How to Edit Epub Metadata

Learn to Edit Epub Metadata on Mac or Windows Computer!

Several important details are housed within the metadata of your epub file. For example; the book author, title, contributors and more can all be found in the metadata. If you want to update or change these details, it can be done easily!

  1. To edit content in your .epub file you will first need to open the folder into its component parts. You can learn how to open an ePub file here.
  2. Once you have your files un-packaged simply open the folder. You should see a file called ”META-INF” or similar. This file should contain a metadata.xml or similar file.
  3. You will need a text editor like Sublime Text or Notepad to open the XML file. Below is a screenshot using Sublime.
  4. Now you can simply identify the metadata elements you want to edit and make the changes.
  5. Save your changes and re-package the file. To do this on a Windows computer simply zip the contents of the file, then rename the file to include the extension .epub. On a Mac computer, you can use the utility here.

Why every self-publishing author needs an ebook

When first-time authors think about publishing a book, their focus often centers on physical printed books. There is something alluring about seeing a pile of freshly printed books with your name on them. What too many authors don’t realize, is that publishing an ebook first is a much better idea. Here’s why.

There is very little risk.

Print publishing is expensive and risky. A short run of physical books can cost thousands of dollars. Ebook publishing, on the other hand, is relatively inexpensive. In fact, it is completely free for an author to self-publish on the most popular ebook platforms. You might have a few costs associated with writing and editing your book, or having a cover designed, but in general, the costs are much lower than print publishing.

You can test the market for your book.

Publishing your book as an ebook first allows you to test the market for your book before you spend a grundle of money having copies printed.

In addition, most authors get a lot of feedback from their first group of readers. With digital publishing, you can take that feedback and make updates to improve your book.

You can make more money!

Amazon sells more ebooks than print books, and they have since 2011! If you don’t have your book available in digital formats you are missing out on a huge number of potential buyers.

Even if you do have a print book, you should still have an ebook. Many readers prefer to buy digital books for their Kindle or mobile device. Some readers even buy digital copies of the physical books they already own because of the convenience.

You have more control over your ebook

In digital formats, your book can easily be updated and re-published. If you find a mistake or want to make a change, you can easily do so. Best of all, when you re-publish your ebook, everyone who already purchased your book will automatically receive the latest version!

How to format an ebook.

Turning your book into an ebook is not complicated, and there are several great free tools like Sigil and Calibre that make the process easy if you are willing to spend a little time and effort and do it yourself.

Using Google Docs To Write An Ebook!

Google Docs is a tool that lets you create, edit, and share documents online. It is like Microsoft Word, but it lives online “in the cloud”. Best of all, it is totally free. You just need a gmail.com account (also free) to have access.

If you are not already familiar with Google Docs, you can get started here. All you need is a free Gmail email address to get access to the entire suite of Google “apps”.

Google has lots of great tools that make it easy to write, design, and edit your book.

To create a new file:

  • From Google Drive, select the New button, then choose the Google Docs option to create a new document.

  • Rename your document from the top left-hand corner of the page. You can access the file at any time from your Google Drive, where it will be saved automatically. Simply double-click to open the file again.

Writing Your Book

Google Docs is very similar to Microsoft word, and other word processing tools. You will find all of the same editing and formatting features you are used to.

You may notice that there is no Save button for your files. This is because Google Drive uses autosave, which automatically saves your files as you edit them.

Google Docs is a great way to write your book because it has loads of powerful editing tools, as well as the ability to share your document with others and track changes that are made online.

Don’t worry about formatting your book with fancy fonts or adding images yet. For this stage, it’s important that you keep your content as basic as possible.

Now you are ready to convert your book into an ebook.

4 Popular Ebook Formats

Here are the 4 ebook formats that I think are most important to know about and understand

 

EPUB

Epub stands for electronic publication. This is the most popular and most widely used of all ebook formats. Epub was designed by the Open eBook Forum and developed by the International Digital Publishing Forum.

Devices that can open this file include the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Sony Readers, Kobo Reader, and the Nook from Barnes & Noble.

How to make and edit ebook formats

MOBI

Mobi is short for “Mobi Pocket”. This format can be opened on a number of mobile devices and smart phones. Most notably it is used by the Amazon Kindle line of devices. There are also browser and computer based programs that can read Mobi format, including Kindle for Mac or Kindle for PC

AZW

This is an Amazon format used exclusively on the Amazon Kindle line of devices. It is basically a MOBI format that uses a high compression option. Amazon will accept books in AZW or Mobi format. If you use Amazon to convert your file from Epub or Microsoft Word it will be converted into AZW.

PDF

The Portable Document Format was created by Adobe for its Acrobat products. This is NOT a flowing text format like the other formats mentioned. PDF is a page based document format originally created for printed content. However, it is still a popular format used by many individuals and companies. PDF formats can be read in most browsers, computers, tablets, smart phones etc… However, on small devices like smart phones a PDF can be difficult to read.

Ebook Tools

How To Price An Ebook

Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all price for ebooks and no perfect price that guarantees great results for every book. Ultimately the price of your book will be your choice, however, there are some best practices that will help you make an informed decision.

Factors that you should think about when selecting a price for your book include:

1. Royalty percentages

Amazon is the most controlling when it comes to pricing ebooks. They (as well as other ebook retailers) offer different royalty percentages based on the price you choose for your book. Most ebooks are priced in the range of $2.99 to $9.99 because this range offers the highest percentage payout from Amazon and some other retailers. The chart below shows the royalty you can expect to be paid to you based on different prices:

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-9-25-57-pm

Note: This list is for example only. Other factors like delivery costs and the country or territory an ebook is purchased in also affect your actual royalties.

2. Your ebook’s length and perceived quality

As a general rule, readers expect shorter books to be priced cheaper than longer books. Long books that have more content can generally be priced higher.

Books with higher perceived value can also demand a higher price point. For example, a book written by a popular author with a track-record of best selling content might be able to charge more because readers expect that they will get great content. Books that are endorsed by popular people or celebrities might fall into this category as well. Books by notable experts in a field of study might also be able to charge more. Unknown, or first time authors can also create this kind of “Perceived Quality” by getting good reviews, great design (especially the cover), awards etc…

3. The prices of other books in your genre.

Here is where you should ALWAYS do a little research. Find out what your competitors are charging. This can be a good way to determine how you “fit” in the market. Does your book have more or less perceived value? Does it have as much content?

How To Make An Ebook Cover For Free

There are several great programs available to help you design a high quality cover image for your ebook. Programs like Photoshop are great, but you don’t need any expensive design programs to make a great ebook cover. There are lots of free design tools available. Here is one of our favorites. Its called CANVA, its easy to use and its totally free.

1. Sign up and log in at www.canva.com

2. Click “Create a Design

3. Then choose the “Kindle Cover” option under “Blogging & eBooks”. You can also choose “eBook” either of these options will produce a high quality image perfectly sized for your ebook, but the Kindle option has more free layouts to choose from. The 1410px by 2250px image will be just the right dimensions for your Kindle and most other ebook devices.

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-7-56-12-pm

4. Select one of the free design options (there are also paid options. but the free layouts are great, and you can use the paid layouts for inspiration when you customize your own cover!)

5. Use the editing features to customize the images and text on your cover. If you want to add an image to your cover (maybe as the background) check out Pexels.com Its a great place to find images that are 100% free to use.

6. When you are done, simply click the “Download” button to produce a high quality PNG or JPG image for uploading to Amazon and Apple.

 

NOTE* You can actually use Canva to create an entire PDF ebook. But keep in mind, this is NOT the same thing as an epub ebook. Epub is an ebook format that can be sold on Apple, Amazon and other ebook stores, and a PDF is not. An ePub (or Mobi) file is also a flowing text format, which means the content will adjust to fit the size of the device. A PDF is non-responsive, and will not change depending on the device size. So PDF files can be very difficult to read on tablets and especially on small devices like an iPhone.

ISBN Information

What is an ISBN and do I need one? 

ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. It is generally a 13-digit number, and it is used as an identifier for books. ISBNs are used internationally. If you plan to sell your book online (or in bookstores). You will probably want an ISBN for each book you publish.

Amazon is the only online retailer that does not require an ISBN number for ebooks. They assign their own unique identifier to ebooks called and ASN number. However, it is still strongly recommended that you have an ISBN, even if Amazon is the only store you plan to sell on. Other stores like Apple and Barnes and Noble will require an ISBN.

To get your own ISBN number go to myidentifiers.com, they are the only authorized ISBN website for the United States run by Bowker *any other source you might find online will be re-selling Bowker ISBN’s, and will likely not allow you to be listed as the publisher of record*. Click on “ISBN Identifiers” and you’ll be taken to a page where you can buy 1, 10, 100 or 1000 ISBNs. One ISBN today costs $125, but 10 ISBNs cost $250, 100 cost $575 and 1000 cost $1000. The price per ISBN drops significantly from $125 to $25 to $5.75 to $1. So, if you plan to publish more than one book it is probably worth buying 10 or more ISBN’s (they do not expire).

ISBN’s can only be registered to one book, and can only be registered one time. If you make significant changes to the content of your book (like a new edition) you will also need a new ISBN. Its recommended that you also use a new ISBN for each edition of your book. So your Print book and your Ebook editions should each use unique ISBN identifiers.

You can purchase an ISBN even if you are not a publishing company.