With the rise of the e-reader, it is now possible to carry hundreds or even thousands of books all packed in a device that is smaller than the size of one book. This fact, combined with the relatively low price of digital books ($9.99 or less for many Kindle titles) is making the digital book even more appealing than paper books for many readers.
Authors are taking notice, and a flurry of digital books (or “eBooks”) have been published in the last few years. It is not uncommon for a first-time author to release their book in digital-only form. Many used to do this by simply publishing the content as a .pdf file on their own and selling it as downloadable content from their website. Some still do this today.
But as the Amazon Kindle grew to dominate the e-reader market, authors could see that having a Kindle version of their eBook book available for sale was necessary to compete in the larger marketplace. (The Kindle reader could not read regular .pdf’s.) The self-publisher could easily make use of Amazon’s “Kindle Direct Publishing” or KDP interface, a dashboard allowing users to publish as many titles to the Kindle store on Amazon as they wished, and all for free.
Publishing a Kindle Book
To publish via the Amazon KDP interface, one needs a finished manuscript, a JPG cover image, a concise book description and pricing info. The preferred format for upload for the manuscript is Microsoft Word, but it also does a pretty good job with converting .pdf files into a readable Kindle format.
As for pricing, Amazon grants a hefty 70% royalty to authors on all titles priced between $2.99 and $9.99. This is presumably because they have found this price range to be most desirable to buyers, and they can all but guarantee that the Kindle version will be priced lower than the print version, making the Kindle option very appealing to buyers.
Pricing a Digital Book
For books priced either below $2.99 or above $9.99, the royalty drops to 30%, so it’s clear that it’s in the author’s best interest to go for the 70% royalty option. Because of this, a great number of Kindle books, even newly released, are priced at $9.99.
Digital book printing also allows authors to play around with the length and format of books. With free and simple digital printing, they can publish without the financial and time risk that traditional book publishing has entailed. Some authors choose to publish shorter books or “reports” and price them for 99 cents. Some authors even make their titles free, as a marketing tool.
Of course, if you publish a .pdf and sell it yourself via your own website, whatever you charge for the book will be pure profit for you. However, unless you’re already very well known, your website likely won’t have the marketing klout of the juggernaut that is Amazon.
Digital book printing is definitely the way of the future, and because of it, anyone can try their hand at publishing. It’s been said that “everyone has a book in them.” With digital book printing, it’s now easier than ever to give your books the chance for an audience.
This article was written by Alessandra Macaluso. Alessandra is an Author, Blogger, Writer and DIY addict who loves to share lifestyle tips and recipes on her personal blog.