Sunday, April 29, 2012

So feel the digital fear and do it anyway...

So we had a day of it on Saturday with Kiwiwrite4kidz running a day long workshop on the eBook journey. I think we kinda hit this one out of the park, even if I do say so myself. We had Australian author of over 200 books Hazel Edwards, successful author and publisher Jill Marshall, Maggie Tarver - Executive Director from NZSA, Paul du Temple from Wheelers, Rhonda Kite from KIWA Media, and authors Maureen Crisp and Phillip W.Simpson.We covered everything from the wider implications of eBook publishing right down to the nitty gritty of how to go about doing it yourself and then promoting it. The final session allowed participants to talk about their own projects and/or needs with the speakers, and other industry professionals like book designers and editors.

Many are suspicious of eBooks feeling that they are the poor relation of print publishing, only utilized by the desperate to self publish but I have come to realise they are just another format to present your book in. Print has been a remarkable vehicle for books for hundreds of years, and for the majority of that time the only way, but technology has suddenly enabled us to enjoy the book in many different forms. If readers are willing to explore these different ways it seems silly for me as an author to stick only with print. More and more people are reading eBooks. I hope and pray that print will never disappear completely. It still offers a great experience and in many situations is the ideal format. Its just not the only one anymore.

It became clear to me as I listened to the speakers that there is never going to be a 'good' time to start. The best time is now. Progress is rapid: more and more technologies are enabling a wider variety of options and opportunities. I figure if I don't learn today there is only going to be twice as much to learn tomorrow. So I'm going to upskill myself. Hazel Edwards talked about learning one new thing a day and that sounds smart to me. The comment was made that the traditional means of making money as an author are changing. Exploring new ways may be the only way to survive in the future, unless you win lotto or marry a rich spouse.

Everyone advised being clear about what percentage of royalties you were receiving and what rights you were giving away. As with any form of publishing this has always been good advice. As long as you know the terms you are signing yourself up for it is your choice to sign. It is not just the format of books that is changing. Methods of distribution, delivery, and discovery are changing too. The better informed you are, the better you will be able to make choices and decisions about how your books are handled from start to finish.

There was a lot more good advice and practical information. You should have been there. We had an amazing day and I have to say I have a whole new appreciation for digital publishing.

This is me just before the panel session that I chaired with panellists Maureen and Phillip. Yes I do have cowboy tassels on my dress, and boots on my feet, but sensibly I left my stetson at home

1 comment:

Old Kitty said...

You look amazing!! So serious!! LOL!

Yay for a considered and objective look at all sorts of publishing these days! Yes it's great to embrace all these options and opportunities technology offers - but it's good to be well informed and prepared too!

And I also hope traditional publishing and print books remain and adapt!

Take care