Tuesday, March 6, 2012

EBooks:A Writers Friend or Enemy?

Publishing is a $35 billion industry. Up until just a few years ago, that meant almost exclusively books, magazines, newspapers, and other small items such as brochures and business cards. The internet has changed all that in more ways than one. Enter the eBook, or downloadable electronic book. Although early versions of the eBook have been around since the 1970’s, it wasn’t until late in 2007 that Amazon’s eBook Reader, the Kindle, was released, and not until 2009 that dedicated reading hardware was produced. According to the Association of American Publishers, eBook sales rose 176.6% to $169.5 million in 2009. Another report, this one conducted by Forrester Research, an independent research company that provides pragmatic and forward-thinking advice to global leaders in business and technology, predicts that eBook sales will cross the $1 billion line in 2011.

Finding a publisher who is willing to invest their time and money to print thousands of copies of a book written by an unknown author is extremely difficult, to say the least. However, with services such as Amazon.com and Smashwords.com, an unknown author can publish a completed novel, poetry manuscript, or collection of short stories and make it available for sale to basically anyone with internet access in a single day. And the best part is that It’s Free! There are, of course, many more online publishers than just Amazon and Smashwords but many of them are not free.


So if you’ve written your memoirs, or have a book length manuscript, or even a collection of short stories or poetry, I highly recommend that you put them up for sale at Amazon.com’s Kindle Store and Smashwords.com. Remember, it’s totally free. Simply go to www.Amazon.com and find the “Self-publish with Us” link at the bottom of the page. Then simply click the “Get Started” link in the Kindle Books section of that page. From there you can set up your account, upload your manuscript, and then name your price.


Make sure that your manuscript starts out strong because one of the services offered by eBook publishers is a free sample of your work, usually the first 20%. Selling your book is a tough business, but for those of us who believe that what we’re writing is worthwhile for others to read, there’s always a chance for great success. And remember, your customers don’t even need an eBook reader to enjoy your book; they can download it to any PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, or Android.

2 comments:

  1. Self-publishing is as you described quite easy, but there has always been two things the traditional publishers did and did well: marketing and distribution. Before ebooks, they could keep the self-published author off most bookstore shelves. With Amazon and Smashwords that doesn't matter as much. However, marketing remains a critical function that the self-publishing author needs to get right. Picking the right book to write based on market analysis seems wrong to most "artistes" and spending time promoting your book and getting the good word out there about it is time you can't spend writing.

    And one thing I noticed about self-published authors was that they were always flogging their book. Such as The Aristotelian. Yeah, annoying, isn't it?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment Steve, always appreciated! And I do agree with you about the self promotion, that time could be spent coming up with quality content!

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