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Ebook publishing, distribution & marketing
Ebook publishing and distribution
Ebooks are a growing part of the book market, and offer authors another way of publishing their work and making it available to a wide international audience. The problem is that so many ebooks are now being published that it is difficult to get noticed in the rush.
There are many routes to ebook publication, from DIY to outsourcing ebook conversion, and as a self-publisher you have a choice in how you publish. Yet to get the best ebook conversion and the widest ebook distribution, even the most dedicated self-publisher will not be able to rival the abilities of a self-publishing company like Matador.
Many ebook distributors will only take on a publisher if they have numerous ebooks to sell; many ebook retailers have strict rules on the ebook formats that they accept. Matador has ensured that our ebooks are compatible with the widest range of formats demanded by the retailers; and we’ve worked hard to establish a distribution network for our ebooks that is unparalleled.
So as a self-publisher, you could have your manuscript automatically converted by various ebook retailers, you could open accounts with all those retailers; or you could just settle to sell your ebook through one retailer only. Or, you could have your ebook published and distributed my Matador to get the best quality presentation and the widest distribution possible, including through retailers that are usually inaccessible to individual self-publishers, like Waterstones and Barnes & Noble.
A choice in ebook publishing
At Matador we offer authors a choice of ebook and book publishing. You can choose to start with ebook only publishing; add a print on demand book if you feel there is a demand; or then publish and distribute a book through traditional retail channels if it takes off. Or you can publish your ebook alongside your book straight away to maximize the exposure during marketing activity. It’s your choice.
Every step of the way we offer realistic advice and expertise, while you make the decisions on publishing your ebook. We can produce and distribute your ebook for you… but more; we offer a dedicated ebook marketing service with unique access to industry-wide ebook review channels. Quality of production, distribution and marketing, as with our book publishing services.
You can publish your own ebook, but there are several reasons why it is better to use an established service to do it for you:
- Ebook creation: there are several eretailers (including Amazon) who offer a free ebook conversion and hosting service. However, these offer ‘automatic’ ebook conversion, which usually results in something that is poorly formatted and error-strewn, and which has been created to the standards required by that website only.
- Distribution 1: most free ebook websites only make your ebook available through their own website. You could open accounts with various such websites, and have them convert your file ‘automatically’ each time, to be made available for sale… through them only.
- Distribution 2: consider where people go to buy their ebooks… do they visit those websites that offer ‘free’ publication, or do they go to their usual retailer… Waterstones, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Apple, WH Smith, Foyles, Blackwells…? Many ‘proper’ ebook retailers only take their ebooks through wholesalers and specialist ebook suppliers, and they by and large will only take on a publisher with a lot of ebooks to sell.
- Libraries: most libraries source their ebooks through wholesalers or specialist ebook suppliers, to which an individual is unable to get access. And libraries worldwide are big ebook customers.
- Time and expertise: creating a good quality ebook file and distributing it to some retailers can be done by an individual, but you need some knowledge if how an ebook is generated into an XML file and then an ePub and Mobi format; and you then need a lot of time to place it with retailers. Even then availability will be limited to a few ebook retailers.
Matador offers a top quality ebook creation process, using specialist conversion houses to create industry-standard ebook files.
We also offer the most comprehensive ebook distribution network that you can find, ensuring that your ebook can be found for sale on all major book retailers’ websites.
It is a common fallacy that creating an ebook is a simple process. It is true that there are various ‘automatic’ ebook converters available, but all will only output a version of what you input. The old computing adage “Garbage In, Garbage Out” very much applies with ebooks! If you have some knowledge of computing then you can have a stab at converting to an ebook file (which is effectively a form of the HTML programming language); if not, it’s best left to a specialist.
There are several processes to undertake prior to creating your ebook, though. Matador offers a range of services, which authors can pick and choose from, depending on their requirements. We are happy to carry out most services singly, so if you have a cover already and need formatting and conversion, that is fine; or maybe you need a cover and formatting, but wish to distribute your ebook yourself. We also offer a full ebook production and distribution service, which includes all of the necessary services.
Note that the cost of some services is naturally dependent on a book’s complexity and length, so we can only give indicative costs for some; please contact us for a bespoke quote.
Pre-press and Set-up (£50)
This service sets up your ebook with an ISBN so that it can be distributed to those many retailers that require one. It includes:
- ISBN allocation
- Bibliographic data registration with Nielsen
- Dissemination of ebook data to retailers worldwide using industry-standard ONIX data dissemination
Copy editing (from £80)
In the rush to get an ebook published, many authors overlook the fact that they must make sure their manuscript is 100% ready to publish! Ebooks containing typos, grammar problems and other errors will quickly give your writing a bad name.
Matador offers an on-screen copy-editing service for all ebook authors, which will be carried out by one of our experienced in-house editors. (The cost will depend upon your manuscript’s length.)
Professional Cover design (from £100)
The importance of a high-quality, eye-grabbing cover cannot be underestimated; it must achieve maximum impact at a glance. As with a book, cover design is important, as it is the only visual cue you are giving to a potential buyer.
Ebook cover design tends to be different to regular book cover design because of the limitations of the online sizing available with most e-retailers. Our team of in-house designers is experienced in making the most of the limited space available to give your ebook cover visual impact and attract attention. Using either your own image supplied or an image(s) bought from millions available at a discounted rate to our authors, our designers will produce a professional bespoke cover design for your ebook.
Formatting and Conversion (from £110.00)
Matador ebooks are created in-house by experienced conversion staff. This ensures our ebooks are converted to the highest standard, and guarantees that the reader experience is the best it can be.
The two most common ebook formats are ePub and Amazon’s Kindle. Different formats are created in different ways. There are two main forms of ebook: reflowable (where text reflows with a different size screen), and fixed (where the text retains its format and does not reflow as the screen changes). The reflowable format is best for novels and books with few images. Fixed format is best for books with a lot of graphical content.
The cost of ebook conversion will depend upon the complexity of the book and its length. Creation of an ebook includes:
- Formatting of final manuscript supplied ready for conversion
- Conversion to the latest industry-standard ePub and Kindle ebook formats
- In-house quality checks on a variety of ereaders and devices
- E-proof file sent for author approval
Worldwide Distribution (£80)
Our authors benefit from our extensive distribution network in the UK and overseas. We make your ebook available through all the major ebook retailers, including Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones, Kobo, Google, OverDrive and WH Smith. We also offer distribution overseas through hundreds of eretailers via our aggregators. In addition, we offer access to the huge ebook library market through our distribution links with wholesalers and specialist ebook suppliers.
Our ebook distribution service covers:
- Distribution to ebook retailers and library suppliers worldwide
- Secure Digital Rights Managed (DRM) files to minimise piracy
- Inclusion of your ebook on our webshop, with links to key retailers for purchasing
- 24/7 access to sales data via our website (NB. Not linked live to retailers)
- Quarterly royalty statements and payment
This includes pre-press and set-up, professional cover design, formatting and conversion to the latest industry-standard formats, and distribution via our worldwide network of retailers and libraries (as above).
In addition, this full service includes:
- Working with key merchandising teams to try to arrange specific promotional opportunities with retailers
- Social media posts on our Twitter and Facebook accounts to coincide with your ebook’s release
- Ongoing post-publication support via phone and email, to arrange things like price-drops and discounts
- An entry in our print and online Highlights magazine, sent to retailers each quarter.
At Matador we offer ebook marketing services designed to give your ebook the best chance of being seen by journalists, bloggers and reviewers worldwide. Our ebook marketing services are ideal for authors who want a comprehensive, cost-effective media campaign that they can tie in with their own marketing work.
We offer two tiers of ebook marketing services, designed to suit a different budgets and goals. Both of them include an entry on NetGalley, the leading ebook media review service – where ebooks have a chance of being seen by members of the media, bloggers, reviewers and retailers worldwide. Having an ebook on NetGalley gives it equal footing with those from the main commercial publishers like Random House, Penguin and HarperCollins, where over 300,000 opted-in members worldwide can browse for ebooks by subject, publisher or keyword, and then request a review copy. This often leads to media coverage, reviews and book sales. We then amplify any media coverage using our social media channels to ensure that it's reaching as wide an audience as possible.
Ebook marketing needs to be undertaken after your ebook is released for sale, so our marketing services are designed to work around the release of an ebook to retailers by our in-house production team, over a period of around six weeks or so. Our marketing department works with an author on a one-to-one basis to maximise the impact of marketing activities on an ebook’s marketing campaign. We will also directly follow up with each NetGalley member after publication of your ebook has passed, as following up can often result in further reviews and coverage.
- An expertly prepared ebook listing on NetGalley.com, the leading ebook review site for librarians, publishers, reviewers and bloggers (the listing will be live for three weeks).
- We pass on any reviews that are sent to us as a result of the listing.
- We follow up with everyone else who downloaded a copy of your ebook and encourage them to leave a review.
- Ongoing help and advice from a dedicated ebook marketing professional during your campaign.
- An extensive online booklet looking at things you can do yourself to promote your ebook – alongside our marketing effort
All of the above in the Starter Ebook Marketing service, PLUS:
- An extra week on NetGalley (four weeks in total)
- A NetGalley ‘widget’ that allows journalists and other contacts to download your ebook directly – a great way to send protected review copies.
- Mentions of your ebook, and any ebook news, through our social media channels (Twitter and Facebook).
- The creation of two promotional graphics for use on social media or in your own advertising efforts. These will also be displayed on our stand at the London Book Fair.
- A paid ebook advert on Amazon or Goodreads* to the value of $100, which we will coordinate on your behalf. (*We can only create a Goodreads advert if we have created your Goodreads account through our Social Media Marketing Service.)
Social media marketing
The use of social media to promote books and ebooks has become an industry-standard means of reaching a diverse yet closely-targeted audience. For many people, however, social media like Twitter and Facebook remain something of a mystery. For this reason, we have introduced separate social media marketing services, designed to establish an author presence online, that enable authors promote their work using various social media.
We focus mainly on Facebook and Twitter, the leading social media sites; these are also the most author-friendly, and are proven in increasing discoverability of authors and books. It can take years to build an author brand, but this campaign will kick-start your knowledge and use of the social media sphere. It is especially suitable for those who struggle to find their way around the internet or learn how to use new websites. These services, along with our invaluable social media handbook, will have you tweeting and posting in no time!
Our social media marketing services are cost-effective social media campaigns that provide the building blocks for your online author brand and allow you to expand your reach to a huge, worldwide audience.
We create professsional-standard social media accounts on your behalf and start building your author brand, while gently introducing you into the world of social media. This campaign will give you a period of dedicated social media support from our experienced marketing team. Our aim is to fully involve you in using the accounts we set up for you, so that by the time the campaign has ended you will be confident with using them yourself.
- Creation of a branded, author-specific Facebook page.
- Creation of a branded, author-specific Twitter account.
- Setting up an author profile and book page for you on Goodreads, the most popular book recommendation website.
- Creation of an author-specific Gmail email address (which we use to register your Twitter and Facebook accounts, and then pass over to you for personal use).
- A three-week comprehensive social media campaign that starts when your book or ebook is available.
- One week of daily tweets and two subsequent weeks of ongoing support, and tweeting/posting from author submissions.
- When the campaign has been concluded, all social media accounts established are handed to you so that you can continue to use them.
- A handbook showing how to use your social media accounts, and how to be creative with your ‘posts’, so that you can take over posting and continue to build your online author brand.
The marketing of an ebook is largely something that happens online, as that is where ebooks are bought by readers.
Our ebook marketing services are designed to complement your own online marketing activities. Many online e-marketing activities can be undertaken by authors themselves at virtually no cost; our marketing service is designed to supply you with the information and resource links that you need to give your ebook marketing the edge, while we undertake other e-marketing activities for you that you would find it difficult to gain access to.
So that we can confirm the cost of conversion, we need to see your manuscript. We can then send you a written quotation showing all of the costs involved, and your options for ebook only publication.