ebook conversion service
Additional Services, Cost, Design, Page Layout, Reading, Self Publishing

Understanding the Difference Between eBooks vs. PDFs

Ever since their rise to popularity in the early 2010s, eBooks have dramatically changed the way we read, share and enjoy our favorite books. In 2018, e-book sales accounted for roughly a quarter of global book sales, further cementing their place in the growing market of readers.

While printed book sales continue to rise in 2018 and beyond, eBooks still play an important role in the marketing strategies of many self-published and indie authors. eBooks represent a nearly unlimited resource for authors, requiring no investment beyond the initial conversion cost. In other words, your eBook sales will always perfectly match your demand.

ebook conversion service

But what is an eBook, and what makes it different than a PDF?

A PDF (Portable Document Format) is a common file type that can be easily downloaded, shared and read across a wide range of computers and monitors. Most documents can be converted into PDFs using standard text editing programs, such as Word or InDesign.

However, PDFs lack many of the quality-of-life features of your standard eBook file. The two most common file types for eBooks are Mobi and ePub. Mobi files are required by Kindle and Amazon devices. ePub files are accepted by most other online booksellers, including Google Play and Barnes & Noble.

Both Mobi and ePub files are specifically designed to be read on an e-reader or tablet. As such, they’re equipped with some convenient features, including:

1. Linking

eBook files are an HTML-based format, meaning they may contain links within the text. This allows readers to quickly navigate between sections of the book, from the index to relevant pages, or out to separate websites. This is especially handy for textbooks and guides, which may contain reference notes.

2. Reflowable Text

eBooks text will “reflow” depending on the viewing window. This allows eBooks to be conveniently read on multiple devices and sizes, including tablets, phones and computers.

3. Pagination

With reflowable text, the total page count of your book will increase or decrease depending on the window size of your device. Publishers handle this differently; some embed pages to match the print or PDF version, and some leave them out entirely. As such, some eBooks will not display a page number and will instead allow users to jump directly to chapters using the Table of Contents.

In some instances, however, you will not want your page count to change, as in the case of some academic books with chapter or section citations. In these cases, PDFs are often the preferred format as they will lock in your total page count.

online ebook conversion

4. Accessibility

For impaired readers, eBooks give users the ability to modify the appearance of the content on their device, making them much more accessible than a PDF. Features, such as font style and font size, can be easily modified on the fly to meet the reader’s needs.

5. Zoom In/Out

Unlike PDFs, eBook files do not have a zoom in/out tool. Instead, users can customize the font size of their books using their device, and the text will automatically reflow to fill their screen.

6. Advanced Features

In addition to the above features, eBooks can incorporate many advance features, including:

  • Video — embed a video that your reader can watch.
  • Audio — enhance your message by including audio recordings in your content
  • Gallery — your readers can swipe through an entire collection of images with captions instead of navigating through pages to find them.
  • Read-aloud — make certain words, sentences, or paragraphs of an ebook read aloud to the reader. This can be useful when reading to children.
  • Multi-column Layout — add visual appeal to your content with multiple columns.
  • Pop-over — this feature enables the readers to access another window that contains additional information, data, or another image to give more context about the selected image with just a tap.
  • Scrolling Sidebar — insert relevant information and topics into a scrolling sidebar so readers can view additional or explanatory material without ever leaving the page.
  • Interactive Image — incorporate callouts and pan-and-zoom features to your images.
  • Reviews — let the readers review their knowledge using different types of tests such as multiple choice, select correct image, label the image, or a mix of all three. Authors can include up to six possible answers to each question.
  • 3D Images — instead of just seeing flat images on your ebook, your readers can interact with 3D objects by touch.
  • Keynote Presentations — browse presentations with custom animations right inside your ebook. This feature includes controls for slide navigation as well as optional auto-play presentations.

how to make an ebook

What’s the difference between a “classic” and “fixed-layout” eBook?

A classic ePub or Mobi file has flowable text so it can be read on any device using the reader’s preference for font size and styles. There are no official pages because the  text flows into each device differently, much like a web page. With this kind of eBook, the reader has more control over the reader experience. The classic-layout is less expensive than the fixed layout because less attention is paid to the look of the pages.

A classic ebook layout is ideal if:

  • Your book is mostly text (such as a novel)
  • Your book uses only small images that are embedded between paragraphs

A fixed-layout ebook does not reflow

because each page is locked in place, much like in the pages of a printed book. This type of eBook is ideal when pages rely heavily on images or formatting, such as with children’s books, cookbooks or books with detailed layouts. The reader has less control over his/her reading experience other than the ability to zoom in/out. Fixed-layout eBooks are more expensive than classic eBooks because they require extra attention during the conversion process to maintain the design.

A fixed-layout eBook is ideal if:

  • You want to preserve the look of your pages
  • You want your book to have a horizontal orientation
  • You want multi-column text pages

Learn more about our eBook conversion service to find out how to get an eBook copy of your book.

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Additional Services, Marketing, Self Publishing, Social Media

How to Sell Your Self-Published Book Online in 6 Steps

In 2018, the debate is pretty much over; online sales are a key component of any self-published author’s book marketing campaign.

But for authors, who often prefer to be between the pages of a book than on the internet, it can be daunting for someone with little technical experience to break into the sphere of digital marketing. Fortunately, the internet’s ongoing shift towards user-friendliness has given authors more tools than ever to market and sell their book online.

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Even if you have little to no technical experience, these six steps can go a long way to increasing your online book sales.

1. Have a website

Convenience is king. In the increasingly saturated online marketplace, customers need a quick way to browse and purchase your book.

A website acts as a “home” for your book. It’s the place where all of your marketing efforts eventually lead back to. Ideally you’ll want a website with a checkout cart that will allow customers to order your books online. By reducing that number of steps needed to buy your book, you significantly reduce the chance that a customer might distract him/herself from making a purchase.

sales tools sell your book online

Creating, hosting and maintaining a website can often be an expensive endeavor. However, a growing trend in online marketing is to utilize a template website service, which will create and host your website for you.

Looking to service independent authors, we at Gorham Printing recently relaunched our Sales Tools service. Sales Tools supplies authors with a one-page, customizable web store where customers can browse, share and buy their books.

2. Write some blog articles

Imagine this: your book is finally finished. You’ve spent months, maybe years, writing, editing and perfecting it. Then someone comes in and tells you that you have more writing to do.

Blogs keep the conversation about your book going long after its publication. They are a great way to promote upcoming events, such as book signings and speaking events.

Write blogs to inspire discussion among your readers. Write an article about your writing process or a character’s intentions, and let your followers carry the discussion from there.

3. Host an online launch party

Launch parties are a great way to kick off your book release with some momentum. But what if I told you that you could have hundreds of attendees without any of them having to leave their houses?

Online launch parties make it convenient for readers to participate in your release. Often times these launches are paired with giveaways that incentive users to like, comment and share your content. Many authors choose to give away signed copies of their book.

how to sell your self-published book online in 2018

4. Start a newsletter

The quickest way to a customer’s heart is email. A newsletter starts by asking your readers for their email in exchange for relevant and interesting content. Prepare a content calendar following the release of your book with interesting blog articles, event invitations and anything else your readers might find interesting.

5. Create a social media business page for your book

Social media is no place to be shy. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are finely tuned to make sharing content quick and easy.

Beyond just sharing content on your personal profiles, consider creating a business account page for your book or publishing group. This will allow you to gain followers specific to your book without diluting its content with your personal information.

6. Contact popular bloggers for reviews

You don’t have to do all that sharing on your own. There are scores of book review bloggers and websites that are hungry for new content.

Start by looking for local reviewers, who would jump at the chance to feature an up-and-coming local author. From there, expand your search to include bigger bloggers. Even a 140-character mention from a popular reviewer can skyrocket your popularity.

While these online marketing strategies can’t guarantee a successful release, by increasing your online presence you can continue to stay relevant on the minds of your readers long after your books’ release.

About Us, Additional Services, Community, Marketing, Self Publishing

Store, Sell and Ship Your Books with Gorham Printing’s New Sales Tools

We are thrilled to announce our brand-new Sales Tools program!

It is not uncommon for our customers to ask, “How can I sell my books online?” We now have an answer that doesn’t involve major online book retailers.

Booksite with Buy Button

Sales Tools connects you directly to online shoppers with your very own Booksite. Your Booksite is a web page hosted on gorhamprinting.com that includes an image of your book cover, a book summary, reader reviews, your author photo and bio, social media links, and the all-powerful Buy Button. All you need to do is supply those pieces and we take care of the technical work.

Quality Book Printing + Safe Storage

When you enroll in Sales Tools Booksite + Store & Ship, you tell us the number of books from your print order you’d like sent to the fulfilment warehouse owned and operated by Major Goods, right here in Centralia. Major Goods stores your books in their climate-controlled facility, waiting for orders to be placed on your Booksite by your future readers.

Order Fulfillment

When your customer clicks the Buy Button and enters credit card information, Major Goods receives a notification. They pick, pack and ship your book to the address entered. Your customer pays the shipping & handling with their order, and the rest of their payment goes directly to you via PayPal.

Sales Tools

Really?!

Really! You paid us when we printed your books, so we’re not going to charge you every time a customer wants to order your book, too. We charge you once to enroll in the program and set up your web page ($170) and again every year if you’d like to continue ($60). PayPal does have a small service fee for each purchase, but the rest of the funds go right to you. It really is that simple.

You’ve Got Options

Like so many other facets of our approach to book design and printing, we can tailor our program to meet your needs. Prefer to store your books and fill your orders from home or your local post office? For $120 we’ll set up your Booksite and you receive the notification when your customer places an order.

Already have a website? You can work directly with Major Goods to integrate their sales platform (that magical Buy Button!) into your web content, then tell us how many of the books we print you’d like to store in their warehouse.

Special Offer!

Enroll in our Sales Tools program before September 30, 2017, and receive fifteen months of service instead of just twelve with your first payment. Learn more today!

About Us, Additional Services, Book Printing Cost, Cost, Self Publishing

eBook Options at Gorham Printing

Did you know that we not only produce printed books of exceptional quality, but eBook files as well? Read on to learn more about Gorham Printing’s eBook services!

Files & Pricing

The two eBook files types are EPUB and MOBI. The MOBI is the file that runs exclusively on the Amazon Kindle and can be sold on Amazon. The EPUB can run on all other tablets and e-readers and can be sold through online venues such as Barnes & Noble.

Our eBook pricing is a simple formula based on the final page count of your print file. For $1.70 per page plus a $70 flat fee, we will submit your print file to our preferred conversion company to be set up in both EPUB and MOBI file types.

Note that in some cases, particularly for children’s books, only EPUB “fixed layout” output is possible. Despite the single file type output, these conversions can often be more complex and result in a higher cost than anticipated. If we learn your conversion cost will be higher than the price our formula calculates, we will notify you as soon as possible so you can decide if you’d like to proceed.

What’s the Process?

When you submit an order with an eBook included, your eBook conversion will not begin until you approve your proofs for the final production of your print books. When we receive your signed approval for the print books, we will submit your print file for conversion within several business days. We will learn the firm price for conversion at this time, and be in touch if the conversion service reports any unexpected prices or foresees any problems with your book’s ability to become an eBook.

The conversion process takes two to three weeks from the date we submit your file to the conversion service. Once we receive your EPUB and MOBI files from the conversion service, we send them right to you.

Where can I sell my eBook?

Once you have eBook files, you can set them up for sale on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), Barnes & Noble Nook Press, or through a personal website.

A note on how to price your eBook: Amazon will give you a 70% royalty if you price your book between $2.99 and $9.99. If you price your book outside these parameters, you’ll get a 35% royalty. Barnes & Noble’s royalty is always 65%.

You can add an eBook to your order in our Quote Generator.

As always, the friendly staff at Gorham Printing is here to take your call and answer any questions you might have.