Thursday, March 5, 2009
By Kim Smith
First, what is an e-book? Well, according to the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, an e-book, also known as an electronic book, is the digital media equivalent of a conventional printed book. Whereas a printed book has a physical form, an e-book is downloaded to one’s computer, mobile phone, or digital reader such as the Sony Reader, or the Amazon Kindle. In this new digital age, we have traded dots and dashes for exes and ohs.
Many people believe digital is the way to go.
Here are a few reasons to go digital and purchase e-books.
1.A green solution, as there are no trees destroyed in the creation of an e-book.
2. Eliminates the need for a physical location to store your book collections. A Sony Reader or Amazon Kindle, for example, can hold up to hundreds (if not thousands) of books. Far more than you could house in your living room bookcase.
3. Keeps books available longer as there is no need to keep an inventory of them. Why should they be discontinued, or as it was once said, “go out of print”?
Purchasing e-books can be an easy feat. At my publisher’s site, downloading an e-book to your computer or reader is very simple. We all have become “download masters” thanks to music sites that allow downloads and online purchasing. Getting an e-book this way is a natural step forward from that.
For writers who may have an e-book coming out, promoting your e-book has never been simpler. If you have a website, you are halfway there.
Here are a few ways to market your e-book.
1. Hire a web designer (or do it yourself) and create a platform (website) with which to work from and advertise the book. You should begin advertising the coming book at least six months prior to the release date to generate a buzz.
2. Have a contest once the e-book has been released to generate interest in purchasing.
3. Get your online friends who have websites to link to your website and you link to theirs and create a group of places where potential readers can surf in and get the latest details about your book.
4. Give your e-book to e-book reviewers and post the reviews on your website. Reviews are a huge way to get people to look at an e-book that they might have otherwise overlooked.
Of all the things a writer must do if they are planning a promotional campaign for an electronic book is to write well. That cannot be said strongly enough. The reading public has little toleration for a print book that is written shoddily, so one can imagine the opinion of a book form that can easily be deleted!
Since e-books are cheaper, their value is oftentimes diminished. They are looked upon as a less worthy read just because they are not in print. We can change that perception by writing the best book we can write, and editing it thoroughly.
E-books are touted as being the next phase in the life span of the book industry, and indeed, even major houses have begun using this technology to get books into the hands of readers. Now you can find big names as well as small ones at places like Fictionwise (http://www.fictionwise.com), a leading independent e-book publisher and distributor. Fictionwise also has a “best seller” list so that potential buyers can find the best of the best in their catalog.
E-books are here to stay. Let’s make their life in the literary realm one of importance and substance.