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Why is a MOBI Kindle File like a Cake?

Curious As To Why You Might Ever Want or Need an ePUB File?  Read On!

Your MOBI is just like a cake.
How is your Kindle MOBI file just like a cake? Read on to learn more.

How Can A MOBI File Be Anything Like A CAKE?

When we’re called by prospective clients, we’re asked a lot of questions. Some of them are about layout, some about functionality, and some are simply what seem to be practical questions, to the typical person or new eBook publisher.

One of the things that I’m often asked is “Why do I need an ePUB file? I only want to publish to the Amazon Kindle program, which uses MOBI, so why do I need to pay for an ePUB?”

What is an ePUB File? What's in a MOBI File?

As background, to address this, it helps to know that of all the major retailers, Amazon uses an eBook format called “MOBI,” and all the others (B&N, iBooks, KoboBooks, Sony, etc.) use the other major eBook format, “ePUB.” Basically, the eBook DNA of both formats is 98% identical; only at the very end of the process does the bookmaker make the decisions that end up creating an ePUB file versus a MOBI file, or vice-versa. So, by and large, it’s not twice as much for a company to give you both formats (and if anyone tells you that—find a different formatter!); it’s only a bit more money, as a large part of the work is the same.

The exception to this is what’s called “Fixed Layout” or “Fixed Format,” but that’s a topic for another day.

BUT:  MOBI Kindle Files are not editable.  

What most folks don’t know is that a MOBI Kindle file is not editable. When I tell people that, they naturally ask me, “but, if I want to make changes, how does that happen?” So, here’s the real deal on the basics between ePUB and MOBI:

A MOBI file is a finished, completed product. It is, essentially, like a Cake. When it’s finished, it’s great—but if you wanted to, you couldn’t take that cake apart and get your ingredients back. You couldn’t decide that you wanted to replace (say), half your white sugar with brown sugar. You can’t get your eggs, your flour, your sugar or flavorings back. It’s great, but it’s CAKE, not cake ingredients. If you decide to change your cake, you have to make a whole new cake, from new ingredients.  

(If you want to get techy—a MOBI file is a binary database file that is built from its HTML source).

But, What If You Need To Change Your MOBI File?

But an ePUB file, on the other hand, isn’t just CAKE. It’s a cake that you can disassemble, if you need to. You can get your flour, your eggs, your sugar and your flavorings back from your ePUB. Your ePUB exists in two ways simultaneously; it’s both a finished book (cake!) and the ingredients. This is because an ePUB format isn’t like a MOBI format—it’s a bunch of files (ingredients) zipped into a unique format (ePUB). The “book” exists when it’s zipped into that special ePUB format. But if you know how, you can simply open up that formatted book, and you can add sugar, eggs, flour (text, formatting, other elements), make your changes, and zip those ingredients right back up into…a BOOK. It’s a bit like magic. You can wave your wand at an ePUB, and say “EPUB-liarmus!” and you can take it apart, and then put it right back together as you see fit.

"ePUB-liarmus!" Yup--that's how we do it!

Most professional eBook conversion and formatting firms will use an ePUB, or the constituent parts of the ePUB, to build the MOBI file. What does this mean for you, as a publisher? Well, think about it: if your formatting firm only gives you the MOBI file (cake!), and you later decide that you want to make changes—what do you do? You’re forced to go back to the same firm. You don’t have your source materials (your ingredients) any longer. I’ve even been told by some folks who’ve come to us that some companies will charge you as if it’s a brand-new book—a build from scratch, rather than simply revising the files that they must have in their archives.

So, don’t forget: you WANT an ePUB. Firstly, you never know when Amazon might decide to use ePUBs; you never know when you might want to change your ingredients; and third, heck—you’re paying for your eBook to be created. Make sure you get your own source files, for your future use.

And that way (yes, wait for it!)...you can have your Cake, and eat it, too. 

 

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Our Annual Dog Days of Summer Special is here!

Dog Days of Summer Special!

It's HERE!  Our Annual Dog Days of Summer Annual Special is live!  $15 off, or a free Smashwords ePUB1--your choice!

Been looking for a special price for your book this summer?  Or maybe you want to use Smashwords for distribution, but are having trouble finding an affordable solution?  Well, look no further. We're having our annual Dog Days of Summer Special.  Your choice of options--either $15.00 off the price of your book, or a free Smashwords'-formatted ePUB1.  When you send in your book for quoting, use the Coupon Code: DOGDAYS.

Thanks! Welcome to Booknook.biz, and don't forget to check out our REAL Customer Reviews on our Our Feefo Reviews and Ratings page.  

1Some Limits apply, due to Smashwords' limitations.  The free Smashwords ePUB is limited to fiction, simple non-fiction books and any books that will work at Smashwords.  If your book is too complex, free or otherwise, it won't pass intake at Smashwords due to their internal guidelines.  Ask us if a Smashwords' Edition is suitable for your book. 

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Why Typography Matters

Who Says Typography Matters?

The Stanford Persuasive Technologies Lab did a study, and found that despite the naysayers, typography matters.  Not merely in terms of persuasiveness--in terms of credibility. What did their study find out?

The study found out that "participants made credibility based decisions...based upon...overall visual appeal."  And what elements went into determining "overall visual appeal?"  The very first element was typography, followed by layout, font size, and color scheme.  Why does this matter to you, as an author? 

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How To Write An eBook

Getting Started:

One of the questions that I am frequently asked is about how to write an ebook. The great answer to this is: it's not hard, and it's not different than any other kind of book, pamphlet, or document. You simply sit down and write. Is it actual, real work? You betcha. I can tell you simply from writing all the web and FAQ articles that I have to create that writing isn't magical; it's not easy-peasy, and it's not a get-rich-quick scheme, but it does work. Like anything else, you simply have to put in the effort.

Is there an eBook on How To Write an eBook?

I don't think that there are any specific books on "how to write an ebook," particularly. And if there are, I probably wouldn't recommend them--that would sound like one of those "get rich quick" type things. To write a great eBook, you simply have to write something that's great to begin with. One of the best "how to" books on writing that is still around and taking names is the "Writing Fiction for Dummies" book by The Snowflake Guy, Randy Ingermanson. It's in ebook format, so in addition to being a how-to book, it's an ebook itself. You can buy it in Kindle Format from Amazon.  Another book that is hugely popular and, I've been told, the "right stuff" is Barb Asselin's book,  Write a Kindle Bestseller: How to Write, Format, Publish, and Market a Kindle Bestseller (Writing Non-Fiction and Fiction Books).

Is writing a How-To Book different than Other books?

We convert a lot of "how-to" books. Another question I hear fairly often is, "how to write a how-to ebook," to be sold on Amazon's Kindle platform. Again, this isn't any different than writing any other type of book. Marketing that type of book, though, might be a completely different task than, say, marketing a fiction book. One of the best marketing books out there, for non-fiction books, is Mike Alear's "How To Make a Killing on Kindle," (although Mike disagrees with me about blogging--but that's his prerogative as a successful author!) which gives you pretty good advice on strategizing a) what types of books to write, b) how to find the best keywords on Amazon, and c) how to market your efforts, using those precious ebook keywords and keyword strings.

How To Get Started Writing How-To Books:

One of the things that many authors don't think about is "how to" blogging, as a platform. A place to start. A way to start thinking about, experimenting with, and creating valuable interaction with your market base. What's a better place to use, from which to sell your "how To" book? An author page on Amazon, one of millions, or an active blogsite, that already has thousands of folks that come by, to see what you--a self-help guru who has established herself--has to say?

Not only does blogging give you writing experience--it helps you find out what people want to KNOW. And how they want to know it. Do they need long, detailed blog posts? Detailed instructions, or short, less-demanding pieces of the instructions?

Consider blogging, to find out what your audience wants, if you don't already know. And if you haven't established yourself as a guru, now is a good time to start. It will help drive book sales, in numerous ways.

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Jackie Collins' "Chances" out now on Kindle!

Jackie Collins' "Chances" available now

Get it Now on Kindle!

...And we're thrilled to have her IN THE HOUSE!  "Chances," her runaway smash hit, is coming out in less than 3 days available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple...all the usual places.  We're thrilled, of course, that her team chose Booknook.biz to be the eBook producers for "Chances," and we hope to continue this relationship with her as she keeps breaking ground as a self-publishing big-time bestselling author.  You can find "Chances" at:  http://amzn.to/LdU1Qz on Amazon. 

If you're not familiar with Chances, the book marks the first appearance of Jackie's incredibly popular character, Lucky Santangelo. 

The book that made Jackie Collins one of America’s favorite authors sweeps you from the sophisticated playgrounds of Europe to the glittering gambling palaces of Las Vegas. It plunges you into the reckless, dangerous world of the Santangelo crime family. It introduces you to Gino Santangelo, the street kid who makes it all the way to the top. And then brings you Lucky—his sensual, stunningly beautiful, and passionate daughter; a woman who dares to win her father’s empire for herself; a woman unafraid of taking…CHANCES.

 

Don't miss the eBook launch of Chances--coming June 7th.

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Phone Call Alert! 

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Old Timey Switchboard Operator Cartoon

 

Due to the COVID-19 onslaught, we currently cannot take incoming phone calls.  

And since nobody reads anything, I've simply removed the phone number from the site.  

A notification about phone calls:  due to the COVID-19 plague, we've significantly increased our incoming inquiries--nearly double our usual volume--and the number of incoming inquiries by phone has been literally overwhelming.  Although most writers will say that their call "will only take 15 minutes," the truth is, that after 10 years of doing this, most author inquiry calls take an hour.  45 minutes at best. I'm currently receiving 7-10 calls/day, and due to that, I've had to stop accepting incoming phone calls, which my voicemail will tell you. You can leave a message--I can't call you back without one--and if a call is needed, I will of course call you.  But we have very complete and extensive email replies, handouts and our website is very informative. Almost all the questions that I receive during a call are actually already answered on our site, or are, in fact, publishing questions, not questions about our services, what we do, what we offer, or the like.  I already handle between 90-130 emails/day, as it is. I can't handle that many emails and take 7-10 hours of calls each day. I can't. So, in order to be able to answer this huge email volume, to help the greatest number of people, with my time, I've had to stop accepting calls.  I'm sorry, but that's just how it is. I'm in the process of setting up a call-appointment function, for free 15-minute calls to answer questions from new prospective customers and longer paid sessions for folks who generally want consulting on "publishing," generally (and for prospective kids' book publishers, as a special category of paid consulting).  But that functionality isn't yet set up. I hope to get that working the 3rd week of July, sometime.  

Thank you for your understanding.