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Publetariat Dispatch: Ebook Buyers: Can You Afford To Lose Them?

Publetariat: For People Who Publish!

In today’s Publetariat Dispatch, author Virginia Ripple looks at the expectations of the growing ebook market segment.

I recently read a guest post by Chris Keys, author of The Fishing Trip – A Ghost Story and Reprisal!: The Eagle Rises!,  about the difficulties of selling self-published books.  According to  Chris, he’s only sold about a dozen books.  It seems typical of  independent authors, but here’s the catch: I looked for Chris’ book The Fishing Trip – A Ghost Story on Amazon and found that he only had it in print.


What really bothers me about this is that he used CreateSpace  to publish his book.  I would think putting out a Kindle edition as  well as a print edition would have been a no brainer.  It’s really too  bad Chris didn’t go with both because I was poised to purchase an eBook  edition, provided the price was right, on the spot.  I wishlisted the book, but that doesn’t mean I’ll remember to go back and buy it later.

I’m left wondering how many indie author sales are lost because of this kind of shortsightedness.  Between earning higher profits on lower prices  and the immediate delivery (aka immediate gratification) of eBooks, how  can anyone afford not to publish in electronic format?  That’s  especially true now that epublishing is free on major bookseller sites  like Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

I suppose many authors cringe at the idea of formatting their  manuscript into eBook format. It’s not as difficult as you might think,  though it does take some time. There are numerous articles on the web on  how to do this, including “How to Format Ebooks” by Jamie Wilson and “How to Format an Ebook” by Smashwords’ Mark Coker. If you use Adobe InDesign, check out EPUB Straight to the Point by Elizabeth Castro. For basics on Kindle formatting browse Joshua Tallent’s Kindle Formatting web site.

If you still don’t want to try formatting your own book (or find you  just can’t wrap your mind around it) then find someone who can. Indie  Author April L. Hamilton of Publetariat warns us of taking the cheap route  and simply converting a manuscript rather than having it formatted  properly. It’s better to spend a little money on putting out a great  book, than lose readers due to poor formatting.

Formatting is different from conversion in that formatting  standardizes the manuscript and creates any companion files needed for  the eBook while conversion is simply loading the work into a program and  clicking a button. Conversion is easy. Formatting takes more time and  effort.

Regardless of whether you choose to do it yourself or have someone  else do it for you, if you want to get your book into the hands of more  readers, don’t neglect the eBook format.


This is a reprint from Virginia Ripple‘s blog.


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