Your Bookstore For The Unique, Eclectic and Different
BOOKLOCKER'S EBOOK CONVERSION & DISTRIBUTION SERVICE (BePub)
BookLocker.com authors can now get listed in the:
SETUP FEE: $99.00 flat fee per book - for a single book with simple layout elements.
The MOBI format, which is what Kindle content is in, and the related ePub format, which is what everyone else uses, are meant to be displayed on a wide variety of devices with low computational power. To accomplish that, the content has to be as uncomplicated as possible with regards to format.
The "art" of ePub conversion to know what will cause problems so you can get rid of it before you start.
Basic formatting items, like bold, italic, and simple graphics, aren't an issue and will convert fine. However, any complex formatting can be, at best, difficult and, at worst, impossible to put into ePub format.
Here are some examples of simple layout elements we can do for $99.00 per book:
To get the $99 rate, the book must meet these criteria:
If your book does not meet the above criteria it can probably still be done, just not for $99. We would need to give you a quote. You can get a free quote by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
TO SIGN UP:
If you are an existing BookLocker author, contact us through the author messaging system in your author account. We'll send you all the details. If BookLocker did the formatting on your print book, we will use your current MSWord file for the conversion unless you request otherwise during the ordering process. If BookLocker did not do the formatting of your print book, we will need a copy of the final MSWord file used for the book, or a copy of the text in the book as one continuous document.
If you are not yet a BookLocker author, we must review your book before we'll agree to publish it.
BookLocker will do everything for you and will continue to send out monthly royalty checks, per your contract terms. Ebook sales from the ebook retailers will show up under "Other Transactions" in your author account when we get paid for those sales (like they already do for Ingram sales if you are a Print on Demand author). While author accounts are credited instantly when someone buys a book directly from BookLocker.com, payments for ePub sales being made to BookLocker may occur approximately 1-4 months after a sale occurs through a third-party store because each ebook retailer has their own payment terms. For example, Apple pays us pretty quickly (usually in less than two months) while others may be 45 days after the end of the month, or even quarterly. And, while royalties for ebooks sold directly through BookLocker.com are based on the list price of your book, royalties for sales through third-party ebook retailers ARE different. See details below.
1. Assign a unique ISBN to your ebook at no extra charge. (This would cost $125 if you bought just one ISBN directly from Bowker.)
2. Convert your existing, pre-formatted word processing file to ePub or other format per requirements of each individual ebook retailer. This includes specific formatting for the cover, table of contents, and much more.
3. Submit your ebook, along with accompanying listing info., metadata, cover, etc., for listing in the ebook retailers' stores.
THE FINE PRINT
Most ebook retailers have specific maximum list prices for ebooks that have a print counterpart and some have other (often confusing) pricing requirements as well. Almost all of them forbid authors and publishers from pricing their ebook lower at any other store and the penalties for doing so (even if you just want to put your ebook on sale on your own website for awhile) can mean termination of not only a book from a particular store, but an entire publisher account from that ebook retailer. We've been forced to implement this clause into our contract to prevent losing our account with any of the ebook retailers. Most also require an ebook's price end with .99.
CONFUSED? Don't worry. We will ensure your book is priced correctly in Apple's system.
While none of our client online retailers has ever declined to list/sell one of our books, any store can decline to list a book for any reason, including if they believe an ebook is priced too high. If any store declines to list your book, we can't refund the setup/conversion fees because our work will have already been done. We have no control over any store's decision to list or not list specific books. We have heard that they're not fond of books with, ahem, extreme adult content. However, we've found such spicy books for sale in their store so that may have been a rumor. If we hear of any censoring by an online retailer, we will let our authors know.
IMPORTANT: While royalties for sales made directly through BookLocker.com are based on the list price of each book, royalties for sales of BePub books must be based on the net amount paid to the Company by each ebook retailer/distributor. The ebook industry is quickly evolving and there are new retailers and distributors appearing frequently, each with their own contracts, commission percentages, pricing requirements, and more with some even charging a handling fee for each sale on top of their commission and/or paying a different commission based on the geographic location of the sale (i.e. U.K. vs. U.S.). One store actually pays less for higher priced books and more for lower priced books, which is the opposite of the others. In addition, each one can change their contract at any time.
***Therefore, the Company has been forced to assign flat royalty rates to the NET amount paid to the Company by each store, NOT BASED ON THE LIST PRICE OF EACH WORK. REPEAT: THE ROYALTY RATES BELOW ARE BASED ON THE AMOUNT THE COMPANY RECEIVES FROM EACH RETAILER/DISTRIBUTOR. THEY ARE NOT BASED ON THE LIST PRICE OF YOUR EBOOK.***
EBOOK SALES THROUGH THIRD-PARTY EBOOK RETAILERS:
65% OF THE NET AMOUNT Booklocker.com is paid for each ebook priced $10 or higher.
55% OF THE NET AMOUNT Booklocker.com is paid for each ebook priced under $10.
ROYALTIES FOR PUBLIC SALES THROUGH BOOKLOCKER.COM DIRECT WILL REMAIN AS THEY ALWAYS HAVE:
70% OF THE LIST PRICE for ebooks priced $8.95 or higher
50% OF THE LIST PRICE for ebooks priced under $8.95
MINIMUM LIST PRICES
FICTION and NON-FICTION: $2.99
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER GUYS?
If you want BookLocker to take care of this for you, you get the same one-on-one customer service (direct contact with Angela) and the same reliable reporting and monthly royalty payments.
Lulu - charges up to $299 for the same type of service plus $100/hr for troublesome books. And, Lulu has LOTS of customer service complaints posted online. See this link.
Smashwords requires your file adhere to their "style guide", which is 55 pages long! They can reject your book, forcing you to resubmit it over and over again until it meets their specs. Common reasons books don't make their catalog include, "Missing Proper First Line Paragraph Indents and/or Block Styles", "Mistakes in Table of Contents", "Metadata Mistakes" and much more. They may refer you to a fee-based professional cover designer or ebook formatter if you just can't figure it out. Angela tested their automated conversion service with one of her books (one with very simple formatting) and the results were horrible, making the files unmarketable. She estimated reading their style guide and reformatting her book to their specs would take several hours to complete and, if they change their style guide in the future, she would be forced to check and reformat the book again. Smashwords offers no cover design support and they only assign ISBNs to books in their "premium catalog" (for a fee, of course). Sadly, their site contains some insulting and at times disconcerting verbage as well, with statements like: "...don't email us to complain!"; "We expect you to exercise common sense"; "If you're the type of person who's driven bonkers by delays and uncertainty, do yourself a favor and opt out of all distribution channels"; and they openly ask people to volunteer to work on the Smashwords website (all who work on the Booklocker.com website are PAID!).
BookLocker will use your existing word processing file so you don't have to worry about a thing. However, if we didn't format your book, we may need to request specific changes if we are having a problem with your file. This is rare but we need to mention it just in case. While Smashwords is an automated service, at Booklocker.com, you will work with Richard or Matt, one-on-one, to ensure your ebook is attractive and professional.
As of this writing, Smashwords is not yet offering distribution to Amazon's Kindle.
Smashwords only pays royalties quarterly. BookLocker pays monthly. (Remember, BookLocker doesn't get paid immediately for third-party retail sales. So, similar to Ingram sales, you might not see third party ebook sales in your account until 1-4 months after the fact.)
Smashwords claims to pay 38% to 85% royalties...but read the fine print. That's NOT 85% of the list price. From the SmashWords contract - “Net proceeds shall mean sales price paid and received less payment processing fees, affiliate fees, retailer discounts", etc., etc.
Smashwords wants to control the content of your book. If your book says "published by (your publisher), they won't allow it. They want you to instead insert THEIR name on your copyright page. Smashwords does not allow books that contain any advertisements at all (so you can't even promote your other books or your own website in your book??), and they "sell" and distribute free ebooks. Authors who need to make a living with their ebooks can't compete with "free." BookLocker.com does not give away free books because doing so devalues authors and their works, and makes sales far more difficult for professional authors who must earn a living with their craft.
Finally, Smashwords is what we call an author meat market. They will list and sell just about anything, meaning your book would be for sale next to some really, really bad books. At Booklocker.com, we reject most manuscripts. We value our reputation, and those of our authors, too much to put poor-quality books on the market like so many ebook and POD publishers do today.
Ingram - only works with publishers and doesn't assign ISBNs (one from R.R. Bowker is $125).
LibreDigital - only works with publishers and doesn't assign ISBNs. Only gives prices if you ask them to have a salesperson contact you.
AuthorHouse, iUniverse, Trafford (all owned by Author Solutions) - These firms force you to sign up for their expensive print programs in order to get ePub distribution. You can read a comparison of their print program pricing HERE.
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