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Gordon Burgett’s Newsletter
for writers, speakers, publishers, and product developers
May 18, 2010
Want to sell your book on the iPad?
You can do it right now, free! Apple’s iBookstore is working through Smashwords. You set the title’s price, which must end in 99 cents (like $12.99) and cost less than its print counterpart. Upload the content in Word to Smashwords, and when sold you will earn 60% of the list price—with iPad distribution free. (To other markets Smashwords pays 85% of the net sales or 70.5% of the affiliate sales).
Alas, there are necessary hoops to jump through, and modifications in the submitted files so the e-book converts properly. (See the next newsletter item.) While you are opting in to distribute to Apple, Smashwords will also convert your book for sale through other major online retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sony and Kobo.
The trick? After the book is ready to print (after proofing, styling, and formatting), create a core interior file and a front cover image (or full-book cover) file and submit them (slightly modified as needed) to Lulu, CreateSpace, LSI, Blurb, Scribd, and/or Kindle at the same time you send to Smashwords. How to Get Your Book Published Free in Minutes and Marketed Worldwide in Days (now out in both bound and digital formats) shows you how. (In fact, you can also buy it from any of the “ancillary publishers” just cited!)
A last item: you must opt-in to sell to the Apple Catalog. At Smashwords, go your Dashboard and click on the Channel Manager link, and agree to special terms required by Apple in order for them to consider listing your book in the iBookstore.
Three tips prepping the Smashwords/iPad file
I just sent four files to Smashwords and here’s where I stumbled (meaning I had to do further editing and resubmission). In the future I will also do these for Kindle if I continue to submit there directly.
(1) Those damn tabs. I never use them but my authors do, so I forgot to find and expunge them. It’s easy enough. You can see them in “show/hide” in Word (hit that black paragraph symbol in the top toolbar). Or just go to the “replace” key in edit), type ^t in the find box, leave the replace box empty, replace all, and reread the final text to repair any damaged formatting.
(2) The digital front page image must be at least 600 pixels high.
(3) Mark Coker’s style guide at Smashwords says it, but the thought of reducing all of the text in the book to about 11 or 12 point size (chapter heads, opening title, even my by-line!) is so artistically offensive I guess I didn’t believe it. How it hurt to go to that edit key, hit select all, type in one point size, and see hours of beauty and art (of a fashion) immediately shrunk to sameness. (How I wish there had been a human button like that when I was a tall midget entering high school with big hoops dreams!)
Make a book before writing one
Need a boost to finish your book quicker? Find a cover that looks like the one you’d like to use, copy it in full color, write and print a temp title and your name, and cut and paste them over the original title and author.
Then create and print appropriate back cover copy and paste that over the original back copy, but leave the bar code as is. Adhere the front and back cover to a firm cardboard center, and put this mock cover in clear view of your usual monitor.
Sound goofy? I’ve done it, and I know several others who swear by it. Two biggest benefits? (1) the vision of your book in sight; (2) the back-page summary of what the book will contain and say.
“I never had time to write a book,” she said…
just posted some book-writing thoughts at the blog,
which has been shamelessly ignored while I cycled the converted railroad lines
How can I sell my products?
One of you asked this question, so let me respond quickly here if others might also need some starter thoughts.
If you speak, you offer the most pertinent products directly to that audience. Sometimes the sponsor buys them beforehand and usually distributes the day of the presentation. (Expect to give a discount and deliver well before you arrive.) Or you set up some form of B.O.R. (back-of-the-room) selling arrangement that day.
Mostly, though, you sell through your website. You can list all of your products at one place (here’s an example), you can create a product link list on your opening and core website pages (see the list on the left at www.gordonburgett.com), you can direct potential buyers to a specific landing page for each product (another example) where the buyer is led to the all-product list or, better, to an order form for that product only. Or any combination of the three.
The actual selling mechanism can be an order form printed out, filled in, then fulfilled directly (at a presentation) or the products are mailed or attached later. The best process is something like 1 Shopping Cart and PayPal where the orders are taken, the payment is processed, and digital products are immediately downloaded while you mail audio CDs and bound books. In our case, all three of the venues above end up going through this 1SC/PayPal process. But that costs from $40-100 or so a month and is labyrinthine to set up. For 20 years we simply took orders and mailed what folks wanted. Just be sure to confirm orders immediately by email (attaching any digital orders), then mail the rest quickly, well padded and sealed.
Hope that helps.
Speaker / Publisher / Consultant
My blog is at http://blog.gordonburgett.com
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