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Old 01-28-2020, 01:05 PM   #1
kayvon
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ebook publishing on website

Hello, Thank you in advance for your time. I have written a 1200 page ebook on how oriental rugs are woven and how to identify them (full of pictures). Amazon takes 65% of the retail price forcing me to raise my price to make any money. I want to get it off Amazon and start selling it off my own website.
bofandeh.com
I need help (please) trying to figure out:
1)what formats to make available on the site to cover most eBook Readers
2)where to get sample "download" instructions for the potential customers.
3)the best way to figure out how to charge taxes

where would you suggest I start looking? Thank you.

size: 270M
1200 pages
format: epub ( I have used InDesign so I can make other formats)
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Old 01-28-2020, 01:45 PM   #2
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They only take 30% unless the price is very low.
See Smashwords and their publishing guide. They also distribute to Apple, Kobo, Barnes&Noble, Libraries etc.

Use Calibre to convert DOCX to epub2 to avoid proprietary Adobe stuff.
Upload epub2 to Amazon and Smashwords.
Make a Dual Mobi in Calibre from the ePub2 (NOT from the DOCX) and upload that to Smashwords for their Kindle downloads.
Save As your DOCX as MS DOC and upload that to Smashwords and they can make HTML, Sony LRF, text and PDF. You don't need to select all of them.

I've done eCommerce sites for 20 years and I'd avoid it. Too many issues with security, privacy and payment systems. Use Amazon KDP (NOT KDP Select) and Smashwords.
You can also sell in Google Books/Playstore, but that's less than Amazon (90% of ebook sales) and less than Smashwords (who also supply Apple, Kobo, Barnes&Noble, Kobo, Tolino and others). Use the same epub2 for Google if using them.
Price at $2.99 or more. Set Google price higher if you are determined to sell via them too as you can't actually set a book price there, they'll reduce it.
On Amazon and Smashwords you can set non-US$ prices for other marketplaces/regions.
Also create author pages on Amazon (per marketplace), Goodreads (which is Amazon) and Smashwords.

The 270 Mbyte is too large for a real eBook. That's like a fixed layout high resolution PDF.
Make sure your images suit 6" ereader in mono, 6" phone, 7" Tablet and 10" tablet.

Taxes on sales on your own site depend on where you are and the sales volume in some countries (VAT). USA Sales taxes vary by state. VAT varies by EU nation and you only register if above a certain sales volume and it may depend on location of buyer.

If it doesn't work on a 6" ereader in mono at 120dpi and on a 6" phone, then it's not an ebook, but is simply an electronic copy of a paper book and needs to be PDF and specified that a minimum screen is suitable.
PDFs or fixed layout or needing colour are not real ebooks. Real ebooks flow and work 5" screen at 120dpi to larger screens at 300dpi and monochrome.
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Old 01-28-2020, 02:19 PM   #3
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Thank you frustratedreader for responding. I have to use a fixed layout due to having over 850 pages of pictures which must maintain the page integrity. reflowable would be completely out of the question unfortunately. my sale price is well over $9.99, so Amazon takes 65%. I will take the time to read your response more closely. I just wanted to make sure to thank you for the quick response.
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Old 01-29-2020, 12:22 AM   #4
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Then it's an electronic version of a paper book. Not an ebook. Useless on virtually every ereader and needs 10" tablet or larger.

I made a mistake on the 70% option where Amazon takes 30%. It seems that's only a middle range of ebook pricing.
However more than $9.99 for eBooks is very rare, that's into paper pricing territory.

Your work sounds better suited to paper. Check out Lulu POD (Print on demand) as Amazon POD paper won't be stocked by some booksellers BECAUSE it's Amazon (formerly Createspace) and also Lulu has more options. It can still be sold via Amazon.

120Mbyte, 850 pages, fixed layout and loads of important pictures isn't a real ebook. Real ebooks are best suited to text with small images, line art, photo etc that are OK in only 16 shade monochrome. You need PDF for an electronic version and specify a minimum screen size and quality or else you will frustrate people.

Sell on paper and as colour PDF for 10" and better tablets. Forget real ebooks and ereaders for this book.

Almost no ereader of any format sensibly displays larger than a 6" monochrome page and many do fixed layout poorly, or only via PDF. Most Kindles can't accept Fixed layout Kindle format, that's for tablets and apps. Most non-kindle ereaders don't do epub3 (fixed layout), though many will do small page size PDFs.

No real ereader is better than 16 shade monochrome (white, black and 14 greys). Most are 6". More expensive ones are 7" or 8". Hardly any users have larger.

Colour and fixed layout only really works on 10" or better tablets using an app. Or obviously laptops/PCs.

Over 50% of ebooks are read on phones using an app.

Last edited by Quoth; 01-29-2020 at 12:29 AM.
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Old 01-29-2020, 02:19 PM   #5
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Thank you for your continued engagement. I may have backed myself in a corner but here was my rational. my book is 1200 pages. if you were to print that, it would be extremely expensive, no one would buy it. that is why I decided to do an electronic version rather than a paper book. may be I am misusing the term ebook, I should say that I have an electronic version of a book. this is not intended for the average reader as it is a rather specialized subject. given the unprecedented information which is available in the book based on three years of research, I was thinking, hoping, praying however naively that it is better than not having this information out there at all.
So let me rephrase my question, I have a 270meg 1200 page electronic book which looks fantastic on an ipad, and it is not intended to be viewed on a small screen. I want to find the best way to get it out there, even if I have to put warnings on it and I may not be able to access all readers, what would you do if you were me? thank you for your patience.
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Old 01-29-2020, 04:30 PM   #6
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You have legitimate reasons for taking the approach you did. People may have good suggestions for making improvements, but don't cave in to pressure to make compromises just so it can be read on a small screen e-ink device.

You might consider looking at each image to see whether it needs to be large and detailed or whether it can be reduced in size and/or more heavily compressed. If the book needs to be 270 MB, then that is what it should be.

Walter Isaacson's Leonardo da Vinci can be over 170 MB.
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Old 01-30-2020, 06:33 AM   #7
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Yes, optimise it for 10" tablet. Not just iPad which is overpriced and a minority market share.
Market as an Electronic book, not eBook. It's not going to work as a traditional eBook.

Unfortunately Amazon doesn't differentiate on Kindle listings, though they won't allow download of such electronic books to real Kindle, only to the Fire (which is really a Tablet) and apps. Usually if someone is logged into Amazon and ONLY has traditional eink Kindles, no Apps, the page of the book warns it's not available.

So Smashwords is not suitable because they aim at real ereaders (all makes). You should though use Apple iTunes/Books and Google Play directly as well as Amazon. Also perhaps Etsy. It's not apparent, but they do allow books.

ALSO do create the luxury coffee table hardback on Lulu and list it on Amazon. The price is irrelevant. It's POD and you only need to buy one proof copy. It's very cheap marketing (Amazon costs zero and the only Lulu cost is the proof copy). Etsy is the only place with ongoing charge for your page.
So Amazon, Apple and Google stores direct for the electronic version and Amazon for hardback. Doesn't matter if no-one buys it. Hardback at $49 or whatever (Lulu POD cost + 40%, Amazon doesn't take 65% off physical items!) and electronic at $9.99. Connect the books on your Amazon Author's page and the electronic (so called "Kindle", but only for Fire and Apps) version will show as a whatever SAVING on the hardback. Free marketing with a once off cost for the proof copy.

Then you can even have postcards or bookmarks and promote in your local Bookshops, because there is a paper version and it's not CreateSpace/Amazon. Lulu will give you an ISBN. It doesn't matter even if book $74 or whatever and maybe you only sell 0 or 1 copies, it's good marketing of the Electronic Version.

I think you can put a link on your own site direct to Lulu? I'm not sure. But you can link Amazon (electronic & paper links), Apple and Google Playstore.
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Old 01-30-2020, 07:57 AM   #8
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thank you J.P.S. and frustratedreader for your time.
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Old 02-07-2020, 11:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayvon View Post
Hello, Thank you in advance for your time. I have written a 1200 page ebook on how oriental rugs are woven and how to identify them (full of pictures). Amazon takes 65% of the retail price forcing me to raise my price to make any money. I want to get it off Amazon and start selling it off my own website.
bofandeh.com
I need help (please) trying to figure out:
1)what formats to make available on the site to cover most eBook Readers
2)where to get sample "download" instructions for the potential customers.
3)the best way to figure out how to charge taxes

where would you suggest I start looking? Thank you.

size: 270M
1200 pages
format: epub ( I have used InDesign so I can make other formats)
If you care about DRM, the only format you CAN use is ePUB, with Adobe Content Server to apply it. There isn't any available MOBI DRM on the market; it's proprietary to Amazon. The ACS software, last time I looked, was $7200 and you need someone trained to use it, which is another $2600/month or so.

You should write your own instructions for downloading and I'll tell you RIGHT NOW that you should plan to be able to answer calls and emails from people who can't follow them. At my company, my second-largest expense category, after the direct costs of making eBooks, is unpaid Tech Support. You're going to be shocked to find out how many people know nothing about downloading files, how to sideload a file, etc. You won't be able to solve people's issues, if you borrow someone else's instructions.

Vis: taxes--simply, you need a dedicated digital products cart and you or your webguy will have to set it up with an appropriate tax table. That's what you do.

And I'll tell you this for nothing--of all the customers I've had that insisted that they were going to sell eBooks from their own website--individuals, lawfirms, doctor's offices, corporations, and so on--not ONE that started it is still doing it. After a few months, they all decided that the endless customer service issues around the tech support was so onerous that they'd rather pay Amazon.

Using FXL ePUB, you cannot build an FXL MOBI file, by the way. Doesn't work that way--you can only build one through the Amazon publishing workflow, and those files only work AFTER they've been through the PW--and you can't download those. That's kinda killing your ENTIRE Amazon market.

Which means...that you are back to having to make a reflowable eBook. You might want to investigate the realities around the formats as well as what it takes to service eBook buyers from your own website, before you decide to leave Amazon and other vendors that are set up to do what you're trying to do. Perhaps you should divide your book into 3 books, instead?

Offered FWIW.

Hitch

Last edited by Hitch; 02-07-2020 at 11:28 PM. Reason: Added sentence about Mobi DRM.
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Old 02-12-2020, 01:40 PM   #10
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thank you Hitch for this dose of reality. I appreciate you taking the time to respond.
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Old 02-12-2020, 01:46 PM   #11
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thank you Hitch for this dose of reality. I appreciate you taking the time to respond.
You're welcome. Believe me, I had NO IDEA just how tech-illiterate the average, normal person is, until I owned this business and had to deal with it every.single.day.

I mean, truly--not ONE DAY of my life goes by without a customer having a tech issue. "Don't know where my downloads go!" "Don't know how to open this ebook!" "Can't open the PDF!" (?????)....and so on.

Not one. imagine what my teeth look like, having been ground down into nubs, dealing with this stuff.

You'll thank me. Well, you won't, because you'll never have to deal with this, so you won't know what I saved you, but...I hope it helped.


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Old 02-12-2020, 05:12 PM   #12
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You're welcome. Believe me, I had NO IDEA just how tech-illiterate the average, normal person is, until I owned this business and had to deal with it every.single.day.

I mean, truly--not ONE DAY of my life goes by without a customer having a tech issue. "Don't know where my downloads go!" "Don't know how to open this ebook!" "Can't open the PDF!" (?????)....and so on.


Hitch
I could understand this in the 80's (besides, downloads were over 2400 Baud modems at best, unless you were a BIG corporate user who had 9.6K). Even the in the 90's. But by the end of that time, there were computers at many schools and the Internet had graduated from AOL, Compuserve and USENET . DSL was a new service that made larger (than a 1.4K floppy) download less tedious.
It is 20 years of DSL being common as Cat Videos, so HOW is it possible these folks don't know the basics?
We are not asking the to do any app Coding .
And many, when they get an error box, don't even try and read it (usually there are a few words that normal folk should understand (Access Denied, Password failed...)
Anp poor Hitch probably has to deal with folk the can't even use the correct words (the Homophone plague)
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Old 02-12-2020, 05:47 PM   #13
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I could understand this in the 80's (besides, downloads were over 2400 Baud modems at best, unless you were a BIG corporate user who had 9.6K). Even the in the 90's. But by the end of that time, there were computers at many schools and the Internet had graduated from AOL, Compuserve and USENET . DSL was a new service that made larger (than a 1.4K floppy) download less tedious.
It is 20 years of DSL being common as Cat Videos, so HOW is it possible these folks don't know the basics?
We are not asking the to do any app Coding .
And many, when they get an error box, don't even try and read it (usually there are a few words that normal folk should understand (Access Denied, Password failed...)
Anp poor Hitch probably has to deal with folk the can't even use the correct words (the Homophone plague)
It's just so surprising. I guess that many people just don't live "on" their computers. They have email; they go to places like Facebook or whatever, on their phone, and that's it.

I've had this running discussion, with a customer, for nearly two WEEKS now. We did a kids' book layout for her; then she wanted someone to edit the book. I said okay, and when she got the edited text back, she decided that she wanted those edits changed. (Having to do with tense, which is part of what needed to be changed in the first goddamn place.)

I asked her to use Track Changes and mark up the Word file, which she couldn't do. I asked her to put the edits in a proof form, which she couldn't do. She wanted to CALL me and give me the edits over the phone (to which I said, NO.) I asked her to form her emails in such a way, that I could tell what she wanted to be replaced, which she couldn't do.

But wait, there's more. She finally manages to TYPE IN THE WORD FILE, without track changes, mind you--and then, after I tell the guys to do the new text layout, she emails me and says--you cannot make this stuff up--that she wants me to send back the manuscript, with the "new final text." So she can see it, first.

I'm like...are you KIDDING me? She couldn't even, what, delete what she didn't want and see what the damn file looked like? Couldn't use Track Changes. Couldn't type in Word. When she did, we had to guess at what she wanted and now, she wants us to send a clean file BACK to her.

It's like whack-a-mole. No matter what you've seen a client do, I've seen worse. I read "Clients from Hell" and some client does something, in a story, ad they all act like, "OMG!" and I'm thinking, "you're kidding, right? That happens here EVERY DAMN DAY."

And before anyone assumes that it's old farts--it's not. Yes, sure, we have some clients in their late 80's, early 90's and they get a bit of a pass from me. But we have clients younger than I, and they are just like this.

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Old 02-13-2020, 03:33 PM   #14
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Oh Hitch. I feel your pain. I worked on an IT help desk for a few years. I once spent over 90 minutes trying to explain mail merge to someone (she was going to be fired if she didn't do the task - which had been deliberately set for her to fail). I spent that time because she was polite and that I hate bullies. We won.

I am not surprised in the least by your experiences. It's staggering how little people know or even understand.

I've been told that a website I built for someone didn't work. Alarmed I asked what they'd done. The person kept saying the address didn't work. To them "address" meant putting the business name in Google. They couldn't understand that a site that had gone live the previous day wouldn't be searchable in Google yet. They thought google = URL. I'd send them the URL and they'd complain that the "address" didn't work. And this was a daily internet/email user.

And if people think 'the young' are tech savvy, think again. They are almost as bad as the oldies.
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Old 02-13-2020, 06:30 PM   #15
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Oh Hitch. I feel your pain. I worked on an IT help desk for a few years. I once spent over 90 minutes trying to explain mail merge to someone (she was going to be fired if she didn't do the task - which had been deliberately set for her to fail). I spent that time because she was polite and that I hate bullies. We won.

I am not surprised in the least by your experiences. It's staggering how little people know or even understand.

I've been told that a website I built for someone didn't work. Alarmed I asked what they'd done. The person kept saying the address didn't work. To them "address" meant putting the business name in Google. They couldn't understand that a site that had gone live the previous day wouldn't be searchable in Google yet. They thought google = URL. I'd send them the URL and they'd complain that the "address" didn't work. And this was a daily internet/email user.

And if people think 'the young' are tech savvy, think again. They are almost as bad as the oldies.
OMG, I get that one all the time! How is it that people don't know what the URL bar is, or does? It's simply horrifying.

OTOH...I drive cars and can't fix them, either. Perhaps I'm a hypocrite?

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