2018 The Year of the Ebook

Last year was pretty good – but, I am betting that THIS year is the year that ebooks really get traction and take off. There are like 100 ebook readers / tablet computers coming out from Dell, Toshiba, Apple, Sony, HP, Asus, Acer, etc… this will be what the ebook needs to go mainstream. Tablets are outselling notebook computers at the moment – and there really is only one decent tablet on the market at the moment – the Apple iPad.

Imagine when there are 100 types of tablet?

Ebooks are here to stay, and they are going to crush the paperback market. There are so many reasons ebooks are better. Look at Mike Fook’s post about 50 reasons ebooks are better than books.

Ebooks in Thailand are just starting to take off. I expect because Thailand is a great travel destination, that many tourists don’t want to lug around paperbacks and they’re buying Kindle’s or other ereaders to read their ebooks on.

What do you think?

Do you have a Kindle yet?

An iPad?

Another tablet?

Writing eBooks in Thailand?

Here in Thailand I know about a dozen authors and wanna-be-authors that are writing Thailand fiction, and about their experiences in Thailand. If you are a writer, there is a lot to do after you write the book. Editing, artwork, and publishing, whether creating ebooks or paperbooks, you will need to take care of these crucial steps. Established parasites publishers are still hanging around – they didn’t disappear off the face of the planet – yet. It’s all going that way, in 5 years there will be few that are in business any more. There are many reasons for that.

From my own point of view – I don’t care to publish paperback books, even if it means more money (and it does, I have 25 books published digitally). I just don’t like the idea of paper books.

Have I read paperback books in the past? Yep, there was no alternative. Do I read them now? No, not at all. The ebook revolution has given us an alternative to creating wasteful paper books to read. The new Kindle Paperwhite ereader is better than books printed on paper in so many ways. Need a bigger font? Increase the size of the font on the Kindle. Want to change the contrast of the epaper and “ink”? Change it. Want to read in bed with the lights turned off? Use the light in the Kindle. Turn pages with a simple tap on the right side of the ebook page.

What is strange to me is that it took this long for the ebook idea to get going. We had computer screens capable of offering ebook reading back before the Apple Newton tablet arrived. I had one of those back in 1996 I think it was. It took 10 more years before ebooks really took hold.

Now it is here and there are many writers that want to try their hand at writing books. In the Thailand market I know a handful of new writers that have made the effort and went ahead and published ebooks at Amazon, or through some other means.

Comparing creating your own ebook with publishing through a traditional publisher, it looks something like this:

Do It Yourself:

  • You write the book.
  • Find an editor. From Thailand or wherever you are – use the internet. Best to go to writers that are currently producing their own ebooks, and see who they use and recommend.
  • Find a cover artist or create it yourself – much better to find an artist that does it for a living. You should be able to get a decent cover for $100. Some graphic artists are charging $350 per cover! It is outrageous, and the covers aren’t any better than someone could do with $100. The simple graphics needed to do cover art can be done by a high-school student. Find a student you want to employ – and help them on their way to a bright career.
  • You decide the final product in every way.
  • You either upload the Word version directly to Amazon yourself (can do from Thailand or anywhere with internet connection), or, go through someone like Smashwords.com to do it. It is not difficult once you have the prior activities completed.
  • Give Amazon a way to pay you. Linking your bank account makes it fast and avoids checks. You get paid monthly, the current delay is 2 months from the time a book is sold, to the time it arrives in your bank account. If you are writing in southeast Asia – do not get the check, if at all possible. Checks are slow to reach you, slow to clear your bank (we wait 60 days sometimes), and sometimes they bounce because the banks don’t know what they’re doing. We have had about 8 Amazon.com checks bounce after depositing them in Thailand. Not so good for your relationship with your bank, or the $50 they charge for each bounce.
  • You own all rights to your ebook. You can assign those rights any way you choose. You own those rights for eternity. You can give your books to your children, along with all the rights, so they can collect royalties on your books – in full – after you die.

 

Use a Publisher:

  • You write the book.
  • Your publisher will assign an editor. He/she may be good, or suck. There is nothing you can do about it. The editor might want to revise your book drastically – and you will have to rewrite small or large sections of your book to make someone else happy. Sometimes a book doesn’t resemble the original after the editing process.
  • Your publisher will assign a graphics person to create your cover. Quite often they will have the rights to choose what is even ON the cover. The final product is not up for your disapproval. You are at the whim of the publisher, and they are cranking out many new books – not just yours. You are a number with a publisher.
  • You decide the final product in every way. Through a collaborative effort with someone you don’t know, maybe don’t like or approve of – you will come up with a final product – “your” book.
  • The publisher will distribute your book through channels it has, or, more likely – will just put your book on Amazon in paperback, and then format it for ebook release as well. You as author will likely have no say about where your book is released, or how much it will sell for. Amazon takes 30% of sales. Your publisher will probably take more than that. You’ll be left with something ludicrous to feed your family with. It will not resemble in any way, what you could have done on your own.
  • Royalty checks are slow in coming. The accounting methods some publishers use are impossible to figure out.
  • You own some rights to your book, those that haven’t been signed away in your agreement with the publisher. When you die, the publisher probably retains the rights to sell your book – and will continue to take commission before giving checks to whomever you assigned as a benefactor.

Don’t give away your rights to sell the book on your own. Most that care about this issue have already given away their own right to sell their books online – to their publisher. If you haven’t yet, by all means DON’T.

There are really only a couple more things to think about when doing it all yourself:

1. Finding a good editor you like.

2. Finding a good cover artist.

That’s basically it. Any monkey can fill out the submission data needed for Amazon or Smashwords release.

If you want to write books in Thailand, Philippines, anywhere in the world – do the work yourself. Once you find an editor and a cover artist – you don’t have to worry about that any more. Sure it may take a few tries to find someone you like, but at least you can do that and you are not stuck with whomever the publishing company assigns to do your book.

Disclaimer: I’ve not used a traditional publisher in the past. The points above are taken from what I’ve read from authors that have used publishers for years, and became dissatisfied with the process. They now publish their own books digitally and are much happier with the new system.

Thailand Book Lovers

More ebooks are coming and will be listed here over the next couple of days. There is a Thailand book niche that some people can’t get enough of.

New Amazon Kindle eReader:

We are, once again, considering adding to the talent pool here at Thailand eBooks. If you are a writer and you want to sell your ebooks through Thailandebooks.com – send a short note to mikefook@gmail.com and let us know what the focus of your book is, and we might consider adding it here.

Right now we’re looking primarily for Thailand fiction books, but we might accept true stories related to visiting or living in the country.

You will create an account at e-junkie.com, and set that all up and then we can sell your books as an affiliate. E-junkie has a great little program. You collect the money through Paypal for your book sales, and you pay us once per month for any sales that came as a result of us selling as an affiliate. You see the stats for your side, and we can see them as well from our side – for your books that sold through us.

We won’t accept any Thailand book related to politics, or about specific individuals in Thailand. No unauthorized biographies, or anything like this. We won’t accept, “I came to Thailand and fooked 38 girls in 9 days!” type books either.

If you don’t have or don’t want a Paypal account in order to setup your book with e-junkie.com we may be OK with doing it for you. You won’t have direct access to stats for your book, but when we pay you for books sold through our account, we’ll send you a screenshot of your sales.

If you are also selling your books on Amazon or in some other marketplace, the price you sell them for here – will have to be the same as at the other venue. We take 40% commission, and if you’re using our e-junkie account, there is a 2,000 THB setup fee for us to get your book live.

When you sell through us – we need your book in Microsoft Word, or PDF format. If you’ve submitted a copy of your book through SmashWords.com – we need to have a copy in all the formats SmashWords converts your book to – to facilitate sales.

Again, if you might be interested in this program, email us and tell us what your book(s) are about and where they are presently listed for sale.

New Amazon Kindle Fire Color Multitouch Tablet – eReader:

New Amazon Kindle Touch eReader:

New Amazon Kindle eReader:

Mike Fook – Thailand’s Best Selling Author?

Mike Fook has been selling the heck out his ebooks on Amazon lately. If you check the bestselling list after searching the Kindle ebook store for “Thailand” you’ll find that he has two books already in the top 10. One is at position 8, the other at 10.

John Burdett, who wrote Bangkok 8, has a number of books in the top 10. Shows that there are few authors that have any decent books to offer the ebook readers. Not to say his work is no good – I’ve read no more than the sample chapters. John writes in a way I don’t enjoy reading – and from a perspective that doesn’t jive with what I like. Still – THOUSANDS of people like how he writes and he’s the top writer. For now.

The ebook market has the potential to change everything. There are writers today – book writers – traditional book writers – that enjoy being top dog. They’re going to be replaced in some cases. Obliterated in others.

Currently – taking into account all online channels – Mike Fook is selling over 25 books per day. John Burdett prices his books (rather, his publisher does!) at the insane price of $14.99 in some cases for the EBOOK! Nuts.

If you are a new author and you want to write a book about some aspect of Thailand – WRITE IT NOW. Get it out of your head and into your computer as fast as you can. New authors this year – who crank out a few books per year (10?) can be firmly established when the ebook revolution takes hold and kills the last remaining holds outs (paperback readers).

Ebooks Starting to Take Off!

We have a few channels where we sell ebooks – and it’s quite clear by sales lately that the ebook world is taking off like a rocketship.

Sales have increased at least 30% month over month for almost a year now. That’s pretty nice growth. The end is nowhere in sight – as most people are still reading paperback books. Imagine when that changes and people finally throw away their paperback books and go for ebooks… Ebook authors will be rejoicing – while those stuck in contracts with paperback publishers will be crying in their Cheerios.

Currently we have 14 books for sale at Amazon’s Kindle Store – and here at ThailandEbooks.com. We are selling over 400 books per month online. No paper. No postal service.

If you have been thinking about jumping into Ebook publishing -now is the time. Get started today and don’t look back. The future is ebooks – not paperback books.

New Amazon Kindle Fire Color Multitouch Tablet – eReader:

New Amazon Kindle Touch eReader:

New Amazon Kindle eReader: