Thursday, January 8, 2009

E-Book publishing

I spoke on Wednesday night at a writers forum about E-Books and I found the conversation that came within my presentation from the group was very robust. It highlighted to me the interest that exists with writers in this approach to getting their work out into the big wide world for others to read, and the internet is a very big, wide world indeed.
Whilst the discussion was mainly focused on the process of getting an E-Book created and whether or not it was something a writer should do it themselves I did find myself taking a different path along the way to get a few important points across. I will come back on another day to discuss the process but today I thought I would make those same important points here.
Statistics are quoted often regarding the sales of E-Books and the way they are increasing but one important point to remember when looking at those figures is that they start from a low base and there are now so many E-Books being created. The sales do not mean each book, or any book is selling really well, it may mean that millions of books are selling a couple of copies each.
The real issue for me is the quality of the work however, as it always should be with an author. Yes you can get your book out inot the E-Book world without as much editing and without having to jump through as many hoops and many of you will do that with pride and ensure the work is at its best, but some see this as an easy path and a shortcut.
Remember, if you put inferior work out there it is there for all to see. That includes publishers and agents who you might want to convince at a later date that you are someone they should have in their stable.
It would be nice if we could separate the good from the bad but we are a long way off so E-Books will get the reputation that writers and authors allow them too, at least for now.
One last point on quality, the best way to sell your E-Book, should you go down that path, is to allow the first chapter or so to be read free online, thereby tempting readers into buying the book through the interest you have generated. This means that with this medium, as with traditional publishing, your first page and your first chapter have to be as close to perfect as you can get them.
Good luck to all those going down this path, I think the perfect scenario for all authors would be to have everything you ever wrote published both traditionally and in E-Book format as this reaches maximum audience so do not discount this form, but use it wisely.

3 comments:

Emeniano Acain Somoza, Jr. said...

Way to go, Bernard! Good luck and keep up. I hope that your books would find their way out here. By the way, thanks for the review on my Sastreria: Diary of a Dressmaker's Son.

Bernard J Rossi said...

dropping by Emeniano, I hope to see you here from time to time. Thanks also for the good wishes, I am sure my books will find their way out there sooner or later, patience will be the key. I'll drop by your site from time to time to say hello.

Brian said...

I like that you tackled the topic of E-books my friend. I think it to be a good idea to have the first chapter free. That would be an excellent tool for marketing and exposure.

This is an interesting frontier we are about to entire with books.