The latest technology has given anyone who owns a computer the ability to produce an eBook to equal the publishing standards of the traditional printing publishers.
Before the advent of the PC and word document software, no single person could produce a book. From typing to type setting, then book binding after printing required several skills. Some requiring expertise of years in the trade. Now all sequences of the book production can easily be accomplished in the writer’s home. It is this paradigm shift that is causing an explosion of ebooks.
The costs of the old paper printed word just can’t compete with the eBook which has no distribution costs.
Mark Twain would have been amazed to see the advent of spelling and grammar checking. Anyone who worked as a type setter would be in awe of the ease and speed of formatting.
The work of proof reading by read back programs save hours of work. Even the home user can choose from a host of fonts and produce laser quality printing without leaving home.
While this technological revolution has been taking place the world’s population has doubled. There are alive at this point in time more people than have ever lived or died in all of history. There has been an explosion of second language students learning English. Everyone via the internet can publish and the readership is exploding. The computer has empowered massive numbers of individuals to go into digital print. More new authors are writing now than any other time in history.
Quantity of work will never deliver quality, yet this new easy writing medium is opening opportunities for quality work to rise to the top from many who would never had the means to work with traditional publishing. No writer can say they can not afford to write in an eBook world.
The elite few made it through the slush pile to become published and marketed in the past. eBooks have leveled the playing field and self publishing is fast becoming the choice of established writers.
Huge numbers of baby boomers are writing their life story. They have no intention of selling their book. They have the in-house ability to leave a written record. The use of voice recognition means the task can be accomplished by anyone even if they feel they can’t write well.
It is the possibility of being in control of every step of an eBooks’ production that appeals to so many. In the past leaving a written record was just too hard and so expensive.
Students very rarely write long hand. The new generation will add to the explosion of creative writing. For them computers are a must have tool and uploading there work to the cloud will be nothing abnormal.
The challenge will be to sort the valuable writing from the plethora of the mundane. To date there is no way of selecting quality work.
The new gadget of choice is an eReading device. Millions are now sifting massive eBook libraries. With eBooks not restricted to a print run they have time to be found. In the past many great writers were read posthumously this will be certainly true for many eBook authors. Great narratives will always find their place and they have time on there side. Without eBook marketing skills, new eBook authors will never see much recognition in the short term. The massive number of eBooks makes finding a single book or new author very difficult and in the future it will be much harder still!
This explosion of work will make it more and more difficult to make money as an author, as so many will be prepared to host their eBooks for free. Many will be happy to break out of obscurity just to be read, for them that will be reward enough. ebook pricing has been constantly falling to what some have described as the fastest way to the bottom.
In the past readers found the books and authors, now authors must find the readers. Authors who want to be paid for their work will have to multi-skill or partner with internet marketers.
Point of difference marketing will be one sorting method to bring a hidden eBook to prominence. Harper Collins uses on line readers to read the slush pile on authonomy’s web site. This is an example of point of difference selection, a cost free, way of finding new authors and great story tellers.
Building a point of difference eBook platform can be done. It must be a web site which is content rich and it must provide much more than just a landing page with a buy button to be successful.
Driving targeted traffic and getting to critical mass, site hits is the first step. When your hard won visitors arrive you need to keep them on site as long as possible. Every minute they stay you are building trust. With trust established you have a chance to capture their imagination with try before you buy methods. Audio MP3 samplers with a narration is one proven method. An example can be found at http://www.gradedreading.com and Dream Bouncing, my eBook, can be downloaded to any device via Kindle apps.
About Ronald A.D. Sharp Jr.
Author of 9 Ebooks and reading resources for second language students.
Being dyslexic I use a combination of read back programs and a co-writer to get my stories to publishable standard.
After 9 years travelling including 52,000 miles by motor sailor I currently live in Esperance Western Australia.