Bookway Builder

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Bookway Builder?

Bookway Builder is a publishing and distribution service for electronic books. It makes it easy to read books on electronic readers such as smartphones, kindle, iPad and android tablets.

Why embrace e-books? 
1. They never go out of print. Therefore, you don't have to wait for out-of-stock books to be ordered.
2. They are easy to update content at a short notice, compared to print edition which are obsolete the minute that you print.
3. They are cheaper than print books. This is because for paper books, 45% or more of the cost is inventory, shipping and returns which is absent in eBook publishing. This enables the author or publisher to cut costs and improve the profit margins.
Being a low-cost, instant, anywhere/anytime technology, parents and governments should not pay for more than is necessary for textbooks. For example, in Kenya the average cost of buying a new text book for a student in primary school is about Ksh 5,000 for twelve books per year in public schools. In private schools it is up to Ksh 25,000 for twenty one books. In secondary schools the costs are roughly 25 per cent higher. 
The government spends an estimated Ksh 1,056 and Ksh 3,600 per student in primary and secondary schools, respectively to purchase learning materials each year. This allocation is hardly enough thus lowering the quality of education.
Young people today grew up on screens and they don't know any other way. Therefore, a shift to eBook will not only help you spend less on text book (with the rapidly dropping prices of high-tech gadgets such as smartphones and tablet PCs  - now retailing at below KSh 12,000 ($ 120). But also prepare your child early, for the digital age.

Why is format conversion necessary?

Due to several acceptable formats, content needs to be converted into a suitable format for each platform such as Amazon, Apple and Google. This e-book format will then be downloadable into portable devices.

Which is the 'best' format to use?

A difficult question. It depends on the small file size, nice formatting and good eligibility. To determine what kind of file to download from Bookway Builder, only two things matter: how much of the book is text ( as opposed to images) and which language is the book written.  
EPUB: If you're downloading a book that is mainly text, choose this file type. It's an industry-wide standard for eBooks which is supported across almost every software and electronic reader (even kindle). They are significantly smaller than PDF files.
PDF: Choose this file, if you are downloading a book that has a lot of images (e.g. manual) or written in non-English alphabet letter characters. This is because pictures or foreign characters will stay aligned with words.
KINDLE: If the eBook you're downloading does not have a lot of images, opt for kindle (.mobi) file type. This is because it allows you to read the text and images without necessarily zooming in and out. 
Please note, readers may opt to download our books in all the three formats which are enclosed within a ZIP archive file type.

Is PDF format good for eBook?

PDF though common, is not recommended as an eBook format. This is because the text in most of PDF files cannot re-flow to fit small screens. E-book devices such as kindle, android tablet, iPad and smartphones, all have screens that are much smaller than a typical computer screen. Therefore, forcing you to zoom and scroll left and right, as well as up and down, to be able to read all of the text on one line.

PDF formats are preferable, if you would like to print a book. This is because it keeps the exact appearance of the original such as fonts and pictures.

What file types do you accept for conversion?

* Our basic conversion, accepts:
  • Word (.doc, .docx)
  • Text file (.txt, rtf)
  • HTML (.html)
* Advanced conversion, accepts:
  • PDF
  • Hard copy
  • Scanned print books
  • EPUB
We may also accept other file formats. For more details, please contact us

Will the eBook resemble my original book?

Yes, but they are customized to allow text to 'flow' according to the user's type of eBook device and preference. Unlike print books, whose text are in a fixed position on a printed page. E-books are designed with the format and device specifications in mind.

Can I upload copyrighted books?

Yes, so long as you're the copyright holder.

How can I be sure I'll receive my eBook after paying?

Before buying any eBook via a download, you should try downloading free eBooks first. Only when you are confident with the process, should you consider buying.

How do I purchase an eBook?

An eBook is normally bought using credit/debit cards, although cheque, PayPal or mobile payments such as M-pesa and Airtel Money can be paid in some circumstances. When paying by credit/debit card online, the process is very clear if you follow the instructions on the screen

Who determines the price of my book?

As an author/publisher, you set the 'selling price' for your book and we do the rest. Please note, we require that a book's selling price not to exceed the lowest suggested retail price or an equivalent price for any printed book on Bookway or another website. 

How do you price your services?

A difficult question. Costing depends on various factors such as source file format, kind of book (narrative or graphical), complexity and urgency of the work. For moderate narrative (text up to four images), a per page rate of $0.40 is charged. Otherwise, $1.00 per additional image up to 15 images is charged. Please note: Many eBook readers do not yet have colour-capable screens and therefore cannot do justice to image intensive books.

For complex conversions such as those including tables, footnotes, higher number of images and complex formatting will be charged at $0.65 - $1.00 per page, depending on the level of input required.
For an evaluation of your project, please fill this form. Indicating your project details, nature of publication (hard copy - number of printed pages involved) and your turnaround time.
How the revenues generated are shared (royalty)?
As an author/publisher, you receive a royalty rate of 80 per cent/sale through our retail store. Therefore, your royalty is paid on the actual Selling Price of the book less the Delievery Costs and sales tax as shown below:  
Royalty Rate x (Selling Price - (Delievery Costs + sales tax) = Royalty
Please note, the delievery cost is dependent on the size of the file and extra anti-piracy features (excluding PDF stamping, IP-tracking and expiable links -- these features are offered by default). The minimum delievery cost for digital book is Ksh50 ($ 0.6). 
For content resold through our distribution partner network (including Amazon, and other partners) an additional 10 per cent is charged on the net wholesale price.
Do you offer any printing and binding services?
We do not offer any printing or binding per se. However, through our partners we can facilitate print-on-demand services.
What is extended online distribution service?
This is an optional service that helps authors make their books available widely through other e-retailers apart from Bookway Builder's store. Our current partners include Amazon, E-junkie and Readers.