Wednesday, June 22, 2011

eBook Publishing Caveat

The whole eBook publishing model is pretty exciting in many ways. First and foremost, the return on investment for the publishers and authors is about 10 times greater than with print. You're also preserving some trees (for you environmentalists out there). Setting up the eBook division took some effort. For those of you who assume it's no problem and anyone can get any eBook account with the likes of Apple and the iBook, think again. Apple does not allow every publisher to set up an iBook account. In fact, it takes a lot scrutiny to determine whether or not you're qualified as a vendor and a mound of paperwork (thank you Malia). If you have a new or emerging publisher who says that they can provide iBook access, you should probably make sure they do. It's not an open free-for-all. The industry is trying to discourage any Tom, Diane and Harry from setting up an amateur publishing shop and releasing a slew of bad titles. Apple, in particular, has a reputation to uphold. So, you won't find low-end, self-published tomes ending up as iBooks. I've noticed it's similar to national distribution. Bakers and Taylor and Ingram do not distribute individual titles and self-published authors without a strict vetting process. My seven-time, award-winning book Second Bloom was rejected based on its spine and the font size (absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the content). Kobo and Nook are the same. They are very strict in who they allow into the system, and the same amount of paperwork has to be filed. The only vendor that doesn't put up such strict guidelines is Kindle. Any author can produce a Kindle book. So, my advice to anyone out there considering doing an eBook with an inexperienced eBook providers or fledgling publisher, make sure their offerings go beyond Kindle. You'll lose over 75 percent of the market share if you do not have the iBook, Kobo and Nook channels open to you.

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