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Postby shadowbooks » Fri Jan 26, 2007 10:29 am

re: ebooks

Respectfully, I don't think you are necessarily correct - whilst ebooks sales are only a tiny fraction of overall books sales that doesn't mean people don't read them when given away for free. The Baen library of free ebooks is by far the best example and if you type it into google you will find a couple of great essays about how it has worked and helped to drive sales. For instance, my own free ebooks have been downloaded thousands of times - people have passed them on amongst themselves and sent me some great feedback - so people are reading them - but most importantly, people who had never read me r heard of me before are reading them. They may, or may not drive sales directly but now alot more people know my name than before.

ebooks are not the future of publishing and in that I agree, but people do read them. Whether they buy them is another question but they cost nothing to produce, are easily distributed. Many people will not read them, but many will.

And once yu have a 'book' in someone's hands you can ask them what they thought about it. With normal print books sending them off to librarys etc can help but you are targeting a tiny, local audience. I now have readers from all across the world who have left me some great feedback and went onto buy other titles of mine. They are not the future, but they are a great tool for aspiring and struggling authors.

All I mean by this post is please don't write them off out of hand but think about how you can tailor existing tools to help you. What can you do that is different and going to get people to talk? Do you know you can (very, very easily) make ebooks for iPod? How many people do you know doing that? How many iPod users have you marketed to before?

I see where you are coming from Sriven but maybe there are some other, clever ways you can use ebooks and the like that will open you up to other opportunities?
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Postby aldan » Fri Jan 26, 2007 2:28 pm

I agree that it would be a wise idea to go local with your book if you're a new, first-time-published author, and going to local bookstores, as well as schools (especially ones you personally went to) is wise. Furthermore, with the schools, if they DO have you do a reading for their students, it can be very helpful to some of the students. The reason I say that is because often children don't seem to realize that adults were once children, and by showing that a successful adult has previously gone to their school, and became a writer, might encourage some of them to try their hands at the same thing. Plus, it will connect a 'person' image to the story or book, which may bring it more to life for them.

Ebooks, it is true, haven't really caught on among readers, and may never. However, getting the book set up as an ebook will probably not be costly, and will likely expand your readership, and that is always good.
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to open it and remove all doubt."
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Postby Scriven » Fri Jan 26, 2007 6:21 pm

I don't really see where eBooks expand you readership because piracy is so incrediblly easy. Say instead of recommending a book I just email you a copy of it. A couple of my teenage cousins have never paid for a single song, "Sharing" novels wouldn't even be a two second ethical delimina for them.

Personally I'm never going to allow my books to be reproduced as eBooks. I think they do more harm than good.
I run a blog covering publishing and writing with a huge slant toward Fantasy and Sci Fi.

http://firstfolio.blogspot.com
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Postby aldan » Sat Jan 27, 2007 3:53 pm

I understand the concern about piracy, but really, the thing is that while LOTS of people listen to music over their computers, hardly any will read books on a computer screen. I've gotten hardcover books that came with the same book on cd rom and I've only read the paper version. I guess it's a matter of taste, and I prefer the taste of paper over that of plastic and glass. I guess I'm just weird that way....
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Postby shadowbooks » Tue Jan 30, 2007 7:45 pm

I think you both make good points and the bottom line ebooks really aren't changing the world and like everyone else I prefer the paperback editions. Regarding piracy, none of my 'paid' work is out as an ebook, only free prequels etc and believe me one of the biggest challenges of any new author is gaining a readership of any size. Free ebooks (ie stories you don't intend to sell in other formats) can help you do just that. Don't get me wrong, i'm not out to change anyone's mind, just share my experience and opinion :) I hope everyone's projects and writing is going well
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Postby aldan » Wed Jan 31, 2007 3:04 pm

I think that what Baen is doing with putting out the first novel in a series online is wise. One thing to note, though, is that they don't put it out online until the series has reached several novels. That way, they're using it to gain interest in the other novels of the series, and generally, the first one of a series will not sell well after several years anyway. Also, once a person's hooked on the series, they'll often go out and buy it in paper form anyway.
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Postby shadowbooks » Thu Feb 01, 2007 9:23 am

Or if you only have one book in a series thus far, write a prequel. My own prequel is not particularly long, maybe about 10,000 words so its not too much of a stretch to read on a screen either and it has helped :)
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Postby aldan » Thu Feb 01, 2007 4:49 pm

Oh, I definitely wasn't saying do this and don't do that. Rather, I was trying to say, at least with e-books, to not toss the idea because it's not 'popular'... which too many people seem to do. Your idea of a short, free prequel is one that I've seen a few times, and it's been done for a couple of decades now (I think it started some time in the 80s) and although it's not done often, I'd think that it's been successful enough to not be rejected out of hand. I'm guessing that publishers do it on a case-by-case basis, using such determining factors as how well the first novel did for them, whether they've received (or the author's received) requests for more background info on the character, and, really likely, whether or not the publishing rep personally likes the novel.
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Postby shadowbooks » Fri Feb 02, 2007 5:14 am

No worries Aldan - I am enjoying our convo and it is good to talk with people who both agree and disagree with me ;)
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Postby aldan » Fri Feb 02, 2007 4:14 pm

I think that is a good description for me... agreeably disagreeable!
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