So on this self-publishing vein…what about an eBook? This is a very hot topic of late, having been spurred on somewhat by the iPad launch and Apple’s new iBooks store.
A Book By Any Other Name?
An eBook is a book that has been formatted by a graphic designer except it’s then made available online via a PDF download, or an electronic flippable page format (just as a digital catalog or magazine). Online distribution and eBooks in particular, are self-publishing options that could enhance your distribution reach and help you (you are a starving, beginning writer) reduce costs to a negligible amount.
eBooks can be made available on a website or blog for pay with a little preview (such as a table of contents, introduction, or chapter) made available for free as a teaser. eBooks, also have the versatility these days of being accessed on one of the many electronic book readers: the Apple iPad, the Barnes and Noble Nook, the Sony Reader, and the Amazon Kindle. However you would have to research each of their processes to submit your publication for inclusion. There is a great book by Richard Curtis titled “How to Get Your eBook Published” which can be of great help.
Sites such as iUniverse and Lulu specialize in eBooks and provide great information in addition to their publishing services. Once you have your writing project completed, you determine what your publishing goals are and select a package that suits your budget and distribution goals.
To Blog or Not To Blog
On the other hand, if you are considering writing smaller pieces, such as articles, and self-publishing them, you can go straight to a blog. Creating your own blog or website can be the quickest way to market.
Using eBooks on a blog means there’s no inventory, there’s no expenses, and yet there could be a revenue stream through advertisement, collaborations, and linkages. Just identify which free service you want to sign up with (Blogger.com and WordPress.com are the two most popular, free blog service providers), and then research ways to publicize your work (SEO techniques, eBook publishing sites) and develop a visitor stream. And figure out how to place ads and other revenue makers such as Amazon Associates and Google AdSense.
Many blog owners ask for guest posts in order to add variety and help provide well-rounded content to their readers. These are great opportunities for new writers to get their feet wet. Guest blogging elevates writers to subject matter expert status. Repeating guest bloggers become recognizable to the audience.
Authors take advantage of the visibility by cross-linking their other work in portfolio or website format to develop a bread crumb trail that helps people find your work–people like your next boss or editor!
There are a number of online resources that can help you get acquainted with adapting writing for blogs and other best practices for writing for an online format. Here is a brief list:
- Writing for the Web – focuses on web journalism and online writing opportunities and know-how
- Copyblogger – writing tips for online marketing success
- Poynter Online – specializes in writers and journalist resources, industry, and information
- Journalism 2.0 – a conversation about journalism and technology
- ProBlogger – blogging for dollars, do you have what it takes?
- Daily Blog Tips – best practices in developing and running a blog and writing online
In a world where few publishers accept unsolicited manuscripts, and first time authors have a hard time getting representation, self-publishing can seem to be the light at the end of the tunnel. It takes a lot of effort and commitment to make self-publishing succeed. What will your next step be in getting your work published?