What we do

Featured

website-headerWe work for authors & publishers to convert their books to high quality ready-to-sell digital versions, suitable for publishing directly (without the aid of a 3rd party aggregator allowing you to retain 100% of the profit for life) to the major marketplaces. You only pay a small affordable one-time fee, we provide the file formats and all the training to assist you in uploading your titles, allowing you to become the digital publisher. This means you get paid directly by Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, Google, and any other marketplace you choose to setup accounts with. This means you will never be hassled with an annual fee (or service account fee). There won’t be any middle man taking a percentage of YOUR royalties. You retain complete control which is essential to succeed in the world of eBooks!

I highly recommend you begin by reviewing our initial consultation page. It answers many of the initial questions we receive from new clients.

We are a FULL SERVICE author/publisher services firm, offering a value proposition that has been tuned to the needs of hundreds of authors & publishers we’ve had the pleasure to work with since 2009.  All of our work on a work-for-hire basis, meaning you retain all of the rights to your work (as it should be!).  In addition to eBook formatting & layout, we provide:

Pay only for the services you need.
Most conversions are completed within 7-14 days (turn around will depend on our backlog at the time of your order and the complexity of your title).

In addition to the services we provide, at no additional cost, you will also receive:

  • Over 3 hours of video tutorials to assist you with marketplace setup, optimization, and marketing.
  • 60 days of post-sale support through our Pixels To Profit website.
  • A copy of our ePub Template and with access to over 50 tutorials ($79 value).
  • 24/7 Access to our customer support portal

Unlike the large volume conversion shops, we are not satisfied until you are. You won’t be stuck with an eBook that doesn’t reflect how you the author intended it to look. You get to proof your eBook before it’s published and our conversions are guaranteed to be 100% compatible with the major eBook marketplaces.  Before a converted file is delivered to you, we test it on each device and always allow ample time to do a thorough review so you don’t have to.  If there’s ever a problem with the file, we’ll fix it for free.

Our pricing varies depending on the complexity of the book and the file type provided.  You can submit a bid request here.

You can also hire Brian Schwartz, the Kindle Expert for one-on-consulting through Clarity.fm:

Some boilerplate legal ease for your copyright page

Often I receive books to format/convert without a copyright page. I think it’s best that you have one to protect yourself and increase the credibility of your work. And while I’m no lawyer, the following is commonly used by the vast majority of authors/publishers. I also recommend putting your contract info on the Copyright page in case someone would like to request permission or license your work!

By virtue of you publishing it, it’s protected by copyright, however if you do want to register your eBook with the Copyright office, you can do so for $35 if you e-file. The website is: https://eco.copyright.gov/eService_enu and you will need to have a PDF version of your book available to submit.

You should include something like the following on the copyright page of your eBook:

Copyright 2014 © [AUTHOR NAME]

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except in the case of a reviewer, who may quote brief passages embodied in critical articles or in a review.

Trademarked names appear throughout this book. Rather than use a trademark symbol with every occurrence of a trademarked name, names are used in an editorial fashion, with no intention of infringement of the respective owner’s trademark.

The information in this book is distributed on an “as is” basis, without warranty. Although every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this work, neither the author nor the publisher shall have any liability to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by the information contained in this book.

If your book is fiction, add this statement:

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.


Hope that helps!

Happy new year – Brian

How to open an ePub or Mobi file on your iPad using Dropbox

One of the best ways to proof the ePub and mobi files we send you is to view them on the device most people will likely be using when they purchase your eBook.  The iPad is probably the most popular eReader on the planet (next to Kindle).

Here’s a little trick on how you can open an ePub file in iBooks or a mobi file with the Kindle Reader (on your iPad):

  • Step 1: Create a Dropbox account (don’t worry, it’s free).
  • Step 2: Install the iBooks and Kindle apps onto your iPad (if they aren’t on it already).
  • Step 3: Install the Dropbox app on your iPad (it’s free too).
  • Step 4: Transfer the ePub/Mobi files to your dropbox folder (I’ve likely shared a dropbox folder with your files in it if you asked me to).
  • Step 5: Open your dropbox app on the ipad and click on the epub or mobi file – then open it with the appropriate app (you do so by clicking in the upper right hand corner of the iPad screen).
Here’s a short video tutorial to walk you through the process:


One important caveat if we revise your file and want view the newer version:

IF I send revised epub & mobi files, you must first delete the old file off your iPad BEFORE loading a new file from dropbox.  Otherwise, there’s a good chance both iBooks and the Kindle reader will keep reverting to the original file. So here’s how you delete the old files: select ‘Edit’ on the iPad iBooks app (in the iBooks Library view), click on your thumbnail cover, and the hit ‘Delete.’  You delete a book from your Kindle library in a similar way.

How that helped! Feel free to contact us if you need further assistance.

How your Kindle edition can get you more reviews on Amazon

Do you have as many Amazon reviews for your book as you’d like?  As a publisher of over 50 books on Amazon, I can share first hand that there is indeed a direct correlation between the number of reviews a title has and that title’s book sales.  The more reviews an author has (good or bad), the more he/she will sell. How many reviews?  I recommend getting as many as you can, but a good, realistic goal is 1-2 per month.

So how do you go about getting yourself more reviews?  By issuing a call to action!  Thankfully, Amazon does this automatically on its Kindle books with a pop up screen at the end of the Kindle book asking the reader to leave a review (& providing a live link to make it easy for them to do so). Of course that assumes they get to the end of your book.

So I recommend you provide your readers an added incentive to post an honest review earlier in the book.  Perhaps halfway through. Tell them that you would be grateful for their authentic feedback (whether it’s good bad) and that you are willing to provide something in return.  I like to offer either a $10 Amazon gift card, or if it’s another author, I’m happy to return the favor and write them an honest review.  I say honest because I’m not going to just give someone a 5-star review because they asked me to. Why? If your reviews are only good reviews,  they won’t carry as much weight when readers see your other reviews.

This is yet another good reason why it’s important to have your book available on Kindle.  If your print & kindle editions are properly linked, any reviews left on your Kindle edition will also show up on the listing for your print edition.

Still struggling with getting your book up on Kindle, Nook, or iBooks? Hire us and we’ll take care of the ebook layout and conversion for you – usually with 10 days, and we guarantee you will be pleased with the result (often our clients like the eBooks we create even better than their print edition). I’m proud to share that most of our business today comes via referrals, so you can move forward with confidence because we will do whatever it takes to make you glad you hired us (& thus refer future clients to us).

Wondering whether or not you should signup for KDP Select?

Dear Authors,

I received several emails shortly after Amazon announced the KDP Select program in early 2012. Everyone was asking me what I thought they should do. I honestly couldn’t answer because I didn’t know the answer! But today, I can. I received an email from a past client that validates how incredibly powerful the KDP Select program can be! Keep in mind this is a first book, she published it herself (with our help) and is just about to finish her 1 week KDP promotion of offering her Kindle book at a $0.00 price on Amazon (which you get to do only if you sign up for KDP Select). As of today (3/5/12), in the short time it’s been up (since 3/1/12), she’s had over 30,000 downloads and The Eighth Sea is currently ranked #1 in the historical fiction category and #5 Overall (Free) Kindle books (whoa!). She’s even outselling Charles Dickens! Time will tell whether or not the explosion in exposure will translate into sales, it’s her only book. And she’ll be putting a price back on her book on 3/8/12).

But based on Nancy’s experience – I would give an enthusiastic thumbs up on the KDP Select program.  If you are a talented author, as Nancy is, you can see how much of a boost the KDP Select program gives.  I would not be surprised if she gets calls from NYC literary agents and major publishers.  Not bad for a first time author who just published her first book on Amazon 3 months ago!

You can learn more about the KDP Select Campaigns we run for our clients here. We’ve created over 20 number 1 Amazon bestsellers in the past 6 months alone!

Two titles that have broken into the Kindle top 5000!

I wanted to send out a quick update… this unusual to say the least, but two of the books I just finished converting to Kindle are now among the top .5% of all Kindle books sold. In other words, they’ve broken into the coveted top 5000 spot I often speak of.  This equates to a huge amount of visibility (& profit) to both the authors. Congrats!!

The two titles I am very proud to have worked on are and just published to Kindle that are among the top .5%:

As of today (2/29/12) – here are their rankings respectively:

Fisherman's Language by Jim Henry

Feel Younger Now! by Don McGrath, Ph.D.

I often tell authors – if you have a single goal, it should be to break into the top .5% of Kindle books. The rewards will be reflected on your commissions report and you’ll be hooked to doing it again.

Take advantage of Amazon's little known short URL (amzn.com) capability

Do you post links directly to your own book or kindle book on Amazon? If not, you should! But if you are, do your readers a favor and use the Amazon short URL to it.

Amazon has the highest consumer trust of any company on the web. URL shortening services like Bit.ly are becoming more dangerous and people are reluctant to click on those links.

So guess what? There’s a better way.  You can use Amazon’s own short URL capability.

Here’s how:

Step 1: Find the listing you want to link to on Amazon, for example:

http://www.amazon.com/50-Interviews-Entrepreneurs-Brian-Schwartz/dp/0982290705

Step 2: Copy the # at the end of the URL or the # that appears right after the /dp/

Step 3: Insert the # the follows /dp/ at the end the Amazon Short URL: http://amzn.com/

So using the above example, it would look like this:  http://amzn.com/0982290705

And here’s a link to the Kindle edition of the same book: http://amzn.com/B001ULD5PA

How to link directly to your ebook in the iBookstore

Would you like to add a link directly to your ebook in the iBookstore?

Chances are, if you’ve hired us to do your ebook conversion, you’ve now got your ebook on iTunes in the iBookstore.  So now you want to link directly to it.  The good news is you don’t need a mac accomplish this. Yes, you still need a mac to upload your epub to the iTunes store, but that’s why you hired us, right?

Keep in mind it typically takes 1-2 weeks before new titles submitted to Apple will be live – this is because they actually review every single submission.  So before it goes live, you will see a red dot next to the title which means it’s still In Review status:

title-status2

Here’s how you can create a hyperlink directly to your iBook in the iTunes store making it easier for people to purchase your ebook.

Step 1: Login to your Apple iTunes Connect account.

Step 2: Click on ‘Manage Your Books’

checking-ibooks-status

Click image to enlarge

Step 3: Click on the title you want to create the hyperlink for.

finding-hyperlink-to-ibooks

Click image to enlarge

Step 4: Right click on the ‘View on iBooks’ and copy the URL

Looks like this: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-scarf-of-promise/id791393304?ls=1&mt=11

Don’t forget to take advantage of the 50 Promo Codes iBooks offers!

Note:
If there is an issue, you can contact Apple iBooks Pubilsher support at: 1-877-206-2092

That was easy wasn’t it?

About ePubConversions.com: We assist authors and publishers in getting their content and formatted and setup on the major ebook marketplaces (ie. Apple, Amazon, and B&N). We provide the necessary formats to publish directly to your own accounts to retain 100% of the profits from every sale.  We also create beautiful ebook covers and assist authors with print layout and setup for print-on-demand. If you prefer to DIY route, we offer a Word Template that is formatted for direct publishing to Amazon & BN, as well as POD (Print on Demand.  Dozens of tutorials step you through the process of creating a beautiful ebook without the need for any other software. If you are still writing your book, our template is a tremendous benefit and efficiency booster that can save you the cost of hiring an interior book designer.

Best Selling Kindle Books in 2011 that were Self-Published

Another example of how much Amazon an Kindle are transforming the traditional publishing industry, and how accessible publishing is now; 20% of the top 10 best selling Kindle books of 2011 were self-published!

Back in May of 2011, Darcie Chan (a former Coloradoan) self-published her only novel she had written 5 years ago that was rejected by over a dozen publishers.  There is a great article in the Wall Street Journal on her rise to the top, in it they state “…book publishers are losing ground to independent authors and watching their powerful status as literary gatekeepers wither.

Also on the best seller list was The Abbey by Chris Culver, another self-published author.

Wondering which Kindle books are the hot sellers right now? Check out the running Top Seller list here. Interesting to note, that given it’s the start of a new year – Brian Tracy’s Eat That Frog is currently in the Top 10.

FYI, I’m hosting a weekly Q&A session through the end of February. The first one is this coming Wednesday, Jan. 11 at 4PM MST. While they are intended to be general Q&A (since I get a lot of the same questions on a daily basis), I plan to spend a portion of the time analyzing and discussing the strategies and tactics these and other best selling authors are using to become top sellers in this new evolving era of digital publishing.  Hope you can join us!

Gmail on your Kindle

Don’t have a data plan on your cell phone?

Want to know a cool work-around of how you can check your email on your Kindle? It works whether you have a wifi or 3G connection.  Check your gmail!

This is from the perspective of using the 3rd Gen (graphite/grey screen) Kindle device (with the built in keyboard).

Just go to the ‘Menu’ from the home screen and choose ‘Experimental.’ You can launch the web browser from there.  Next, go to gmail’s page for mobile devices: http://m.gmail.com

I even used it during a recent trip to Mexico – the international 3G network worked like a charm!

Any website that supports mobile devices is probably going to work well for the Kindle browser.  Often, if a mobile version of a website exists, it’ll appear as http://m.<website>.com – for example: http://m.yahoo.com is one I use a lot.  So even if you are not a gmail user, you still might be able to utilize the ‘experimental’ browser on your Kindle to check your email.

You probably won’t be composing too many emails on your Kindle, but at least you have an option to find out if something important is sitting unread in your inbox.

An ebook conversion primer

Dear author friends (& soon-to-be authors),

I want to share a less fortunate situation I see some authors getting themselves into. If you let another company publish your eBook under their account, you are going to be at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to succeeding in the era of eBooks. If you let another company publish your eBook under their account, you are not actually self-publishing. True self-publishing means you as the author are the publisher. You work directly with the marketplaces that sell your book, you buy directly from the printers who print your books. The beauty of self-publishing is that you retain 100% of your profits and purchase your books at the lowest possible price (no markup, no middle man).

Here’s WHY you should avoid letting anyone else publish your work under their accounts on the major eBook marketplaces:

If you ever want to setup the title under your own account (after it’s already been setup on another account), you will lose your ranking and reviews. This is because the marketplaces can’t simply transfer a title from one account to another. Instead, the title would have to be unpublished under the old account, and then setup as a new title on the new account. Amazon won’t transfer the reviews to your new listing and you have to start over working your way back up the sales rankings (which does take into account your cumulative sales).

If you want to participate in programs like KDP select – you need to be able to ‘unpublish’ your work on all the other marketplaces you might setup on (only for the duration you choose to participate in KDP Select). This is easy to do if you are the account holder, but impossible to do if you are not. This is one of the many reasons I’m not a fan of the shotgun approach of publishing your eBook in every marketplace under the sun.
One of the keys to being a successful eBook author is in being able to fine tune your listing. This entails updating your description, trying different keywords, changing categories, testing different price points, etc.. All which requires that you have direct access to make these tweaks whenever you want.

I’m not going to call out any of these companies by name, but the bottom line is that there are many different business models out there, and you need to be fully informed before you enter into an engagement. Some companies are charging an annual fee as well as fees anytime you want to update your listings. None of the marketplaces I recommend you publish to charge any fees whatsoever (they don’t have to because they get a % of every sale). Bottom line is that you should be self-publishing your eBook. Which means you as the author/publisher get paid directly by Amazon, BN, Apple, Google, Kobo, or any other reputable marketplace that sells your eBook.

What if your book has already been published in print with a traditional publisher?

If so, there’s a chance the contract you have with your publisher makes no mention of eBooks. If that’s the case, then it would be in your best interest to self-publish your eBook edition before the publisher does. If you wait, and the publisher will likely eventually publish it as an eBook on your behalf, and you will not have any easy time republishing it under your own account. Amazon won’t allow a title to be published as eBook more than once. If this as occurred, as I mentioned above – the only option is that you convince your publisher to unpublish the eBook so you can publish it under your own account. Your ability to do this will vary depending on the contract you have in place with your existing publisher. But many of the contracts were written long before eBooks existed, so there’s a good chance you own the rights to do this yourself. But if you hesitate too long, and the publisher does publish your eBook, you may be hard pressed to get the rights to self-publish it. Please note: Every contract and situation will be different, and by no means am I providing any legal advice whatsoever – you need to protect yourself and be sure you aren’t violating any terms with your existing publisher. You should try to get a letter from the publisher that they are rescinding any rights of the eBook edition. Amazon may ask you to provide written proof that you have the rights if they see the print edition was published under a different publisher. I’ve worked with many authors who had no problem getting the publisher to furnish this document. Sometimes all you have to do is ask!

Wondering what work is involved to properly do an ebook conversion?

For the purposes of this article, consider the following: epub refers to any format of epublishing – whether it be mobi for Kindle,  epub for iPad, or epub for any other device.  Incidentally: a mobi file is built on the same foundation of epub file – just a few minor tweaks are required by the Kindle. Both are compressed files that take up little space.  The eReader expands (ie. unzips) the files every time you open a new eBook on your eReader.

While there are very few rules in print layout (other than margins and printer’s requirements which vary), there are many rules in epub layout. Epub is built on HTML standards because all eReaders are essentially stripped down web browsers programmed to display html pages. Thus, some knowledge of html is helpful to get predictable results.

There’s generally a 12 step process involved in doing an ebook conversion, no matter what techniques or tools you use, and at a fundamental level, they all involve the following steps.

Depending on the book and type of file provided, some of these steps may be eliminated, thus the time it takes (& thus the price to do the work) to do a proper ebook conversion will always vary if there’s a proof stage involved.  I mention this because the high volume, low cost conversion shops won’t give the author a digital proof – you will be stuck with whatever they produce for you.   An attention to detail (& understanding of the language of the book you are converting) is paramount.

Here’s the process we go through when we receive a new book file from an author to convert it to a ready-to-publish digital file format. Following a brief consultation with the author regarding possible layout and sequence changes to improve the ebook reader’s experience, we:

1. Strip out any headers/footers/endnotes/footnotes
2. Extract all the raw text from the file (usually a pdf or word doc)
3. Reformat all the content using html to mirror the styles in print (ie. bold, italic, font size, underlines, titles, etc..)
4. Recreate bulleted lists & numbered lists (to be html compatible)
5. Reinsert & hyperlink all endnotes/footnotes
6. Recreate tables or clip them as images from a PDF version
7. Create a metadata file that provides eReaders with information about the book, publisher, & author
8. Format the cover (to fit the full screen of an eReader)
9. Clip & reinsert images or forms (sometimes images will have to be reformatted)
10. Create a hyperlinked table of contents to each chapter and accessible in the navigation function of the eReader
11. Convert html to the epub & mobi formats and validate the file with the ePub checker.
12. Test on each device and make any necessary corrections and deliver a ready-to-publish file to the author.

After the file is delivered, we provide step-by-step tutorials to help the author/publisher upload their books to each of the major marketplaces.

There are variety of tools that can be used to work through the process, and those of us who do this work will favor tools we are comfortable with.

Having an understanding of how html works will help you understand why something looks the way it does on an eReader. Just as a webpage will look different on different browsers, an ebook file (remember, it’s essentially a webpage) will look different on different eReaders.  The best thing we can do is stick with the basic rules of html that are compatible with all ebook readers.

Many authors hire us after they’ve already spent many frustrating hours trying to get their book looking they way they intended it to.  And the vast majority of our business is through referrals, which is why we make sure every author is pleased with the results we produce for them.

Just like anything else, the final result will reflect the experience of the person doing to work.   Because your ebook will be a permanent edition of your book that will never go out of print (and outlive all of us), you owe it to your future readers to have it done right.  When I think about the lifetime royalties that’ll be earned from an authors ebook, spending a little extra to have it done right seems like a smart investment.

If you do want to do this work yourself, you should at least consider using our template. It has been refined through the process of literally hundreds of conversions and testing with each device. I guarantee you’ll get much better results than you would without it.  One of the most recent examples of someone who used our template to create a truly beautiful ebook is Will Craig, who recently published Date with Destiny: Living the Hero’s Journey on Kindle.

There’s also a workshop coming up (I only do these 2-3x/year) in Denver on October 26. if you are up for learning how to do it yourself. Learn more and register at: www.BookToNook.com