E-Book Master Class
B; C;;;; M;;;;; T;;;;;; Someone who
has an idea
Tallent’s company, eBook Architects, is a leading
e-book conversion and consulting resource for
If self-publishing is a major part of the future of
the publishing business, then its most uncharted region, and the frontier of greatest possibility, is digital self-publishing, where authors
can make their own names and sell in;nite numbers of
books with the help of a handful of increasingly well-established platforms and standards—Amazon, Apple,
EPub among them.
Of course, it’s hardly that simple, and a would-be self-published author is faced with a daunting number of options and tons of information that can be impossible to sort
through and goes out-of-date almost as fast as it’s published.
For this installment of PW Select, we thought we’d talk to
somebody who makes a living helping authors sort through
those choices and turn their manuscripts into handsomely
published e-books. Joshua Tallent is the founder and CEO
of eBook Architects, an Austin, Tex., firm that designs and
codes e-books for both independent clients and traditional
publishers. We asked him to talk straight about the advantages and disadvantages facing authors looking to publish their
own e-books. Tallent points out that some of the company’s
clients, like Mark Coggins, author of The Immortal Game, have
achieved national fame, and that the company has turned
down projects that weren’t of sufficiently high quality.
According to the company’s Web site (
www.ebookarchi-tects.com), a prose novel will cost between $100 and $250
to convert to e-book format, and between $1.50 and $2 per
page for most nonfiction (with a minimum charge of $200).
Tallent points out that many authors don’t realize they’ll want
not only EPub but also .Mobi, the format Amazon accepts for
the Kindle store. He shares lots of other tips with us, too.
Can you talk a bit about what eBook Architects does
and its history?
The big thing for self-published authors is having people backing you who have the knowledge to navigate the e-book world
where the author is the publisher. What we do is interact with
self-published authors on that level for the e-book part of the
I started out on my own in January of 2009. I hired my first
employee in March of last year. I now have nine team members
and we’re actively hiring more developers. It’s been very very
fast. The whole industry has been totally blowing up. We have
a 70/30 or 60/40 client base split between tradition and self-publishers, weighted toward self-published authors.
Complex projects are our specialty. We’re kind of a boutique
e-book design firm. We can do things like cookbooks and other
heavily designed books. We try to take the quality of the book
that we’re given and keep as much of that quality as we can. We
can do embedded fonts and other stylistic things to try to match
the original print.
What are the biggest challenges facing would-be self-
published authors who want to do e-books?
Most authors are looking for information. A big part of our job
is educating our clients. A lot of people who are self-publishing
get a little bit of info from somebody—an author friend, someone they met at an author meetup. They have a little bit of info,
but they’re still lacking the core process. They may not know
ADVICE FOR THE SELF-PUBLISHED
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