Saturday, September 16, 2006

eBooks: A Great Way to Publish! By Nicole Pitman

It’s in the news every day – Sony is touting their new eBook Reader; Dan Brown, best-selling author of The Da Vinici Code and Angels and Demons is heralding the benefits that eBooks have for readers and authors alike; traditional publishers like Random House and big companies like Google are climbing on the band wagon and launching eBook divisions. eBooks and ePublishing are steadily growing businesses.

Mind you, you may find what I have to say here biased or bravado-ist (I just made that word up…I like it) – after all, I work for a digital publishing company. But eBooks aren’t my thing. Or at least they weren’t my thing until a short time ago. I love books -- hardcover, paperback- whatever. I love the way books feel, the way they look, the way they smell. I am a reader. And a writer. And the idea of reading books or writing books that are, well, “out there” in cyberspace, seems, or I should say seemed odd to me. Uncomfortable. Even scary.

But my perspective has changed. As has my comfort level. And my fear is…gone. Poof! Really. Here’s why: Digital publishing and eBooks are not meant to replace traditional books. Not at all. They’re here as another avenue to read, write, and publish. And that’s cool. You have my personal testimony on this one. You could call me a personal case study (though no one has called me that yet).

I have found eBooks incredibly useful. My venue of choice for reading is my eBook reader. I’ve had up to ten books on it (it holds up to 100) and taken it with me on weekend vacations, and it doesn’t add any extra weight or space to my bag that ten paperbacks normally would.

I love my eBook reader at night when I read in bed because mine has a backlight and I can fall asleep reading it in the dark and it turns itself off. I can use the cool tools it provides like book marking and note making, and it makes for a great conversation piece in coffee houses (if you’re reading your eBook reader, PDA, Smart Phone, etc – probably not if you just walk up to a total stranger and start talking about eBooks…They might not be really interested when they’re in the middle of reading Kierkegaard or having some deep, intense conversation with their significant other).

Because I work for a digital publishing company…Bear with me as I insert a shameless promo here: TDigitalPulp PublishingT (that’s the company I work for), publishes and promotes new and lesser-known authors. We also have a division called TDPPpressT, which teams with self and independent publishers to distribute their books in our eBookstore, the TDPPstoreT. Did you get all that?! Shameless promotion complete.

So as I was saying: because I work for a digital publishing company, I have had the opportunity to do a lot of research into eBooks and ePublishing. What I’ve found is that there is no reason not to publish digitally.

Bestselling author, M.J. Rose, published Lip Service as an eBook before it went to traditional print. She was able to test market her book by doing this, garner an audience, and shoot to the top in the book world.

Dan Brown who sold millions of copies of his books Angels and Demons and The Da Vinici Code in traditional print, is now selling them just as readily in eBook format. Along with the above mentioned titles, two more of Brown’s books, The Digital Fortress and Deception Point have made the top ten of the bestseller fiction eBooks list.

And the stats are in: the August, 2006 ABA report found eBooks, with sales of $1.4 million, rose 40.3%, and are up 26.3% for the year to date.

There are eBook readers out there and they’re buying eBooks. It’s about choice. Digital publishing gives readers more options. And it gives authors and publishers lots more options too.
As an author you have a vast amount of creative freedom. You can easily change cover and content with little to no cost. You can publish in installments. And, with most ePublishing companies (such as TDigitalPulp PublishingT), you bypass the “middle people”, i.e. agents, which means you get a much larger share of your book sale profits. Because eBooks cost so little to produce, publishers can take greater risks with lesser-known authors and alternative stories.

For both authors and publishers eBooks offer another means of exposure and an additional venue for reaching a greater audience. Some readers like hardcover, others paperback and still others, audio books. eBooks provide readers with another choice. And eBooks give publishers and authors an opportunity to gain new readership, exposure and sales.

Why publish eBooks? Why not?!

Nicky Pitman is a free-lance writer and the Authors Advocate at DigitalPulp Publishing. She can be reached by email at nicpit@digitalpulppublishing.com or by phone at (760) 327-3181.

1 comment:

john said...

In print media, digital publishing made huge difference in circulations and revenues. Survey’s also predicting that online readership is increased dramatically from the past three years and its goes on. Digital publishing becomes the revenue generation tool for the print publishers. Publishers following new technology mediums and approaching the companies like http://www.pressmart.net to distribute their publications over the new mediums and it’s worked well!