My eBook logo small

 

Author Resources
Free software, eBooks and other cool stuff

Self-Publishing Infographic

Frequently Asked Questions - All FAQs

Please select your question category

You would be surprised how many authors assume we are a traditional publisher. Many authors call us expecting that we will cover all their costs AND make them famous. Wondering why the traditional publishers businesses are suffering. Just saying.

  • We are not a traditional publisher (repeated for effect.)

  • We empower authors via the self-publishing process.

  • We offer authors professional publishing services, we charge accordingly.

 

Please view our services pricing page here.

For authors still on the hunt for that elusive publishing deal with a traditional publisher, we wish you the best of luck. (We mean that, well sort of.) Have a look at this list of publishers found on the Publishers Association of South Africa's website. Begin the cold calling process.

 

 

Most of our authors we will never meet us face to face. Is that strange? Possibly. Does it mean we are still trustworthy? Absolutely. Most of our business is conducted online via a mixture of phone calls and email.

For those authors who are worried about paying money to a business without first shaking hands, I offer the following friendly word:

 

You should have at least a completed draft of your manuscript. Have it ready in a common format such as:

  1. Microsoft Word (This is our favorite.)
  2. Adobe InDesign,
  3. PDF (This will cost a little more and take a bit longer to convert to eBook formats.)

Please note that we cannot accept manuscipt that are hand-written. (If you cannot afford the cost of Microsoft Word, look at our resources section for a few suggestions of free word-processors.)

We also cannot accept any manuscripts written in software that cannot export to a common format such as Word or PDF.

We prefer to have the manuscript as a single file. Please avoid sending us seperate files for each chapter of your book. This makes us grumpy and will result in extra charges to cover the coffee needed.

 

  1. We will only start after receiving a minimum of a 50% deposit of the total amout quoted. 

  2. For payments less than ZAR 3000 we insist on receiving full-payment upfront. We hate chasing authors for small amounts of money.

  3. We are happy to structure payment plans to help you plan around your budget. Let us know what payment plan would suite you? Note that the work will not get started until you have reached a total of 50% of the quoted amount.

Obliviously, all work carried out will remain the property of MYeBook until the final payment has been made.

 

 Please do not message us over Whatsapp if you want to be taken seriously! Save Whatsapp for cute messages to loved-ones.

Here is are the best ways to get hold of us, in order of preference:

  1. Email Us

  2. Call Us (082 624 3138)

  3. Skype Us (henderson_za)

 

As mentioned we prefer working over emails. However if you are in the Cape Town area you are more than welcome to pop in for a coffee. Please note that a face to face meeting will only happen after you have accepted our quote for your services. The main reason for this is that most authors simply want to meet as a validation of their writing. As soon as the costs are discussed they mysteriously disappear :(

 

As much as we would love to meet every author that contacts us - This would mean somewhere up to 10 authors each day!

This means that most of the time our communication will be conducted with emails and phone callls. For authors who might be in the Cape Town region, we would love to meet with you ONCE you have been quoted and are happy to move forward :)

Many first time authors lack the confidence and are hoping for validation of their writing. We will help you no matter how bad your writing might be. We do not believe in turning serious authors away. We might just recommend that we give your manuscript a thorough edit before we release it for sale!

Some authors are under the illusion that we should run a charity and will not be heard from as soon as a quote is delivered to your inbox. For these reasons we insist that our quote is accepted first before meeting.

 

We accept the following forms of payment:

  1. EFT (Our bank details are found at the bottom of  all our quotes.)

  2. Cheque -These will take 7 days to clear. Please also include and additional ZAR 100 per cheque paid, due to the associated bank fees.

  3. International Wire Transfers/ Swift transfers - Please include an extra ZAR 350 per SWIFT payment due to associated bank fees.

  4. Paypal - This will add 10% to the original quoted amount to cater for fees from Paypal.

 

We currently work out of Cape Town, South Africa.

However we primarily do our publishing work online. This means it does not matter if you are an author living in Cape Town or Cairo, we can give you the same awesome service!

As a simple rule messages, emails or phone calls outside of reasonable business hours will not be answered until the following working day. We are available during standard business hours.You would be surprised how many authors call or message us late at night. Don't be that author.

 

If at all possible we prefer receiving your manuscript in Microsoft Word format.

Second prize would be receiving your manuscript in Adobe InDesign format. (This is the software that most publishers use to assemble and create books.)

Can we create an eBook directly from a PDF file? Most of the time, yes. However it will take us longer and cost more to extract all the text and images from the PDF

 

Yes! We can help you create a print ready interior and cover :)

Once we have helped you create print-ready cover and interior PDF files you then have two options to print and distribute:

  1. You can then take both the cover and interior PDF files to a local printer AND

  2. We can help you reach the world with your paperback by publishing you on the Amazon owned Createspace platform. This is known as print on demand model.

If published on Createspace your paperback will also be available on the Amazon store. This means potentially that readers will have a choice of either buying your eBook or paperback directly from Amazon. The reader pays for both the printing of your paperback AND the shipping! This means that the author can sell printed books without paying a cent. Read more on publishing a print on demand paperback here.

 

No, for various reasons we prefer not to get involved in the production and distribution of audiobooks. We recommend you speak to AudioShelf.co.za if you are looking for professional  voice-over artists and distribution at great rates.

 

Absolutely. If you are technically-minded and don't mind getting your hands dirty you are welcome to create your own eBook. Obviously if the eBook has been poorly-constructed then we will recommend that we help you to fix the mistakes.

 

Hell yeah! Find us on all the popular networks, here are our favorite:

 

Of Course! We love partnering with like-minded brands.

Have a gander through our adverting options on our advertising page here.

 

Yes you can. We are always looking for friendly and ambitious partners. Please email us your details including a portfolio of work that we can look through. 

Remember that we need team-players who are excited about giving the best service to our authors :)

 

Yes, please get hold of us and give us the specifics of your event. Find out more about our founder - David Henderson - by visiting his website: www.TheDavidHenderson.com

 

An eBook is a digitised version of a book.

You can read an eBook from most tablets, smartphones and eReader-specific devices such as an iPAD or Kindle device. An eBook will shape itself to fit any screen. Whether you read an eBook from an iPhone, iPAD or a Mac it will always look perfect.

PDFs are not eBooks! The reflowable nature of an eBook layout is why PDF files are not considered to be eBooks. A PDF might read great on a computer however will look terrible on the screen of your smartphone.

eBooks come in two main flavours used and accepted world-wide:

  1. MOBI - This version of your eBook will only be used on the Amazon store and devices.

  2. EPUB - This version of your eBook will be used everywhere else like in the Apple iBookstore and Apple devices like the iPad.

 

Their are improved versions of the ePUB and MOBI formats each with their own advantages and disadvantages:

  • Enhanced ePUBs: These are eBooks that incorporate video and/ or sound.

  • Fixed Layout eBooks: These are eBooks that are able to retain their print layout.

 

 

 

 

Question Time.

First Question: As an author, how many readers can you reach with printed books alone? Asked differently, how much money could you make focusing on print alone?

Second Question: Are you afraid of being powerless when negotiating with a publisher? Worried they will keep most of the royalties leaving you with a meager 15%? (You should be worried...this is the norm.)

Third Question: Are you on a tight budget when it comes to the production, publishing and marketing costs of your book?

 

Creating and publishing an eBook is a fast process. In fact, in the time it takes you to read this, you could already have your bright and shiny new eBook. (Almost!)

Going digital mean that you can be published in weeks rather than months. It also means you spend less money! Creating an eBook and publishing digitally means that you are in full control of the process. No more waiting on a publisher to stick to a deadline, you control the deadline .

Instead on always paying to have new books printed, you only pay once. This means that after recovering your costs, your returns are unlimited. Royalty payments from online stores like Amazon can be easily monitored online and are updated hourly. This mean no more querying a publisher on your book sales (or royalty payments!). There is now no longer a risk of printing too many books as you will ever only need one eBook.

So - Why would you not want to create an eBook?

Still not convinced?

If your manuscript is text only then yes.

If your manuscript is image-heavy or it has style elements such as tables, graphs and lists then no.

eBooks work best with a manuscript that is mostly text. This does not mean that non-fiction authors are being excluded from the digital Utopia, it just means that you need to educate yourself as to what is and is not possible when creating an eBook.

Here are a few things that whilst applicable to print, have fallen in the digital trash can.  These items are not relevant in an eBook:

  • Headers and footers have disappeared.

  • Fancy fonts will not work. Rather use more common fonts such as Times New Roman, Arial or Garramond.

  • Footnotes will need to be specially treated and hyperlinked.

  • Images in fancy (floating) positions will need to be left/ right or center justified.

  • Images also need to appear above or below text, no wrapping of text around images.

  • Page numbers will not be shown. This means no references of page-numbers in your text. It also means indexes are not possible.

  • Page borders and full-page backgrounds are not easily possible.

 

For more formatting heavy book such as a children's book we would recommend creating what is known as a fixed layout eBook. Creating a fixed layout eBook means that the eBook will closely resemble the printed version however it will only work on newer reading devices. This means you are limiting potential readers.

 

There are a number of eBook retailers where you could publish your eBooks. These include:

 

There are also eBook distribution platforms for authors who are looking for a single platform to reach into almost every eBook store. These eBook distribution platforms will not get you into Amazon (despite what they might say.)

  1. Smashwords

  2. Draft 2 Digital.

 

So many stores, where should I publish!?

I would normally advise a new author to just stick with selling their eBook through the Amazon KDP store. This covers 66% of the world-wide eBook market. There are also other benefits to making your eBook exclusive to Amazon.

When the author is ready to upgrade to the next level I would go direct to the Amazon and Kobo stores. At the same time I would publish my eBook into the hard to reach stores using either Smashwords or D2D. (Obviously this means you cannot promise digital exclusivity to Amazon.)

 

You can receive eBook royalties via the following methods:

  1.     Posted cheques -The default method for many eBook stores. (This is obviously not a viable solution for many African authors.)

  2.     Payoneer (An online service that works with Amazon only. Similar to Paypal.)

  3.     Paypal (Will not work with Amazon however great for Smashwords and Draft 2 Digital)

 

Read more on receiving eBook royalty payments here.

Wondering about Amazon's royalty structure?

 

If you do not have an eReader device simply use the free PC software available from our resources section to read eBooks directly from your computer!

Want to know more about opening and reviewing your eBook?

 

No. An eBook is a one way experience and cannot accept input from a reader. No capturing notes etc.  The latest eBook technology is capable of playing sound and video however this is as good as it gets.

As soon as an author is looking for an eBook to accept detailed reader-feedback you cross the line away from eBook technology and into app development. This means much higher costs to create. It also means you will not be able to publish into the eBook stores as they only accept traditional eBook formats.

We recommend that authors looking to ask for reader input rather hyperlink to important notes, graphs or resources. Store the fancy things on a website and just reference (link) them within the text. This means that the reader can access the material directly from their (internet-enabled) tablet device.

 

We cover the topic of ISBNs in detail in this blog post.

 

DRM or Digital Rights Management is a technology used to limit copying of your eBook by forcing people to have relevant credentials before they are allowed to open the eBook.

Authors publishing their eBook on Amazon have the option to enable DRM when publishing their eBook. If selected, people who pay for and download the eBook will need to first logon to their Amazon account through their Amazon eBook reading device before they are able to read your book.

There are several drawbacks of "protecting" your work via DRM:

  • Readers will not be able to open the eBook on another non-Amazon device even though it is very plausible why they might want to do this.

  • DRM can be broken fairly easily using freely available software.

  • Most authors agree that it is not worth the hassle. Most online eBook retailers are getting rid of the DRM option for authors.

 

The best way to combat piracy is by making sure your book:

  1. Is priced fairly.

  2. Is available on the world's leading retailers.

 

 We normally recommend that our authors do not implement DRM.

 

Kindles and iPads can be purchased from most electronic stores around the country.
Incredible Connection for example has a great selection of devices.

An ePDF is a PDF document that has been optimized for web delivery. This means that all external hyperlinks point to the relevant resources and all internal links also point to the correct location. This includes linking items like the Table of Contents, Chapter level bookmarks and any other internal links present in the print ready PDF.

Here is a checklist of the work carried out in a typical PDF to ePDF conversion.

  • Trim and crop: All pages trimmed to the final printed size with no registration/crop marks.   

  • Page Numbering: All pages numbered in order.   

  • Bookmarks: Chapter level bookmarks.   

  • TOC: Table of content linking in the front matter.   

  • Cross reference links: Linking the internal reference such as chapter, figure, table etc.   

  • URL links: Linking all website links in the PDF.   

  • Embed fonts: All fonts must be embedded. 
      
  • Remove security settings: Acrobat security settings must be removed.   

  • Image color: Save all color images as RGB.   

  • Images optimized for web delivery.  
     
  • Insert cover pages.    

  • Adding the Document properties and initial view of the PDF.