A Better Way to Sell e-Books at
by Stephanie Chandler
Since Amazon.com acquired
Mobipocket in April 2005, the online bookseller has made some dramatic changes
to its e-book strategy. Publishers and authors are no longer required to set up
an account with Lightning Source to list e-books, and the e-book version of a
title is no longer listed with its print version.
In fact, Amazon no longer indexes
e-books on its site at all. When you browse Amazon?s book categories and click
on ?e-books,? you are directed to a link that takes you out of Amazon.com and
to Mobipocket.com. The reality is that e-books are now sold directly through
that Amazon subsidiary.
A debate is in progress on blogs
across cyberspace about this strategy, since many consumers prefer the old
method of purchasing e-books directly from Amazon. But unless Amazon decides to
change its strategy again, publishers and authors must follow the new policy to
list their e-books for sale.
To manage the process of approving
e-book publishers, Amazon asks publishers to send an email to <span
with the following information:
publishing company do you represent? (If you are the author, please enter
?author? and the name of the publishing company you work with)
list the ISBNs of the books you are considering making available as eBooks:
titles listed, do you own the digital rights (rights to sell books in a digital
format ) ?
Several days after receipt of this
information, Amazon sends an email with further instructions for registering a
publisher account with Mobipocket.
Take a Simple Shortcut
But you can jump ahead in the
process by following these steps:
1. Register your publisher
2. Review and sign the publisher
3. Fax the agreement back to
Mobipocket in France at 33 148 25 90 07. According to the digital rights staff
at Amazon, this is the only method available for returning signed agreements
(they won?t accept agreements via email). Following receipt of your signed
agreement, Mobipocket will send you an email with an account login and
4. While you wait for your login
information, you can convert your e-books to Mobipocket format. Download the
free conversion software at www.mobipocket.com/en/DownloadSoft/ProductDetailsCreator.asp?edition=Publisher.
The program can convert MS Word,
text, or PDF documents. Be sure to examine your newly created e-book with
Mobipocket?s preview tool, since the formatting does not always convert
correctly. You may need to make some adjustments to text spacing or font sizes.
5. As soon as you receive your
login information for your publisher account, you can manage your publisher
account at www.mobipocket.com/ebookbase/en/homepage/Logon.asp<span
This is where you will upload your
e-book and set your desired retail price. Keep in mind that Mobipocket retains
50 percent of the retail price as its royalty payment. You will also give up
another 10 percent of the price if you allow affiliate sales.
6. Once you have set your price
and verified that the e-book looks good, you must activate the file to make the
e-book available to buyers at Mobipocket.com and through its network of
partners. (If you want to remove your e-book from Mobipocket?s catalog at some
point, you can deselect the ?activate? option.)
Although many of us would like the
ability to submit e-books in PDF format, as well as see e-book titles listed
with their print counterparts on Amazon, for now we can only hope that Amazon
modifies its process in the near future.
In the meantime, the Mobipocket
publisher account costs nothing to implement, and the listing process, though
tedious, is relatively easy to complete. Perhaps with Mobipocket?s network of
partners, the extra effort will be worthwhile when it comes time to receive
royalty payments for our e-book sales.
style=’font-size:11.0pt’>Stephanie Chandler is the author of <span
class=8StoneSans>From Entrepreneur to
Infopreneur: Make Money with Books, eBooks and Information Products
(Wiley, December 2006). Visit her Web site at www.BusinessInfoGuide.com<span
style=’font-size:11.0pt’> to learn more about her business expertise and to
access hundreds of resources for entrepreneurs.