A Cheap and Easy Guide to Self-Publishing eBooks by Tom Hua - HTML preview

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Chapter Two

What Do I Gain by Publishing eBooks?

The economics of eBook publishing

The economics of publishing books in electronic form are too good to ignore. Today, you will find very few reference books that are published in a traditional fashion. CD-ROMs are manufactured in amazing numbers allowing families of all income levels access to information.

What are the economics of traditional book publishing?

Here is what a typical self-publisher is up against. In order to get book printing costs down to a bearable level, in other words in the $3 or $4 range, the self-published author will need a first run of books at around 3000 to 5000 copies. The cover art will cost at a minimum of $2500 for the first run. If you work the numbers, the self-published author has to spend at least $12000 in printing costs alone.

This is before the author has sold a solitary book!

After the author has spent the money he owns 3000 copies of the masterpiece. How do the authors sell and deliver their books to the reader?

Most self-publishing marketing books will tell you that in order to sell the book; the author needs favorable reviews. The review process works like this:

The author sends out press releases to book reviewers representing the genre of the book. If the reviewer becomes interested in the press release, the author will receive a request for a "review copy."

The author digs into the stash of books, pulls out a copy, attaches a reviewer or a media kit, and pays for the postage. On a $5 book that may add another $5 in shipping materials as well as postage. Many reviewers will ask you to ship your books by overnight express. The author may find himself spending up to $18 - $25 per reviewer!

One reviewer in Berlin, Germany became very excited over my first book. He requested that I ship a review copy by airfreight, from Phoenix, Arizona in the United States to Berlin, Germany. It cost me around $75 to ship the book and review kit.

Guess what? I never received a review nor heard from the reviewer again!

Experts in the self-publishing field, state that you must send between 300-500 review copies to target genre reviewers before your book has a chance to become a hit. If you send out 500 book copies at a minimum of $10 per book, you have spent another $5000 of your money.

Now you have to market the book. It's your job as the self-published author to get the books into the store, and it is your job to move the books from the store to your customers.

Many  self-publishing  marketing  experts  feel  it  takes  around  $30000  per  title  to effectively market a book.

So here is the rundown of what it costs.

What it costs to print and sell a self-published book $12000 to print and place a cover on your book.

$ 5000 to send books to reviewers $30000 to market each book effectively. $47000 is your total investment.

Out of your initial 3000 run of books you have already given away 500 leaving you with 2500 copies to sell.

Assuming your retail price is $20 per book and you can maintain that retail price for one year, the most you will bring in if you sell every remaining book is: $50000

If you subtract the $47000 you incurred as expenses you will have a net income of only $3000.

Believe me when I tell you that will be the hardest you have ever worked for only $3000. Are these figures realistic? Yes, they are! Ask any self-published author what it cost to print and sell books.

Now let us use an example of creating or publishing an eBook and bringing it to market. We will assume that you will want your own website. It is possible to sell eBooks without one, but lets look at all of the possibilities.

Let's assume that you have a computer and word processing software. You will need that anyway to self-publish your book the traditional way.

What it costs to publish and sell an eBook What does it cost to publish and sell an eBook?

1. Cost of a Website with secure credit card ordering is $1200 per year. I am estimating on the high side here. You can spend less and have an effective website.

2. Cost of an Internet provider is $360 per year.

3. Adobe Acrobat Software is $269 (One time charge)

Create as many eBooks as you want with this software. Check out the Resources on my website and get the best price if you wish.


4. Marketing costs. You can get by using "sweat equity" in other words you don't need to spend anything. (You just saved $30000 Congratulations!) I will explain "Finger Tip Marketing" later on.

5. Cover Graphics. You don't really need any unless you are posting to Amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com.  There  are  people  who  will  charge  $500  or  less  to  create  an attractive eBook cover for you. Let's estimate on the high side of $500. You can use software like Paint Shop Pro or other graphic design software or take a picture, scan it into your computer and use that as your cover art.

6.  Review  Copies.  There  are  eBook  reviewers.  You  send  the  reviewers  e-mail attachments that include copies of your eBook. Your cost to send it is $0. Think of how many reviewers you can service on the Internet. You will be happy to send out a review copies when you are not paying $10 or $20 per reviewer.

7. Once you own your eBook publishing software, the cost to "print" the eBook in digital form as an Adobe Acrobat, ASCII text, or as a Microsoft Word Document is $0.

Your total cost of the eBook production run of 3000 eBooks and your cost of sending these to 500 eBook reviewers including the total marketing costs for one year is $1129. Now that you own the software for your next eBook projects, the total cost for each successive eBook is $860.

If you sell that $20 book for only $10 as an eBook thus giving your reader 50% savings, you will bring in $30000 less $1129 or $28871.

Many on-line eBook sellers are selling eBooks at only a 20% discount compared to the printed and bound versions. If you follow that model you will receive $48000 with out of pocket expense of only $1129.

I am assuming a print run of 3000 eBooks in this example. An eBook is a digital file. If you have orders for 10000000 copies for the year, the cost will still remain at $1129 for the first year!

Do you see why this may be the best time in your life to consider finishing that novel or to begin selling eBooks and booklets on-line?

Now is the best time your eBooks will stand out in a small crowd. In just a few years the situation  may  change.  It  may  actually  become  harder  to  break  into  the  publishing business. Everyone will be in it and your eBooks may become harder to differentiate from your competition. Acting now and acting fast will get you way ahead of the learning curve. It will also guarantee that you will participate in those amazing profits.

On Tuesday, March 14, 2000 Stephen King released his book Riding the Bullet. This short story was only released as an eBook. He released it as a RocketEdition from NuvoMedia, and as Adobe Acrobat digital files from Softlock and as a download to a Palm Pilot formatted and distributed by the Peanut Press. There were over 400000 orders for Stephen's eBook, worldwide in just one day!

400000 orders for a book for an entire year would be fantastic. It cost just as much to produce one copy as it does to print 400000. You have that capability through selling your eBooks off of your own site and off of sites hosted by others.

Once eBooks get into the mainstream of Bookselling, the numbers should really go off the charts!

Are you ready to include yours?

So do you feel good about the prospects? I do. One of my eBooks, How To Hypnotize People  and  Other  Living  Things,  is  outselling  my  first  book,  How  To  Hypnotize Yourself Without Losing Your Mind even though my first book is selling in traditional brick and mortar stores and is on just about every internet bookstore.

Someday  I  may  release  How  to  Hypnotize  People  and  Other  Living  Things  as  a softcover paper bound book, but I am in no hurry. I love the returns from selling eBooks.

Are you ready? Lets go ahead an publish our first eBook and market it over the Internet!

Creating your first eBook

Authors tend to be perfectionists. Once you have completed your work and look at it, you realize that changes could have been made to make a much better product.

That is the best part of creating eBooks. You can publish and sell your first draft, capture the  names  and  addresses  of  your  customers,  publish  a  second  draft,  contact  your customers by e-mail or give them the updated eBook at no cost. (You can always have them subscribe to updates of your eBook files for a fee) You can perfect your eBook and give your e-customers, a wonderful product that grows and expands.

You can market your books or complementary books and products to your customer base. You will develop relationships with your readers. Isn't it ironic that with the mass appeal of the Internet the author can actually hand sell titles to readers anywhere in the world?

The economics of publishing eBooks is too good to ignore. Now is your chance to become a published author. This is the most exciting time in human history.

Right now there is an engineer from Bangalore, India, an architect from Malta, a nurse from Hong  Kong,  a  construction  worker  from Sweden,  an  automobile  worker  from Germany, a homemaker from Salt Lake City, and a school teacher from Italy, who want to read your eBook!

Act now and feed the world with your creativity and mark the world with your brilliance!


Chapter  Two  discussed  statistics  related  to  traditional  book  publishing  and  eBook publishing. The numbers speak for themselves.

In order to guarantee a profit in the book publishing industry, you must create and sell eBooks effectively.

The economics of eBook publishing makes sense. You will save money on production costs.

You  will  realize  a  higher  rate  of  return  with  eBook  publishing  than  standard  book publishing.

You will be able to perfect your eBook by making changes to the text whenever you feel it necessary.