From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"An electronic book (also e-book, ebook, digital book) is a book-length publication in digital form, consisting of text, images or both, and produced on, published through, and readable on computers or other electronic devices. Sometimes the equivalent of a conventional printed book, e-books can also be born digital. The Oxford Dictionary of English defines the e-book as "an electronic version of a printed book" but e-books can and do exist without any printed equivalent. E-books are usually read on dedicated hardware devices known as e-Readers or e-book devices. Personal computers and some cell phones can also be used to read e-books."
Sales of ebooks are increasing tremendously worldwide, and, they say, overtaking sales of printed books. The printed book will surely never disappear, but we do need to embrace the new technology and work with it, as it can open up a whole new world for the author.
A great benefit of ebooks – that is, books formatted to be read on eReaders, rather than pdfs to be read on your computer (although true ebooks can be read onscreen with special software) – is that they dispense with the need for printing minimum runs of your book and all the costs that go with that. You may, of course, want to run both versions from your manuscript. And there is also the choice of “print on demand” (POD) now as well, having books printed individually as they are ordered – often printed in the country in which they are ordered, so avoiding huge shipping costs.
EReaders include devices such as Kindle (Amazon), Kobo (Whitcoulls), iPad and the iPhone.
You can upload your ebook to the websites of several international companies at basically very little or no cost, and it will become part of their worldwide marketing and distribution network. This doesn’t mean you can just sit and wait for money to roll in without having to do any more, but it does mean you have good, basic international coverage which will hopefully start to bring some sales in for you, along with your own promotional ideas and back-up. You need to understand how to choose your categories and keywords, and you still need to promote yourself and your book so readers out there know to look for you.
You can use social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter as a window for your writing, as well as having your own website and/or writing a blog. Every little helps.
What you must remember, though, whether you want to go down the route of hard copy or ebook, your manuscript MUST be well edited and proofread, because readers will not accept work that is below standard and not well put together. Many ebooks attract reviewers on sites such as Amazon, and if you get a bad review, it is very difficult to undo the damage.
Your ebook MUST be laid up and formatted correctly as well otherwise problems can arise when the text “reflows” to suit the different sized screens of eReaders.
We can perform these tasks for you so your finished product is as error-free as possible.
In summary, producing an ebook is a very cheap way of “publishing” your book, but it is very important that you go through the process of proper editing and proofreading before you publish.
You still need to be aware that ebooks generally sell for very small amounts. I heard this expression recently - an ebook sells for roughly the same price as a sandwich! And you need to do some research on how Amazon operates so you can run your account effectively yourself. Don't be fooled into thinking Amazon loves books and will do anything to help authors. As one independent publisher, Dennis Johnson, said:
“Amazon has successfully fostered the idea that a book is a thing of minimal value - it’s a widget.”
Click here to view some of the ebooks designed by AM Publishing NZ, available on Amazon. Most of these books also have hard copy versions.