eBooks De-Mystified

Kindle | Mobi | Nook | ePub

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Amazon Kindle

Want an eBook but not sure where to begin? Don’t feel bad. Many people are mystified by the evolving eBook market. The technology is still very new. It remains un-standardized and, at present, is in constant flux.

This page outlines what most people need to do today in order to have an eBook.

eBook Cover

Even though you’ve chosen the eBook format over print (or, perhaps, in addition to print), you’ll still need a book cover. Visit our book cover page for more information. If you choose to submit a quote request form from that page, and you only want an eBook cover (as opposed to a print cover that would require a back & spine), then please note this on the request form. eBook-only covers don’t cost as much as full-print covers.

eBook Layout

You’ll also need to layout your text so that it will look nice and be readily converted to ePub or Mobi format for your eBook. Please see our book layout page for more information.

Deliverables (What You Get)

COVER: If you order an eBook cover from us, you will receive a color Front Cover for your eBook, properly formatted to work with ePub and Mobi files.

LAYOUT: If you order an eBook layout from us, you must first let us know whether you want ePub or Mobi format. If you want to upload an eBook to Amazon so that you can sell in the Kindle format, then you need a Mobi file. If you want a Nook Book to sell on Barnes & Noble, then you need an ePub. If you want both, then we can convert one format to the other for a small additional charge. The reason for the additional charge is because adjustments are necessary in order to get your layout to look good in the format we are converting to. For example, a Kindle layout will need to be adjusted to look good as an ePub layout.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I’ve already written my book in Word, can’t you just “convert” it for me?
A. It’s possible to do this, but not worthwhile. In order to get the TOC (table of contents) and NCX (navigational control file) to generate in the conversion process, a lot of behind-the-scenes HTML code manipulation would be required. This would take time — time better spent properly laying out your book in our layout software, which will then properly generate your eBook, complete with TOC, NCX, and embedded cover design.

Q. You’ve already done a Print Layout for me, can you just use that for the eBook Layout, too?
A. Yes. In fact, this is exactly what we do in most cases. However, the print layout will still need many adjustments in order to make it compatible for eBook. So, if this is the case, you will not be charged again for a complete layout, but there will be a (lesser) charge to re-do the layout for eBook.

Q. How come my eBook doesn’t look like my hardcopy book?
A. eBook technology is still very new and limited. For example, a hardcopy book may have an image on the left side of the page with text wrapped around it on the right side of the page and underneath. However, text wrapping is still not supported in eBooks. Also, many eBook readers do not support embedded fonts. So if your hardcopy book layout used fancy fonts, or drop-caps, or specially stylized text, in most cases this will not show up in the eBook version. The technology is getting better all the time, but there are still many limitations.

Q. But I’ve heard there is a way for my eBook to look exactly like my print book. It’s called “Fixed Layout” ePub. Can’t you do that?
A. Yes, we can do that, but, again, we don’t feel it’s worth it. Fixed layout eBook formatting is much more labor intensive and therefore more expensive to do. But that’s not the main issue. The main issue is that you will severely limit your market and readership if you choose a fixed layout eBook. Reason being, there are not many e-Readers out there capable of properly parsing a fixed layout file. So your fixed layout eBook would not display on most Nooks, Kindles, etc. This technology, too, is evolving for the better. But it’s not there yet.

Q. How come my eBook looks different on my friend’s Kindle/Tablet/Nook/iPhone than it does on my Kindle/Tablet/Nook/iPhone?
A. There are so many eReaders and Apps and no standardization. An eBook may look one way on one app and another way on another app. Some readers honor embedded fonts; others don’t. In some readers you may see a usable TOC, others not. And new readers are being invented all the time.

So, all that said, what do we guarantee?

Depending on which format your order, we deliver a Mobi and/or ePub file compatible with Amazon Kindle (Mobi) or Nook (ePub), which includes a TOC, NCX and embedded Book Cover (assuming you provide a cover or order a cover design along with your layout).

We guarantee that it will be accepted for upload to Amazon and/or Barnes & Noble (depending on which format you order).

Recent Samples

Note: Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature is not the best representation of the layout, as it does not completely format the text. For an accurate view of the sample layout, download the preview file and view it on your actual Kindle or Amazon’s “Kindle Previewer” (free download here).


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