Friday, November 3, 2006

Is ePublishing the Answer to your Dreams?

When dealing with the traditional publishing world, many writers invest a lot of time, submitting their work to publishers, then they play the waiting-game. While the rules are different with epublishing, there is still a considerable investment needed to be successful. But is it right for you?

While the rules are different with epublishing, there is still a considerable investment needed to be successful.

When I finished my first ebook, I joked to a colleague that writing it was the easy part ~ and I was right. The hard part was learning and developing a workable ebook format, building a functional Web site and launching an ongoing marketing campaign.

And that's true, even for authors who are handled by a third-party epublisher. Often, they will be responsible for not only providing the ebook in a professional, published format, but also arranging reviews, publicity and online marketing.

Epublishing is, however, an exciting, evolving industry. It's a wonderful experience to be in complete control of your e-destiny.

It is also the great leveler of literature.

For the first time in history, wordsmiths of all genres and all calibers have the opportunity to write for the masses.

Technology provides a tremendous opportunity for everyone from the rising talent to mid-list authors to step out from the shadow of the big-name writers.

Traditional publishing no longer has the will nor the ability to showcase the talents of the ordinary scribe. Epublishing has that ability, and that's why it is currently one of the fastest growing sectors of the Internet.

Having said that, it's important to understand that epublishing is a double-edge sword. Yes, it has made it easier to get published and, consequently, there are more inexperienced or 'non writers' producing ebooks. But technology has removed the traditional gatekeepers of the industry ~ impartial editors ~ who, to a large degree, have maintained high standards for publishing.

Now, anyone can ~ and does ~ produce ebooks. So that quality has dropped dramatically. And, the bulk of e-authors are responsible for their own marketing and promotion, so that means that only a fraction of ebook authors are actually make a living on the Internet.

Like the Internet in general, epublishing gives you and every other author access to a global market.

To give you an idea of the potential of this market, after just one month of promoting my first ebook, I had readers from my native Australia, New Zealand and theisland of Vanuatu to the US, UK, Canada and even Denmark and Russia. That used to be the domain of best-selling authors, but now it's within the reach of newbies on the Net.

Whenever I write for the Internet ~ be it an ebook, a Web article or a blog ~ I remind myself of three things. You should too:

1. The world is listening.

You may be hammering away at an article in the wee hours of the morning, but the world is listening, waiting and maybe hanging on your every word.

Epublishing gives every writer access to a global market. For the first time in history, writers truly control their words, and they can reach anyone, anywhere ~ around the clock and around the world ~ from a simple Web site.

2. Doctors bury their mistakes; we print ours.

That was something a sub-editor told me when I started out as a young newspaper journalist.

Take a close look at the next Web site you visit. Look beyond the dazzling graphics and consider the words. How well is the message communicated? Are there any typos? Does the copy make sense? More importantly, does the site achieve its aim of enticing you to buy or convincing you to subscribe or some other objective?

Too often, sites miss the mark, and that's the main reason why less than 5% are profitable.

3. I love what I do, and I want to continue doing it.

Let's face it, you don't write for the money or for the celebrity, you write because you like writing. And the best way to continue this practice is to do it as well as you can.

Make your passion a business. Take the time to re-skill so that you can offer a wider range of services to the industry. Take care in your choice of words; take the time to read writers you love and learn from others.

Your investment will be rewarded for the rest of your writing life.

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