eBook (EPUB) Publication FAQ
How much does it cost to publish an eBook?
If you are a do-it-yourself publisher, there is no cost to use our free tools to convert and/or publish your EPUB and PDF format eBooks. We will even provide you with a copy of our free eBook Creator Guide to assist you through the process.
If, however, you would like a little assistance, we offer several affordable eBook publishing packages.
How do I create an eBook in EPUB format?
Although this is the most frequently asked question about eBooks, it is also the most difficult one to answer concisely. Have a look at the following video tutorials to get an idea of what you will need to get started.
Then download the eBook Creator Guide to use as a handy reference when preparing your manuscript for conversion to an eBook in EPUB format.
If you run into difficulties, don’t hesitate to search our community forums or post a question. One of our volunteer forum experts will be happy to assist you.
What types of files can I upload to convert to an eBook?
Before we can convert your manuscript to an eBook in EPUB file format, it must be saved as a properly formatted Microsoft Word (DOC or DOCX), Rich Text Format (RTF), or Open Office (ODT) file.
For more information about file types compatible for use in our EPUB converter, see Supported File Types.
Can I use the same file I uploaded for my print book to create my eBook?
You can certainly create a copy of your print book manuscript file to use as a starting point; however, eBooks are formatted very differently than their print book cousins.
Your original manuscript was probably created to closely resemble the format of a print book, which requires, margins, a table of contents, headers, footers, page numbers, page breaks, etc. eBooks, on the other hand, are composed of reflowable text, do not have pages as we think of them, and include an electronic table of contents allowing readers to navigate to sections or chapters.
For more information about formatting your manuscript, see Prepare Your Manuscript for eBook Conversion.
What is an eBook Marketing Image?
Think of the eBook Marketing Image as the eBook’s “cover.” It is the image shoppers see when browsing online for eBooks and on their eReader’s “bookshelf” when they purchase and download your work.
When creating and editing your Marketing Image, you should design the image to capture a shopper’s attention. The art and text should be clear, crisp, and easily read when viewed as a thumbnail.
The Marketing Image consists only of the front cover art, which should include the book title and author name. Unlike print books, there is no back cover or dust jacket flaps on an eBook cover that can be used to provide author information or a synopsis of your work. Therefore the Marketing Image could be the first, and last, impression a shopper has of your work.
The Marketing Image must be created to the following specifications:
Dimensions: at least 612 x 792 pixels (8.5” x 11” or 21.59 cm x 27.94 cm)
Resolution: 72dpi or higher to provide a clear image when viewed in multiple sizes.
Do I need an ISBN for my eBook?
You do not need an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) if you only want to sell your eBook in the Lulu Marketplace.
You will need an ISBN if you want to sell your eBook on sites other than the Lulu Marketplace, such as the Kindle Store, the Apple iBookstore, the Kobo Store, and the Barnes & Noble NOOK® Bookstore.
Please Note: All eBooks published with an ISBN and set to a status of Private or General Access qualify for retail distribution. For more information about this process, see eBook Distribution FAQ.
Can I use the same ISBN for my eBook as I used for my print book?
No. The ISBN identifies the title, author, publisher, and format of a book. Therefore, a different ISBN is required for each format (hardcover, paperback, eBook, etc.).
How much should I charge for my eBook?
Only you know the worth of your work.
You can get an idea of a competitive price range by studying your intended market. How much are authors in your genre or area of expertise charging for their work? Do you have the same name recognition in your field? Are you just getting started as a writer and want to get your work into as many hands as possible? Is a print version of your book also available for purchase and if so, do you want to offer a discount on the eBook version?
Rather than answering your question with even more questions, here are few points to consider when pricing your eBook:
You can offer your eBook as a free download or sell it for any price greater than or equal to $0.99.
Important Note: The Lulu creator revenue split is calculated on income above $0.99. For example, if you charge $2.99 for your eBook, your income for each eBook sold in the Lulu Marketplace will be $1.80, which is 90% of $2.00. For the mathematically inclined: Lulu Marketplace eBook Creator Revenue = .90(price – $0.99)
iBookstore or Barnes & Noble NOOK® Bookstore:
Retail channels also have rules governing acceptable minimum and maximum list prices. Each channel may adjust your price to comply with their pricing policies. Use this eBook Retailer Price & Revenue Calculator to see what your eBook will sell for on these retailers' sites and estimate the revenue you will earn from each sale.
Amazon Kindle and Kobo Bookstores
Some retailers operate as resellers. This means they pay the wholesale price to a distributor when your eBook sells. Since these retailers are buying your book from a middleman at a set price, they can resell your eBook at any price they like, including a discounted price. Under the reseller model you will always make the same revenue as displayed in the retail pricing step for each book sold by that retailer, regardless of the sale price.
Once your eBook is published, you can view and edit your eBook's retail pricing and distribution options from the My Projects > Manage button.
IMPORTANT NOTES: When you select Kindle and/or Kobo distribution, Barnes & Noble converts to the reseller revenue model. At this time Amazon Kindle and Kobo distribution are not available to authors residing in Australia.
Why can’t I sell my PDF eBook on sites other than Lulu.com?
While PDFs are simple to create and great for reading on a large monitor or laptop screen, they are usually created as fixed text documents (i.e. the reader cannot choose the font or font size). As such, PDFs are not easily read on smaller screens such as those found on eReader devices.
Due to this limitation, our retail partners prefer eBooks in EPUB file format. These types of eBooks allow text to be optimized for all displays and reading on both large screens and small devices such as smartphones and eReaders.