The Many Faces of E-books and Self-Publishing

DOABLE Sidebar DYesterday I talked about printed books. Today lets jump into e-books. There are so many e-book formats and it is rather overwhelming. But I came across this article, “3 General types of eBooks”, that brings some order to the confusion. If you divide e-books into groups by function you have:

  • basic: this is an e-book in its simplest form, basically just an electronic version of a print book
  • embedded: this type of e-book can have sound, video and animation as part of the content
  • interactive: this is the ultimate type of e-book, more of an app than a book in many ways.

So how does all this effect your decisions in creating your own story project? I would think that many book story projects could easily been converted into basic e-books. There are many cost and sharing advantages to this. In its simplest form exporting your finished book to a pdf document takes just a few seconds in most software that you have created your book in. This works great for view the book on a computer but not so great for tablets or e-readers. This is where things get more complicated. You will need to pick an e-book format depending on what platform your book will be read on.

Doing an embedded e-book means developing more content than a printed book. You will want to add sound and or video etc. While an interactive e-book takes a whole new set of skills to complete. Not suitable for a first story project or even a second unless you already have the knowledge or the resources to tackle that project.

For “My Grandma Mary” book, I plan to publish it as a basic pdf e-book shortly after the print version is available. Then I want to figure out how to format it for the iPad, Kindle and Nook. I know that Blurb has an option to publish your book to iPad for a fee. I’ll have to look into that too. Part of that project may be adding some interactive elements such as sound and links on the hidden images. I’m excited to learn about how to do this and I’ll be sure to share it here.

What are your feelings on the shift from print to e-books? Do you have an e-book story project in mind?



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