E-books Are Here to Stay

By Ramon Rocha

“Portability, accessibility, discoverability, impulse purchase.” That’s how one industry expert described why he loves e-books.

E-books are here to stay. While sales of electronic books among US Christian publishers are currently at 20 percent of their total sales, this percentage is expected to increase steadily in coming years. Currently, most digital sales are from fiction.

Sales of e-books among US Christian publishers are currently at 20% of their total sales, and expected to increase steadily.
Sales of e-books among US Christian publishers are currently at 20% of their total sales and expected to increase steadily.

The rest of the world will follow suit. So, global Christian publisher, have you converted your book pdf files into digital? Are you selling e-books at the moment? If not yet, when?

Consider these two options to turn your backlist into digital files: convert your old files yourself or contract a third party digital conversion company.

If you have the time and the energy to do your own conversion, preferably your bestsellers first, sell through Amazon.com or Smashwords to sell at iBookstore, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and other e-retailers.

If you would rather spend your time on marketing and can pay a professional digital conversion company, I suggest you compare the rates of these companies:

Flipside – c/o Ms. Honeylein Peralta, who is based in Manila, Philippines

Or get quotes from several other digital file conversion companies, using Writers’ & Artists’ Self-Publishing Comparison service. Better yet, find a local company that does conversion for price comparison.

For authors doing self-publishing, I’ve read good reviews of CreateSpace, an Amazon company.  CreateSpace offers reasonably priced services on design, editing, marketing, print-on-demand and distribution worldwide.  And good news! Publishers can now upload and sell books to customers in the Kindle Store worldwide with ebooks in 33 languages other than English. If your language is not on the list yet, hopefully it will be soon.

For your current and future titles, make sure you have the latest page layout software that can create book files both for print and digital. InDesign CC is the leading brand, but other options are available. Using the latest available software will help you avoid incurring future conversion costs.

To publishers who have already converted their book files, how did you do it? Any tips you can share with others who are yet to go digital?

Ramon Rocha is director of publisher development at MAI.

Photo above courtesy of Freedigital photos, by adamr.

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