The New Way to Sell eBooks on Amazon.com

Published: 11th January 2007
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Since Amazon.com acquired Mobipocket in April 2005, the online bookseller has made some dramatic changes to its ebook strategy. Publishers and authors used to be required to set up an account with Lightning Source to list ebooks with Amazon, but now ebooks are managed by Mobipocket.



To complicate matters further, the ebook version of a title is no longer listed with its print version. In fact, Amazon no longer indexes ebooks on its site at all. When you browse Amazon's book categories and click on "ebooks," you are directed to a link that takes you out of Amazon.com and onto Mobipocket.com. The reality is that ebooks are no longer actually sold on Amazon.com at all, but directly through its subsidiary.



There is a debate brewing on blogs across cyberspace about this controversial strategy since many consumers prefer the old method of purchasing ebooks directly from Amazon. But unless Amazon decides to change its strategy again, publishers and authors must follow the new policy to list their ebooks for sale.



Amazon would like to manage the process of approving ebook publishers and asks publishers to send an email to digitalrights@amazon.com with the following information:

*What publishing company do you represent? (If you are the author, please enter "author" and the name of the publishing company you work with)

*Your contact information:

Name:

Professional title:

Business address:

Email address:

Phone number:

*Please list the ISBNs of the books you are considering making available as eBooks:

*For these titles listed, do you own the digital rights (rights to sell books in a digital format ) ?

Several days after receipt of this information, Amazon will send you an email with further instructions for registering a publisher account with Mobipocket. But you can jump ahead in the process by following these steps:



1. Register your publisher account: http://www.mobipocket.com/eBookBase/en/Homepage/apply.asp?Type=Publisher



2. Review and sign the publisher agreement:

http://www.mobipocket.com/eBookBase/en/Homepage/pub_agreement.asp



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 that is 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 password.



4. While you wait for your login information, you can convert you ebooks to Mobipocket format. Download the free conversion software at: http://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 ebook 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 http://www.mobipocket.com/ebookbase/en/homepage/Logon.asp



This is where you will upload your ebook and set your desired retail price. Keep in mind that Mobipocket retains 50% of the retail price as their royalty payment. You will also give up another 10% of the price if you allow affiliate sales.



6. Once you have verified that the ebook looks good and your price is set, you must choose to activate the file. This process makes the ebook available to buyers at Mobipocket.com and through their network of partners. Conversely, if you want to remove your ebook from Mobipocket's catalog, you can deselect the "activate" option.



Though many of us would like the ability to submit ebooks in PDF format, as well as see ebook 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 ebook sales.





About the Author:

Stephanie Chandler is a small business expert and the author of "FROM ENTREPRENEUR TO INFOPRENEUR: MAKE M0NEY WITH BOOKS, EBOOKS AND INFORMATION PRODUCTS" (Wiley, Dec. 2006). Visit her website at http://www.BusinessInfoGuide.com to access hundreds of resources for entrepreneurs.


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