional publisher. They take on a big risk whenever they take a new author. With Australian eBook Publisher, you will get the best of the best in self-publishing services, but we are not a traditional and do not pretend to have their knowledge.

So, while we can help you predict the answers to questions 1 and 2 above, 3 remains anyone's guess.

The question is, if you would expect a publisher to take such a risk, can you take a leap of faith using your own funds? That's really what it boils down to.

Also see:

How much money will I make?
Cost-benefits analysis
Marketing stage 1
Manuscript assessment

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Is it possible to use parts of your service only?

Yes, Australian eBook Publisher is flexible to your needs and you can pick and choose from our service offerings. We offer what is needed for our customers, nothing more, nothing less. If you or your preferred team can do the design and printing of your book, for example, that's OK. We can teach you/them how to handle the publishing part yourselves under your own new publishing imprint.

We are a self-publishing service firm, so self-publishing means different things to different people, and that's what we're all about. Whatever you need. We do like to do the book design ourselves, as we can then apply our high quality standards, for your book to be all that it can be. If that's not what you need, however, that's OK. We do offer, as stand-alone services, editing and publishing consultation for example.

Please note: If you have received a quote or package for your project, please check with your sales representative whether or not parts can be removed without affecting the overall cost for the project. Some services may be discounted for larger projects.

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Writing Books

How should I format my manuscript for ebook conversion?

This depends on your manuscript as well as how much work you want to do VS how much you want a qualified ebook designer to do for you. If you want to do the best you can with formatting your Microsoft Word document yourself, please see our blog article on how to format Word documents for ebook conversion as well as our submission guidelines.

How do I find an eBook converter?

Do I need to worry about line spacing when I write my ebook?

How should I format large quotes in my manuscript?

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What’s the difference between AU English and US English?

From it’s root in Great Britain, English has developed substantially over the last few hundred years. Every culture and country has their own regionalisms and idioms, but none so substantial as the US, which has developed unique spellings for quite a lot of words. These spellings come out of a desire to simplifiy, and they often use ‘z’ instead of ’s’. As most word processing software has come out of the US, the default English setting is set to US, and this can be very difficult to change. Spell checks will often pick up correct spellings if they differ from the US spelling. Australian eBook Publisher has developed a list to help authors wade through this murky water.

See http://www.australianebookpublisher.com.au/american-spelling-list.php

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What is a synopsis?

A synopsis is a professional tool used to analyse and summarise a work of fiction. To write a synopsis for your novel, you need to create a point by point breakdown of your book (note: not your series). A synopsis is usually written for an editor or publisher to give them the fastest means by which to determine if they're interested in working with your book.

In a synopsis you need to write a complete spoiler of each chapter. The entire synopsis should be about one page per 70,000 words. It's like summarising each chapter, all plot points and everything important that is going to be exposed in terms of hooks, turns and twists in the plot, new characters, settings etc.

Although a synopsis is a professional tool for those writers seeking traditional publishing, or approach self-publishing in a controlled and professional manner, it's a really good exercise to go through for your own self-editing as well. It will help you pare things back and reveal what really is important here and there.

Having a synopsis ensures your editor wants to deal with the kind of concepts that are in your book. For example, perhaps half way through your book has a rape scene, or a series of graphic murders. Not all editors are capable of working in all genres and dealing will all kinds of brutality that can appear in people's writing. For your sake and your editors you need to make sure they are forewarned about the content of your book, especially if it is 18+.

Having read a synopsis will also enhance an editor's abililty and skill as they will be armed with special knowledge of what's coming up. A manuscript assessor or editor does not have to read your book like a reader; being surprised or feeling the suspense. He or she will be able to recognise the building blocks of tension without actually being suspended. They will be reading it with a clinical and professional approach, analysing each part to ensure it fits with the whole.

A synopsis is an important tool to use in any and all editing pursuits.

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Do I need to acknowledge sources of written content I have used, with permission, in my publishing details page?

No probably not, however, discussing the legalities of copyright in relation to the unique situation for your book would require a look at all the material, and the permission you obtained. A copyright lawyer is the best person to discuss this with, or you may like to contact Copyright Agency Limited or your local writers centre. A copyright advisor may take into account the percentage of your work that is copied from other sources as well as what percentage of someone else's material you have used. There is no hard and fast rule here.

Consider the agreements and permissions you have with the owners of the copyrighted content you are using, or ask them what attribution you are supposed to give them. If the content is from a published work, consider the publisher's policy on quoting from their works. Most publishers have a permissions department you can contact about this. Just bear in mind that publisher's preferences, such as getting paid for quoting from their work, are not necessarily legal requirements.

Usually a simple citation is all that is required for a small quote (eg. 1-2 sentences) from someone else's work. A citation may be in the form of a footnote, end note or a mention in the acknowledgements or sources. Please refer to Wikipedia's page on Citations as well as citation styles for The Chicago Manual of Style, Harvard Referencing and MLA style for some commonly used methods of citation.

Australian eBook Publisher aggregation contracts require you to state that you are adhering to the copyright laws of Australia and have the necessary rights and permissions to publish the content.

Also see:

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Is my idea safe?

We have been asked "When I come up with an idea/topic for my book, how protected is the idea from getting kidnapped by others?"

Keep your book idea close to your heart because ideas cannot be protected, only an expression of an idea can be protected. So once you write a first draft, those words are protected automatically by copyright law in Australia. Otherwise, though, no idea is safe. However, the stealing of ideas for books to write does not seem like a very lucrative thing to focus one's time on. It takes a lot of time, effort, and a financial investment, to publish and market a book.

Also see:

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Do I need written permission to include song lyrics in my book?

Yes, unless it could be argued your use of the lyrics is "fair dealing" (this is usually only applicable to works of parody, satire, news, criticism or study). Our publishing contract puts all the onus on the self-publishing author (i.e. you) to have the necessary permission to use any content not created by you. We therefore do not have, as part of our business or workflow, trained copyright lawyers or compliance officers.

In our experience, song lyrics are protected and violations are prosecuted, so I would consider it to be high risk for you to use song lyrics with acknowledgement, as opposed to obtaining written permission from the producer, which is usually the copyright owner. Please do some further research for your situation, contact Australian Copyright organisations or a copyright lawyer until you are satisfied with the decision to publish this content in your book.

Also see:

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Is it OK to not implement some of my editor's suggested changes?

With any changes suggested by an Australian eBook Publisher editor that you don't want to implement—or want to implement only in part—that will not offend us. We consider it to be a service you are paying for and you, the writer, know your work and where it is going best. It's entirely up to you.

Also if you want to discuss any feel free to call or email your editor before you make your decision. It is possible you did not catch the reason for the change. You may well find a third option that works for their recommendations as well as for your own creative intent. Ultimately, in self-publishing, the writer is completely in charge of their own work, and can accept or reject the changes suggested by an editor at their whim.

In traditional publishing, it is potentially more damaging to the relationship between writer and editor—indeed between writer and publisher—if the writer is blithely ignoring too many of their assigned editor's suggestions. In some cases, the marketing department will have to step in to explain why a particular scene needs to change or why some rewording is needed.

In either case, someone is paying for the editors' and marketing person's time, so if that is your publisher, be aware that the more the costs mount for your book the less viable it will be for them. If it is you paying for the time of editing and marketing personnel, you must bear this in mind when deciding to ignore their suggestions.

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Can I take images from the internet or are they copyrighted?

Most images are subject to some kind of copyright ownership. In most countries, there are intellectual property (IP) laws that protect a citizen's unique expression of an idea, or creative work, from being stolen.

Using copyrighted images without permission is stealing, and the potential damages from successful claims are higher for commercial uses. That means if you are selling an ebook with images taken from the internet without thought given to who owns the copyright, you are opening yourself to the potential for litigation.

Our terms of service and contracts put the onus on clients to ensure they have permission to use all the content they provide to us for their book publishing projects.

How do you tell if an image is copyrighted or not?

Always assume the copyright of an image is owned by someone. It might not be owned by the website that has featured it.

Some websites pay (sometimes hundreds of dollars) to publish a particular image with their article, and they do not then own the image, they only have a license to use it. This license might even be limited to a certain timeframe. In the case of rights managed images, it can be a cost that increases based on the countries where the image will be published, the number of days it will be online or the number of copies that will be printed.

Graphic designers who know what they are doing are able to search for 'free to use, even commercially' licensed images on the internet. These kinds of images are not usually print quality. If you want advice for how to handle this please contact us for Publishing Consultation.

Some images, such as many used on Wikipedia, are in the public domain. In other words, they are out of copyright, or the original copyright owner has released them into the public domain.

Some images can be used, without permission, under the fair dealing or fair use laws of the country you are located in. For training on image use fair dealing and copyright please contact us for Publishing Consultation.

How can you tell if you've got permission to use an image?

It will either be stated in writing on the website, or you will be given a specific license in writing when you buy the rights to use the image. Buying stock images from a stock website is often the fastest way to find an image, as well as the best way to have peace of mind that everything is above board with the use of the image. I'm sure you would agree that photographers and graphic artists have a right to be paid for their quality work. If an author, designer or publisher wishes to use someone else's work in a product that is being published or sold, all the more reason to pay the photographers and artists.

Unless the website in question specifically (a) has permission to grant you permission to use the image, and (b) they do indeed grant you permission to use it free of charge, even commercially (preferably 'with modification'), then do not use it.

So, in summary, you will need permission to use any images on your cover or inside your book, and you cannot just take pics off the internet, unless they are public domain and/or released under a creative commons or other commercial use license. Also see:

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How many pages should a children's picture book have?

Count the number of pages in the kind of book you want to publish by borrowing as many as you can from a library.

Most children's picture books have 32 pages. This will sometimes consist of 2 title pages, 1 publishing details page, 14 pages with text, 14 pages with illustrations and 1 page about the author and illustrator.

A writer usually needs to just get the words right, not try to manage what will go on each page. That's the publisher's job. When you are (a) illustrating your own work or (b) self-publishing, however, that is when you need to get an understanding of all these nitty gritties. You may like to consider using Amanda Greenslade's Publishing Consultation service.

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