Have you just written a book and would like to make it an ebook, publishing it and selling it in the main stores? Or maybe you have your own website and would like to get the ebook for different devices? You are in the right place: I can create and publish the ebook according to your needs.
The different formats of an ebook
It is important to know how to untangle the different formats and devices. So let's clarify where to start in order to publish your ebook and sell it in the main online stores.
KPF and MOBI
They are Amazon's proprietary formats, created for the Kindle device. MOBI allows a more complex programming, but has been abandoned in favor of KPF, which allows a leaner and simpler liquid layout ebook creation process. To date, the KPF format is essential for publishing ebooks on Kindle.
It is an open format that can be read with any third party reader (but not with the Kindle). It is managed by the W3C, the consortium that aims to enhance the web and make it accessible to all. The main advantage of this format is that it can adapt to any device (a bit like responsive design for websites). On the other hand, it cannot support advanced graphics, so is not suitable for making comics, graphic novels and texts that use images and tables. It is the format with which Apple and Kobo request the upload of ebooks on their respective stores.
It is not an ebook format! This statement may be perplexing but it is the truth. PDF is a format created for sharing and printing documents. Its layout is fixed and does not adapt well to reading ebooks on various devices. Despite this, it is still used as such: many publishing houses also make this format available for their ebooks and I do it too. It is actually more suitable for technical presentations, or manuals of various kinds. Before the arrival of other formats it was a standard for reading anything and perhaps for this reason it is still used to create ebooks.
CBR and CBZ
They are designed for comics in general (which also includes graphic novels). They are supported by different readers and the characteristic is to know how to adapt to the pages while reading. In fact, you can zoom in on a box of the comic and continue reading in this way, leaving out the page context. The format then recognizes the various balloons, allowing you to navigate between them quickly and easily.
Software to create and publish ebook
There are many ways to create an ebook: from using specific softwares, to coding with different types of languages. I leave out the coding context, which is more technical and specific, and list the softwares that allow ebook creation in a simpler and more intuitive way.
Amazon provides software called Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), which allows to create your own ebook. You can set different settings: the reference market, the sale price, the percentage of earnings you want to obtain and the possibility of creating and selling a physical copy of your book through the Amazon printing and shipping system. The file thus created will then be used for the exclusive publication on the Kindle store through a wizard.
If you work with iMac or MacBook you can use the software pages, which has supplanted iBooks Author in the creation of ebooks for the Apple store. Pages provides various settings to create not only the ebook, but also the cover. Once the creation process is completed, you can save the file in PDF or EPUB format, or continue directly with the publication on Books. To access these settings you will need an account iTunes Connect and also be able to decide here the reference market, sale price and percentage of earnings.
Microsoft Word and Libreoffice
The classic programs for writing texts provide a series of tools for setting up an ebook, which once finished will be converted into a specific format (for example EPUB). For this conversion you can use the free software Calibre, which is discussed below.
You can create an ebook through coding. The MOBI format, for example, is based on the XML language itself (it is more of a markup language like HTML). To do this, specific technical knowledge is obviously required.
There are many graphics programs that allow you to create ebooks. I take into consideration one of the best known in the sector. InDesign is a de facto graphics program from Adobe and it is paid. It allows you to customize the whole process of creating the ebook, with particular attention to the images. Once the process is completed, the file can be exported in EPUB format.
The stores where to publish and sell ebooks
- Kindle store: in fact I talked about it above referring to the softwares that allow the creation of an ebook. Using Amazon's KDP you will be able to sell your ebook on the Kindle store, with the possibility of printing and shipping it;
- Apple Books: reserved for Apple users, in fact, a market and a sector designed exclusively for this target of users. Through the Pages software it is possible to publish ebooks on this store.
- Kobo store: the shop for the ebook reader of Rakuten, which allows you to upload an EPUB file to its store using a really intuitive and simple wizard;
Info and utility
- The DRM should be mentioned, which outline the copyrights to the work and establish the possibility that an ebook can be copied or lent. The various softwares and/or online stores mentioned above have a special section to determine whether to apply DRM or not.
- Calibre is free software available for all operating systems. It allows you to manage your ebook library, create new ones, convert them into various formats and manage metadata. You can synchronize your ebook list with other devices and make safety backups.
- Canva is an online tool that offers various graphic services, including the creation of book and ebook covers. With the paid option it is possible to take advantage of the automatic resizing of the cover, in order to adapt it to the various stores. A function that I personally find very useful.