Since it’s publication in 2004, we have always wanted to have The Teddy Bear Conspiracies available to the general public as an Ebook. It is finally available for the low price of $0.99. YAY!
Did you know that ebooks have been around since 1971? Yep! They are now going on 42 years and counting. Of course they didn’t really start catching on until the late nineties. Our graphic designer was working for a major bookstore at the time when Stephen King released his first e-novel in 1996. It took roughly another ten years before the e-craze really hit the market. At this point in time (2013), they are not going away. With an estimated 15,000,000 books published in 2012, it’s a fair bet that books themselves are not a thing of the past . This number that we found on a website is a guess and may or may not include e-books. Regardless, e-book are big business with an estimated gross of $1-3 billion a year.
So, we finally bit the bullet and started “digitizing” our publications. “It’s about time!” some might say but, here is the reality. Ink and Feathers Comics has been a hobby company for us. Our real life “day jobs” come first.
We started working on converting The Teddy Bear Conspiracies late last year (2012). It wasn’t until this past month (August) that the barrier between the technical and interpretation was finally breached. Of course, we here know how to put a “dead tree” (actual printed book) version together with desktop publishing software. Bring on InDesign, no problem! When it came to the technical side of an ebook, we, very quickly, discovered that there is no one uniformed set format for all ebook readers. Does anyone, besides graphic designers, know what MOBI, BBeB, or Fb2 stand for? Strangely enough, they are ebook formats.
The six most popular formats to date are: EPub, AZW, LIT, PDF, ODF, and MOBI. IPads have their own special coding and requirements. Same for the the Kindle and the Nook. Needless to say, we took the easy way out and used the easiest format at this time, the formatting for the Kindle. Why you may ask? Well, duh! All one needs is Microsoft Word. Kindle recommends it and we went with their recommendations. Last October, we started designing the ebook format for TBC in Adobe InDesign. It recommends that you create a book and put each chapter as a separate InDesign document and then link all the pages into the book. For those non-tech people out there who have no idea what we are talking about, that’s ok. It’s actually sightly complicated and confused our graphic designer a bit. And let’s not forget about the HTML code! Did you know that you also need to know some basic web coding to design these formats as well? Our designer even bought a $40 book on how to do the formatting via InDesign. Ultimately, he got frustrated and gave up as he couldn’t figure out how to make the chapter heading into an interactive Table of Contents. See, if you have an e-reader, having an interactive Table of Contents is HUGE. It’s how a user is able to use their finger or click of a mouse to select a specific chapter or header and go straight to it. Much like one does on a CD or DVD player. Without this major component, it just one big document with no control for the user/reader. Boring! So he gave up for months and thought that his expert design skills were too far behind to compete with the big leagues. Ultimately, months later, he took another look and discovered the ease of designing in Word with the freeware Calibre. POOF! In a matter of one day, he reformatted the book, discovered an easy way to create an interactive table of contents, and then uploaded it onto Amazon Kindle. Hence, The Teddy Bear Conspiracies is now available not only in the states but available abroad as well.
Kind of cool if you think about. Anyone in the world can now purchase your book, translated, through Amazon.com. It’s extremely exciting if you think about but then there is the downside. Yes, your book is available to anyone with a Kindle, and yes, people all over the world to get access to it and read. However, this is only one e-reader platform and now our designer, in less than ninety days, has to convert the same book for the IBook, Nook, and any other major e-reader platform. Is it really worth it if you have to design new version for all the different e-readers? No wonder companies charge $200+ for the service of converting your book.
One more downside to discuss is marketing. With or without marketing, your book is one of ten million out there competing for notice. If no one knows about, how do you except to find and read it? So I put it to the readers to decide. With all the available new authors uploading their treasured novels constantly on online, does each author want to take the extra time and energy to promote their “masterpieces’? No, of course not. That’s what agents and book promoters are paid to do. But what if writing and publishing is simply a hobby? Something you do on occasion every four years or so? Then you write blogs, send reviewers sample copies, and promote via social media. Will it work? I’ll let you all know if a few months. In the meantime, check out The Teddy Bear Conspiracies.
Next book for ebook conversion: Superlative Tales
Currently on sale through Amazon.com from September 2nd through the 31st for the low price of $5.00!
For story synopsis’, visit Superlative Tales Page.
For some in your face hard truths about Ebooks, Visit 10 Awful Truths