Monday, November 22, 2010

eBook Author: The New Breed of Author

With the advent of the Kindle and the Nook, the readers of the world are endorsing the eBook in very large numbers. One of the next phases of the industry development will be the transition of the author from the traditional writer to an eBook author. They will write directly to the eBook platform and take advantage of the features and opportunities provided by the eBook experience.

Currently the industry is in a copy mode, taking a version of the printed document and converting it to an electronic form. To preserve the written work and make books more accessible is a valid endeavor but there must be much more to the eBook industry than to just make a copy of the paper book. The eBook author is the key.

First there are the want-to-be authors. They are the authors that are not published and feel like they are swimming upstream. Their creative juices are flowing with ideas that they want to be published. Self-publishing via an eBook may be their only opportunity to be heard. They need something to set them apart and the eBook may be their only answer. Traditionally without assistance from an agent or a publisher their chances are slim.

Then we have the published authors who are already published in a paper version. Their copy is converted to an eBook with the same look and feel of the original traditional book but their sales are mediocre at best. However they may have a better opportunity of success by adding something else to their creative ideas and the eBook may help them do this.

On the topside, established authors produce their paper version and they have a better time of it. They have almost instant success with the eBook version. Their name recognition carries the sale.

On the other side of the author spectrum are the Internet content providers. Their ideas and creativity drive the Internet. Their pages, blogs and communications are the centerpiece of the Web. Their content includes text, pictures, audio, video, links and on and on. The web surfer, the communicator and the information seeker enjoy their work equally. They write to the digital platform only.

Enter the ebook and its connection to the digital world. The eBook reader is enjoying the new phenomenon but there is so much more to give to the reader than a copy of a traditional book.

eBook authors must develop their skills or get assistance to embrace the eBook capabilities. They will meet the traditional author and the content provider in the middle somewhere by writing to the eBook platform whether it is the Kindle, the Nook, the iPad device or a regular PC. They will provide live links to the Internet with up-to-date information.

The traditional book is cast in stone. Even if it is republished, it’s only current the day it is printed. Picture a history textbook with the ability to be linked to a web site. You could virtually have a daily update to the eBook. Or the reader may have a subscription to a service that uploads to the Kindle the latest version of the eBook on a regular basis like news feeds and magazines currently do. The eBook author is the key to this.

I sat in on an eBook seminar at a BookExpo America in Los Angeles in 2001 when all this was getting started. One of the speakers was a writer who wrote travel guides about locations around the world. The writer spoke highly about the possibilities of the new eBook industry but the writer’s conclusion still stays with me.

“The eBook was the wave of the future but it didn’t have a place in the travel book industry.” The speaker missed the whole point. The travel book industry is the perfect place for an eBook. You can publish an up-to-date copy monthly with live links and include current pricing and everything. What an opportunity.

The eBook author can include maps, images, multimedia and reference materials to back up their eBook and make it a better reading experience.

In my eBook, Call Off the Dogs, I include internal links to author definitions of unique terms used in the eBook. I call these “eBook gems” named after the link symbol used in the eBook. The reader just clicks on the gem symbol and a brief definition of the term appears on the screen. I even include links to in-book Wikipedia information to assist the reader in understanding the story. Although eBook devices have dictionaries and encyclopedias available, sometimes author-coined terms and in-book information will help further explan the content.

The eBook author will start writing in a more snapshot method rather than a straight linear process. These chunks of information will be linked together to convey the story or idea. This method will allow multiple story lines and maybe a better read if done properly.

For example, the back-story in a novel could be greatly enhanced with the ability of the reader to explore more than the base story. Call Off the Dogs, which is a novel about President Kennedy’s Assassination, could direct the reader to more information about Dealey Plaza in Dallas or to the French Quarter in New Orleans where the main character, Jonathon Stone, searches for information about another gunman in Dallas besides Oswald.

Another opportunity for the new eBook author is the creation of companion eBooks. These would be eBooks written about the same topics as the original eBook but with more detailed information. With the ability to switch back and forth between eBooks, I can see a large opportunity for students and Education in general with this option.

Although there is no substitute for good content, the added features the eBook brings to the table, will be used by the eBook author to enhance the reading experience.

What are your ideas? I will try to respond to all your comments.

Jim Moushon

This post originated from HBSystems Publications .

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Book Information
Call Off The Dogs
By: James Moushon
Published By: November 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4507-4529-1 ASIN:B004AYCTI8
Available at Amazon in eBook Format
Genre: Fiction, Alternative History

Coming Soon on this blog:

eBook Author: eBook Rendering
This post will discuss the process that is much more than converting a book to a digital format. If you want to include the mark “eBook Rendered” on your book, you should read this posting.

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