[Bf-education] The Blender 3D Cookbook is now available on the Kindle, Nook, and other mobile devices

Ira Krakow ira.krakow at gmail.com
Tue Oct 11 02:28:07 CEST 2011


Great to hear from you as well, from Massachusetts.  Yes, there is a
different price on every platform, and it has definitely been an
experience.  Unfortunately, I don't have much control over it.   The way it
works is that I submit my document to the publishers - in this case there
are two, Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing and Lulu.com - and then they do
their magic.   For both, I submit a Word document and their conversion
program converts it to their particular format.  Unfortunately, there are a
number of different ebook formats, and the conversion programs are
different.  Amazon uses the MOBI format and Lulu.com (which has a joint
marketing agreement with Apple's iBookstore and Barnes and Noble's Nook)
uses the EPUB format, which is quite different from MOBI..  Each conversion
program has its particular quirks regarding things like creating an active
table of contents, converting Word tables, supported fonts, image
specifications for the text and the cover, etc.  I need to maintain two
versions of the source text, one for Amazon's MOBI and the other for EPUB.
A bit of a pain, but eventually I came up with a workflow that seems

After that, there's a review process.  Amazon and Lulu have different
criteria, which adds another layer of complexity.  Also, as part of the
process, I can set a US price.  However, the price in other markets (UK,
Germany, Italy, and France in the case of Amazon; whatever Apple and Barnes
and Noble want in the case of Lulu) is not under my control.  Each publisher
sets the price in pounds or Euros, or whatever country (I've sold ebooks in
Australia, for example, through iBookstore).   They handle currency
conversion, delivery costs, the VAT, and all the other details.  I have sold
Cookbook copies in all the countries I mentioned, and both Amazon and Lulu
break the sales out by country, so I know the process works.  Also, Lulu
sells books directly, which generates another price variation.   Generally,
books sold on European sites are more expensive than from US sites, even
though I'm not sure the delivery costs justify that.

As an example from today, Amazon just opened their France store.  People
immediately complained that ebooks were selling for 15 to 25 Euros that sell
for less than $10 in the USA.  Also there are issues with having accounts in
amazon.uk, amazon.com, and amazon.fr all at the same time.  It makes a
difference for the Kindle because ebooks are backed up to Amazon's servers,
which are different depending on the country.  To some extent the price
differences among countries exists for regular books.  Without a better
understanding of international book accounting, I can't say whether this is
solely due to cost factors or not.  In the US, Amazon sometimes sets the
Kindle price for a book to be roughly the same as the price for the physical
book, which I don't think can be justified solely on the basis of production
costs.  Which Amazon Web site do you use in Colombia?

I guess we can chalk this up to the learning curve for ebooks.  It's been
interesting to say the least, but I just roll with it.  The benefit is that
that the Cookbook is now available on just about any smart phone or tablet
device out there with any decent market share.  (The exceptions are for
older formats, but their ebook readers are also outdated.)   That gives me a
potential market of pretty much anyone with a modern tablet or smartphone
(certainly any that support Android or iOS).  That's dozens of millions of
potential customers, definitely worth the effort, with zero marketing cost.
Plus, I bypass the conventional publishers, which means that I can update my
content any time I want and I don't have to deal with editors, cover
designers, production delays, and the like.  I've written books the old way
before, and I don't think the older way works well in the new environment.
As soon as a book is released, after about a 6 to 9 month delay, it's
obsolete.  Certainly this is true for Blender books, which are based on all
sorts of versions.  The development life cycle is too fast for the physical
book world.

A bonus is that I don't have to target the ebook to a specific device.  As
an example, the Cookbook has links to my Youtube videos.  Although the
Kindle has a primitive Web browser,
it's not good enough to play the videos.  However, the iPad can.  Also, the
Kindle doesn't support color images, but it can display in greyscale
acceptably.  However, the Nook can.  I just submit the Word document with
the links and color JPEGs and the device renders it as best it can.

Forgive me for rambling.  I hope I've answered your question.  Please stay
in touch.

All the best,

On Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 7:35 PM, Juan Dario Rodas M. <jdrodas at yahoo.com>wrote:

> Hi Ira! It's good to hear news from you!
> Congratulations on this achievement!  You certainly want people to
> understand better Blender!
> However, I find very strange the different price in every publishing
> platform... How is this possible? Can you tell us your experience on this
> journey?
> Greetings from Colombia!
> JuanD
> ------------------------------
> *From:* Ira Krakow <ira.krakow at gmail.com>
> *To:* bf-education at blender.org
> *Sent:* Saturday, October 8, 2011 8:23 PM
> *Subject:* [Bf-education] The Blender 3D Cookbook is now available on the
> Kindle, Nook, and other mobile devices
> Dear Blender Educators,
> My Blender 3D Cookbook, which contains the scripts for 62 of my Youtube
> Blender videos, as well as links to the videos, is now available for the
> iPad  at:
> http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-blender-3d-cookbook-volume/id443230381?mt=11
> It is also available for the Kindle at:
> http://www.amazon.com/Blender-3D-Cookbook-ebook/dp/B0056N73B0
> You can also download it in EPUB format from:
> http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/the-blender-3d-cookbook-volume-1/17387222
> as well as the paperback version from:
> http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/the-blender-3d-cookbook-volume-1/11777448
> You can now get up to speed in Blender (versions 2.49 or 2.5) on your
> mobile devices.
> I hope you enjoy it.
> Ira
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Ira Krakow
36 Village Road, #415
Middleton, MA 01949
Telephone:  978-774-3382
Cell:  978-882-2904
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