I was fascinated, this week, by news of web enhanced print books (which is a pretty amazing feat!), as well as video enhanced eBooks (being published by one of the "Big Six" publishing houses, which is also pretty amazing). I also found an article from a literary agent, addressing a writer's fear that self-publishing might hurt his chances of finding a traditional publisher, as well as an interview with a self-published author whose first two ebooks have sold 135,000 copies since he published them four and a half months ago.
As usual, these articles are culled from my daily paper, Join The eBook Revolution, as well as from top media websites, my favorite writing blogs, and whatever pages my web surfing muse leads me to. If, in my insatiable quest for eBook info, I stumble across some articles that look helpful but are older than "this week," I'll include them, here, as well.
1. Pottermore: A First Look Inside Harry Potter's Digital World
From flying letters to a 4,500 word-discourse on wand woods, early access to JK Rowling's move into the digital arena, Pottermore, reveals a richly-imagined, elaborately realised behind-the-scenes peek into the world of Harry Potter. Charlotte Williams from the Bookseller, an early user of the site, says, "I think Pottermore has the potential to be a lasting focal point for the Harry Potter brand – The Leaky Cauldron for the fans. I think the fact that it incorporates new content, a social networking element, and is also the only place people will be able to buy the ebooks will prove to be quite a potent combination. (…read more)
HarperCollins is teaming up with FOX News to publish an enhanced e-book on Aug 23, RISE OF FREEDOM: The New World Trade Center. The enhanced e-book will be available on iPad and Nook Color, and, according to a company press release, "will provide an overview of the rebuilding effort that has taken place at Ground Zero over the past ten years." The ebook will feature profiles, timelines, original animation and specially shot footage of FOX News Channel anchor Shepard Smith, who covered 9/11 as a journalist. It will also feature 15 videos of his reporting from the site for the channel, alongside text and photographs. (...read more)
3. Melville House’s “HybridBook” Marries Print and Digital
Via his venerable MobyLives blog, Melville House founder Dennis Loy Johnson has been an outspoken critic of those who treat digital publishing and retailing as a true religion. But that’s not to suggest he’s a mere gadfly or Luddite. To the contrary, his decades-old publishing company has fully embraced the Web issuing e-books, and experimenting with ambitious and quirky promotions. Now comes the HybridBook — print editions that come “enhanced” with QR Codes that, via the wave of a cell phone or tablet camera with QR code reading software, enable instant free access to supplemental digital material that includes curated texts, essays, maps, illustrations, and even recipes. (...read more)
4. eBooks Accelerate Paperback Publishers' Release Dates
The New York Times
It used to be like clockwork in the book business: first the hardcover edition was released, then, about one year later, the paperback. But in an industry that has been upended by the growth of e-books, publishers are moving against convention by pushing paperbacks into publication earlier than usual, sometimes less than six months after they appeared in hardcover. (...read more)
5. Will Self-Pub Sales Affect Your Future
Rachelle Gardner is a literary agent. In this blog post, she answers an author's question about self-publishing.
"Dear Rachelle, could poor self-pubbed Kindle sales affect a writer’s chance of getting an agent in the future? Is a pseudonym safer?" Signed, Considering Self Pubbing
Dear Considering: Yes, if you’ve self-pubbed a book and it sold poorly, it could affect your chance of getting an agent and getting traditionally pubbed in the future. But of course, there’s the sticky wicket of defining “poor self-pub sales” which might be different depending on who you’re talking to. (…read more)
6. Rick Murcer: Indie's Newest Best Seller
Rick Murcer has two ebooks available on Amazon. The first was published on March 30, 2011, and the second two months later. Today, both are among the top 20 bestselling ebooks on Amazon. In only four and a half months, Rick Murcer has sold 135,000 copies of his two ebooks. This is an interview with the author.
Q: Since your books’ success, have you been approached by a trad publisher and/or an Amazon imprint?
Murcer: Not actually. Three agents, four independent publishers, four copyeditors, two foreign publishers, and a partridge in a pear tree…but no trad deals. (...read more)
7. The Indie Book Reviewers List
Author Simon Royle has compiled a list of Indie ebook reviewers. So if you’ve self-published an ebook on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, or any other ebook platform, check out this list.
To be on Simon’s list an Indie Reviewer has to:
- Review eBooks
- Actively post reviews
- Not charge for their reviews
- Not be affiliated with a publisher
- Have submission guidelines in place for Indie authors to submit their eBooks (...read more)
8. Amazon Launches Kindle Indie Bookstore
Amazon today launched their Kindle Indie Bookstore. This storefront showcases indie books and indie authors, which is to say, those publishing on the Kindle platform without a traditional publisher. Their announcement is short and sweet, and their FAQ isn’t much longer. The gist is that Amazon is using “a combination of automated techniques and editorial activities” to identify those books already doing well, so that it can boost their visibility. Authors can’t submit their titles for inclusion in the Indie Bookstore. And that’s probably for the best. (...read more)
9. Amazon's Publishing Arm Signs up Timothy Ferriss
Amazon has made the first major acquisition for its New York-based publishing imprint by snapping up the rights to bestselling self-help author Timothy Ferriss's new book The 4-Hour Chef. The online retailer has moved aggressively into publishing over the last year, with imprints covering everything from romance to literature in translation, mysteries and thrillers. (...read more)
10. Ebook Madness: Don’t Confuse Ebook Conversion With Ebook Formatting!
I’m getting a lot of emails from authors who tell me this or that company or person is offering to convert their manuscripts into ebooks for some ridiculously low fee, like $50. What the authors don’t know is that conversion of a manuscript to an ebook format takes fifteen minutes or less, is mostly an automated process, and will only deliver a quality ebook at the back end if the file being converted has already been properly formatted for the target ebook format. $50 doesn’t seem like such a bargain when you realize how little work is actually being done for that fee, and when you know it doesn’t include the most time-intensive, labor-intensive, and important part of the ebook creation process: formatting. (...read more)
Last Week's List of Top 10 eBook Articles for Authors 8-11-11