Frequently Asked Self Publishing Questions

Bula Buka is an international publishing services provider based in South Africa. We service and provide relieve to authors, publishing houses and various entities around the world with the following services:  eBook conversion and distribution to premium online bookstores (Amazon, Apple iBookstore, Kobo, Barneys & Noble and others), editing, cover design,  marketing, book layout design, printing and varied consultations.

Which bookstores can sell on my book on? Which book stores do you distribute to?

The premium ones are (that we also distribute to) Amazon (in Kindle and paperback), Apple iBookstore (iTunes), and Barnes & Noble ( and Lulu

How to read ebooks?

eBooks are digital books which can be read on tablets, mobile phones, PC and ebook reading devices (called ereaders) such as Kindle, Kobo, Nook and others.

The majority of tablets can install free ebook reader software such as Kindle and ePub. ePub means ‘Electronic Publication’, which is a globally used ebook coded format, used by online stores such as iBookstore, Kobo and Barnes & Noble.

eBooks do not have page numbers. The advantage is readers can select their preferred font type, font size and sections per headings coded in by us.

Are ebooks only publishable onto online stores? What about print books?


We are able to publish books on Amazon in 3 formats, ePub and print. They offer a print on demand service.

Therefore anyone in the world can order and have it delivered to their doorstep.

What is the difference between print, paperback and hardcover book?

Print books refer to both paperback and hardcover books.

Paperback books have a soft cover or a paperboard.

A hardcover has a harder, thicker and is more durable than paperbacks. They are usually more expensive.

Does Bula Bula take a retainer on royalties?

Bula Buka converts ebooks and distribute to the premium book stores at a once off fee. Therefore there is no retainer on royalties. Once any book is done, the accounts (logins) are handed over to the client.

Are manuscripts safe with Bula Buka?

Absolutely! We take utmost caution with client’s work and have security measures in place.

How do royalty payments work?

Amazon pays out in thresholds of $100 or more, either via mailing the cheque or into a bank account. The bank account option is country specific and presently not available in Africa.

Lulu aggregates to iBookstore, Kobo and It pays via Pay Pal. South African authors and publishers should consult First National Bank on how to link any bank account in the country with their Pay Pal dashboard and withdraw funds.

What are the royalty percentages these bookstores take?


Amazon pays out 35% royalty on books (both print and Kindle ebook) selling at $2.99 and 70% on books selling at $2.99 upwards.

Certain territories like Australia have exceptions.

iBookstore and

Distribution to iBookstore and Kobo is via (as aggregator; it is also a bookstore). Both iBookstore and Kobo pay out a 70% royalty on all ebooks and they then to Lulu.

Lulu keeps 10% of the royalty received from iBookstore and pays out 90%.

Barnes & Noble (

Distribution to is via (as aggregator; it is also a bookstore). pays out 40% royalty on ebooks selling at $0.99 – $2.98 and 60% royalty on those selling at $2.99 upwards.

The funds are paid to Lulu as aggregator, who takes 10% and pays 90% royalty to the author or publisher.

How do book prices work?

Minimum selling price for books across all online stores is 99 cents US dollars, otherwise author/publisher determines their own price.

Amazon has a print on demand service. Book prices have to be above Amazon’s cost to print – which Amazon determines per book. Amazon print books are uploaded via their service.

ebook difference to print books?

The first difference is obvious, ebooks are digital.

Ebooks do not use page numbers like print books but use selectable sections which are coded in per chapters in the book. Reader can select their preferred font type and font size.

Font and sizes?

eBook readers enable readers to choose their own fonts types and sizes. Unless these font types are used, Georgia, Caecilia, Trebuchet, Verdana, Arial, Times New Roman, Courier, and Lucida; the default font is Times New Roman.

The default font size is 12pt.

Print book dimensions on Amazon?

Amazon accepts various standard book dimensions. We will upload books in 6×9 inches, as it is the standard bookstores who Stock from Amazon prefer.

Otherwise advised, we will use 6X9 inches.

What ebook formart are there?

The most recommended are ePUb and Amazon Kindle.

The Kindle version can only be read on Amazon Kindle ereaders.

ePUB ebook format it the most worldly recognised and used ebook format.

ePUB files can be read with various softwares found on most devices (ereader, mobile phone, tablets, desktop). Otherwise they can be downloaded mostly for free from most platforms on the internet. Do background check on a download platform before making use of it.

Other formats are mobi (mobile phones). ePUb is still usable and recommended even on mobile phones.

A PDF is not flexible.

Do ebooks run a risk of being copied illegally? What is DRM?

eBooks use an option called DRM (Digital Rights Management) to limit copying of ebooks by forcing readers to have relevant credentials before they are allowed to open an ebook file.

For instance if DRM protection is selected, an ebook cannot be transferred a certain numbers of times, usually 3, to reading devices owned by other persons. Original reader can transfer it and read any number of times into any device with their login credentials

DRM can be cracked. This does not override the benefit of having a book on digital release. It is source of earning. People anywhere else in the world can have access to purchase an author’s work from the comfort of their internet.

Where can I buy an ereader device?

Check with your nearest reputable electronic store.

In South African they can be found at Pick n Pay. Other stores to check are Game, Incredible Connection, Hifi Corporation, Makro and (online).

Or else go onto, or Kobo.

Does an ebook need an ISBN?

Yes and yes. We assist with this.

Can I have sound and video in my ebook?

You can but it will likely not display as intended on most devices

Can I publish my book with South African online stores?

Yes though we have discontinued the service. In our view and experience it is better to with these premium stores we distribute.

Why make an ebook? 

The following are some of the advantages of eBooks over physical titles:

Travel:       If you’re on the go a lot, you know how heavy regular titles are, particularly if you intend to finish one book while you are out and need to bring another book with you. eBooks allow you to bring a whole library with you wherever you go. You can switch between titles with ease and the weight is lighter than a standard paperback.

Storage:     Those who own a lot of books know how much space they can take up, but with a reader, your bookshelf is located on a small handheld device, your computer or on both. This will save you a lot of storage space and also means you have a backup online if something happens to your books.

Price:         eBooks are often cheaper in the long run because there are no printing fees associated with them. In fact, you can often find free eBooks online, whereas physical books almost always cost you something. You must remember however, that readers are not free, you are going to spend a good amount upfront for a device like this.

Speed:        When you buy an eBook, your reward is instantaneous. Whereas if you order a book online you have to wait for it to arrive before the fun begins.

Font Adjustments: With an eBook, you can instantly change the darkness of the lettering or the size of your font. When your eyes feel strained after reading a paper book too long, you have little choice but to stop reading. With an eBook, you can just change the font size and keep going. This is also a great feature for those who need large print books.

Night Reading:     If you read in bed, an eBook may be a good option as many readers come with built-in reading lights. These are easy to use and won’t get in the way like the lights attached to actual books do.


The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. While we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. 

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