Sunday, February 10, 2008

Why 90% of eBooks Stink

This article on PostitiveSpace should be required reading for all authors of eBook content. There are lots of very bad e-books out there, but that's not the way it has to be. Why 90% of eBooks Stink, Ten Tips to a Successful eBook

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Read an eBook Week

March 2-8, 2008, is the annual Read an eBook Week. In honor of that event, Epublishers weekly has blogged Michael Pastore's list of 30 Benefits of eBooks. Here are some of my favorites:

  1. Ebooks preserve books. (The library of Alexandria was burned and the collection ruined. Richard Burton's wife, after his death and against his wishes, destroyed a book he had been working on for ten years. The original manuscript of Carlyle's The French Revolution was lost when a friend's servant tossed it into the fire.) Ebooks are ageless: they do not burn, mildew, crumble, rot, or fall apart. Ebooks ensure that literature will endure.
  2. Ebooks, faster to produce than paper books, allow readers to read books about current issues and events.
  3. Ebooks are easily updateable, for correcting errors and adding information.
  4. Ebooks are searchable. Quickly you can find anything inside the book. Ebooks are globally searchable: you can find information in many ebooks.
  5. Ebooks make reading accessible to persons with disabilities. Text can be re-sized for the visually impaired. Screens can be lit for reading in the dark.
  6. Ebooks empower individuals to write and to publish, and in this way help to challenge "the crushing power of big publishing", that excludes so many authors from the New York City publishing circus. Publishing can move from the impersonal and profitable, to the personal and pleasurable.
  7. Ebooks help paperbook publishers to sell paperbooks. Cory Doctorow has explained that the giving away of ebooks, for free, has helped to sell the paperback editions of his stories and novels.

Update: Rita Toews posted a comment below with a link to a site with more info about Read an eBook Week. Check it out!

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Issuu - for eBook Chapter Samples

I ran across a great tool the other day that I thought I would pass along to all of you authors and publishers out there. It is called Issuu, and it is a Flash-based interface for viewing PDF files on the Internet. All you do is go to the website, set up an account, and upload a PDF file. Then, the PDF is converted into a Flash viewer that lets you "turn pages" and do other book-like things. The book can then be embedded on your website or blog.

I think this would be a great way for publishers and authors to make samples of their content available online in a nice, easy-to-read format.

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New Kindle Formatting Blog

I have decided to add a blog to this web site to make it easy for me to pass along interesting information I find from time to time. Please be sure to check out my personal website, The Four Questions.

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