Self-Publishing: Selling and Converting eBooks with Book Baby

Book Baby eBook and Digital Distribution

Finished your book? Ready to convert it to eBook format and sell your eBook to the world?

Then it’s time you started to explore the options for eBook and digital distribution, of which there are many.

In addition to direct distribution through Amazon, B&N, Sony and the iBookstore, there are a host of great eBook distributors out there who can support and guide you through this process, and provide you with a more efficient way to sell your eBooks.

Over the coming weeks, here at Finish Your Book we’ll be reviewing all of them. This week we are taking a look at Book Baby

Who are Book Baby?

Book Baby are a kind of one-stop shop for Indie and Self-Publishers. They offer a great service for eBook conversion and digital distribution of eBooks to all the major eBook retailers at extremely competitive rates. They don’t have any nasty hidden fees and they have great customer service. They also offer services for the creation, design and short-run printing of physical books.

Do they convert text to eBook format?

Yes. They manage the entire book conversion process for you (phew!). They will convert your book into an ePUB, Kindle and .mobi format that can be read on every reading device – Kindle, iPad, Nook, Sony Reader, and others.

They can also convert books into Fixed Layout or Enhanced eBook format (great for children’s books or those contaiting video and web links,) although at this time they can only distribute these via the iBookstore rather than their entire range of retail partners (see below for full list).

Can they convert books with pictures into eBooks?

Yes they can. You get the first 10 images included for the conversion fee and thereafter they charge a small amount for each extra image. See below for more.

What file formats do they accept eBook submissions in?

They accept your submission files in a host of formats: .pdf, .rtf, .txt. .html, .indd, .pages, .qxd saving you time and money as you won’t need to convert your files to a specific format, unlike many of the other digital distribution services.

How much does the eBook conversion cost?

Book Baby have a number of eBook conversion and distribution packages:

Their basic package is $99 and includes a basic formatting check, the conversion from your supplied file, the insertion of your supplied cover image and interactive Table of Contents and up to 10 graphic elements* (photographs, illustrations, charts, tables) — there is an additional charge for the inclusion of extra images.

In addition you pay an annual fee of $19 for the digital distribution service which ensures your title remains available with all of their current and any new book retail partners.

Their premium package is $199 and includes all of the above*, PLUS priority processing to get your book into the retail stores more quickly, a proof of your eBook prior to distribution to ensure it’s 100% the way you want it to look and you get to review our metadata and a lot more.

In addition you also pay the annual fee of $19 for the digital distribution service, which ensures your title remains available with all of their current and any new book retail partner.

* for books with more than 10 images expect to pay $2 per extra image.

How much do you get for each eBook sale?

Book baby do not take any percentage of your sales. That means you get the full net income from your sales, less the % taken by the wholesaler/retaler. If your book is selling for RRP of $10, that means you will get 100% of the income. So if a wholesaler such as Baker & Taylor sells your eBook, after their 50% wholesale discount, you earn $5.00.

Check each of their Retail Partner profiles to find out what % discount they offer and how much you would earn from each vendor, see below:

Amazon Kindle pays 70% for books sold to customers in Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Switzerland, United Kingdom (including Guernsey, Jersey and Isle of Man), and the United States (minus a delivery fee determined by Amazon based on the size of your book) if your book list price is between $2.99-9.99.  They pay 35% for books sold to customers in all other territories (or to all customers if book is priced less than $2.99, or greater than $9.99)

Apple iBookstore pays at 70%

Barnes & Noble pays at 50%

Sony Books pays at 50%

Kobo pays 70% of list price for sales in: US, CA, AUS, UK – 45% of list price in all other territories

Copia pays 70%

Garnders and Baker & Taylor pay 60%

eBookPie pays 70%


Are there any hidden or additional fees?

You might get charged extra for conversion if your book is longer than 250 pages and you will get charged $2 per image if your book contains more than 10 pictures or tables.

Once you have converted your eBook there are additional costs if you want to make any changes, these are:

Up to 10 changes in your eBook – $50

11 to 25 changes in your eBook – $75

26 to 50 changes in your eBook – $100

Once you have submitted your metadata for your book (price info, ISBN no, description, author name, etc) and after the book has already launched in the distribution network then BookBaby allows you one FREE metadata change per calendar year. For subsequent changes you will be charged $50.

Who do Book Baby distribute your eBook to?

Book Baby has a growing number of eBook retailer partners. They are partnered with all the key players in the eBook retail market, including:

  • iBookstore (iPad)

  • Amazon (Kindle)

  • Sony (Sony Reader)

  • Barnes & Noble (Nook)

  • Kobo

  • Copia

  • Gardeners (UK equivalent of Baker & Taylor wholesalers)

  • Baker & Taylor (US book wholsesalers)

  • eBookPie

What is their reach outside of the USA and can you sell your eBook in foreign languages?

The short answer is Yes. You can have someone translate your book for you, submit it to Book Baby, have them convert this and then make it available for sale via their retail partners directly into the country where people primarily speak that language. However, this will incur the same costs as setting up your English language edition.

You can also make your English language edition available for sale in other countries. Just check each of the retail partners to find out which territories they feed into.

Then, when you have set-up your eBook with Book Baby you get to select which retail partners and which territories you sell into. You can also change these at any point in time.

How quickly can they get your eBook into the online book retailers?

Once you have had Book Baby convert your eBook, it’s been proofed and you’ve supplied the metadata, they begin the work of submitting your files, cover images and metadata to their retail partners. According to their site these are the timelines to expect:

Amazon Kindle: Your eBook should be up for sale in approximately 2-4 business days from when we deliver to them.

iBookstore: Your eBook should be up for sale in approximately 3-6 weeks from when we deliver to them.

Barnes & Noble: Your eBook should be up for sale in approximately 2-4 weeks from when we deliver to them.

Sony: Your eBook should be up for sale in approximately 3-4 weeks from when we deliver to them.

Kobo: Your eBook should be up for sale in approximately 2-3 weeks from when we deliver to them.

Copia: Your eBook should be up for sale in approximately 3-4 weeks from when we deliver to them.

Gardners: Your eBook should be up for sale in approximately 3-4 weeks from when we deliver to them.

Baker & Taylor: Your eBook should be up for sale in approximately 2-3 weeks from when we deliver to them.

eBookPie: Your eBook should be up for sale in approximately 2-3 weeks from when we deliver to them.

What else do Book Baby offer?

They actually have a fantastic range of services to benefit the Indie or Self-Publisher. For very reasonable fees you can get book cover design, short run printing for physical books, copyright registration, ISBN’s, and author website hosting. Plus, you can distribute your audiobooks via their sister company CD Baby.

They have great customer service, most of their services are extremely easy to navigate and as a company they seem to be very author centric.

Book Baby also have a fabulous blog offering author interviews, tons of advice on self-publishing and more.

What else should you know?

If you plan to operate your self-publishing business as an Indie Publishing house, rather than as a single title self-published author, then I recommend purchasing your own ISBN’s from Bowker’s and using these with your Book Baby eBooks.

That way you will be listed as the publisher on all of the book retail sites where your book sells, alternatively, if you buy the ISBN from Book Baby, they will be listed as the publisher on the book retail site.

I recommend the former for two reasons. One, it looks more professional. Two, if you plan to write more books or publish other people’s books this way you can build the name/brand of your publishing company.

How can you get a discount on your Book Baby eBook submission?

If you are an Indie publisher or self-published author based in the USA we recommend you become a member of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) — for a small fee they offer invaluable advice and education, and a great phone helpline to get all of your publishing questions answered.

In addition, membership gives you a host of benefits (see here) including, 20% discount on your Book Baby eBook submission.


We’d love to hear about your experiences of eBook and digital distribution with Book Baby, or anyone else for that matter! Feel free to post below. More on other digital distributors next week.

Until then.

Adios from Finish Your Book


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: eBooks, Self-Publishing

Author:Gemini Adams

Multiple-award winning, bestselling author, artist and founder of the Finish Your Book educational program.

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