By now you’ve heard the news: the Kindle is Amazon’s biggest selling product, EVER.
With this fact in mind, maybe it isn’t so surprising that Kindle books are outselling both hardcover AND paperback books on the e-retailer’s site these days. Not surprising, but still fairly amazing that in a mere three years since its introduction, Kindle books are outselling all printed books on Amazon. Flat out outselling them.
Beyond the ramifications this has on the publishing world and the social impact it has on how we read, there is one truth emerging that should stoke the fires of writers everywhere: publishing a book is no longer the only way to get distributed worldwide. With eBook distribution available to everyone, getting your digital book on the “shelves” at Amazon.com and other major book retailers is pretty simple… once you have a book written and converted to the proper file format.
The questions no longer revolve around “how to get a book published,” but rather “how to make a Kindle Book,” “how to make an eBook,” and “how to make an ePub”?
Actually, there are two major digital book formats, and the ePub (also EPUB) format is the most widely supported. ePub is the format used by Apple’s iBook readers, the Barnes and Noble Nook, the Kobo eReader, and a host of others. Amazon’s Kindle is the one major eReader that has it’s own format (.azw), though there is speculation that the Kindle will soon support the ePub format as well.
BookBaby makes converting your PDF, Word document, HTML doc, InDesign file, and other digital documents to the ePub and the Kindle Book formats as simple as uploading your file. First, you create a BookBaby account, follow the prompts, and ultimately upload from your hard drive to get your file converted.
Once you have a BookBaby account, there is a small submission fee when you are ready to convert and submit a title. Included in that fee is a free basic ePub (and .azw) conversion from the following native file formats: Word (.doc, .docx), Rich Text (.rtf), Text file (.txt), and HTML (.html).
BookBaby can also convert PDF (.pdf), Quark (.qxd), InDesign (.indd), Pages (.pages), and other common file formats.
There are a number of free ePub conversion software solutions available, but we’ve found that when authors use them and submit their ePub files to BookBaby from these sources, the files almost always fail our retailers’ eBook quality control tests.
Converting your files to ePub and .azw formats is one step in getting eBook distribution. Others include procuring an ISBN number, submitting to the various online retailers, and tracking your sales and payments – all of which come standard with a BookBaby account.