It’s no secret that ebook publishing is rapidly transforming the media industries.
Hard copy Print on Demand books may never become passé, but few will deny that the latest buzz is about downloadable electronic content delivered wirelessly (or through USB computer ports) to the growing number of these devices. With their patented E-ink screens that some claim are even easier on the eye than printed paper, they are not only taking center stage for their efficiency and economy compared to hard copy publishing; they are also earning kudos from dedicated environmentalists.
Now it is finally possible for a major portion of the book industry to go green, since ebooks eliminate the need for paper, glues and other materials that drain our natural resources.
The Catch 22 of digital online technologies
Although the arrival of digital technologies and the internet has given every aspiring writer an opportunity to have their works published, this new production and delivery method has also given birth to even stiffer competition among publishers and authors.
Gone are the days of the prima donna who simply delivered an unedited script to the publisher’s editors and then walked away from the entire publishing and promotion process.
In earlier times, the publisher was a nurturing parent who did everything from book doctoring and/or re-writing a promising author’s manuscript, to arranging their marketing and media campaigns.
Today, authors are rapidly learning that they either have to scrub their own floors or pay the consequences of staying hidden from the public. This is not as ugly or challenging as it seems—and many have come to believe that perhaps that’s the way it should have been from the start. After all, an author is the person most familiar with a book’s content. They are the ones who can easily identify their target market or readership--those who will value their work and benefit most from owning a copy.
Ebook publishing information
If you are planning to publish an ebook, make sure the publishing company you choose will support your goals and focus on getting significant sales.
If you have not yet written your ebook and need help, work with a reliable professional ghostwriter who can get the job done quickly, effectively and economically. If your ebook is already written, make sure you contract a professional book doctor or editor to review the final draft.
An experienced ebook publisher will consult with you to make sure you have a clear picture of why you wrote your ebook, the message you want to deliver to the reader, and the “take-away”--what you want the reader to remember or take away with them.
Online setup, including the shopping cart, will have built-in auto-responder potential for collecting and tracking data. The marketing objective is to cultivate a loyal readership for future ebooks.
Obtain a list from your ebook publisher of formatting and conversion options. I personally feel it’s important to consider all existing conversion options and to allow for ample room in your budget for this professional IT work to be done correctly.
Inquire about distribution choices. You will want to have your ebook distributed to bookstores that work through intermediaries such as Ingram Digital Group, and you will also want to have it set up at several of the large online bookstores, such as fictionwise.com and mobipocket.com. You will certainly want your ebook available for downloading in the Amazon Kindle store.
How will your ebook publishing company market your ebook(s)? Do they have an in-house online specialist who understands search engine placement and keyword analysis, for example; and the importance of creating powerful sales sheets?
You may wish to do the marketing and promotion yourself, and since the list of options can be mind-boggling, it would be best to consult with an expert before choosing which company to work with. A quality online publisher will have had years of experience whittling down the list to a select few that will be able to give you the best bang for the buck.
Look for an online publisher that produces both hard copy and ebooks
When shopping for the best online publisher—and in order to insure quality services, I highly recommend signing a contract with a co-publisher rather than a self-publisher--make sure to choose one that produces both hard copy and ebooks. Some books will sell better as hard copies; for example, if they contain many graphics and illustrations as well as tables and charts, book buyers will prefer to own them in printed editions.
If your manuscript has a better chance in the marketplace as a hard copy book, a reliable online publisher will advise against ebook publishing.
Hard Copy & Ebooks share a lasting relationship
Both hard copy and print on demand and ebooks are here to stay. In fact, the latest POD equipment is pointing toward individual ownership of book-making printers that will cost no more than a laptop or desk model computer. Check out On Demand Books to learn about the Espresso book making machine, which is already installed in the New York Public Library and select U.S. bookstores.
Ebook readers are amazing devices small and slim enough to slip into your purse or briefcase that can wirelessly download, in addition to hundreds of ebooks, everything from the daily newspaper to favorite internet blogs to manuscripts from the owner’s hard drive.
Go digital; go virtual; go green; and grow your readership by planting and nurturing a large online social network.
Carol Adler, MFA’s first ghost-written book listing her name as co-editor, Why Am I Still Addicted? A Holistic Approach to Recovery, was endorsed by Deepak Chopra, M.D., and published by McGraw-Hill. Other publications include three novels, four books of poetry, and well over 200 poems in literary journals. She has ghostwritten over 40 non-fiction and fiction works for a number of professionals in the education, health care and human potential industries.
Carol is President of Dandelion Books, LLC of Tempe, Arizona; a full service publishing company. She is also President and CEO of Dandelion Enterprises, Inc., Write to Publish for Profit and President of the International Arts & Media Foundation, a non-profit subsidiary of Dandelion Enterprises, Inc.
Her business experience includes co-ownership of a Palm Beach, FL public relations company and executive management positions in two U.S. rejuvenation and mind/body wellness corporations, for which she founded publishing divisions.
Carol has served as editor of several poetry and literary magazines. Her career experience includes extensive teaching of college-level creative and business writing, and conducting of writing workshops in prisons, libraries, elementary, junior and high schools, and senior citizen centers.
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