Good news for NBN Fusion clients—NBN has completed an agreement to sell ebook content through Gardners.
The channel is being added to our digital asset manager and your content will be pushed out to them as soon as that is complete.
Gardners supplies ebooks to more than 70 ebook retail sites in the UK and Europe. A full list (including active links) is below. Please be aware that most of these sites are selective in which titles they carry, so some specific titles may not be there. The exceptions to this are Foyles and Hive.co.uk. They carry the full range.
If you don’t see your ebook titles up and available right away, be patient, there are a lot to add. If after a couple of weeks you still don’t see your title up, contact your Fusion ebook representative and she can research it for you.
Still more awards keep coming in. This time several of our NBN publishers have won awards at the International Book Awards (check it out here). Click on the ISBNs below for links to the books’ pages on our website.
Congratulations to all our publishers on their awards!
Best New Fiction Finalist
Girl Unmoored by Jennifer Gooch Hummer
Fiction Studio Books
Best New Spirituality Book Winner
Paramhansa Yogananda: A Biography with Personal Reflections and Reminiscences by Swami Kriyananda
Crystal Clarity Publishers
Comics: Graphic Novel Winner
Mi Barrio by Robert Renteria
Writers of the Round Table, Inc.
Zakka Style: 24 Projects Stitched with Ease to Give, Use & Enjoy, compiled by Rashida Coleman-Hale, contributions by Design Collective
Stash Books, an imprint of C&T Publishing
Fiction: Literary Finalist
Hystera by Leora Skolkin-Smith
Fiction Studio Books
Fiction: Young Adult Finalist
Girl Unmoored by Jennifer Gooch Hummer
Fiction Studio Books
Poetry: General Winner
What Matters by Adele Kenny
Welcome Rain Publishers
Spirituality: General Finalist
The Silence of the Mind by Ilie Cioara
Sports: General Winner
Shin Gi Tai: Karate Training for Body, Mind, and Spirit by Michael Clarke
YMAA Publication Center, Inc.
Youth Issues Finalist
From the Barrio to the Board Room, 2nd Edition by Robert Renteria
Writers of the Round Table, Inc.
Hello everyone, I’m very happy to share that our RLPG design team won three awards at the Washington Book Publishers Design and Effectiveness Awards last Tuesday (May 22) evening.
This year Maria and Devin took home the awards, though all our designers have been winners in past years. Our team regularly takes home multiple awards at this ceremony and I couldn’t be prouder of their consistent level of excellence in designing our covers.
We offer our design services to our clients as part of our Fusion program as well, so you too can have access to the amazing creative talents we have on staff. If you are interested in learning more or in contracting our design services, send me an email and we can discuss your needs.
Feel free to click on the links below to see our award-winning covers.
First Place: Wine Wars (Rowman & Littlefield)
Second Place: Only the Wing (Rowman & Littlefield/SISP)
Honorable Mention: Early Charlie Chaplin (Scarecrow Press
Apple is the pickiest vendor that we supply to and currently the only vendor that reviews titles before making them for sale. The Apple review team rejects titles for a variety of reasons, but Apple has not released a guide that details what the QA team looks for. However, the following is a break-down of the most common rejections we see:
- Spaces in the .xhtml file names
- The ePUB will fail to distribute to Apple if there are spaces in the file names. The error message that Apple gives is “illegal character in path at index…”
- Small front cover
- If the front cover JPG is too small, the title will fail to distribute to Apple. The front cover JPG must be at least 1400 on the short side side.
- EPUB contains images of more than 4 million pixels
- 2 million pixels equates to approximately 1000×2000. Usually the image in question is a front cover image but can be scanned text or other art in the ePub. Sometimes we receive rejections with the rejected images specified.
- Prices in the EPUB (including ads and back covers)
- Inaccurate/Incomplete Table of Contents
- This refers to the auto-generated ToC that customers use to navigate on the devices. If your title is short and does not have sections, be sure to capture front and back matter in the ToC.
- Blurry/Pixilated images or Illegible diagrams/charts/tables
- This is often a problem when the diagrams/charts/tables are scanned in and the text is small.
- Apple may still reject a title if an image appears clear when viewed in normal screen size but is blurry when zoomed in.
- Image resolution is downgraded as a result of the conversion process, and the conversion vendor we work with does not improve image quality during conversions. To avoid this issue, images, charts, etc. should be high resolution in the PDF sent for conversion.
- Too much scanned in text (such as whole sections)
- Overlapping text or Text/images cut off
- Too much interactivity (e.g. having exercises like a workbook)
- Cover art/EPUB promises content not included (e.g. a CD/DVD)
- Cover art not matching title page (different author name, subtitle, etc)
Adobe Digital Editions is a free software application that allows you to view epub files on your computer. However, please note that there are limitations of this program.
- Certain complex characters do not display in Digital Editions. They can appear as question marks or empty boxes, making it look like there is an error in the epub file when there is no error in the file. This is true not only of unsupported font types in English, but also unsupported foreign languages.
- Spacing can be an issue. Occasionally, there looks like extra spacing between paragraphs, when no such spacing exists.
- When looking at a fixed layout epub, the embedded text appears as a separate screen and the lettering is unreadably small. Rest assured that this small text does not show up on the ipad.
- Depending on the screen size, images and tables can appear cut off.
- Digital Editions has numbers that look like page numbers. The numbers that appear to the right of the page are just reference numbers for the epub creators. The numbers at the top (that appear like: 10/300) do not actually correspond to the print book and do not correspond to what the customer is seeing on his/her device.
It’s important to remember that looking at an epub in Digital Editions is not how the file will look on an e-reading device. Using Adobe Digital Editions to look at an epub file is an easy and convenient option, but it is always best to view the file on an actual e-reading device to get the customer experience.
In this What We Do post, I’ll cover our offset printing capabilities and supply information on how to secure quotes and arrange offset printing through NBN Fusion.
Similar to my earlier post on DSR printing, we use our offset print volume with our preferred vendors to drive the cost of printing down and provide our NBN Fusion clients with access to those cost savings. We work with multiple printers domestically and internationally and we can help you select the best print option for your project based upon spec, schedule and cost.
To submit a request for offset printing, use the same online form that you use for DSR printing and submit the title information to our Fusion print manufacturing department. That form can be found here.
A representative will contact you with any questions and will supply you with a cost estimate for approval. Once you approve the estimate and make the decision to move forward with printing, you will be asked to supply your print-ready text and cover files via your pre-assigned Fusion ftp site. After you upload files, notify your representative and he or she will schedule the printing with our vendor. Once the job is sent, you will be given an estimated ship date, which will also be entered into our warehouse database so that the printed books can be received.
In the coming weeks, I’ll be contributing a series of entries discussing how to set-up your InDesign files to create ePubs that require minimal interaction with the xhtml code. I will also show you how following those steps in InDesign will translate to your ePub file. But, first, I think it’s important to fully understand what an ePub actually is.
ePub is the standard e-book format established by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). ePubs are files (with the extension .epub) that display reflowable content across many different eReaders (Apple iBooks, Nook, Kobo, etc.). The reflowable content can be optimized to the display of the device or to meet the reader’s needs.
An ePub is essentially a collection of files zipped into a single file. You can see all of the inner workings of an ePub by simply changing the file extension from .epub to .zip and unzipping the file. The preferred method would be to view the contents through an XML editor. I use Oxygen XML editor, but a good and free ePub editing tool is Sigil. These programs allow you to open and edit an ePub without unzipping it. (Unzipping an ePub can lead to some issues because you’re required to re-zipped in a particular order. This has to be done manually through command-line prompts.)
An ePub file contains the following files and folders:
Mimetype: identifies the package as an ePub
META-INF folder: usually only contains the container.xml file
Container.xml: points to the file defining the contents of the book (opf file)
OEBPS folder: location of the content of the book
images folder: contains the ePub’s images
html/xhtml files: these are the text files of the book
.css file (cascading style sheets): defines the formatting of the text and other layout attributes
.opf file: XML file that list all of the files that are contained in the ePub and specifies the order in which the html/xhtml files should appear. This file also contains the book’s metadata
toc.ncx: XML file containing the navigational table of contents
The above ePub structure is the ePub version 2.0.1 structure. There are some changes with the newly developed ePub 3.0 specifiations which expands ePub to include html5 elements such as audio and video. For now, I will focus on ePub 2.0.1.
In my next post, I will focus on some general good practices to follow when setting up your InDesign files.
Print on Demand (POD) is another key part of the services we offer in NBN Fusion. Simply put, we print your titles as they are ordered by customers. This eliminates the need to monitor inventory or maintain physical books in the warehouse. It allows titles that would otherwise be out of print due to the cost of printing to remain available for sale. Once your title is made available through the NBN Fusion POD program it will always show as in stock.
You can provide a physical book to scan and create cover and text files or you can provide a .pdf file for these. The ideal .pdf file:
- Has one complete .pdf that is PDF/X-1a standard.
- Contains effective image resolution of halftones at 300 dpi and line art 800 dpi.
- Has the desired trim size plus 1/8” bleed on all sides.
- Has desired margins.
- Contains only the color/colors for desired output.
- Has embedded fonts.
- Has grayscale images for black and white jobs, not Monotones.
When submitting your title for POD you have two choices of paper stock: cream 55# Glatfelter, which has a ppi of 360, or white 60# Arbor, which has a ppi of 444. The cover will be printed on a 10 pt cover stock with a gloss lamination. Currently, there are no other lamination choices available in POD.
The turnaround time for new titles is 2-3 weeks if you provide a print ready .pdf files for your title and 4 weeks if you provide a physical book to scan. Once your title has been made available through our program it will have a 48-hour turnaround for printing as ordered by customers.
We will generate one invoice for all printing fees and this will be deducted from your statement unless otherwise agreed. The sales from all printing locations are consolidated on your online sales reports as well.
If you would like a title to become POD or would like to ask about pricing, contact Tonya Hearon at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will work with you to determine if your title is a good candidate for POD based on initial print quantity, trim size, and page count. Once it is determined that your title is a good candidate she will provide you with the metadata sheet needed to process your title.
It is very important that you pay close attention when filling out metadata. Incomplete and/or incorrect metadata will delay our ability to get your title distributed and live on vendor sites. All of the columns that must be completed before your title can be ingested have been highlighted. You are welcome to fill out any of the other columns, but they are not required.
Here are a few helpful hints when filling out metadata:
- When entering in ISBN’s, please remove all dashes.
- Title Group ID = print ISBN
*If the title is only available electronically (i.e. there is no print version), put the eISBN in the Title Group ID cell. Please let your Fusion rep know if this is the case.
- For any title you want distributed and selling as soon as possible, the asset status and publishing status must be set to active.
- In the sales rights section, if your title is not available in certain countries, you must list the countries individually and separate with either a comma or semicolon. Unfortunately, if your title isn’t available in all of Europe, you must go through and list all the countries. You cannot just key in Europe under regions excluded. The ISO country code list is on the 4th tab on the spreadsheet for your reference.
If you ever have any questions about what something means or what information you need to put in the spreadsheet, please ask your Fusion rep.
In order for titles to be available in foreign currencies in international markets, publishers should specify foreign pricing in metadata submissions. NBN does not automatically assign foreign pricing to eBook titles. The foreign currencies in which we currently accept prices are the Canadian dollar, (CAD), Pound Sterling (GBP), and Euro (EUR). These currencies are used by outlets such as Amazon’s UK and other international stores as well as Apple’s Canada and UK stores plus 23 of its European stores.
When customers search for titles in some foreign markets, for example Amazon UK, the list price they see will include the Value Added Tax required for eBook sales in that country. This means that if a publisher sets the GBP and EUR prices as 1.49, customers shopping via Amazon UK, France, Germany, etc. would be paying 1.53 including VAT (this price would apply in countries where Amazon does not add a $2 surcharge).
Publishers that are unsure of what foreign pricing to assign to their eBooks can calculate foreign pricing using the current conversion rate. However, to be accepted by Apple, the prices would need to:
(1) Be lower than the print price in the foreign currency
(2) End in –.49 or –.99, and
(3) Correlate with one of Apple’s pricing tiers.
*If you need a list of the iBookstore price tiers, please contact your eBooks representative.