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Thread: Can I make a book available for free?


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Permlink Replies: 10 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: Sep 14, 2017 7:40 AM Last Post By: spaceprobe
spaceprobe

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Registered: 09/12/17
Can I make a book available for free?
Posted: Sep 12, 2017 4:01 AM
 
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I want to make somoe books available to small numbers of people for free. They're learning modules or training manuals, so a couple of books need to be available to Group A and a different set available to Group B. Groups A and B should not be able to casually discover the other's books and I don't want any of them to be generally available to the public.

Is this possible?

Many thanks for any pointers or advice.
Joseph M Erhardt

Posts: 4,527
Registered: 12/21/15
Re: Can I make a book available for free?
Posted: Sep 12, 2017 4:37 AM   in response to: spaceprobe in response to: spaceprobe
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If you are talking paperback, you can do this with CreateSpace.

Once your work is on CreateSpace, you can just order "proof" copies without ever actually publishing. Or, you can turn off ALL markets (outlets) on CreateSpace and publish, and then only you would be able to buy your books.

If you're talking e-books, you can upload to KDP and download the MOBI preview file, and distribute that to your students. Again, you would stop short of actually hitting the final Save & Publish button. But the people getting the MOBI preview file would need to know how to "side-load" it.

See what others here say.
Blue Orbiter Co...

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Registered: 02/12/15
Re: Can I make a book available for free?
Posted: Sep 12, 2017 7:05 AM   in response to: spaceprobe in response to: spaceprobe
 
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Why don't you just email the book as an attachment?
cdalebrittain

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Re: Can I make a book available for free?
Posted: Sep 12, 2017 7:52 AM   in response to: spaceprobe in response to: spaceprobe
 
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It sounds to me as if you don't actually need a book and thus don't need to be at KDP, where the purpose is to publish books that will be available to the public to buy. (You say you want it free and not available to the public.)

Just write up your manual or manuals, save as a pdf, and email to those who you want to get it. Getting into KDP just makes unnecessary complications.
spaceprobe

Posts: 4
Registered: 09/12/17
Re: Can I make a book available for free?
Posted: Sep 13, 2017 2:17 AM   in response to: Joseph M Erhardt in response to: Joseph M Erhardt
 
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Thanks for looking at this for me.

Can you explain what you mean by Paperback. I have seen many references to paperbacks but I can't find out what the difference between an epub/ebook and a paperback is.

To everyone saying why not just email it - it needs to be an ebook, we have emailed them in the past and not a single person has known how to get them on to their Kindle!
Notjohn

Posts: 23,227
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: Can I make a book available for free?
Posted: Sep 13, 2017 3:59 AM   in response to: spaceprobe in response to: spaceprobe
 
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If all your readers have Kindles (or Fire tablets or Kindle apps), you can create a book on the KDP platform and mail them the "mobi" file, without ever actually publishing it.

A paperback is a paperback book. The book would cost you something to order from CreateSpace, and cost you something to mail. Say $7 each. I agree that a PDF is the ideal solution. Everybody should have a computer, and Adobe Acrobat reader is free to download, and the PDF of course is free to email.

Good luck! -- NJ

Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting

The blog:
http://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com
Bill Smith

Posts: 10
Registered: 12/09/12
Re: Can I make a book available for free?
Posted: Sep 13, 2017 8:07 AM   in response to: spaceprobe in response to: spaceprobe
 
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Use Google Docs and give access authorization only to the people you want to have access (if they don't have access, they can't get it).

You can write it directly in docs or import the document if it is already written. Google docs can convert to any format you need. (epub, PDF, docx, etc.)

Kindles can't read or convert Epubs, but they can read PDFs (but sometimes not well). However, if they download a PDF, HTML or docx, a Kindle user can email it to their conversion address and get it converted to the kindle format for their personal use.

Outside of kindles, pretty much anything can read PDF, HTML, docx or Epub with minimal hassles.

sued2

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Registered: 06/15/12
Re: Can I make a book available for free?
Posted: Sep 13, 2017 9:49 AM   in response to: spaceprobe in response to: spaceprobe
 
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Seriously?

You can't figure out the difference between an ebook and a paperback book?
spaceprobe

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Registered: 09/12/17
Re: Can I make a book available for free?
Posted: Sep 14, 2017 2:48 AM   in response to: sued2 in response to: sued2
 
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Seriously, how is trying to make me look like a fool helpful to anyone but you and your ego?

I thought a "paperback" in the contexts I'd seen it mentioned (forums and info about *e-publishing*) were an iteration of an ebook. I had no idea Amazon did self published print on demand physical books. I'm sorry to have offended you.

FYI - I'm a designer and printer and have forgotten more about desiging and printing books than most people will ever know.
cdalebrittain

Posts: 11,272
Registered: 03/05/11
Re: Can I make a book available for free?
Posted: Sep 14, 2017 6:47 AM   in response to: spaceprobe in response to: spaceprobe
 
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No one was trying to make you look like a fool. But a lot of people come on the forums who are genuinely confused about a lot of book-related issues, and when we see a comment like:

Can you explain what you mean by Paperback. I have seen many references to paperbacks but I can't find out what the difference between an epub/ebook and a paperback is.

understandably this makes people shake their heads if not indeed roll their eyes.

I'm still not sure why you need to have something to be read on a Kindle. Just email everybody a pdf of the manual. They can read it on their computers or tablets or phones or whatever.

You do realize that in order to start creating an ebook through KDP, you have to set up an account, enter banking info, etc. etc., as if you were going to create a book to be available for the public to buy. Since this is not your intention, don't make it hard on yourself by getting into something unnecessary.
spaceprobe

Posts: 4
Registered: 09/12/17
Re: Can I make a book available for free?
Posted: Sep 14, 2017 7:40 AM   in response to: cdalebrittain in response to: cdalebrittain
 
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Which is why I asked "what you mean by". Obvioulsy I know what a paperback is; I wanted to know what it was in the context of ebooks on an ebook forum run by a company known for selling ebooks. Afterall, many things in cyberspace are named exactly as their meatspace counterparts. Turns out it's just a book, vanity publishing with an on-demand twist. Silly me.

1/ A kindle book and the way they are disseminated is an excellent option for the project for many reasons I don't want to go in to here
2/ My client has asked me to do it this way because she knows it's a good way to do it - if it's possible. So I am obligated to look in to it.
3/ I am intimiately familiar with PDFs, how to make them and how they work - like a mechanic knows a spanner. PDFs are option two, if the ebook idea doesn't work - but I didn't ask about PDFs.
4/ I asked in my very first post "Is this possible"
5/ I am learning about banking info and setting up an account. Learning about how it all works was my reason for soliciting help here.
6/ You're not helping.
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