Bücherstapel mit eReader oben auf auf Holztisch für publish your ebook with tolino media

How to publish your ebook with tolino media

Do you consider to publish your ebook with tolino media? Here is a little overview on what we offer: tolino media is a distribution platform for self-publishers. After accepting our general terms and conditions you can upload your files directly onto the platform by yourself. You can publish your ebook, publish your printed book or print your book project with tolino media.

The following article focusses on how to publish your ebook with tolino media.


Which distribution channels does tolino media offer for my ebook?

tolino media is part of the tolino alliance, which includes the major German booksellers. By publishing with us, your ebook will be automatically submitted to the online shops of the tolino alliance members: Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Mayersche Buchhandlung, Osiander, and Libri with its more than 1,500 independent book stores all over Germany.  Additionally, you can choose from a variety of further delivery partners and shops we cooperate with like Google Play Books, Apple Books, Kobo and Barnes & Noble or the eBook flatrate Skoobe.


Do I have to keep some specific financial aspects in mind?

Firstly, a quick reminder: we are not a tax office or tax consultancy firm, therefore we cannot and are not allowed to provide any advice on financial matters. You may need to declare your income in your tax return. Please obtain up-to-date information on the regulations that apply to you from your tax office or tax consultant.

With tolino media, the publication of your ebook is free of charge. Publishing your ebook with tolino media is free of charge. If your ebook costs between 3,99€ and 24,98€, you will receive 87% of the net revenue for distribution through tolino alliance channels. If your book costs less than 3,99€ or more than 24,98€, you will receive 67% of the net revenue. The author’s fee for other distribution channels may vary.

Please inform yourself about possible taxes that affect you. On our platform, we use a „reverse charge“ system for foreign accounts. This means that we always pay the author’s royalty without VAT, regardless of whether you are subject to VAT in your country.

When requesting your bank details, we also provide a non-SEPA option for authors in foreign countries. Please note that we require your bank details in IBAN format; otherwise, we cannot process your payment. The settlement threshold for non-SEPA accounts is €500. If you do not reach the threshold in one month, your royalty will be displayed as „open royalty“ and then billed in the following month.

For more information, please check our FAQ.


Am I ready to upload my text file?

To publish your ebook, you can upload an epub file or a .doc/.odt file to our platform. Here is a little description and some tips for both options.

.doc/.odt file

Word or Office are your favourite buddies with book formatting? Then .doc or .odt is your choice of file. You deliver a.doc/odt. file and our platform will do the rest and will convert your data into a valid epub. But what do you have to keep in mind for a valid file?

  • You need to divide a book into chapters and format the headings with the „Heading 1“ style. This allows our platform to create a table of contents in the epub.
  • You want to include some other content elements than pure text? Please check this blog article beforehand if the wanted content will be possible or not: Die perfekte Formatierung: Tipps für den Upload
  • A finished file in another format than as a .doc-/.odt- or epub-file already exists and you want to adjust the file? Be careful. Some programmes do have some document characteristics that aren’t obvious to the user at first but make it impossible to change the document in a certain way. It may help to create a new .doc-/.odt.file and insert the text of the original file in it.
  • Your uploaded manuscript shouldn’t include your cover or a table of content. These will be placed into the finished epub by our platform.
  • For you imprint, you can choose between including it by yourself into your manuscript or generating it via our platform. This option can be selected on our platform under „Buchdaten“.

Assigning a formatting template sounds good to you but you do not know how to do it? No problem. Here is a little instruction for you. At first, you mark all your text in your manuscript with STRG+A and click on the formatting template „Standard“. Afterwards, please mark your first title and assign the formatting template „Heading 1“ to it. Done? That’s how it works. You can now assign the formatting template „Heading 1“ for your following titles. After the assignment of the formatting template, we recommend you to check your manuscript with STRG+F for empty lines between two paragraphs.

Please do not use any special characters, points or German umlaut when saving your manuscript as .doc-/.odt-file.

For a more detailed process please watch this video tutorial with English subtitle: https://youtu.be/a3vWvDHsl74 or check our blog article about formatting your file for epub conversion mentioned above.


Epub file

Uploading your manuscript as an epub file is a good choice as well. If it’s your first epub and you do not know how to start formatting, please watch this tutorial by Catherine Strefford: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0T4v7bgoic. Within 10 minutes, it shows you the basics of epub creation.

Now that you have an idea about the process of EPUB creation, here are some tips to keep in mind for uploading a valid file:

  • It has to be an EPUB in version 2. EPUB3 will not be accepted by our platform at this moment.
  • Your file can have up to 20 MB. Our platform will not accept bigger files, and we cannot upload them manually.
  • An EPUB adapts its layout to the device used. That’s why it’s important that you do not use a fixed layout in your file.
  • Have you already chosen a font? Please make sure that you either choose license-free fonts or have the licenses for the fonts used in your document.
  • The manuscript is divided into chapters? Perfect. Take care that the size of your individual text paragraph doesn’t exceed 50 KB.
  • Do not use spaces, points, special characters, or German umlauts in the names of the files used in your EPUB (e.g., images and fonts) and for the name of the EPUB itself.

If your ebook contains some graphical content, here are some points to keep in mind as well:

  • You have to include your cover as the first page by yourself.
  • Please make sure that the images and graphics in your EPUB do not exceed the pixel size of 4 million. Otherwise, you may receive an error message and will not be able to submit your ebook to the shop. The pixel size is calculated from pixel height times pixel width.
  • Including graphics in your manuscript is your way of life? Please find a way to select not more than 30 graphics per paragraph, which sum up to 4 MB as a maximum.
  • According to the end result of an ebook, the required colour spectrum is RGB.

We do recommend checking your file again before you publish. You can do that in various ways. For example, you can use the ebook validation tool pagina EPUB Checker, the free tool Sigil, uploading it to an eReader; or for example, use free programmes such as the ADE Reader software.


What do I have to consider for my cover design?

A good book cover is a solid base for successful marketing. So, take your time and choose your cover design with care. Further information regarding cover design tips can be found here: Cover und Gestaltung – Top 10 Tipps.

Here are some technical requirements for the upload of your cover file:

  • For successfully publishing an ebook, we need to use the colour spectrum RGB for graphics.
  • The title of your book and name the author gives your readers a visual hint on what to expect inside your ebook.
  • Please choose portrait orientation as layout (it leads to a height of 2400 pixels as a classic paperback format) with a maximum width of 1600 pixels. Then, export your file as JPG or JPEG.
  • The exported graphic file shouldn’t exceed a size of 5 MB.


How can I promote my book?

Finding more potential readers can be hard as upcoming author. That is why it is important to take marketing measures for your book by yourself. Take a look at our blog articles about marketing on our website. Here, you can get some marketing tips for your book. Keep in mind that marketing should always be at the forefront during your entire publishing endeavours – both, before and after you published your book. Here are some tips on how to do so: Marketing Archive – tolino media Blog.

Another great marketing tool can be reading clubs. You can also do these before you publish your ebook. Reading clubs can lead to great reviews for your book and expand your overall readership. If you are interested in this kind of promotional tool, take a look at our blog article „Keine Angst vor Leserunden – Eine Kooperation mit Lovelybooks“.

Julia Huber

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