This is the gist of the service I offer there along with all the handy wisdom and tips I hope to put up:
Ebooks are different. It is SO worthwhile to convert your book to ebook as they are the Coming Thing. For self-publishing they are heaven – no print costs at all! No stockholding, no postage, and world-wide coverage at one click of the mouse! But there are many little and big differences from print books. So for example the cover is just one page, needs to be a certain lower resolution, as do all the graphics, with a ceiling of 5 megabytes (at present) for total file size in Word on Smashwords.
One of the best parts is you can go to town with FREE Colour. No charge for colour, so you can have your ebook in beautiful colour on any reader that has a colour screen, while greyscale ones just display in greyscale. So as long as your graphics look ok in both, it is all good.
Odd fonts also need to go, usually. And page numbers. Hyperlinks are a great bonus but need to be put into the Word file of course.
Let me deal with all that!
A price for your ebook. Usually from 99 cents to probably $9.99 US. You can change it any time. Often new writers offer ebook cheap or FREE for a while at least, but kindle do not allow free unless you go exclusive, and then only for specified days in a month. Also free is a good idea if you have a series to promote – first free one is bait, free advertising. The rest in the series you charge for when they are hooked – the payoff! On pricing, as ‘The Long Tail’ author Anderson says in his book ‘Free’, it has been measured and people respond maybe 50 times as frequently to a price of Free than say a price of one penny! And if the cost to you is zero, that is a lot of free advertising, if the recipients like what they get and tell others, or come back and pay for something else.
Your email address for notices from the ebook retailers, and, to open the Amazon account, your full name and date of birth. OR, if you are already on their books, send me your user name and password. Check and see if you are – sometimes we look into these web things and forget we joined! I cant join you again if you are already there.
Payee info: If you have a Paypal account, Smashwords will pay into that. Just tell me what email to enter in the Paypal box. Otherwise you can open one for free. For Amazon I need your address to which a (paper) cheque will be sent.
What percentage of free sampling of your book you will allow readers. 20% is usual, and it certainly helps sales. You do not want unhappy buyers, as reviews and ‘star’ rankings are all-important! So it is best that they know what they are going to get before they pay.
The book file. Preferably your WORD file.
The upload commonly preferred for kindle, and required on Smashwords, is Word, specially cleaned up etc for clean conversion to the 10 or so different platforms. So if your final version is available in word, great; otherwise i can convert your PDF back to word, clean it up, and make that the ebook version. You will get the word file for future edits, too.
Why go this way? Often the book has been in publishing software like Indesign, and there are various prepress versions – often confusingly labelled ‘final version’!. The safest way may be to use the final pdf you or your printer actually used to print your physical book, and convert that final pdf to Word.
Your existing cover file, if any. The full PDF of the print version is fine – I can crop it and use. Or do you a new one (separate quote for this. Covers are IMPORTANT. We DO judge books by them! I can do a simple one from US$30 up depending on artwork).
Cost to you for all this:
Includes: reformatting and cleaning up your file, changing Table of Contents to hyperlinks, testing the ebook on the previewer for all the main readers, uploading your book and cover on Smashwords AND Kindle, and setting up your Author Pages there. And all the emails required to make sure you get what you need and want.
Other ebook services seem to range from US$150 to $250 and up for average novels, and don’t do the uploading and fiddly bits for you. (I just googled ‘ebook conversion’ a bit and this is only a rough guide).
I am offering to convert, upload AND set you up with your author pages, plus keep in touch to answer your questions by email, for US$97 for most types of book.
(Up to maybe US$150 (NZ$190 approx. for one with lots of formatting and pictures. I will confirm the $97 on seeing the files.) This offer is for a limited time – I want to get lots of experience fast, and meanwhile you benefit.
Guarantee: Satisfaction guaranteed or I will refund your money in full. I love happy customers and hate to let anyone down, that is the bottom line! If I make a mistake I fix it and I pay, not you.
So, send your file now to firstname.lastname@example.org and i will give you a prompt FREE estimate or even quote. I am still (May 2012) offering my (low) NZ$30/hour rate plus gst (this will change when i am really up to speed!).
Extra editing, formatting, photoshopping and cover creation: NZ$35 an hour including GST. Or overseas customers US$30.
ISBN – no problem! Not required for ebooks, on the whole. To get onto e.g. apple you do need an isbn, but as long as you let smashwords be named as the ‘publisher’ (you keep all rights), they assign a free one for you. You are still the author, and they take no money or rights for this free service. Can’t use the same one as any print book you have already published.
All material is in your name and you wld be able to log in to smashwords and kindle and change things at will, and the royalties wld all go direct to you. I just do the setup for a fee, and any revisions you ask for later. No residual charges or ownership transfers!
Promos and SEO stuff:
For not much cost as I am doing this anyway for my own books and want to practice and will only do for you what is working for me:
– I can (soon) offer Youtube video trailers, some SEO advice, and links to best practice advice on promotion of ebooks.
– I can (almost instantly!) make you a WordPress blog/website linked to a Facebook page. You then can go there and write in it, upload images etc, all easy and mostly – big claim – intuitive for writers! i like WordPress, and have several blogs 🙂
– i LOVE making covers and can do yours. So important, the biggest selling tool of all for a book, online as well as in print.
– i love copy writing, for blurbs, and editing these vital pieces of IP, second in importance only to covers as sales tools. I can do, or redo, yours. With enthusiasm, velocity and (I believe) flashes of verbal inspiration and insight.
*i am very keen on the mix i’ve used for four of my books so far, which is to go standard AMAZON Kindle (not their anti-competitive kindle ‘select’ which has to be exclusive) plus SMASHWORDS. This means you cover all main ebook retailers and their various ebook readers (e.g. apple ipad, kindle, the nook etc). Each different platform increases the chances of a ‘breakout’ in sales. these breakouts often happen for no known reason in a small segment of the market, then they can spread to the others.