3 minute read

We have recently written two more ebooks to help anyone new or intermediate with the Mandarin language. They are both available in our store but they didn’t come without trials or tribulations. In fact there were plenty. And still are!

What trials?

This book was an idea spawned off the back of a free eBook we released a number of months ago. We designed the initial book as a way of helping those who learn through memorizing phrases. This wasn’t a book meant to be carried around in a Mandarin speaking country but a means of which to remember certain useful phrases. If you haven’t gotten it yet it’s here.

That book we gave away for free, even though it took many hours of work to put together and a lot of love, we always want to give as much value as possible for as cheap as possible. In most instances, of course, it’s free! All the Youtube content, written content, images, podcasts and audio content always forever completely free.

The first trial was to decide if we should do this next book for free also. And we had planned to do so. We were going to put the book on Amazon and the Audiobook on Audible and make them both free. Several months later and blood, sweat and tears we thought we would put a price on what we felt its value was. In this case it’s $10. The book itself has many grammatical rules and examples, hundreds of words, hundreds and hundreds of phrases, idioms, full pictures pages with explanations to help with remembering. It’s basically, the first FREE eBook but after going to the gym for several months, taking an illegal cocktail of grow hormones and idealizing Arnold, then quitting the gym, going to university to get its degree and graduating top of its class with the intention on becoming the best phrase book it can be.

What Tribulations?

Tribulations, came in the form of formats. PDF was the format we decided to create the book in. And it’s a lovely format to publish in for any device. BUT Amazon in all their wisdom would like the book in ePub format and being new to this market we were not completely aware that PDF wouldn’t be ok. Lesson learned.

But this does mean we must reformat the book and transfer over to another piece of software called InDesign and the re-export and upload to Amazon for Kindle users. This is taking weeks! So, for anyone wanting the book on Kindle format will have to wait a little longer.

Also, something we hadn’t completely understood was in order to upload an audiobook to Audible you need to have uploaded the book to Amazon and then claim the rights to that book. So in a vicious circle, we have to get the book converted, then upload to Amazon and THEN upload the audiobook version. Phew. A lot to do. And so little time.


We Live and We Learn

all in all, battling through the creation of our new books (simplified and traditional Phrasebooks) and going through the process of uploading, reformatting, exporting, drawing, writing, checking, double checking, researching, importing, pricing and delivering has been an amazing experience and we have learned a lot about the eBook business as a whole.

Nothing has made our resolve stronger than going through the process of creating our first ever ‘product’. We love this whole journey, even the painful bits. We intend to make more and to continue to help the Mandarin learning community as much as possible.