Frequently Asked Questions
Here is a brief list of the questions we often receive from our client publishers about the digital marketplace and IPG's services:
Should I be creating e-books of my titles?
Absolutely. Designers should be creating digital and print files simultaneously. Ideally, publishers will provide IPG with a hi-res PDF file (what they send to the printer) plus an EPUB file. If the latter is unavailable, IPG can manage the conversion process on the publisher’s behalf.
I'm concerned about piracy. How secure are the files you distribute?
All of the vendors we work with use industry-standard digital rights management (DRM) tools. DRM is not hacker-proof, however, so some piracy is to be expected.
What e-book format will work best for my titles?
Layout-dependent or image-intensive titles work best as PDFs but may convert to reflowable formats such as EPUB and Mobipocket (Kindle) as well. Text-only titles are suitable for all three formats: PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket.
Do I have to go through IPG for e-book distribution?
Yes. Per our distribution agreement, we have exclusive distribution rights to all formats and editions of your title(s) to the book trade; this includes electronic editions. Working directly with Amazon, Google, or other e-book sales channels puts you in violation of your IPG contract.
I don’t know how to create an e-book file. Can IPG create it for me?
Absolutely. We can take production files (Quark/InDesign), physical copies, or PDFs and have the necessary files created. Conversion generally runs between $0.20–$0.60/page, depending upon the complexity of the file—simple (straight text), moderate (some images, a few footnotes), and complex (2+ columns, lots of images, footnotes). IPG will pay for the conversion upfront and deduct the total from your publisher account.
What kind of sales can I expect for my e-book editions?
E-books currently account for 2-3% of our overall sales, but we have some publishers whose e-book sales represent 25% of their overall sales. So while sales are hard to accurately predict, e-books provide an additional revenue stream for very little investment. Publishers who regularly promote both print and digital editions together and provide IPG with files in a timely fashion achieve the best overall sales.
Do I need a new ISBN for an e-book?
Yes. E-books are just another format, like cloth and paper. Each e-book format (EPUB, Kindle, PDF) requires its own ISBN, per BISG recommendations.
Can I declare an e-book out of print?
Yes. E-books can be declared out of print at any time. Also, an e-book edition can stay “in print” despite its print counterpart being OP.
Does my e-book’s pub date have to match the print edition?
No, but the simultaneous release allows you to maximize your marketing efforts. Also, if a book sells out of its initial print run, potentially lost sales can be captured by the e-book edition while a reprint is underway, thereby maintaining the title’s momentum.
How should I price my e-book?
There are no hard and fast rules for e-book pricing. The general rule is 20% - 25% less than the least expensive print edition; the biggest determinant is the subject matter. Academic and professional titles often sell for close to, or equal to, the print price while fiction and children’s titles should almost always be discounted.
How are e-book sales reported?
Just like your print sales. On your monthly and daily sales reports, you will see each format listed under its unique e-book ISBN with a *EPB, *KDL, or *PDF following the title. We also provide a separate report just for e-book sales, which can be found in Publisher Resources.
What vendors does IPG work with?
In addition to a multitude of third-party retailers, IPG has direct relationships with the following companies:
- Amazon Kindle (Mobipocket)
- Apple (EPUB)
- Baker & Taylor (PDF)
- Barnes & Noble (EPUB)
- Ebooks.com (PDF, EPUB, Mobi)
- Ebrary (PDF) – subscription model
- Follett Digital Resources (PDF)
- Google (EPUB)
- Ingram Digital (EPUB, PDF)
- Kobo (EPUB)
- Netlibrary (PDF)
- Overdrive (EPUB, PDF, Mobipocket)
- ReadHowYouWant (PDF)
- Sony (EPUB)
- Zinio (PDF)
You may have more questions that are specific to your titles and authors, we invite you to contact us with any questions or comments that arise. There will be much to discuss as this new market develops, and our job is to provide definitive answers to all of your questions.