Preparing to upload your ebook
To make the uploading and publishing of your ebook file stress-free, it makes sense to gather together the following information.
It is worth giving quite a bit of thought to the first group of items as they are not necessarily copies of what you have in any printed copies of your book (if you have already been published).
A title is a key selling point for your book – Traditionally a punchy title plus a descriptive sub-title worked on print books. Your ebookstitle MUST tell people what the book is about. Will an enigmatic title really sand out in the ebook space?
This is part of the metadata you have hopefully embedded into your file. But many, such as Amazon, ask for it when you submit your ebook. You can, and should, pack a lot into this ‘blurb’ which people will only see if they select it so make sure it sells the book in the first sentence. This can be about one full page of text. But it will probably be scanned for keywords by search engines. So make sure you pack it with relevant keywords.
Obviously you put in the author but you can put in a whole list of contributors, illustrators and even editors. Because ebooks can be digitally searched, listing many names might provide another link to the book.
There are two ways that ebook suppliers will catalogue your books for their customers, categories and keywords. Before search engines trawl through any keywords in your blurb, they will look at the way you categorise you book to help interested readers find your ebook. Many systems have drop-down or tick lists prepared. You could also look at the BICC system which contains subcategories to further classify your content. Amazon lets you select 2 browse categories but ISBN allows more. Keywords need to feature in your title and the short write-up you can enter about your book.
If you have a publication deal, and assigned the rights at the same time, then you should be telling them what you are doing. If you have self-published then think about making yourself ‘a publisher’ as that is another way to link your books together.
An ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a unique way of identifying your book. Because the ISBN is unique to each product YOU MUST NOT use the ISBN for print edition. Amazon will assign an ASIN if you do not give them a number. Because the ISBN identifies the product you need another number for other ebook versions! (Read more about this silly system)
Check Your Publishing Rights!
Make sure you have the rights especially if your title has been previously published. You also need to make up your mind about DRM (Digital Rights Management). These are applied by the person you are allowing to supply the files (eg Amazon or Google). You need to be prepared to select some settings, so give some thought as to what you are happy with. (more) Since DRM is designed to inhibit unauthorized copying of your titles. Remember that once your title is made freely available you will find it next to impossible to enforce your rights and this setting probably cannot be changed.
As well as your bank account details, you will probably need to have the IBAN and BIC numbers. You will probably need to contact your bank to discover these as they are not routinely issued but it is worth checking your statement. Direct payments are international transfers and there are many compliance rules imposed on banks, so do prepare this with your bank in advance.
The term ‘product’ image is important since the ebook does not have or need a ‘cover’. This is the small image that will be visible on the web and also a part of the ebook container. BUT Amazon/Kindle has a product image which is not the same as the integrated ebook. Images can help entice readers to look at your ebook so the image needs to work with the title – your existing cover might not do the job very well. Images must be in JPEG or TIFF format about 500 pixels by 800 pixels at 72 dpi for optimal viewing on screens.
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