The Book (as we used to know it)…
Okay, so like me you want to be an author. Correct? For whatever reasons of your own – perhaps it was a childhood dream or it is an unfulfilled wish you now have –whatever the reasons and background, you are now madly and passionately in love with the idea of seeing your book in print (although there are other options, too, which we’ll discuss soon) with a glossy cover and your name on it.
I don’t blame you. It is my wish too and I am part way there. I am still learning though and don’t profess to knowing or doing it all, (if I had already put it into practice everything I’ve learnt you would be reading these words on a much more ritzy looking author page!!). I am however, more than happy, to share with you, as I learn.
So This Is What I Know
Right now, the publishing industry is going through big changes. Large bricks and mortar stores are closing. Whilst some put this down to the impact of the Global Financial Crisis, there is another phenomenon effecting traditional publishing. It’s called the internet.
New technologies, such as the Ipad, the Iphone, the Kindle and similar e-reading devices are thriving. Predictions from experts in the field, are that the growth of ebook technology will eventually save the book, but not in its original format.
One day not too far away, school children will be using tablets and netbooks, not just in their ‘computer classes’, but as a complete replacement for print textbooks. They will be doing their homework online and emailing it to their teachers. Traditional school classrooms will ‘go global’ and connect with other classes across the world.
A big revolution in the way we read and learn is happening and if we want to be authors, it’s a great idea to get on board now and embrace these new technologies.
You’ve Already Begun
From my own research, one of the most important things for an author using this new technology to do is – start a blog – so, you can tick that one off!! An online presence is important not just for the connections you make and the audience you may begin to develop, but it is also valuable for off line sales as well. It is somewhere to direct a potential buyer or reader to, where they can find out more about you.
You can also get feedback from your audience sooner this way and improve as you go. This is probably not new information to you, if you have been blogging for a long time, but I mention it here, to give the newbie bloggers a little nudge and let them know that if they want to be published authors, then they are certainly heading in the right direction with blogging. It gives you a platform to build from and although I am still building that platform myself, I am also learning heaps about writing both online and off, at the same time.
As I mentioned in my last post, many bloggers have already turned their passion for blogging into a book. An example of this can be seen here. To make the importance of blogging clearer, here are also a few more examples here and here, of famous authors who yes, still blog everyday.
Self Publishing Options
Stay with me now, I’m getting to the good stuff!! I don’t want to miss or skim over any of the options though, so I have decided to make this a two part (at least) series post. Over this 2 part series, I will cover the following three areas.
#Affordable Self Publishing
#Print On Demand and
Ebook Self Publishing
Since my own experience has been with ebook publishing, specifically with www.smashwords.com, I will talk about it first.
The ebooks on Smashwords can be read online using our online readers, or they can be downloaded to other reading devices such as the iPhone, iPod Touch, Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader or IRex Iliad, or to other ereading devices. Smashwords also offers generous sampling options to readers so they can try before they buy.
I published about four months ago at Smashwords and this is what my own book page at Smashwords looks like: –
What Smashwords Offers Authors
Smashwords offers distribution to major online ebook retailers such as Barnes & Noble, Sony, Apple iPad iBookstore, Kobo (and Borders) and the Diesel eBook Store, and to all major smart phone platforms via app providers such as Stanza, Aldiko, Kobo and Word-Player.
They also offer free author pages with bios, headshots and lists of works; the industry’s broadest range of sampling options; embedded YouTube videos (I’m working on mine ) for video book trailers and virtual author events; reviews from readers; ebook downloads in multiple ebook formats; a coupon code generator for custom promotions (I’ve used this and it’s great) and more tools in the works.
Smashwords does some of the marketing for you but, most of the promotion and marketing is up to you and thus, how many sales you make is also, up to you. In effect, being a Smashwords author is no different in this regard to being a mainstream published author. Although traditional publishers will do some of the work for you, most traditionally published authors find that a large part of the book marketing is up to them. This is why you will find so many of them on Twitter and Facebook. Yes, I’m there too.
If you would like to have obtain more information about marketing your Smashwords ebook, then you can do so for free by downloading the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide.
I do thoroughly recommend Smashwords, as any easy (if you use their guides) to follow ebook publishing platform.
However there are also other options such as www.scribd.com.
Part Two of this series….
So that’s about it for Part One of this series on Becoming A First Time Author, Using Web Tools. Stay tuned however…..because I will be back with as much information about the current publishing options open to new authors, as I can find. More links and useful information to come…….
And if I was a real clever bunny like Tristan, from The Blogging Bookshelf, I would also work out how to offer you the entire two posts as a download PDF ebook, but I’m not sure if the functionality of this blog allows that. I’ll let you know next time…..
You Should Comment Because….
1. I’d love you to !!
2. You can let me know if this information is of any help to you and your endeavours.
3. Even though I don’t have that great plug-in called Comment Luv, you can still link to or mention your own blog or latest post!
4. I will drop by your blog and leave a comment too! 🙂
As usual, I really would like your feedback, comments or suggestions. I am open to all thoughts and ideas, I won’t be offended if you didn’t like something I wrote and I am keenly interested to learn from you, too. 🙂
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