What new publishers often don’t realize is that the moment that final text for the bound book is proofed and ready to send, they already acim ready to sell-in digital form! It can be sold precisely as is-or it can be modified in an hour or several and sold three other digital ways.
Here are the four ways that digital books can be primed and sold. You decide your preference(s) and just direct the readers to your choice(s).
(1) Let’s call the first choice the digital download version. You can send it off just as it is, and send the front-back cover as a second attachment, perhaps with a greeting e-mail to those who buy it directly from you.
Or you can simply save the interior of the book, add the original front cover before the inside text, insert the back cover last, perhaps modify the ISBN number and bar code, and send this digital download version as an attachment. That presumes it was saved in.pdf or some locking software so the pages remain as they are in the original.
The usual problem is that when you add the cover before the interior copy, it will add another page to the text-and throw off the table of contents and index. The easiest way to offset that is to design the text on the first pages so you can easily create an open page at the digital level. For example, if you have a quote on about page three or four, that quote can be inserted on another page later in the book (or dropped), and the now earlier empty page will be replaced (in concept) by the cover. It will not affect the pagination that follows, other than the back cover will add another page at the end. Digitally, that won’t matter since the book can print any length. Two tweaks: eliminating that early page and perhaps repositioning that early copy, and the book is ready to sell! (Remember to save this altered version in.pdf so your changes are what they buyer receives.)
(2) The second let’s call the modified electronic copy version.
We haven’t addressed the selling mechanism in (1): how you are contacted and paid. Let’s assume those sales are few, you arrange the payment directly with the buyer (they send a check, pay with a BOR order form at a workshop or presentation, or perhaps give you their credit card information), and you e-mail the attached book one by one.
In (2), let’s assume that you are planning to directly sell many copies of your electronic book version and doing it individually isn’t prudent or even possible. That would surely be the case if you had active web commerce, affiliations, and a vibrant newsletter buying response to your products.
Here, you might require some shopping cart and credit card validation process. (I will explain this in more detail in the January newsletter.) What that means for you is that the book must be saved in a file that will be loaded at the shopping cart so that when the buyer activates that book’s order page, orders, and pays (by credit card), their just-bought file will be downloaded, the buyer will be informed, and the buyer will transfer their new possession (your e-book) to their site (or server).