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Which ebook Format for Tom’s Book?

Tom Jackson Live Music Method BookI’ve been tasked with the job of getting Tom’s Live Music Method Book ready for ebook publishing. Yikes! Where do I begin?

There are numerous kinds of formats to use. For instance, the Kindle version is called .mobi. And then there’s the ePUB format which works for anyone who wants to read it on iBooks, Nook, or Kobo.

And after we look at the formats and get the book into 1 or more of those, then we need to talk about the delivery. I’m used to going to the Kindle store and just downloading my books from there. But now I need to learn what has to happen if it ISN’T sold through the Kindle store… yikes!

I think I’ve got some of it worked out — but I could really use your help. I’d love to know which format you would use. What eReader is your favorite? Which devices do you think you’d like to download Tom’s book on? For that matter, are you interested in a download of his 400+ page manual on taking your show from good to great?

And when I come up from the deep pit of learning the language of “mobi/pub/KindleGen/Scrivener” and have some idea of what I’m doing — then I’ll give you a better idea of when we’ll be ready to take your order!

I look forward to your feedback!

Tom Jackson

Tom is uniquely talented and skilled at transforming an artist's live show into a magical experience for the audience; helping artists at every level create a live show that is engaging and memorable, teaching them to exceed their audiences' expectations and to create fans for life. Tom has taught indie and major artists of every genre. He has worked with Taylor Swift, Le Crae, Home Free, The Tenors, Shawn Mendes, The Band Perry, Francesca Battistelli, Jars of Clay, & many more. Tom also teaches at colleges, conferences and events worldwide.

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Greenroom Comments

  1. Dyniss Rainer says:

    I almost exclusively “read” AUDIOBOOKS, which wasn’t a format mentioned above. Please release audiobook formats. 🙂

  2. It’s great to see it’s finally going to be available electronically. The only thing I haven’t liked about the book is that it’s a book. I hope those of us who have already bought the book will get to upgrade to the electronic version FREE!

  3. kindle! Please! Please! Please!!!

  4. Kindle

  5. Jodi,

    Assuming the question is a technical one: If the original book was set in Indesign, it can be exported to .epub format, which can then be converted to Kindle format for uploading to Amazon using the tools Amazon provides (which includes an emulator for all the different Kindles, so you can get an idea of what the book will look like).

    When I’ve done this, I’ve tweaked the output from Indesign to make it just so – an .epub file is basically a bundle of XHTML and CSS files in a .zip file, and it can be edited at that level the way a website would.

    However, I found that once tweaked, the .epub converted quite nicely to Kindle (better than going from MS Word).

    The other question, (which is also a technical one, actually, in a way) is whether the Amazon Marketplace or the other ebook sellers are preferable. I’m not sure about this, to be honest, it’s not my department. But I’d suggest having a good hard look at Amazon’s terms of sale – you might find that, despite Amazon being a very long way ahead in terms of market dominance, that it wouldn’t be worth your while selling the book on their terms anyway, especially if the book looks unreadably bad when converted to Kindle format (illustrations really don’t work on the more basic Kindles, for example, as I’m sure you’ve noticed). There’s also the issue of DRM – you could sell a DRM-free .epub alongside the other downloadable items on this site, but in order to have DRM, you need to be inside someone’s walled garden – Amazon, or Apple or Barnes and Noble. Again, the main division seems to be between Amazon and everyone else.

    As you can tell, I’m into all sorts of tedious details, and the ins and outs of this argument make even my eyes glaze over. I did a bunch of research on it a few years ago, and have mercifully forgotten almost all of it now.

    (It’s one of those subjects where I mutter rueful to myself “I could have learned French with those synapses.” Not that I ever did learn French.)

    I’d suggest exporting a few chapters to .epub, seeing what they look like in various available readers, then converting to Kindle format and looking at it in their emulator (and/or sideloading it into a Kindle if you have one.)

    Hope that helps. Of course, if this thread is a year old and the ebook’s been out for six months I’m going to look a bit foolish (especially if everything I just said turns out to be wrong), but good luck.

    • Something I meant to add to the bit about Amazon’s terms of sale: You might find that, although Kindle is the dominant platform by a long way, the people who might actually want to read the book have access to an .epub store, and you wouldn’t necessarily lose any actual sales by not going to Amazon, and it could give you more flexibility (depending on what limitations Amazon set on a publisher who wants to publish via Kindle).

      • LOL, John! Thanks for the thoughts, and I did just post this blog a couple of days ago, so your comments were not in vain! I’m sure we will sell the ebook on our site. But we are still looking at the advantages and disadvantages of selling through other marketplaces as well. Your insight is very much appreciated.

        And if we want it translated into French, we shouldn’t ask you, right? 🙂

  6. epub, I read on iPad.

    I would suggest doing both mobi and epub and sell through both channels. It will take a bit of extra work to format for both formats but you won’t loose sales. Yes, I know I can use the Kindle reader on my iPad but I prefer to have my books in iBooks. My two pesos.


  7. Kindle seems pretty universal. There’s a Kindle app for pretty much every device (though other apps and readers may boast the same) and KIndle is the most popular ebook reader and app right now (measured by app downloads and reader purchases). Wattpad seems to be one of the most heavily used ebook apps, but it doesn’t get downloaded a ton and a lot of people outside of the young adult demographic haven’t heard of it.

    To answer the questions though, I’d read on my macbook and android, and kindle is my favorite reader.

  8. I think I would look into anything that works with Kindle – whether it’s the app or the actual tablet/e-reader. Most of the tablets have the capability to download the free Kindle app so it just seems that it would work best — and there’s also the free desktop app for computers too. Just my opinion…I’m sure there are others who would have other opinions.

  9. I read books on my iPad using a nook application. I buy from the barnes and noble store.

  10. Kyle Kraft says:

    Any chance of an audiobook any time soon?

    • We talked about that when we first had the book published, Kyle. It’s a great idea, and wouldn’t it be cool to hear Tom read his own book! It won’t be happening soon just because it would take some time, but I wonder how many people would be interested in that?

  11. Jodi,
    I use Kindle for PC for some things, but have a Nook that I use actively. I’d like to see Barnes & Noble survive…some of us have serious political problems with Amazon and their attempt to take over the world (attack on Hachette Publishing, ridiculous launch into the cell phone market, etc.),. With all the superefficiency of their delivery systems, they rip off many resellers and can be non-responsive on customer service problems (I recently was burned when they sold me a Planet Waves guitar humidifier that had been withdrawn four years ago for environmental hazard, redesigned and redistributed in a safe form. This has been documented in a guitar chat room…Amazon seems to have refused to return or destroy their old inventory. My complaint went into a black hole.)

    All I’m saying is, a) let Tom’s book be a huge success!!! and b) don’t make it exclusive to Kindle…my vote goes to ePUB, which I believe is multi-platform.


  12. Kindle. I have contacts who have done this if you’d like me to put you in touch with them. 😉


  13. All the e books I’ve read were the PDF format.
    Will there be a discounted price for the ebook?
    Create space is a site I’ve heard of that helps authors self publish, might be helpful.

    • Evan, PDF doesn’t work well with the flow of a book on different devices, especially when there are lots of graphics. (And Tom’s book is FULL of graphic illustrations!) Do you mostly read on your laptop or desktop? Thanks so much for the site reference – I’ll check it out! And yes, the ebook will cost slightly less.

  14. I would be interested in purchasing the ebook once it is ready. I use a kindle and tend to buy through the kindle store.

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