Friday, August 19, 2011

Experiment in Self-Producing eBook Files for Kindle and ePub

One of the recurring bits of advice I have picked up time after time from successful fiction authors who have made the decision to self-publish is the importance of having more than one book in print. If readers buy one of your books and like it, they will want to buy another. Having multiple titles available fills the reader's desire to purchase more of your work. It is an important step in the path to profitability for an author.

I write non-fiction and while I have many ideas for full length books of over 150 pages, it takes a good bit of effort mentally to crank one of those out. I have even more ideas for short books. Many of these ideas for "books" will contain information of value to the readers who buy my books but will not contain enough content to create a book worth printing due to the short length.

These "books" are good candidates for short ebooks though. Inexpensive, short but with information of value. Of course, even paying the $39 for the CreateSpace Pro Plan and the $69 Kindle conversion fee, it takes quite a few sales at .99 a copy to break even. Then there is the fact the conversion is for a Kindle version only and not ePub, limiting sales to just the Amazon Kindle and not including sales for the Barnes and Noble Nook.

While my Kindle sales have been good, I have sold a grand total of 8 Nook books at the time of the writing of this post. Still, every little bit counts and it all adds up over time.

Some of my Kindle books have sold hundreds of copies and long ago paid back the cost of the conversion of the files. Other titles are still slowly working towards earning back the limited investment in the conversion process.

So, once again I am reconsidering converting these short titles myself. I plunked down a grand $2.99 for a Kindle book titled Stand Out! How to Create Professional ePub and Kindle Files...in 30 minutes or less! by e.e. pub. 

At times I am probably one of the people P.T. Barnum referred to when he said "there's a sucker born every minute." Still, I read the short book in about 30 minutes. For once, I actually understood what the author was talking about. If this process actually works, I will have not one, but two files. One for the Nook and one for the Kindle. Even better, the only investment I will have in each book is my time.

If the little short ebook sells well, great! If it doesn't sell well, the only investment lost is my time. Hopefully the few dollars I spent on yet another do-it-yourself ebook conversion book was worth the money.

I have a short book I can probably finish in a week or so. It has no photographs or diagrams like many of my longer books. Just text. 

If the finished product looks fine on my Kindle, I will be happy to let the readers of this blog know the procedures described in Stand Out! How to Create Professional ePub and Kindle Files...in 30 minutes or less! are as easy to follow as the author claims.