So you have uploaded your eBook (or are about to), you’re raring to go, but there may be a few snags: Pricing and errors. Let’s talk about pricing first.

How do you price your book? Well, this is why your prior research was so necessary. In all honesty, generally (in US$) you’ll want to charge about $0.000049 per word. So if your manuscript is 90,000 words it’s about $4.41.

However, humans respond better to numbers that end in 0 or 9, and yes, the human mind sees $9.99 and thinks it’s a better deal than $10, we all do it, it’s why almost all prices are such from cantaloupes to new cars. So if you have 90,000 words and get $4.41, go for $4.49.

Many people are all over the map. I have seen people charge $2.99 for a 10,000 word short story and $1.99 for a 100,000 word novel. However, the latter works if you have a series, it’s good to price to the first lower to encourage more people to take a chance on your series.

You can always change prices later, you’re not beholden right now, so let’s stick to the $0.00049 per word model.

The next pricing issue is international. Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and Google all auto-calculate this, but Amazon will let you calculate it or let them. Let’s talk turkey.

Right now, on your first novel, you’re not going to sell much overseas. And if you’re not in the US, for all English-speaking countries the US is the largest market, so make sure your first price is in US dollars. You generally should let Amazon auto calculate UNLESS you’re in another country, such as England. You will sell in your home country and the US, or if the US is your home country you will mostly sell there.

In short, make sure the price in your home country (and the US if not your home country) end in 9 and are commensurate with the average pricing in your home country.

For Americans, you’ll hear some about VAT, value added tax. To keep it short, Europe has had enough of our shit, so this is applied to American products, a tax American producers must pay. In the case of eBooks, this comes out of your royalties.

Let it ride! Do NOT hike up the price, or you’re basically forcing your potential British, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh fans (and any English-speakers in other European countries) pay for our respective government’s bullshit. Just eat it, gaining a true fan is more important than alienating them by making them pay for your tax. If you think this isn’t such a big deal, well, my American friends, remember how taxation led to the revolution that created our damn country? Yeah, it’s a sensitive issue, so don’t poke it. And don’t worry, this does not apply to sales in Canada and Australia or anywhere really outside of Europe.

By now you should understand pricing and it should be a smooth process. Next, what do we do with errors?

First up, upload to Smashwords before uploading to any other platform. They have the best error check, and you will be notified of errors. When you get them, log in, view the ticket, and see what it is.

The most common is going to be bookmarks and TOC (table of contents). You have some options to make this go smoothly.

First revisit the advanced formatting lesson). Did you follow the instructions? Still getting an error? If so here are the quickest fixes:

1. Go back into your *doc and *docx
2. Open up any and all bookmarks, make sure to show hidden bookmarks and make sure to delete any you did not insert
3. Save it as *html
4. Resubmit

If that doesn’t work, here is your next option

1. Go back into your *doc or *docx
2. Remove the LINK back to the TOC from every single chapter heading
3. Remove the TOC bookmark
4. Save it, and save it as a *html
5. Resubmit

That is going to be 99% of all errors. Follow those steps and you’ll be fine. The only other errors are going to be narrowly defined. The fixes are all in the Smashwords Style Guide.

As a final note, if you have images, make sure they are formatted correctly. Back in your *doc or *docx go to the picture formatting tool and make sure word wrapping is correct (generally square is best) and you have not defined the size (some of these will be read on phones, some on laptops, some on eReaders) so it should be auto-selected (simply IN THE DOCUMENT place the cursor at a corner and drag it to change size). For final details, follow the Style Guide.

Once you have it uploaded correctly to Smashwords, make sure that version is the one you use. ALWAYS edit in your *doc and *docx and every time you make a change, save the new version as you *html and *pdf. 

If you do have images, ALWAYS download the *opf, *mobi, or *epub version from Smashwords, and submit that to Amazon (make sure you edit it to change it to “Kindle Version” from “Smashwords Version” on the copyright page.

Images are really the only formatting issue you can have with the others. The good news is most eBooks don’t have images. If your book is full of graphics, and you keep having errors, it is worth it to hire someone with experience to format it.

However, following the last lessons, you should be in good shape. Just remember to upload to Smashwords first, and once that’s good, go through the rest.

Once they are all up all that is left is to decide if you’ll do any specials. We’ll cover this more in marketing, but it’s important to know you can change prices, and you can enroll in KDP select. KDP will eventually figure out you’re selling on other platforms and kick you out, but it takes a while.

Hey, their system is designed to screw you, so don’t feel bad about trying to pull a fast one. You can enroll in KDP Select right away which means people will get to read your book for free, and each month depending on the KDP fund, it’s divided by all downloads, and you’ll get your share of a general profit fund. It is a great way to get more readers and comments/ratings.

Once this is done, it’s on to marketing where we are joined by our legacy friends again. Congratulations! Go and celebrate now, worry about marketing tomorrow!