May 21, 2011

How to Self-Publish an eBook in Thailand

There are a lot of aspiring writers (Lindsay Buroker's blog is excellent) discussing tips and tricks for self-publishing eBooks on Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble. But, the internet totally failed me while researching how to self-publish with the big book sellers based in Thailand.

In an archived article from the Bangkok Post, I found some scant information that Asiabooks, the biggest English-language book seller, was looking to start a self-publishing service. Their website didn't have too much information, so I found it the old-fashioned way, I contacted them.

Following an email exchange with the Business Development team at Asiabooks, I can confirm that there are opportunities for self-publishing at the Asiabook eBook store. Here are some of the details:
  1. Asiabooks pays author 50% of sales at the end of every month (in Thai Baht)
  2. Author responsible for cover, editing, content not plagiarized, etc.
  3. A formal contract is required that is valid for two years
  4. Author can set the price of the e-Book for sale on the Asiabooks site (this is very important and great for the Author)
  5. Pricing policy is similar to Amazon, and the minimum price for a book will be about 30 Thai Baht (~$US1)
  6. eBooks can be published in PDF or ePub formats (formatting tips for PDF and ePub files can be found in the free Smashwords Style Guide)
  7. eBooks need an ISBN (you can buy them here)
  8. Author must provide meta-data and FTP their files per Asiabooks' instructions
While the process for self-publishing hasn't been made totally formalized yet, it is possible at this time if you write to them. Presumably, they are still designing the component of their website where authors upload their book directly. Right now, you can contact their business development team as follows:
  • Orapin_T@asiabooks.com (Khun Orapin is Director of Business Development at Asiabooks)
Most books on the Asiabooks eBooks store are priced between 200-400THB, which is sort of high for eBooks. Additionally, the lazy publishers trying to sell here didn't even bother to include jpegs of the cover art on some of the books. This provides a great opportunity for the author looking to break into the market with 30 THB books, as it appears no one else is doing it at Asiabooks at this time.

Many thanks to Khun Orapin and the Asiabooks team for sharing this information with me. Now, I have to get to the arduous task of actually writing something that could be sold!
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7 comments:

Lindsay said...

Ohhh, great stuff, Paul! Let me know when you get your ebook up over there--I'd love to interview you for my site on this.

I've been extremely curious myself about the e-reader/ebook scene in China. As huge as that population is, it seems like a market waiting to be tapped. They say entertainment is one of the last things America exports that anybody wants. :P

TL Jeffcoat said...

This is interesting. Might be pretty cool to publish in Asia.

Paul Salvette said...

I'm not too familiar with China, but it would definitely be worth looking into. Thailand is the one that interests me the most, because I live here. But, in reality there's only 65 million people and only the educated and the wealthy speak English. I should do a post on this at a later time

I think the biggest gold mine has got to be India. It's the world's biggest English-speaking country.

Mihnea said...

Another Thailand-based publisher that currently published (only) e-books is Bangkok Book House. They use to publish quite a few paperbacks / month, but I guess that's too expensive now.

I had a look at the AisaBooks e-store and I think it looks promising. Unfortunately, the cheaper e-books are listed right at the bottom of the page.

There's also another e-book (self)publishing website at thailandebooks dot com.

I think you might be right regarding India, the question is, have e-readers become available? And, most importantly, are they affordable to the everyday Indian reader?

Paul Salvette said...

Minhea,

Thanks for the tips, and I will take a look at Thailandebooks.com.

Anonymous said...

Bangkokbooks.com is offering authors a 70% or 100% royalty option on ebooks with worldwide distribution. Author can choose distribution channels and sets ebook price. Optionally, books can also be printed and distributed with Thailand. Company is now changing name to booksmango.com

Zheng junxai5 said...
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