Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Noddy ventures into e-publishing

I didn't make the e-publishing course last week. I was sick. However, I thought that I should continue my series to try to consolidate my thoughts. This will not be an exciting post and there will be errors. Further, I will be guilty of gross simplification. But I know that a few of my readers are interested.

We start with what might be called e-book stores. Examples include Amazon with kindle as a reader, Apple with iBooks, Kobo or Barnes & Noble with nook. There are Australian examples, but I will give them in a later post.

Now the next thing to remember is that you have to get your wonderful content into a form suitable for e-publication. Here there are two software standards, epub while Amazon has its own. The rules set by those software systems as well as the limitations of the various platforms on which people read have significant implications for the way you set out your work. You need to follow rules that can be quite constraining.

Putting that aside, how do you get your work into an e-store? You have two choices.

First, you can self-publish. Here you face two tasks beyond the simple act of preparing the original content. First, you have to get your content into the right form. This means translating the content with its imbedded software into the form required by the store. Secondly, you have to negotiate arrangements with the e-store. Both involve many tedious elements, but are not impossible.

Secondly, you can go to what is called an aggregator, the internet equivalent of a publisher.Examples include bookbaby, smashwords or in Australia Australian e-book publisher. The aggregator will assist you to put your content into the right form and arrange for its lodgment with the e-store.  Obviously you pay a price for this, but it makes things simpler and may increase the gross return.

This short description obviously conceals many complexities, and lord knows I'm not an expert. Still, it's a start. Any questions?  


Neil Whitfield sent me the following link - MONOPOLISH. Worth a read.


Winton Bates said...

Thanks Jim. Some points to think about!

Jim Belshaw said...

I have you in part in mind, Winton, but between us we have a lot of content!