Thursday, July 1, 2010

e-Books and e-Boook Readers

e-Books and e-Book Readers

Six months ago I was still in a state on indecision about e-books, and whether they were going to be part of my writer’s life or not. With the release of the iPad ( hugely successful!), one stumbling block has been removed – the price of the e-book readers! Kindle (Amazon.com) has gone from $259 to $189. The Kindle reader is now marketed through Target stores. There is also a free Kindle application for computers, the iPhone and the Blackberry. I have used it on my laptop, and it works well.

Barnes and Noble has a wi-fi Nook e-book reader for $149. The price of the 3G compatible Nook has dropped from $259 to $199.

Sony has an e-reader that comes in three versions, ranging from $349.99 to $169.99.

What this means for us as writer’s is that the affordability (and availability) of the reading devices makes it easier for us to reach a larger audience – and make more sales! The upside is that e-books are relatively easy to format and put in place. The downside – the formatting is not the same for the various e-book readers.

Create Space (http://createspace.com) formats material for print books for Amazon.com, and for e-books through Kindle. I have one project out through this format, and I found it very easy to do, with my book up on the site almost immediately.

Smashwords (http://smashwords.com) utilizes software that formats material for several different e-formats, including those compatible with Kindle, iPad, Nook and Sony. To reach a larger audience, wit the least amount of work possible, I am seriously contemplating working with Smashwords on my next e-books. A free Smashwords Style Guideline e-book can be downloaded here -http://www.smashwords.com/books/download/52/1/latest/0/0/smashwords-style-guide.pdf. An excellent interview on how Smashwords works can be seen here - http://bookmarketingmaven.typepad.com/book_marketing_maven/2010/04/how-to-make-your-books-available-in-multiple-ebook-formats-interview-with-mark-coker-of-smashwords.html. A big take-away for me from this interview were two things – Smashwords services are free, and their “take” from the sales is only 15%.

From my point of view, e-books are something that as authors we can get out in minimal time, get decent exposure, and get our names known. I love print books – they will always be a part of my life, but e-books have a solid (and growing) base.

Here’s to the future!

© July 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

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