Going Digital With Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook

Digitizing your book may be the best way to ride the current wave of popularity surrounding portable, digital book files, such as EPUB, a file format produced by programs like Adobe InDesign and designed for “reflowable” content, and the newer AZW, for which Amazon’s Kindle books are known. Amazon has also announced the “Kindle for PC,” which will allow customers to read Kindle books on a PC computer, a move that will potentially open up the Kindle format to a wider readership.

Barnes & Noble, meanwhile, has also introduced their Nook into the already crowded digital book reader arena, in the hope of catching a bit of the wave created by Amazon’s Kindle, which added considerably to their sales revenues following its introduction at the end of 2007. What does all this mean? Well simply this: you, the self-published author—or micro-press or small press publisher—need to get in on the action while things are hot. The market is ripe for self-publishing and small press efforts, seeing Kindle and print-on-demand have leveled the playing field somewhat, allowing relative unknowns to enter the publishing world and walk away with a good chunk of revenue, sans a publishing contract.

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Print-on-Demand: A Primer

The book industry is fast changing everyday. What was once conventional practice is now being pushed aside for unconventional, even revolutionary methods. Print-on-demand, or POD is one such method. Large publishers and small presses alike have adopted the new printing model as a means of keeping backlist titles in print, and thus ensuring the sale of even the most obscure books, should they turn up in a search query.

This method is also healthy for the environment, as books printed via POD no longer need to be warehoused in large quantities, such as books printed via the traditional offset press. If a customer wants to buy a POD book, they simply order it from their favorite online vendor, such as Amazon,, Powells, or whomever, and the printer responsible for housing the particular title in their database will print the copy and ship it within 24 to 48 hours (depending on the printing company), hence the “on-demand” aspect. This process eliminates the unnecessary destruction of large quantities of unsold books, which is commonplace in the publishing world, and we hope it will force a needed change industry-wide.

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Amazon Search Inside Program

We are pleased to announce that Scribe Freelance now offers Amazon Search Inside the Book files. To learn how this works, simply click here, read to your heart's content and sign up. Once you're in, we'll turn the print-ready PDF version of your book into an Amazon Search Inside file (a $30 fee applies), and the rest is easy. 

The program works much like a virtual book store, which allows prospective readers to peruse your book's interior before they buy, though their perusing will be limited to a few pages, due to copyright issues. So, boost your sales today by joining the program and having us supply the Search Inside file.



Opt for a Professional Book Design

While many self-published authors are attempting to save money by eschewing what they deem the “unnecessary” expense of hiring outside designers, outsourcing your book designs will prove to be the most profitable choice for any writer or small press publisher. Why? simply because you will be allowed to play on the field of the big name book companies that are known to put out quality products year in and year out. DIYing will only hurt you in the long run if you truly do not understand the intricate aspects of book design. Any avid reader will tell you that one of the main things that draws them to a particular title is an eye-catching cover (whether the material contained within a given title will be enough to hold their attention is another matter, but the cover is often the primary tool used to draw initial interest to your publication).

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A Book Cover Design in Progress . . . (1)

A new client was interested in seeing what we could do with a premium cover, so, given the kind of story the author pitched us, we decided to whip up a cover that you could imagine seeing front and center in a book store, what with the high stakes intrigue, action and adventure associated with the tale (from what I gathered). The only kind of covers that suit these types of stories are what we call "Premium Covers," which require multiple layers, effects, gradients, vignettes, color mixing, etc. (Bear in mind that this is merely a spec cover and is rather crude compared to the official high res version).

The author's response: "It's a great start. I really like the color scheme. I need a little time to get some feedback, and maybe even a few ideas. [. . .] BTW, we have planned a media buy to promote the book on TV, both broadcast and cable. Some of the ads will have national reach."

We're jazzed about that. Here's hoping this thing takes off!