Founder of eBook Prep and ePublishing Works! Nina Paules

- by Dara Girard

Welcome Nina. Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk with us about your companies. (NINC blog special! Nina is offering an eBook Prep all-inclusive package to a random commenter)

Hi Dara!  Thank you for inviting me to the Novelist, Inc. Blog.  I am honored, (and a little nervous), to be here. Being a raving fan-girl of so many of the Novelist Inc. members, it’s (more than) a mite disconcerting to have the attention now pointed this way. (But I’m planning to survive.)

In your bio you mentioned a disabling accident in 2010 which caused you to rewrite your life and form eBook Prep. Could you expand on this?

Happy to.  In January 2010, I tripped over a dog toy (the family and I are volunteer puppy raisers for The Seeing Eye), fell down the steps and landed in the emergency room with a badly (I still shiver with the memory of it) broken ankle.  Two surgeries, 128 days in a wheelchair, 4 months of physical therapy (and a total of 12 months) later, I was left with a permanent limp; the limitations of which ended my HR career as a corporate trainer.

I’d never felt more emotionally lost, or more unable to see (or believe in) the future.

While I was trying to figure out how to make something of the bag of lemons I was holding, Mary Jo Putney asked me if I’d be interested in turning The Burning Point, the first novel in her contemporary series (and one of my favs), into an eBook.  Of course, I said yes.  How hard could it be?

One HUGE learning curve and a month later, eBook Prep was born in March, 2011.  ePublishing Works! quickly followed.  (Who knew so many of the eBook resellers out there weren’t open to individual authors?)

To date, we (and I’m saying we now because there’s more than just me working at eBook Prep and ePW) have created nearly 150 eBooks and the ePublishing Works! catalog is over 100 titles strong.

Not bad for five months.

What are some of the questions authors should ask when selecting a company like eBook Prep (eBP)?

Hmmm  A Top-10 list.  What a great idea.

#10. Do I need a quality copy of the title I want to convert to eBook?

Yes.  Wrinkled, torn, yellowed, water-damaged, marked/highlighted copies scan poorly and produce a high-error rate. Clean, smooth pages are important.

Print quality is equally important.  Here’s a good way to check the print quality of a book.  Grab the book’s spine with your left hand and turn the long edge of the book toward you.  Now, place your right thumb against the pages and fan them.  If the lines of text whizzing past occasionally fade then go bold or waggle left and right like a dog with a crooked hind leg, select another copy; preferably one from a different print run if at all possible.

#9. Will I have the opportunity to update my story before it becomes an ebook?

Absolutely.

#8. Should I take the time to update my story?

That depends.

Voice: Has your Voice changed significantly, such that your current readership wouldn’t ever believe you wrote that earlier piece?  If the honest answer is ‘yes’, it’s a good idea to invest some time; perhaps reworking that purple prose, taming those floating orbs and occasional rods of steal.  The last thing you want is your current readership rolling their eyes. (unless they’re supposed to roll their eyes)

Setting: Here’s a good rule of thumb.  If your book suddenly became a made-for-TV movie, would it be okay that your heroine loved her big hair and your hero’s cell phone was the size of a brick?  (I’ll leave the answers to you.)

#7. What will updating my story get me?

Sales!  The top-selling ePublishing Works! titles are all part of ePW’s Special Author’s Cut Edition imprint.

Readers really like those freshened up “older” stories.

#6. Do I have any input on the cover?

Of course you do! It’s your cover, after all.

#5. Are “hot”/clinch covers in?  Mmmm… yes (and no).

Now that eReader-toting readers no longer need worry about being judged by the cover of the book they’re reading while munching in the lunch room or waiting with the soccer-moms, covers are getting hotter.  Let’s face it, ladies (and gentleman), most of us do like looking at the beautiful and well-made. We just don’t like other people knowing we like looking at the beautiful and well-made.

On the other hand, if your readership is (as one of my clients recently put it) “more of the mid-western type,” heat may get you hosed off those particular eBook shelves.

Bottom line: know your readership.  (more on that later)

#4. Do you charge for cover art?

Yes, if you want a certain piece of art that we don’t have. No, if we have it or something similar (that you approve of), in stock.

#3. Do you re-use cover art?

Not if a client paid for the art.  But, if the piece was pulled from our stock, free-of-charge, we will reuse it on another cover after we’ve mirrored, crop and/or shaded the piece to obtain a different look.

#2. When you send me the .doc file of my book, to make edits if I want to, will the text have errors in it?

Probably.  No scan job is perfect.

However, there’s a reason why we employ the best scanning equipment and OCR software in the industry, and have learned how to get the best possible scan out of it for our clients who like our scan-to-editable .doc service – it’s because we use the system, too.

Then, for our All-Inclusive clients (those who want us to turn their print books into “e”), we put the resulting .doc through a 150-point error check followed by a word-by-word read of the first 30 pages.  If the word-by-word read reveals two errors or less (and it’s usually less), we send the file to you for story changes, any additional corrections, and approval.

But, if you have no plans for story changes or don’t have time to read through the .doc, looking for possible errors, eBook Prep now has two high-quality readers on staff to do a word-by-word read and check against the original copy.

And finally, the #1 question (I’m asked most often)… How soon can you have my eBooks ready?

That depends partly on you (how much time passes between us sending you the .doc and you returning it, approved) and partly on eBook Prep’s production schedule.  As of this writing, we’re running 20 business days out from the time the book is received at our offices and the .doc is sent to you.

Then, (if it’s a multi-book project) you can expect the next .doc 15-20 business days later.

When the .doc is returned approved, we can put your eBook (in the .mobi and .epub formats) in your hands about 10 business days later.

What are three misconceptions people tend to have regarding eBook Prep?

Great question Dara!  Let’s see…

1. That we only work with previously in-print works.  So not true.  That ms you’ve been keeping under-the-bed could be your next best-seller, especially if you have readers clamoring for more new stuff sooner.  (yes, we can start with typed pages as long as there’s little to no marking)

2. That eBook Prep only does fiction .  Nope.  We just completed Law Made Fun Through Harry Potter’s Adventures by Karen Morris, Esq. & Bradley S. Carroll, Esq.  (a very fun way to learn basic Law) and we have two more non-fiction titles in production.

3. The eBooks we make work on Smashwords.  Nope, they don’t.  Smashwords does not accept .epub files created by “other people’s software.” (ours or anybody else’s)  If you want to smash-your-words, get yourself an editable .doc of your book (eBP has a scan-to-editable .doc service), download Smashwords’s style sheet, study it inside-and-out, then prep the document accordingly.

Your sister company ePublishing Works!(ePW) was founded by you and two successful authors. Can you tell us more about this?

Sure! It’s all Laura Resnick’s fault.  :-)  One night, while Laura and I were on the phone together (Laura was very instrumental in helping me through the how-to-make-an-eBook learning curve), she started talking about DRM.  Then she sent me a preview of her article on the topic (which eventually appeared in NINC’s May 2011 issue).  I was so incensed that authors, who wanted to see their eBooks listed with the higher-end eRetailers, were forced to either give up digital protection, or do something crazy like buying $125 ISBNs and starting their own corporations.

I began looking for a way to give them the choice.

Not long after, and with the help of an investing silent partner (who is also an NYT bestselling author) ePublishing Works! was born.

A number of distribution sites for eBooks are popping up and presently the most popular is Smashwords.  Aside from catering exclusively to previously print-published authors are there any other differences you’d like to emphasize?

First, let me say that Smashwords plays an important roll in the ePublishing world.  Smashwords continues to give exposure to many writers who would have been (or have been) spurned by traditional publishing.  I expect SW’s contribution to continue and their catalog to grow.

But a print-published author’s needs are different from un-pubbed author, which is why I built some major differences into ePW.

DRM (Digital Rights Management):  ePW gives their author-members the choice: to choose or not choose DRM protection for their titles.  I believe DRM is the right choice.   A print-published author’s work is valuable (and popular) and thus more-subject-to thievery.  I also believe authors should have the right to choose for themselves.

Reviews: ePW actively seeks reviews for the titles in our catalog.  Here’s the latest one.

Promotion: Come early-September (if not sooner) the ePublishing Works! for Reader’s blog (linked to Facebook and Twitter) will go live.  We’ll conduct interviews with our authors, do other giveaways and have contests.  Our first ePW-R giveaway will be an Amazon Kindle.  ePW has also brought onboard a graduate of The Seattle Film School who is working on some killer book trailers for the site.

Will ePW eventually feature a storefront for readers to buy directly?

Yes. Once we connect with the right DRM provider, all our author-members will be able to direct their readers to ePublishing Works! for Readers, where it is our plan to provide a higher author-share of royalties.

Are there any misconceptions new clients have about ePW?

I’ve seen a number of different ones.  The two most important are on Rights and Sales.

Rights: ePW asks for NON-exclusive world-wide digital rights in English, only.  That means if you want to POD your book or eBook-it in a foreign language, you can.  If another site like Amazon pops up and you want to list your title there, in English, yourself, you can.  The only thing you can’t do is list the version of your eBook that’s encoded with ePW’s ISBN because (as with all ISBNs) the ISBN is the property of the publisher.

Sales: Contrary to popular belief, not all eRetailers sport hour-by-hour sales dashboards like Amazon and B&N.  The rest (where ePW mostly lists) provide data the old fashioned way: monthly, or in most cases, at the end of the quarter for the previous quarter.

As an author and entrepreneur what are your thoughts on the best way an author can survive and thrive in this quickly changing publishing industry?

Great question!  Read John Locke’s book.  You may not like him (I find him creepy).  You may find him manipulative (like I do). You may even question his sales figures. (I could prove you right).  But Locke’s system (based on the tried-and-true axiom of “know your buyer”) is a good one.

Selling anything is hard.  Selling an eBook is getting harder; there are over 2 million of them out there.  The secret (or at least part of the secret) is packing a quality read inside a well-formatted eBook that looks good on every eReader device, every app and every eReader software program. (more on that at the NINC 2011 conference

Anything else you’d like to share?

Well…

No matter how you choose to create and distribute your eBooks, please don’t fall for selling your full-length works for $.99 on Amazon.  Here’s why.

Amazon charges a delivery fee ($.15/mb) against royalties.  The average fee for a 90K word book is about $.09, give or take a penny.  This means on a $.99 sale, you’ll make about $.26, not the $.35 Locke reported in his book.  Of course, given Lock’s sales, (and assuming all 1 mill copies were sold by Amazon) his cut of the royalties still comes out to a cool $256,700.  Not bad for 5 months.

Then again, Amazon made $733,500 off of him in the same 5 months. (assuming all 1-mill copies were sold by Amazon).

Now, if John had priced his titles at $2.99 (which would have put him in Amazon’s 70% royalty category) and sold only 1/2 as many (500,000) copies… he may or may not have become the first best-selling self-pubbed author in 5 months, but his total royalties would have been $1,001,500 (yup, just over 1 million dollars) in the same five months.  Amazon would have made $493,500 — about 67% less.

What’s one final thing you wished our audience knew about either eBP or ePW?

eBook Prep and ePublishing Works! are here for you, and because of you.  Without you, we would not exist.  Which makes our mission a simple one: we handle the details so you can do what you do best – write the great stories that we love.

Give away: One All-Inclusive Package w/Advance cover upgrade (a $265 value) to a a random commenter–so speak up!

58 comments

  1. Dara and Nina, thank you!
    For someone who is considering a step in the e-publishing direction, this post has been extremely helpful.
    I am currently unpublished and unagented, however, my work is winning contests and earning requests.
    So I have set myself a goal for early 2012. I will have at least one of my MS published, one way or another, by August.
    This information about eBP and ePW, will help me prepare for the decisions ahead.
    Many many thanks,
    KcStone

  2. Hi Kc —

    Thank you for the comment. This brave new world of ePublishing is an uncharted one. Getting all the navigation info you can is a good thing.

    Here’s an article by Laura Resnick on DRM. http://www.epublishingworks.com/articles

    DRM is likely to be the next big brouhaha.

    Congrats on your contest wins and requests!

    :-)
    Nina

  3. Hi, Nina, so good to see you here! I spent a couple years attempting to epub my books on my own before you came along, and I simply never had the time to do the kind of job you can do. I’m so glad you grabbed those reins and ran with this idea! I’m looking forward to seeing you at the conference…

  4. Nina! I liked this post – really cleared up a few things for me. I think it’s great that e-pubbing has been not only an opportunity for authors, but also for you. Good luck with the future of ePrep!

  5. Hi, Nina
    GREAT info – thanks so much for sharing with everyone.

    I do have a couple of questions for you: Does eBP only deal with printed copies or will you convert an original work from a Word doc?

    Secondly, readers are telling us that trad pubbed works now are offering titles (including best-sellers) digitally, are selling books riddled with formatting errors and actual word and paragraph ‘vanishings’. What are these publishers doing wrong? (other than not hiring you! )

    Thanks again for the blog. (I’m still struggling over the DMR question for my ‘e’s. I’m off to read Laura’s article now!)

    Flo Fitzpatrick

  6. Hi Nina,

    Just wanted to stop by and say that I’ve been working with Nina on getting some of my backlist ready to go. I’ve been very impressed with the work I’ve seen from Nina so far. Unfortunately, the hold-up getting my stuff up is…me. Want to edit and finding time is a killer…

  7. Nina–

    My long career in publishing has been largely driven by lucky accidents. Asking you to proof and format the bad scans I’d had done for my Circle of Friends trilogy (scans which had been sitting on my hard drive for six months because I was too busy to do anything with them)–was one of the luckiest accidents of all. Talk about a win/win situation!

    More books coming your way soon…

  8. I love it that so many options are available to authors now and that truly professional services are emerging. Kudos to you, too, for turning a life-altering event into something good for yourself and for authors.

  9. Great blog, Nina–and many thanks for the great work that you do. I can testify that your turnaround time is super fast and the quality of your product, as well as your people skills, are top shelf. Congrats on all your successes, and a high five to Mary Jo and Laura for their contributions as well.

  10. Great blog, Nina. And I loved reading how you got started with Ebook Prep and ePW. I will also personally testify that both services are excellent. :) Here’s to continued success for both programs.

  11. Thanks so much for this information, Nina. i loved the breakdown on the Amazon sales. I’ve been trying to figure out how to price OF NOBLE BIRTH and decided on $2.99. Now I’m glad. Can’t wait to get my next book up!

    Brenda

  12. Hi Flo – Thanks for commenting.

    eBook Prep is happy to work from a .doc file. Here’s a link to all the particulars. http://www.ebookprep.com/our_services/doc_to_finished_ebook In the early days (as Mary Jo points out) we accepted scans created by other companies. But the QC was too hard to control. Now we only accept a scan if it has been thoroughly cleaned by the author. Producing a high quality ebook is very important to us.

    As to why trad pubbed works are riddled with formatting errors… formatting for “e” is vastly different from formatting for print. eReader devices vary greatly in how they handle formatting and thus how the book appears to the reader. A good eBook coder codes with all the eReaders in mind. Are you coming to the NINC conference in October? I wrote an article for the NINC 2011 conference binder on this very topic. If you can’t make it to the conference, the binder will be available on line post-conference for members.

    Enjoy Laura’s DRM article. Well written. And it makes you think.

    :-)
    Nina

  13. Hi Geralyn!

    Thanks for stoping by and thanks for the plug!

    Keep at the editing. I can’t wait to seeing your beautiful Kim Killion covers out there.

    :-)
    Nina

  14. Nina, this might just be superstition on my part, but it seems like a writer can’t get ANY better e producer than another writer…you already know what matters most!

    I suppose it’s possible that Smashwords and Amazon have writers on board as well, but somebody who loves the craft like you do can provide a lot more personal touch. Just looking at how you explained things here shows how much simpler you make the whole process. :)

  15. Hi Pat!

    The NINC conference is going to be awesome!

    I understand you’re doing a Night Owl e-Book Promotions Roundtable. If I could, I’d be a little mouse in your pocket.

    :-)
    Nina

  16. Hi Leslie –

    Thank you! And thank you for commenting.

    eBooking is one wild ride. I’m loving every minute of it

    :-)
    Nina

  17. What great information! Thanks, Nina. I’ll read it a few more times to let my brain absorb it all, but I have a few questions. I know you are discussing two different programs, one prep and one publishing, but is the prep done for a fee or set of fees, and the publishing done on a royalty basis? It sounds like they are stand-alone programs—can an author use one without the other? Thanks again for the information!

    Marianna

  18. Dearest Mary Jo… what can I say… except… send ‘em on down!

    Big Hugs.
    Nina

  19. Hi Nina! The last e-mail I had before bed was from you, and now here you are on NINC the first thing in the morning… Can I say once again that you are AWESOME??

    Thank goodness I didn’t have time to do anything with my 13 book backlist until eBook Prep existed. You take the confusion out of a confusing process for me, and I’m grateful. The results are beautiful! AND you put me together with Kim Killion, who has designed my gorgeous covers!

    Maybe best of all, I trust you completely. :-)

    Can you tell us a bit more about the places ePublishing Works! lists titles?

  20. Thanks for the candid information! There’s a lot to think about when putting your backlist (or frontlist) out there.

    Hi, Geralyn! I can totally relate to the time lag being the author. I can no longer let an old book go out without me editing and updating it. (waterbeds, anyone???)

    Tina Wainscott/Jaime Rush

  21. Nina, great to “see” you on the NINC blog. My husband Gordon (aka Victoria Gordon) and I have both worked with Nina, and we think she walks on water (Gordo and I live on an Island so my mind tends to go in that direction) :)

    I’d recommend Nina’s services to *anyone* without one single qualm.

    And if I should win her all-inclusive package, I’ll write a novella. Yes, I will. That’s exactly what I’ll do. You heard it here first, LOL.

  22. Nina, I think you have more fans than a lot of published authors! LOL And rightfully so.

    I really enjoyed working with you and was thrilled when my first-ever-effort at getting something prepped for epubbing came back as a clean scan in WORD. That gave me the chance to hack/slash and update to my heart’s content. And now that book is alive again. Another huge thrill.

    More to come your way from this happy writer.

    Thanks for being on the NINC blog. I’ve learned so much.

  23. Nina,

    Thanks for this excellent and informative session — you answered my questions and then some!

    Wishing you the very best with your epub company,
    Sophia Knightly

  24. Hi Laura!

    Thank you for the compliment. I couldn’t have done it without the author community.

    Options are what make the world go round in ePublishing, along with affordable professional services. (readers tend to like nicely formatted ebooks)

    :-)
    Nina

    Laura Phillips says:
    August 10th, 2011 at 11:10 am

    I love it that so many options are available to authors now and that truly professional services are emerging. Kudos to you, too, for turning a life-altering event into something good for yourself and for authors.

  25. Laurie Schnebly Campbell says: “… a writer can’t get ANY better e producer than another writer…you already know what matters most!”

    You are awesome Laurie! I wouldn’t be a writer if it wasn’t for you and Sherrie Holmes. Thank you for sandbagging me into the Romance word. :-)

  26. Cynthia Wright says: “Can you tell us a bit more about the places ePublishing Works! lists titles?”

    ePublishing Works! lists on Sony, iBooks, KOBO, Amazon, B&N and 50+ more through CoreSource/Ingram for readers living outside the US.

    Authors can Pick-n-Choose or go Full Service.

    http://www.epublishingworks.com/epw_for_authors/royalty_distribution_programs

    And thank you, Cindy, for the wonderful complements. I love your Kim Killion covers.

    :-)
    Nina

  27. Hi Deni!

    Thanks for stopping by. You and Gordo are like the awesome-est, ever.

    How’s Hallie’s Comet doing? (I had so much fun with that cover.)

    Here’s to hoping Deni wins and writes that novella.

    :-)

  28. Thanks so much for this informative blog! I’ve just decided to self-publish, and the thing that’s bothered me most is not whether I can produce a quality manuscript (that’s on my shoulders) but how to tackle the project efficiently. You’ve opened my eyes to one pitfall (the $.99 download), so I feel a step ahead already!

  29. Marianna Jameson asks: “I know you are discussing two different programs, one prep and one publishing, but is the prep done for a fee or set of fees, and the publishing done on a royalty basis? It sounds like they are stand-alone programs—can an author use one without the other? ”

    Hi Marianna –

    You got it right.

    eBook Prep and ePublishing Works! are stand-alone companies. An author can become part of one, the other, or both.

    eBook Prep prepares eBooks (and soon eBook trailers and Author websites, too) for a set fee. Our most popular package is the All-Inclusive with an Advance cover upgrade, which is what one lucky commenter will win. ($265 value) Here’s a link to more about eBook Prep’s services: http://www.ebookprep.com/our_services

    ePublishing Works! is strictly royalty based. No fees involved . ePW only makes money when the author makes money. Print-published authors coming in with a technically sound .epub file are welcome. Here’s more info: http://www.epublishingworks.com/epw_for_authors/ebook_file_requirements

    :-)
    Nina

  30. Hi All –

    Since I’m here, I though I’d make an announcement. (I hope that’s OK, Dara)

    Hot off the Presses: eBook Prep has decided to launch Author Website Design and eBook Teaser/Trailer services in mid-September.

    Which means…

    eBook Prep is now looking for a few good guinea pigs (on the website side) who will, of course, get very special pricing.

    The websites will be the kind that, once complete, the author can take over and manage, or have eBook Prep do it. Totally up to them.

    Anybody know anybody who would like/needs an author website complete with moving graphics?

    Send replies (or interested parties) to npaules@ebookprep.com

    Announcement end (for now :-) )

    ePublishing Works! for Readers, ePW’s new promotion arm will be launching early October.

    Thanks everyone!

    :-)
    Nina

  31. Hi Nina! Lots of fun to find you here. I feel really blessed to have found you and your awesome services. Three books almost up, and more to come! I can really vouch for both the professionalism, and the personal touch that has made this process manageable for me. I wish you the best of luck as you continue to grow, and fill an important role in this wild industry. Rock on!

  32. Great stuff, Nina. I’ve asked you a zillion questions, but there is new material here that I didn’t know. I think we’re all at sea here about how to deal with our backlist, and this chat is enormously helpful in answering so many of those questions.

    I’m curious about what the promotion arm will look like, since we all wonder about that as well.

    Thanks for being so generous about sharing!

  33. Hi Nina,

    Sorry I’m late to the party. Great to see you blogging on Ninc. It’s been great working with you on one project–and there’s another set of books coming your way. Thanks for sharing your experience on e-publishing.

  34. Hi Nina – Loved the interview! If you’re schedule isn’t totally filled it will be – you have so many great services to offer. I’m glad I went with you – the books look beautiful and the covers have been so much fun. I saw my son-in-law’s cover and was blown away. How wonderful for all of us to be in on the beginning (well, close to the beginning) of the e-book revolution. Thanks, again, for being there when I need you. Susan, waving the flag

  35. Thanks for the informative interview. I think most authors are considering the self-pub, e-book route at this point, and the more information out there, the better.

  36. Hi Nina!

    Nina saved my sanity { and that of my author master} by scanning my entire Harlequin romance backlist when I had not a single one in electronic form — so that now all 20 are available on Kindle, where an entirely new audience awaits. Some are even selling!

    Which makes my master Gordo happy, amenable, generous, easy to deal with — just like Nina, who rocks!

    We may re-do covers yet, darling Nina, but I daren’t risk allowing too much involvement between you and my master. He’s still breathing hard from your last encounter!

  37. Kate Flora asks: “I’m curious about what the promotion arm will look like, since we all wonder about that as well.”

    Hi Kate! Thanks for stopping by.

    The primary goal of ePublishing Works! for
    Readers (promotional arm) is to: 1) to promote our authors and 2) increase eBook sales.

    ePublishing Works! for Readers will have three main elements:

    1) A Reader Blog (Our opening giveaway will be an Amazon Kindle, with perhaps a Sony sponsored Sony Reader soon to follow)

    2) A Facebook Fan Page (where fans can view our book covers and book trailers, enter for free copies of the latest additions to our catalog and connect back to the reader blog)

    3) Twitter Account

    (And when we connect with the right (affordable) DRM provider to house our catalog, we’ll launch an eStore as well.)

    Here’s a close approximation of what the ePW for Readers website will look like: http://www.towfiqi.com/template/wordpress/?wptheme=Angelia
    Where you see images, think book covers with excerpts and buying links behind them.

    Book Trailers: As part of the ePublishing Works! for Readers launch process, we’ve connected with an honors graduate from The Seattle Film School. Tina has worked for Paramount, Adobe and has directed and produced her own commercials. An amazing all-around talent, Tina is already hard at work on trailers for our four “guinea pig” authors. Once complete, these trailers will be loaded onto YouTube et al, along with the ePW for Readers Facebook Fan Page and the ePW for Readers website.

    We are delighted to have Tina working out of our New Freedom, PA offices.

    There’s more at: http://www.epublishingworks.com/epw_for_authors/active_ebook_promotion

    :-)
    Nina, off to finish Kate’s An Educated Death ebooks.

  38. Nina, I am bookmarking this blog. The information is priceless. I was flummoxed by the process…. ever since Thanksgiving last year, when I got my rights back from Dorchester owing to the fact that they only had mass market paper rights, and were leaving the mass market paper business.

    You are exactly what I need to get my backlist into e-book form. Also, now you have mentioned that one can edit and update a work, I may very well consider removing some semi-gratuitous sex and doing a “Maidens’ cut” version!

  39. Hi All –

    Just to keep you in the loop… answers to Kate’s and Marianna’s questions are hanging out, awaiting moderation. I’m sure Dara will get to them approved, shortly.

    :-)
    Nina

  40. Hi Rowena —

    Good to see you here. That’s the joy of eBooking. Authors have complete control of The Work.

    Your books have arrived and are off to the “chop shop” for spine removal. Then is onto the scanner, et al.

    :-)
    Nina

  41. Working with Nina has been a joy (and, yes!, I will get my proofs done soon).

    Nina, is there a newsletter or announcements we can opt in to receive? Hard to keep up with all the great new developments.

  42. Fantastic, Nina. Having read some more of your excellent answers to others, I am pleased to see that an author can choose where to have her e-books, and where to avoid.

    I’m seriously considering not making my books available on Amazon Kindle, but you offer so many other venues that I really don’t feel that I’d be cutting off my nose to spite my face.
    Or would I be?

    It’s such a relief that you are scanning my books. I had so many formatting disasters when I tried to reformat one of them from a .doc by myself that I was totally discouraged.

  43. Tricia Adams asked: “is there a newsletter or announcements we can opt in to receive?”

    Hi Tricia –

    You’re right. It’s hard to keep up with all the changes. An eBook Prep newsletter is next after the ePublishing Works! for Readers launch.

    :-)
    Nina, looking forward to finishing Tricia’s ebooks.

  44. Rowena Cherry says: “I’m seriously considering not making my books available on Amazon Kindle, but you offer so many other venues that I really don’t feel that I’d be cutting off my nose to spite my face.
    Or would I be?”

    Well, as far as I know, Amazon is the only eRetailer that offers DRM for .mobi (aka Kindle) ebooks. Further, Amazon is one of the very few eRetailers that sells ebooks in the .mobi format. So, by not listing on Amazon, all your Kindle owners would mostly be left in the dark.

    Overall, Amazon is a good eReatiler. Despite their continual strong-arming tactics, Amazon is the only eRetailer that requires publishers to prove they have the rights/permission to list an author’s titles.

  45. Victoria! Dearest lady. What a delight, seeing your name among the commenters. Do give sweet Gordo my thanks and please accept my apologies for the breathing difficulties. A fair trade for his sanity, perhaps? I promise a more staid behavior should your covers need redone.

    ;-) Nina

  46. Hi, Nina. So glad to hear you say pretty much the same thing I’ve been saying about DRM. I get so frustrated when I hear authors say they shouldn’t bother with it, because it can be stripped. My argument has always been that we set a precedent when we don’t even try to protect our work. Copyright can be violated, too. Does that mean we shouldn’t bother trying? Silliness…

    Anyone can steal. I’m still going to lock my car to make it a little more difficult.

    Thanks for all you do.

    ~Deb

  47. Thank you, Nina! Your info was valuable. I especially appreciated the part about not pricing one’s opus 99 cents.

    As a reader, DRM sometimes frustrates me. If I paid for something, I feel I should have the freedom to use it in different devices, etc.

  48. Thanks for all the terrific information. I need to read this all again at least two more times to take it all in!

  49. Hi Nina! In a nutshell, you saved my life. Just when I thought I couldn’t waste any more time or energy or patience trying to figure out how to get my backlist into ebook format, a friend referred me to you. Within 2 days my problem was solved. I was able to go back to my current projects while my backlist rested safely in your hands. I couldn’t have made a better decision! The end result: 3 test-the-waters ebooks, each topped off with a breathtaking cover from Kim @ Hot Damn Designs.

    You made what had seemed like a daunting, endlessly complicated task surprisingly easy. So far the 3 ebooks have been well-received. I couldn’t be happier. Not only *would* I recommend you to anyone an everyone, I HAVE, many times! :)

    ~ Reb

  50. Hi Rebecca!

    Thanks for stopping by. And thank you for your wonderful comments. You’re books are doing very well. And soon, even better. Thanks for being one of our ePW for Readers guineas.

    :-)
    Nina

  51. Deb! Glad to see you here.

    I agree with you on DRM. Once Amazon stops warring with Apple, and Apple with the rest of the industry, I think DRM will be next hot topic. And like the music industry, I’m thinking it’ll all come down on the DRM side, especially if Amazon has anything to do with it. After all, DRM benefits the eReatilers as much as the author.

    :-)
    Nina

  52. Question:

    Anybody have the power to approve a message stuck in moderation?

    My answers to Kate’s and Marianne’s questions both seem to be stuck.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

    :-)
    Nina

  53. This sure is a lot of information to digest, so I’m sure I’ll be reading this article more than once! In this ever-evolving world, do you think the importance/power of print vs ebooks will ever flip, meaning that the standard will be books coming out in electronic form first and then print instead of the current process?

  54. Margay asks: “…do you think the importance/power of print vs ebooks will ever flip, meaning that the standard will be books coming out in electronic form first and then print instead of the current process?”

    Hi Margay — Thanks for stopping by.

    If I’d come upon your question last week, I would have said: There’s an excellent chance we’ll see “e” released before print. As a matter of fact, some smaller presses are already doing exactly that.

    But, then I read this: All Eyes on Amazon Publishing ( http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/48259-all-eyes-on-amazon-publishing.html ) If I’m reading this article correctly, Amazon is getting into Traditional PRINT publishing. Why, boggles the mind.

    Thoughts, anyone?

    :-)
    Nina

  55. And the winner of the all-inclusive package is….Kate Flora. Congratulations Kate!

    And thanks to everyone who gave Nina such a warm welcome.

  56. Congratulations Kate! Shoot me an email when you can and let’s talk.

    Dara — Thank you for this wonderful opportunity. I have had an absolute blast.

    To any and all of my commenters — Thank you for making this so much fun. I’ll be checking back here, now and then. But if you have a question that needs an answer, shoot me an email. I’d be glad to help.

    To those heading to the NINC Conference in October…. see you there!

    :-)
    Nina

  57. Do you turn off EDC?
    Also, how much of a problem is “the Kindle Swindle” as described here
    http://blog.bookmarket.com/2010/05/amazon-kindle-swindle-authors-people.html

  58. Hi Rowena –

    Are you are referring to EDC (electronic data capture) in the non-clinical sense? If so, this is the very reason why eBook Prep refuses to produce ebooks in the PDF format. It is simply too easy for a pirate to run a PDF’ed ebook through OCR (optical character recognition) software, slap his/her name on it and make the book his/her own. And the software to do it is super cheep.

    The Kindle Swindle Blogmarket post — I have no doubt that authors have been swindled. There’s thousands (and thousands) of DRM free ebooks out there, all waiting to be pinched by someone and then uploaded as their own.

    Here’s my experience with Amazon: When ePublishing Works! uploads an author’s title to Amazon (with the author’s permission gained via a signed ePW author-member agreement) I receive, within 24 hours, an email from Amazon telling me that they already have a title by “that” author (in my case the cited title is a print tile). In order for Amazon to release my listing into their store, I have to send Amazon a copy of the author-member’s signed agreement. Amazon does this EVERY time. Given the number of titles ePW lists, the process is a royal pain in the butt. But, I happily comply because Amazon is working to protect authors’ rights.

    On the flip side — There’s nothing to keep a pirate from OCR’ing a PDF or DRM-free ebook, coding the resulting text for KDP, giving the book a slightly different title, then uploading it under their own name. There’s no way Amazon can police such behavior.

    The best solution: choose DRM. DRM isn’t a guarantee against piracy. But a locked house is still harder to break into.

    Here’s a great article by Laura Resnick on DRM: http://www.epublishingworks.com/articles

    Hope this helps.

    :-)
    Nina