Friday, 3 January 2014

Effective ebook cover design

Designed by The Electronic Book Company 
When buying an ebook, the cover image is the first thing a prospective reader will see of your title. This is true whether the person is browsing online for an ebook or whether they are browsing for books in a traditional high street bookshop. An eye-catching and well-designed book cover will create an initial interest and make the prospective buyer want to open the book to discover more.

If you are designing a cover image for an ebook, it is very important to bear in mind that in digital retailers like Amazon’s Kindle Bookstore, the image of the ebook's cover on the product page is displayed small. The ebook cover is in effect, an over-sized thumbnail image. With this in mind, the ebook’s title and the author’s name must be displayed as prominently as possible.

For exactly the same reason, the cover imagery used should be distinctive and not intricate or over-fussy. The cover image should also impart a strong indication of what is contained within the cover; the book's genre, topic, setting and mood.

Get all these elements right and you are well on the way to designing a cover that will make your ebook stand-out from the crowd.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Authors: Make the most of your KDP Select promotion days

Amazon's KDP Select program allows authors to reap benefits, such as earning a share of a monthly fund when readers borrow their ebooks from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library and a promotional opportunity to offer their ebooks free to readers for up to five days every 90 days. 

These freebie days are a great way to get your books noticed, and they could result in a sales spike and some valuable reviews.

Let's say you've enrolled your book into KDP Select, and today is one of your chosen promotion days. This is an ideal opportunity to remind all your friends, family and other contacts that they can download the book for free.

It's certain that they’ll appreciate a chance to read your book for free, so this is a good time to ask them if they could return the favour by writing a short review after they’ve finished reading it. Although reviews don’t necessarily guarantee sales, books with few or no reviews rarely get purchased.

As long as someone has an Amazon account and has bought something 
on any Amazon website – not necessarily a book - it’s possible for customers to write reviews on So when you ask people to write a review, make sure they do it on Why? Because reviews written on will be read by between 10 -20 times more people than reviews on smaller sites such as

No Kindle, no problem

What if your contacts say, “I can’t download your book, because I don’t own a Kindle?” Easy,  tell them that Amazon offer free software for their computers which allows them to download and read ebooks without the need to buy a Kindle. All they have to do is visit Google and search for “Kindle for PC" or “Kindle for Mac” (in quotes) and they’ll find the free download page. They also have apps that allow people to read Kindle books on iPads, Android devices, Blackberrys and iPhones. 

Finally, if you have a Facebook page or Twitter account, don't forget to announce your freebie book to all your friends and followers.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Should ebook publishers use Digital Rights Management?

DRM (Digital Rights Management) is a way to protect ebooks – and other media – from being copied by the end user. Some people think DRM is curse and others, a blessing. The anti DRM brigade thinks that by applying copy protection, authors are implying that their readers are all potential thieves. Whereas the pro DRM fans insist that it’s a legitimate form of protection.

DRM: For or against?
I can appreciate both sides of the argument, and although I'm generally an advocate of DRM protection, I can understand that it's not everyone's cup of Darjeeling. Publishing ebooks without DRM clearly has its upsides, but if authors want to use this admittedly imperfect method of copying protection, it should be their prerogative. And by opting for DRM, authors are no more treating readers as potential thieves than a storekeeper would be by locking his shop at night. But if there are some sensitive souls out there who are repulsed by the actions of the nasty storekeeper, they can always elect to shop elsewhere.

A non DRM book could be a very useful promotional tool for some authors.

For instance, If an author had a number of books and decided to have one published without DRM protection, he or she could throw it to the pirates (who would no doubt relish not having to squander valuable micro-seconds stripping out the DRM coding) and stand back watch as tens of thousands of copies are downloaded from the illegal torrent sites across the web. This would be, in effect, a kind of un-time limited and anarchic version of Amazon's KDP Select promo program. By sacrificing just one book to the Long John Silvers of the e-publishing world, the author might stimulate an interest in his or her other ebooks. So it could turn out be an effective marketing tool. My only concern would be that are those who download ebooks from pirate websites the kind of folk who would consider paying actual cash for a book?

Thursday, 9 February 2012

The best fonts to use when formatting eBooks...

Keep it simple
It's amazing how often we see submitted manuscripts from would-be authors that contain a plethora of exotic fonts. In theory, it is possible to format and convert an eBook using virtually any style of font. However, experienced eBook publishers know that theory doesn't always match reality when it comes to converting an eBook.

When book manuscripts containing unusual fonts are converted into the various electronic publishing formats, many of the less well-known fonts are not recognized by the conversion software and end up being displayed as weird symbols, squiggles or even solid black blocks.

The best way to ensure a smooth conversion is to use mainstream fonts such as Times New Roman, Arial and Garamond. Our particular font of choice is good old Times New Roman. This classic typeface is also the choice of many traditional book publishers.

Right, now that we've decided on the style font to use, it's time to consider what size of font is most suitable when formatting eBooks. 

This is fairly simple, for the main body text,  sizes 11 -12 fonts are most commonly accepted as the norm. The book's title and chapter headings are best kept reasonably small because on compact hand-held devices, over-large lettering tends to fill up the small screen and look overpowering. For this reason we recommend that you should not use a font size larger than 18.

TOP TIP: Click HERE to see the Amazon 'Look Inside' sample of one our enhanced ebooks. The sample will give you a great idea of how you can maximize sales through creative presentation of your book. A well-presented interior sample will help convince prospective readers to make a purchase!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Kindle is 2011 bestseller...

It has just been announced that for the second year in a row, Amazon's iconic Kindle has become the biggest selling product of the year on News that the popular ebook reader has once again topped Amazon's annual bestseller list, has hardly come as a surprise to most industry insiders.
Christopher North, who is managing director of Ltd. said: "Millions of customers are enjoying Kindle, and sales of Kindle ebooks in the 3 months following the launch of the new Kindle ereader were nearly 5 times higher than the same period last year."
In other news, the UK's first book festival dedicated to the digital format, the Kidwell-e Festival (Kidwelly ebook Festival) is planned for August  2012 and will be only the second ebook festival anywhere in the world. 

Visit: We can prepare, format and publish your book for just £170.  

Friday, 23 December 2011

Now You Can Download The Queen's Christmas Message On Your Kindle...

Amazon have announced that Kindle users will be able to download an ebook version of this year's Queen's Christmas  the first time.

The company also announced that they are offering all 59 of the Queen's Christmas messages which date back to the start of her reign in 1952, for Kindle owners to download from today.

Kindle users will be able to download the transcript of the 2011 Christmas broadcast from the Kindle Store immediately after it airs on Christmas Day.

Gordon Willoughby, who is director of Kindle Europe said: "Millions of people across the UK, and the world, wait with anticipation to hear the Queen's Christmas speech and we are delighted to be able to make transcripts of her annual address, past and present, available to download for free in under 60 seconds." 

He added: “Many people will be unwrapping Kindles on Christmas Day and now Kindle owners, new and old, can read the Queen’s words for years to come.”


Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Wall Street Journal to List ebook Sales...

UK ebook publishers - News Update

USA Today and The New York Times already include e-sales in their weekly lists. Now, The Wall Street Journal has announced an agreement with Nielsen BookScan to publish best-seller listings which are to include both print books and ebook sales.

Nielsen has been providing the journal with lists based wholly on hardcover and paperbacks sales since 2009. In a joint announcement, Neilson and The Wall Street Journal said that four new charts will be making their debut this weekend. There will be combined ebook and print sales for fiction and non-fiction, and ebook sales only for fiction and non-fiction titles. Books that will be eligible for listing include self-published books, children's literature and older works that are year in, year out sellers.

It will be the first time that Nielsen has compiled listings for digital book sales. Amazon - Kindle, Apple, Barnes & Noble and Google Books are among the major ebook retailers participating in the scheme.

Jonathan Stolper, vice president of Nielsen BookScan, said in a statement: "As consumers and booksellers continue to embrace the potential of ebooks, we are happy to be working with The Wall Street Journal to produce the most accurate bestseller charts available," He continued: "The new charts uniquely reflect what people are really buying and reading and will definitely advance the industry's understanding of ebook bestsellers."

The ebook publishing industry and the general public will have to wait a while before seeing actual ebook sales figures under the new chart system. Initially the lists will only feature ebook rankings and not the amount of copies sold.