Sunday, February 20, 2011

Entering the world of epublishing

In an age of shrinking print runs and increasing competition for bookshelf space in the nation's bookshops, Australian writers, unless they are household names, are likely to see the books they have laboured over for years snatched from public sight well before the slender edition has been sold out unless they are also excellent promoters of their own work. Even so, the likelihood of a second print run is remote as there are always new titles demanding attention.  Consequently many a good story ends up on the remainders table or simply fades into obscurity.

For most of us, self publishing these loved and forgotten titles is not an option. It is too costly and we are writers, not entrepreneurs. We simply cannot compete with main stream publishers and distributors to get our books into bookshops.

For me, the idea that the books I have devoted so much of my writing and researching energy on would disappear from all but a handful of libraries, who still have them on their book club lists, and become just another mention on my curriculum vitae is not satisfactory to me.

Now a solution has arisen. With effort and the digital skills of my daughter Emma each of my books can have a new lease of life as an ebook.

The Process

Over the last few months I have read all I can about the epublishing industry, the types of readers available and the eformats which are compatible with them. I have also followed with great interest the discussions in the Australian Society of Authors' newsletter and elsewhere on the advantages and disadvantages to writers of epublishing.

So that my ebooks don't just become another entry among millions on Amazon, never to be downloaded by a paying reader, I have also investigated the options available to me for publicity. I have read several articles about blogging and have begun following the blogs of other writers. I am also resigned to the need for a facebook page, and of course I already knew the importance of a regularly updated website. As I don't consider myself sufficiently computer literate to build or upgrade my own website, Emma has assumed that responsibility and is patiently overseeing my entry into the world of the social networking.

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