Substance B FAQ for Authors
Please note: the rates for Substance B are maintained at the For Clients page of BB eBooks.
What is Substance B?
Substance B is a marketing platform for independent authors and small presses made by BB eBooks, a small company that has provided professional eBook design for clients around the world. It is an innovative opportunity to connect authors directly with their readers and provide free samples, links to all their titles, and to provide personalized eBooks with signature, text, and even photos to friends, fans, and reviewers. Currently, having your work on Substance B is exclusive for clients of BB eBooks.
Services offered to authors via Substance B
We have done our homework and come up with a holistic marketing solution for authors. In case you do not have your own website, we will create an author page for you that has its own unique address (i.e. http://substance-b.com/MyName.html) for you to refer it to anybody or utilize on social media. This author page will be seen by your potential clients and fellow authors as an initial point of contact where you can advertise your brand and your books 24/7. This page is all you need to advertise your books and put as many social media links as possible to make sure your readers and fans will find you no matter where they shop. Also on your author page, your readers can send messages directly to you. Before sending the message, we have implemented a captcha to make sure that spammers cannot bombard your inbox. We’re open to suggestions on removing the captcha based on your feedback. They can also sign up to receive notifications from you so that you can build a mailing list: one of the most effective tools for marketing a book (see below).
Substance B Reader
While browsing the book catalogue, readers can read eBook samples from your books directly in their web browser on PC, Mac, tablet, and even smartphone. They can also download EPUB or MOBI eBook samplers onto their computer, smartphone, tablet, or eReader for offline reading. When we make the samples, we typically take the first 20% of your eBook, but we are happy to change this amount based on your feedback.
There are three different ways your books can be discovered by readers from our website: by book, by author, and by genre. In the Books page, your books are arranged alphabetically. In the genre page, they are arranged through a number of different genres. If you feel that we’re missing a genre, please let us know. The best part is that each of your books has its own unique address (i.e. http://substance-b.com/MyBook.html) which has the book description and where all the books can be bought at every major vendor.
Apart from creating your profile, setting up a mailing list is another important way to keep track of your readers. If they have bought your books before, the retailers have all details of your fans that they unfortunately do not share with you. In your author page on Substance B, you can keep their contact details in your list for future announcement of your latest books. When your fans sign up for a mailing list, readers have to fill in their name and email address.
Inscriptions for Personalized eBooks
Inscribed eBooks that you control make you stand out from the rest. Although live book signing is important for you to impress your readers face to face, the eBook inscription service can emulate the same notion of building a bonded connection between you and your reader with your autograph and customized message. You can sign your autograph using a mouse, by touch, digital pen, or scanned signature on any device that can connect to the internet (i.e. desktop, tablet, and smartphone). Apart from the signature, you can also add pictures and write a dedication message for your fans in the eBook. The eBook will be instantly mailed to whomever you choose. This tool is a great resource at book signings so you don’t have to lug around a bunch of print books. Your autograph and dedication message will be embedded in your full eBook for your fans enjoyment. Please take a look at this inscribed eBook from Paul to his mother to see what we’re talking about [EPUB, MOBI].
How do I sign up?
As of right now, only existing clients of BB eBooks are invited to explore Substance B’s services. Why? The reason being is we have made your eBook and that is properly formatted to be used on the Substance B Reader and for inscriptions. If you are interested in promoting your book(s) with us, please query us for a quote. You can also sign up our newsletter at BB eBooks to receive future notification of Substance B’s service expansion. We hope to hear from you and that you will trust BB eBooks as your contractor for conversions and design. If you are already one of our valued clients, just drop Paul a line or contact us via our website and we’ll get you all set up.
How will Substance B help me market my book?
If you have marketed your book before, you must acknowledge the burdens that come with self-promotion as they require you to keep open eyes on different methods and statistics. Apart from your personal website, how many other websites have you had to deal with to get your promotion done? Our services try to consolidate your marketing efforts into one platform by offering an easy interface for you to fill in information about you and your books.
Why did you make this platform?
BB eBooks knows that marketing a book is challenging—even more than actually sitting down to write it. We wanted to provide some technical tools for our clients to help them achieve success in their writing career. The way that ecosystems such as Amazon, Apple, and Barnes & Noble wall themselves off from the rest of the world is frustrating and can severely hamper your marketing options. With Substance B, you can easily link to your Substance B page inside your eBooks, your website, or your social media channels so fans can easily discover where all your books are being sold on all vendors.
So, how much will this cost me?
Substance B provides value added for your eBooks and fulfills an author’s goal of integrated promotional channels. Most eBook service providers advertise how they can provide eBook conversion services and “promote” their books for a hefty fee. Our business philosophy is always to work alongside independent authors and small presses rather than having a bunch of hidden charges. So, we developed the Substance B platform to allow authors a chance to market their books in a unique way. The only additional fees for using Substance B if you are already our client are small charges for setting up your eBook on the Substance B Reader and for personalized eBooks (see the rates section on the BB eBooks website for more details). We want to make sure that our core competency in technology will give authors a stress-free experience so they can focus on writing rather than keeping up with a myriad of technical challenges.
Alright, how is BB eBooks making money on this thing?
In the interest of transparency, we originally planned on generating revenue through authors who signed up on a subscription-type basis. After consultation with a number of clients, we realized that this would not be a good approach. Instead, we plan on generating the majority of revenue through affiliate links on our website and through newsletter mailings. There are small fees associated with the setting up of your eBook on the Substance B Reader and for personalized inscriptions. From a purely business standpoint, BB eBooks gains more revenue with authors who are successful and write often since they would like to publish many books. Additionally, we hope to gain more trusted clients by offering Substance B as a complimentary service.
What are some of your selection criteria to choose a featured author?
As mentioned earlier, you have to be a BB eBooks client at this time to gain access to the Substance B services for you and your books. To be a featured author and appear on the landing page of the Substance B website, please contact us separately.
How will Substance B help increase my fan base?
Lindsay Buroker and David Gaughran talk about the importance of utilizing a mailing list. We agree with them and we have incorporated the ability for authors to gather email addresses from fans into each and every author page. Apart from mailing lists, you might want to experiment with different promotional methods as recommended by Joe Konrath for your independent publishing endeavors. Having your fans sign up for your newsletter is one effective way to create a database of their email addresses. Once they submit their email to you via your author page on Substance B, you can copy the addresses directly in the backend or download them into a .csv format to easily import into your email program (e.g. Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, etc.)
How long will it take to finish setting up my author and book pages?
The time to set up an account and publish a personal page on Substance B is easy since we help you with the process. When you first ask us to set up your account, we will do our best to fill out the information for you and include all your books. We will provide you with access to the backend of Substance B, which allows you to update your personal and book information, collect emails, and send out personalized eBooks to fans. You can edit your information at any time through the backend, and our platform will automatically update your personal page together with your book catalogue on the Substance B website. There are more technical details on how this all works accessible in the backend.
How do I add my eBooks into the Substance B Reader and set them up for personalized inscriptions?
For technical and security reasons, we need to do this for you. Please contact us and we can do it very quickly. Once they are set up, you are free to begin mailing personalized eBooks.
If I have a KDP Select promotion, can my book be on the Substance B Reader? What about inscriptions?
Having your profile and books listed on Substance B is no problem if you are enrolled in KDP Select. However, if you are running a KDP select promotion, please let us know and we will remove it from the Substance B Reader. We are happy to add it back in at any time. For the personalized eBooks that you send to individual fans, you can continue to create those.
Where does the name “Substance B” come from?
It is a modified literary reference to the excellent novel A Scanner Darkly.