- Publishing and eBooks
- Our Business and Services
- 1. What is the benefit of creating or converting to an ebook?
Q: As an author, how far does your reach extend if you rely only on printed copies?
Q: Are you empowered as a self-publishing author, or are you relying on a publisher to market and sell your book?
Q: Are you on a tight budget when it comes to the production, publishing and marketing costs of your book?
Creating or converting your manunscript into eBook form will take a fraction of the time of the printing process, at a fraction of the cost. It enables an author to fully empower themselves and take charge of publishing and marketing processes rather than rely on someone else. The associated costs are generally once-off costs rather once continous costs, like those assocaited with the printing process.
Royalty payments from online stores like Amazon.com can be easily monitored online which means no emails to the publisher how the book is selling. There is also no risk of excess stock as you will ever only need one copy of your eBook, which could potentially sell a thousand times over, that is an unlimited return on your investment!
At worst the process of creating and selling your eBook will give you leverage when you are negotiating with a publishing house, as you will now have proven sales figures.
- 2. Will my manuscript work as an ebook?
If you are looking for great distribution possibilities as well as greater reach into international markets, the answer is a resounding yes. Please just remember that eBooks are still largely meant to be text based.
If you have a heavily formatted manuscript, such as a school text book or cookbook, seriously consider creating a simpler version for eBook devices. This will save you time and money.
Converting a non-standard manuscript as is into a re-flowable eBook will mean a much more detailed conversion process that will take much longer and as a result cost more than if you give us a simpler version to begin with.
To simplify a complex manuscript use the following tips
- Avoid using tables as far as possible, where absolutely necessary, rather insert the table as an image. (Just remember that this means in an eReader device text inside the image will not be searchable!)
- Do not use a multiple column format in your manuscript, rather reduce this into a single column format.
- Do not having images that float in strange positions, rather properly justify (left, right, centre) these above or paragraphs of text.
- 3. Do I need to pre-format my source file?
In most cases we will be able to use well formatted manuscripts to produce the eBook. Please remember that eBooks are intended to be largely text based and for this reason they do have some natural limitations. Manuscripts that are image or design heavy may not display as intended on some eReader devices.
Some of the limitations of eBooks in their current standard mean that the following will not display as intended;
- Headers and footers will be removed
- Fancy embedded fonts will be replaced by more generic fonts
- Footnotes will not be displayed
- Floating Pictures will not display correctly
- Page numbers will not be shown
Please note that your manuscipt should still have a well-formatted interior. We cannot spend time working on the interior of your file fixing obvious problems like spelling, wrong font sizes and colours etc
All these errors should be ironed out by using the services of a decent editor.
Excessive update requests to your eBook might result in additional charges. (Only if these are link to spelling/ grammar issues that should have been corrected before the conversion process was started)
- 4. What files will I receive after the conversion process?
The output of the eBook conversion process will be the two most commonly used eReader-friendly formats: MOBI and EPUB.
- MOBI - This version of your eBook will only be used on Amazon.com and Amazon devices like the Kindle
- EPUB 2/3 - This version of your eBook will be used everywhere else like in the Apple iBookstore and Apple devices like the iPad
We are able to make the following formats on request (will also depend on your manuscript complexity)
- PDF/ ePDF
- Createspace (Print on Demand (PoD) ready PDF)
- Fixed Layout eBooks (These work best for cookbooks or children's books)
- 5. Which format does my manuscript need to be in before conversion?
The easiest and quickest format for us to work with is a simple MS Word document (.DOC .DOCX)
Other formats we can convert from include:
- HTML, Text (RTF)
- Adobe Indesign
Please note that PDF files take longer to convert and can incur a surcharge for this reason.
We cannot easily work with Corel Wordperfect files and we recommend rather exporting your manuscript from Corel to one of the formats listed above.
- 6. I don't have a Kindle or Tablet - can I still read ebooks?
If you do not have an eReader device simply use the free PC software available from this website to read eBooks directly from your computer!
(This will require basic PC knowledge, grab a friend to help you install the software if you need.)
Most tablets and mobile devices will also have access to eBook-reading apps, search your app store for these.
- 7. How should I distribute my ebook?
There are a number of portals where you could publish your eBooks.
- Amazon.com (biggest)
- Apple iBookstore (you must own a MAC)
- Kobo Bookstore (large presence in Canada)
- Barnes and Noble (best for romance titles, you must be in the US)
- Smashwords.com (eBook distribution portal)
If you need any help whatsoever please do not hesitate to ask us for our recomendations/ advice or publishing packages. Getting eBooks onto a South African website (Exclusive Books for example) is very difficult as a self-publishing author. We rather recommend list your title through one of the portals above and directing your South African customers to the relevant location.
- 8. How do I collect royalties from the sale of me ebook/s?
- 9. Can I have sound and video in my ebook?
You can but it will likely not display as intended on most devices aside from Apple's iPad.
Until recently eBooks could not contain multimedia, this has however changed in the latest EPUB3 standard.
It will be some time before all eReader devices and sales portals are able to support and properly ePub 3 eBooks.
- 10. What is an ISBN number and do I need it for my ebook?
ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number it is a 13 digit number that helps uniquely identify your eBook.
One agency per country is designated to assign ISBNs for the publishers and self-publishers located in that country.
The organisation in South Africa that issues ISBN numbers is the National Library (http://www.nlsa.ac.za/)
An ISBN number is not needed to publish through Amazon for example however some sales portals will need an ISBN to be assigned before you can publish, Apple's iBookstore for example. Some eBook distribution/ sales portals like Smashwords.com and Lulu.com can assign you an ISBN number free of charge, however then they will be listed as the publisher, not you.
Each format of your eBook will need a unique ISBN number such as EPUB, MOBI, Audiobook, PoD book etc
- 11. What is DRM and does it really protect my ebook from being copied?
DRM or Digital Rights Management is used to limit copying of your eBook by forcing people to have relevant credentials before they are allowed to open the eBook.
A very simple and the most common example of this is authors publishing their work through Amazon have an option to enable DRM when publishing their eBooks. If selected, people who pay and download the eBook will need to first logon to their Amazon account through their Amazon eBook reading device before they are able to read your work.
The Drawbacks of "protecting" your work via DRM are many
- Customers will not be able to open the eBook on another non-Amazon eReader device for example even though it is very plausible why they might want to do this
- DRM can be broken fairly easily using freely available software
- Most authors agree that it is not worth the hassle, many online portals are also getting rid of the DRM option for people publishing eBooks
We normally recommend that our authors do not implement DRM and rather focus on creating happy readers than saving a few rands.
If people are copying your eBook, be proud - this is great publicity!
- 12. Where can I buy an eReader device?
Kindles, iPads and Tablets can be purchased from most electronic stores around the country or via online shopping stores world wide. Check with your mobile service provider for offers.
- 13. Do you create audiobooks as well?
Yes we can, email us to found out the costs of creating your very own audioBook or have a look at our services and packages guide.
For those authors on a budget and looking to create your own Audiobook we recommend you use Audacity.
- 14. What is the difference between an ePDF and PDF?
An ePDF is a PDF document that has been optimised for web delivery. This means that all external hyperlinks point to the relevant resources available online and all internal links point to the correct location inside the document. This includes linking items like the table of contents, chapters, bookmarks and any other internal links present in the print ready PDF.
Here is a checklist of the work carried out in a typical PDF to ePDF conversion.
- Trim and crop: All pages trimmed to the final printed size with no registration/crop marks.
- Page Numbering: All pages numbered in order.
- Bookmarks: Chapter level bookmarks.
- TOC: Table of content linking in the front matter.
- Cross reference links: Linking the internal reference such as chapter, figure, table etc..
- URL links: Linking all website links in the PDF
- Embed fonts: All fonts must be embedded
- Remove security settings: Acrobat security settings must be removed
- Image colour: Save all colour images as RGB
- Images optimised for web delivery
- Insert cover pages
- Adding the document properties and initial view of the PDF
- 1. Where are you based and what are your operating hours?
We are a online publisher, this means it does not matter if you are an author living in Cape Town or Cairo, we can help you. We mostly operate out of Johannesburg, South Africa. We are available during standard business hours for phone calls or Skype sessions.
- 2. What material should I have ready before contacting you?
You should have the final version of you manuscript ready in a common file-format such as MS Word/ Adobe PDF or Adobe InDesign. This does not include editing if you need those services - but you should be finished writing.
- 3. What is the best way to get hold of us?
- 4. What payment types do you accept?
We accept the following forms of payment:
- Cheque, (these will take 7 days to clear, please also include and additional R100 per cheque paid, due to associated bank fees)
- Swift transfers (please include an extra R250 per SWIFT payment due to associated bank fees)
- 5. What are your payment terms?
- We will accept 50% of the total amount due upfront
- The remaining 50% becomes due once you approve the final work
- For payments less than R2000 we prefer receiving full-payment upfront
If you might need more flexible payment terms, please ask. We often help authors create and publish eBooks where we have worked out monthly payments plans.
- 6. Do you have a facebook / linkedin / youtube page
- 7. Can I advertise my product or service on your website?
Yes we absolutely have advertising space available on our website as well as sponsorship opportunities within our blog articles.Please read our advertising page for more info on advertising opportunities.
- 8. Can I book you to speak at my event?
Yes, please get hold of us. The primary objective behind MyeBook is the empowerment of authors. If we can reach more authors by speaking at an organised event, we would love it!