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22
Sep

Distributing Public Domain Books: Should You Do It?

When US federal judge Jed Rakoff ruled against KinderGuides in August, one of the main arguments used against the company cited public domain books. Indeed, if the publisher wanted to bring classics closer to the kids, they could have chosen from millions of available books, including the works of Jane Austen, Mark Twain and Dostoevsky.

This prompted us to revisit the question of public domain.

publishing-public-domain-books
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20
Sep

How to Convert Your Book to Get Accepted by Shops – Sigil for Dummies

Following the success of our last article on ebook editors, we decided to create an Ebook formatting 101 with the three most popular converters: Sigil, Calibre and Vellum. The series starts with Sigil, that being the one true professionals use and the one our team recommends for instant success – and the one we receive the most questions about. If you always wanted to try it but never dared, stay with me: I’m just as a beginner as you are.

Sigil: The first steps

While I consider myself highly computer literate, I was always reluctant to use it: why should I switch to a code based editor to create ebooks when Calibre can do it for me with one click?

But then our in-house ebook editing superstar, Csilla convinced me to give it a go. She argued that I won’t only get clean code (about which I as a reader and writer couldn’t care less) but my books will display more consistently across devices and apps. I documented my journey, so you can follow it step by step. Sigil can obviously do much more than this: I just wanted to help you get started on your journey and give a guide for using it. I’ll try to use the html editor as little as possible – it really gives me the heebie-jeebies anyway.

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18
Sep

Ebook Pricing for a Foreign Market – East Asia and India

This article is the second part of our series, Ebook Pricing for a Foreign Market. You can find the first article here: it covers general rules of pricing for a foreign market and the advantages and disadvantages of territorial pricing. It also covers pricing for the Southeast Asian ebook market: Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore.

Today’s article will focus on East Asian markets (Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, China) and India.

ebook pricing for east asia
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13
Sep

How to Publish Internationally – Author’s Tips

Nobody knows better how self-publishing works than our self-published authors. In our series, Self-Publishing Success Stories, we ask our authors about topics we believe they know best. In the first post, we talked about how to self-publish a cookbook with Kendall Harrison. Today, internationally acclaimed author Jean Joachim is sharing her tips and tricks with us about publishing internationally: she conquered the Italian and Spanish market. Do you agree with her about how to publish internationally? Did you have similar or different experiences? Share with us in the comments.

How did you decide to go on the Italian and Spanish market? Did you know in advance that you are going to be successful there?

One never knows in advance if he/she is going to be successful. Every new venture, big or small, is a risk. If the reward is big enough, then the risk becomes worth it.

Through the urgings of a Facebook friend, I had become curious about getting my books translated, but didn’t know where to begin. Italian translation fell into my lap. My former publisher, still a dear friend, had commissioned an Italian translation of one of her books. The translator requested other authors to work with and my friend recommended me. That’s how it began. The translator looked over my work and came to me with a request to translate one of my books.

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08
Sep

Ebook Pricing for a Foreign Market – Pricing an Ebook in Southeast Asia

It is difficult enough already to price an ebook for your home market: how difficult can it be when you don’t know a market? You don’t only have to be aware of the most popular genres and the trends in these genres but have a clear picture on pricing. We’re trying to solve this problem with a series of guides.

We always recommend that you do a lot of research before entering a new market, but it is difficult and time-consuming. It is an unavoidable step when you are thinking of translations; but if you write in English, there is no reason why you wouldn’t try selling your books all over the world straight away.

The PublishDrive platform makes intelligent and meaningful pricing of books possible: you can set the price individually by stores in the country’s own currency, sensitive to local trends. But until now you were faced with two options: either you ignored the intelligent pricing and let the prices set automatically or you were condemned to hours of research to learn the rules of your genre and countries. And if you choose this route, you were probably discouraged by the many different currencies: who knows how many RM (Malaysian Ringgit) is one Euro?

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04
Sep

What’s an ebook? Get started!

It is the content that matters, not the format – while reading on e-ink readers, tablets and smartphones is an important part of millions’ lives, there are still other millions who wouldn’t ever consider downloading a book. Despite their increasing popularity, there are still several misconceptions about ebooks worldwide. This article aims to provide a beginner’s guide to those who still believe that the smell of ink and paper is an essential accessory of reading.

ebook reader

1. What’s an ebook?

This should be straightforward to answer, you would think. At first glance, we could say that an ebook is a book read on an electronic device (computer screen, tablet, smartphone or eReader). But this description is somewhat vague and wide, including many things that are not an ebook. Therefore it is better to approach this question from the perspective of what an ebook does.

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23
Aug

5 Things Everybody Gets Wrong About Interactive Books

The widespread of interactive books coincided with me getting into publishing studies and I couldn’t be any happier to live in this amazing age.
I still remember my disbelief in 2009, when I first heard about hypertext and interconnected books. My professor seemed to be telling an impossible tale about a future where all quotes, references and mentions will be easily searchable in all works of literature and where we can create our own story within the book, breaking up the linear order of reading.

Now we have all we could only dream of, and so many things we could have never imagined: but do we used it as we should? Do interactive books get all the awe and respect they deserve? And most importantly: are they the future? In the following I am debunking five misconceptions about interactive books and show everyone how amazing they are.

1. Interactive books are a new invention

Even if we don’t count colouring books, pop ups and all kinds of hands on books for kids, traditional printed books that allow the readers to interact or change the story some way or another have been around for awhile now. Do any of you remember the gamebooks that came with a dice and you had to decide where to go next, whom to fight and whom to avoid?
It was just a question of time that traditional linear storytelling gets combined with the reader’s desire to get involved and to get an enhanced story, that ‘steps off’ the pages. Although the first Kindles coming to the market didn’t look anything like the future (being heavy, black and very-very basic), interactive books conquered the market nevertheless.
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18
Aug

The Top 11 Most Useful Ebook Writing Software

The age of handwriting your ebook and typing it up later is long gone. While I am a lover of beautiful stationery, ebook writing software is simply much more useful.

In our selection, we review the best editing, writing and converting tools currently in the market. Some of them practically take you from the first idea to the virtual bookshelf, and others import your manuscript and transform it into a beautiful e-book. Of course, everyone knows Blurb, and we write a lot about Sigil, that being the favorite editor of our technical team, but people have different needs and there are many reasons why you would want to look for an alternative to these apps.

What is more important to you: ease of use or number of options? Do you need somewhere to write and edit the text, or just import it from a doc file? Did we leave out your favorite? Drop us a comment, and we’ll do our best to write about it.

ebook writing softwares comparison

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25
Jul

5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Publishing on Google Play

You want to sell your books on Google Play? Great. Although ‘books’ are not the first thing that come to my mind when I hear ‘Google’, the numbers don’t lie: the tech giants bookstore is one of the biggest ones worldwide (selling in 72 countries with a different market share everywhere on the world). With 81% of the phones bought last year running Android (and we are not even talking about tablets here!), it would be just silly not to publish there.

Publishing on Google Play, however, is not as easy as it first seems: knowing the pitfalls and the tricks could save you time, headache and money. Firstly, this article is for those of you who have just decided to go further than the Amazon – Barnes & Noble – iBooks triumvirate and are thinking about registration. And secondly, for those who are already selling there but want to learn some useful tricks and tips.
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07
Jul

Do Not Get Caught Un-Quote

Do you remember the eighth commandment? Do not steal. Everybody knows that, and yet: sometimes we get caught off-guard, and even with the best intentions, we end up hearing the worst word a writer could ever hear: plagiarism.

Citing your resources is incredibly easy, and in this article we are going to help you out. It is extremely important to mention the sources you were using when doing your research or who inspired you, especially if you are writing nonfiction (you don’t want to be sued for plagiarism, do you?). The article is roughly based on my favorite publication ever, Chicago Manual of Style , and the extremely useful The Punctuation Guide . Please note that the traditions differ by country (US English vs UK English) and all big publishers have their taste in referencing. When in doubt, please don’t question your editor.

Mentioning others’ works

Underline, italics or quotation marks

When mentioning someone’s work in your text, you should ask the following question: is this the title of a standalone work? If the answer is yes, use italics: for movies, series, books, websites.

correct: I was reading The Jungle Book, when my brother came in.

incorrect: I was reading ‘The Jungle Book’, when my brother came in.
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