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Policy Language to use on website to sell my eBook
#1  kayvon 07-14-2020, 11:20 AM
Amazon charges 65% to sell an eBook, yikes! i have decided to sell on my own website. please help me find two things:
1. any language i can use to discourage people from distributing the ebook illegally. i've decided to forgo the DRM route, i just need something to keep honest people honest
2. where can i find the text which needs to be added to a website to protect myself as a writer? i.e. what to say about returns and other "fancy" language needed on a website to sell an eBook. hopefully i can find it somewhere instead of reinventing the wheel.

Thank you for your time and help.
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#2  Deskisamess 07-14-2020, 11:51 AM
I'm not a writer, just making some observations.

Have you looked at other author's web sites? Do they address this?

Honest people don't need the warning, dishonest people disregard it.

As a reader, I've always appreciated what Neil Gaiman had to say about book piracy. Years ago, when Amazon had flourishing forums, Neil used to drop by every so often. I don't know if he views it differently now, but in 2011 he had changed his tune. You can find the video and his remarks on the interweb.
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#3  jhowell 07-14-2020, 01:00 PM
Sorry, I don't have an answer to your question.

I would like to point out that Amazon pays a higher royalty for most books: eBook Royalty Options.

Also I think you may be seriously underestimating the cost of running an online book store, especially support. You will need to be an expert in all of the e-reader devices that your customers may want to use. Amazon's customers are used to buying a book and having it just appear on their Kindle. You will have to guide them through the process of making that happen manually instead.
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#4  kayvon 07-14-2020, 03:34 PM
i have written a specialized ebook on handmade rugs, 1956 pages long, full of pictures. (450 megs)
1) i want to sell it for $34.95. amazon will give me $12.25 which is nothing frankly. i'd have to sell three books to make $34
2) ----more importantly ----pdf affords me the navigation property (previous & next view) which will really add to the experience, allowing readers to swap back and forth between pages. Amazon only allows me to have hyperlinks which work fine but not the same exacting experience. (let me know if you think my logic/assumption is flawed)

3) i was assuming (may be naively) that pdf "support" would not be as complicated since everyone has it or can get it for free on their devices.

i really appreciate your openness by shooting holes in my logic above. after four years of work, this last baton before the finish line is really stressing me out. Thank you again for your generosity with your time.
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#5  jhowell 07-14-2020, 05:07 PM
I see your point. A large books with lots of photos would definitely fall under the lower royalty category on Amazon. A PDF seems a good fit for that type of book since it will need to be read on a larger screen, rather than a Kindle device.

Hopefully someone with more experience in this area will have more advice.
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#6  gmw 07-14-2020, 09:53 PM
Have you submitted to professional publishers to see if they will take it on? (And so make this someone else's problem.)

Selling off your website presents all sorts of problems - it's technically easy but practically problem ridden. Or, at least, that is the wisdom that others have submitted here previously, very convincingly - to the extent that I have never been tempted to try it. (But I publish standard narrative fiction, so I fit into the more attractive offerings from Amazon.)

Have you considered serialising the work? Breaking it up might offer several benefits and might perhaps let you in for better options at Amazon?

Have you taken a look at Smashwords? I have no idea how they would handle a work like this (quite likely their "meatgrinder" process would make a mess of it), but it could be worth a look at their non-fiction section to see what others have done. But, the main reason for mentioning them is that you might get some inspiration for wording from their style guide (see their How to Publish page).

Given the material I can understand you using PDF, but this will probably constrain your audience to desktop and tablet (rather than e-reader). That's probably a realistic expectation anyway by the sound of it.


In terms of book size (the 450MB). Do make certain that you experiment with your options here. Make sure you are using the correct image format for each image type, and for JPEGs experiment with lower quality settings - it is often possible to halve, or better, the file size with little to no human visible defects.
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#7  Quoth 07-15-2020, 10:42 AM
You can upload epub & dual mobi directly at Smashwords.
But this is a book better as a PDF for a tablet (much as I hate PDFs), because the images and layout is important. You can't upload PDF to Smashwords, they make it from a .doc file (not .docx).

Google books to Playstore does accept PDF directly.

It will work best on paper, using POD from Lulu or similar.

This isn't at all suitable for an ereader.
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#8  Hitch 07-17-2020, 10:06 AM
Quote jhowell
Sorry, I don't have an answer to your question.

I would like to point out that Amazon pays a higher royalty for most books: eBook Royalty Options.

Also I think you may be seriously underestimating the cost of running an online book store, especially support. You will need to be an expert in all of the e-reader devices that your customers may want to use. Amazon's customers are used to buying a book and having it just appear on their Kindle. You will have to guide them through the process of making that happen manually instead.

I have an article on my site, which talks about selling books from your own website; it touches on DRM, digital watermarking and all that, but the biggest thing I say, to everyone, is simply this:

Unless and until you have experience guiding the AVERAGE person, in putting a file on their eReader, you have no idea, NO IDEA, what the tech support--the unpaid tech support, mind you--will be. People do not realize that for people like me, it's the 2nd-largest expense that my business pays. (The first being the crew/bookmakers). I pay slightly over $30K/annum, just for UNPAID tech support which, by the way, we flatly state, over and over, that we do not provide. This is STILL how much it runs. Imagine what it would cost me if I did provide it! And my biz is a teeny, weeny, TINY business!

Unless you're prepared to answer emails, provide guidance on getting files onto Kindles, onto tablets, yadda, or answer the phone and do the same, I cannot in good conscience recommend selling from your own website.

Every single customer I'e had--every single one--that tried it, gave it up, due to the above-stated reasons. Even customers with staff; they got tired of their receptionists and secretaries having to answer calls demanding tech support. I mean....consider that.

Also, I gotta say--I don't think I understand how you envision a 2000-page PDF working on a Kindle. People can't just send it to their Kindles and open it as a PDF; it will be automatically converted. If they don't have a jailbroken Kindle...well. Yes, some tablets, like iPads, have PDF readers (Books, f/k/a iBooks,does), but...you're still going to run into massive issues with the SIZE of the thing! There are still readers that have file-size limitations and 450mb is WAAAY outside of that.

Lastly--you're worried about piracy, but you're proposing to sell a very, very expensive file. The more expensive it is, the greater the odds and chances for piracy. Honestly....with a file like that, and what you're proposing--to sell it, unprotected, from your own website, I think you're kinda asking to be pirated. People are less inclined to pirate a $0.99 file; for $35...well.

If it were me, I'd consider breaking it into...let's say...8 parts? Or hell, 5? Each one 400 pages long, give or take? Call them Volumes I, II, III, etc. and then I'd sell each one on Amazon for $9.99. You could make it fixed-layout, and you'd get what, nearly $7.00/sale, x 5, = $35.00, give or take AND you'd have DRM and you'd let Amazon deal with the tech support. That's what I'd do. If you broke it into even more parts and sold it at $9.99, you could pocket even more (although, this file sounds as though the images are exceedingly large and completely unoptimized, so the delivery fees might eat you alive, too.)

Just my $.02.

Hitch
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#9  Hitch 07-17-2020, 10:08 AM
Quote Quoth
You can upload epub & dual mobi directly at Smashwords.
But this is a book better as a PDF for a tablet (much as I hate PDFs), because the images and layout is important. You can't upload PDF to Smashwords, they make it from a .doc file (not .docx).

Google books to Playstore does accept PDF directly.

It will work best on paper, using POD from Lulu or similar.

This isn't at all suitable for an ereader.
You can't print it, Quoth. Not with POD, which uses perfect-bound. Perfect-bound has an around 800-page limitation--2"-ish. Greater than that and the binding fails. At the least, he'd be looking at 3 volumes, more likely 4-5.

Alternatively, some other type of binding, but damn if I know what, for today's bookselling environment.

This is a work that needed a LOT MORE professional planning and advice than it received, is my take.

Hitch
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#10  kayvon 07-17-2020, 12:08 PM
Thank you all for your feedback. at the risk of sounding defensive, let me tell you why….. I am in Iranian-American, the ancient art of rug weaving in Iran is in danger of extinction. I wanted to contribute to the extent I could. You find my work at Bofandeh.com
I started to write a small book four years ago but it kept on growing. You are correct Hitch,”… This is a work that needed a LOT MORE professional planning and advice than it received….”
In so far as the images not being optimized, I have 3000+ images and I believe they are optimized, the file size was 1 Gigs+ beforehand. Although 450 megs is large, surely in this day and age it is (hopefully) manageable.
At this point, with all its faults and my shortcomings, it is what it is and I need to get it out there somehow. My goal is not to give it away, but I also did not really do this for money. Having the Previous and next view functionality in an interactive pdf really enhances the experience.
Do you think using Gumroad would help with the customer service?
Do you think I could create an app may be?
Thank you for your patience, I know what I am asking is frustrating to those of you who are professionals, unfortunately i can’t help it.
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