- why not just get a cheap conversion?
There are plenty of low-cost ebook conversion services and even free conversion tools out there. Many of these
claim to simply take your pdf book and in a few clicks transform it into an epub file. But the truth is while
many of these tools will convert your book to the right format, the result is not an ebook you would be willing to sell.
For plain text the results are often not too bad. But introduce anything slightly more complex like special fonts,
images, callouts, captions, footnotes, numbering or an index and the ebook it produces can look a disaster.
Ebooks are very different to printed books and if you want to ensure your ebook works as well as possible on
the widest range of devices then you need a person involved in the process to adapt styling and features and
ensure they really work.
- will this look different to my print book?
It is important to appreciate that ebooks are very different to printed books. Please see
what is an ebook for full details. When designing
your ebook we may need adapt the styles to ensure things work properly as reflowable content on the widest range of devices.
These will be different to your printed book. The heading fonts used for your print-book may not be licensed
for embedding into an ebook and will be replaced with a similar free-font instead. The main body font shown will
then be determined by the reader of the book from those offered on their e-ink or digital device.
If your print book has page design features like a colored background, watermark or header text, these will not
be included in a reflowable ebook where there are no pages. The html in ebooks also does not enable text to be
wrapped around images or in columns so it will instead be rearranged to flow continuously in a single column.
Tables also have issues as html so these are captured from the print version and included as images.
keeping things together
You may have specified things on your book pages that you wanted to 'keep together' such as text introducing a list,
table rows, images with their captions etc. This is much trickier in ebooks since the reader can change the font
size so forcing items together can cause unsightly gaps to appear on the preceding pages.
Some ereaders are color, and some are in black and white. The most popular e-ink Kindle devices only use black
text and images. This means that any elements of your printed book that were in color will now appear in grayscale instead.
If you have a contents page in your printed book, there is no need for this in the ebook. In an ebook, the contents
is integrated in the ebook software itself so readers can access this inbuilt navigation from their menu at any time,
rather than needing to turn to a specific page.
Tables in your ebook will look exactly the same as those in your print book as they are captured as images.
This is mainly because reflowable html tables can display different behaviour depending on the device they
are being reviewed on so placing a table as an image is far more reliable.
You want your ebook to work on the widest range of devices. This means it's important not to adjust things to work
for a specific device or viewing setup.
- how much will my job be?
Even though books to be converted can range significantly in their complexity, the vast majority of ebook conversions
we produce are quoted at standard price.
$1.36 USD per printed page to be converted.
$280 USD minimum fee applies to every job.
Only if the print book were unusually complex would the price for conversion to ebook format be higher.
This may be because the book contains a large number of links, cross-references or an index or it includes an
unusually large number of images that need processing. In cases like these the per page pricing is likely to
increase to around $1.92 USD per printed page to be converted.
- can you create an ebook without a pdf?
In order to create an ebook we would typically start by converting the PDF produced for your print. If you do not
have a print book then it is possible for us to start work from your MS Word file instead but we will need to do
some work to prepare it first. This work absolutely does not need to be as comprehensive as it would be for a
print book, but we will at least need to ensure all the key elements of the book are identified, the structure
is clear and any styling has been chosen. Please speak to us for further details and pricing.
- what about my ebook cover?
The first page of your ebook will be an elastic cover image. Here we take the front cover image from your
print book and style it so it expands to fit the screen appropriately on any small ereader device. If we have created
your print book cover then we will have the cover file in the format required. If your cover was created elsewhere
please provide it as a pdf and we will crop and include this accordingly.
The back cover is not typically included in an ebook file. Marketing information such as the book synopsis or
author bio should instead be included as metadata when the book is submitted for distribution.
- what happens to my index?
There are no pages in an ebook, content just flows to fill the screen. The content on p39 of one person’s ereader
may therefore be entirely different to someone else’s. It will all depend on how big their screen is and how big
they’ve set the font, spacing, and margins. As a result referencing a specific page in an index like you would
in a print book just makes no sense.
The index in an ebook therefore needs to be adapted and done differently. Entries will be changed from page numbers
to 1, 2 to indicate that word or topic’s 1st and 2nd instance. Readers can then click these hyperlinked numbers
to navigate to the correct position in the book, then click the reference from within the body of the book to
navigate back to the index again.
- what about equations?
The answer for this is very different depending on whether the equations included in your book are display equations
or inlines. Just ask our designers to assess your file. They can quickly determine whether any rework is required
to prepare your book for conversion to ebook format.
These will be fine in the ebook version. Your ebook designer will simply insert each of these as an image between
paragraphs and they will look exactly as they do in the print-book version.
If your ebook contains lots of little equations and within paragraphs of text, this is going to cause a problem.
Ebooks are reflowable which means readers can change font, size. Tiny equations inserted as images will therefore
end up peppered among text all out of alignment. As a result, the book file will need to be reworked first and
inlines either re-entered as plain text or turned into display equations instead.
- how can I review my ebook?
You cannot just double-click an epub file and try to review it in your browser. Not only are these filetypes
not supported by most browsers but your readers won't be reading your ebook on their desktop computer so it is
just not representative of their experience.
The best way to review your ebook and see how it will look on a range of devices is to use Amazon's Kindle Previewer
software which is free to download and is a great way to see your ebook as it will look on a tablet, a phone or a
Kindle device. See this page for tips on how to
review your ebook.
- what if I need changes?
Your ebook is a conversion of your print book. Any changes required will typically fall into one of these categories.
Before requesting styling changes it is important to appreciate that your book styling will need to be adapted
when converted to ebook. Please see how different will
this look to my print book for further details. If you still require styling updates please explain these
as clearly as possible.
When requesting edits it is important to consider if these will also apply to your print book. If so, simply mark
the edits on your print-book pdf and we will update both files to keep the two in-synch. Our standard changes fees
from $48 USD will apply to each file.
When your book is converted to ebook format every single piece of text, list, heading, table, link and image is
tagged and converted to html. The rest is carefully checked, adjusted, styled by one of our technicians and quality
checked. However, it is still possible for an error to creep in such as an incorrect break, odd symbol or missed heading.
So if you spot something please just send us include an image of the issue—either as a screen capture or photo—and we
will investigate for you.
- can I get a file for Smashwords?
Smashwords offer a large, popular platform for the distribution of novels. Their in-house ebook converter was
established as a quick and easy way to convert tagged Word documents into epub files. It is clever for simple
text conversions but for anything with a more complex structure the results can be terrible. Many of our customers
come to us because they are horrified by the complaints they receive about their book from readers and they are
looking to have the conversion done professionally.
Fortunately, Smashwords now accept properly prepared epub files for distribution as well. Our service will prepare
a proper epub file which is standards compliant so it will be accepted by Smashwords and other online stores,
as well as being a pleasure to read on any e-reader device.
- what about ebook security?
If you read ebooks, you've probably heard the term DRM or digital rights management. DRM exists to control access
to copyrighted materials by preventing users from illegally copying and using software and data. It effectively
locks your ebook file so that only the person who purchased it can view it.
The ebooks we produce do not contain DRM as, in our experience, adding it can cause problems. It is intended as
an anti-piracy deterrent but can cause issues for legitimate readers such as preventing them from reading the
book on multiple devices. If you wish to add DRM then most retailers will offer the option of adding either
Amazon, Adobe or Apple DRM when uploading your files.
- how do I upload my ebook for sale?
Once complete we return your final ebook files ready for distribution. If you are using our ebook publishing service
services we submit this file for distribution for you.
If you are using an alternative distributor or handling your own ebook distribution then you will need to do this in
your own account. Upload the epub file to the retailer together with the cover image file which will then be displayed
for your ebook.
All ebook files are verified to the latest epub standards. However, individual ebook retailers will occasionally
update their checking standards without prior notification. Should your ebook file show any errors when uploaded,
please just contact us with details and include a screenshot of the issue.
Tip: When completing your author, title and keyword tags in your metadata do take care to make this match between
the print and ebook version if you want the retailer to show them in a combined listing.
- what are your terms?
We do not have a written contract for you to sign. Instead we ask that you have read this questions answered
section and accept our general terms and conditions
which we have tried to make short and readable.