Creating a Quality e-Product

© 2013 Susan K. Stewart

Publisher’s Weekly reported that e-book sales rose by 117% in 2011 while print sales fell. That trend seems to be leveling off now. So for most writers a combination of print and e-publishing is the best strategy.

Not only is e-publishing moving into the book industry, but also many newspapers and magazines are offering their products in electronic as well as print versions. E-textbooks for college, and even some high schools, are a growing trend. Libraries are also starting to loan e-books. It’s now possible to independently publish short stories or articles on Kindle.

Whether you are publishing a full-length book or a short story or even a promotional article, technology has made it easier for writers to create their own product. Sometimes I think it’s too easy. Often the ease of technology overshadows the importance of a well-written book. By practicing four easy steps, every e-product you create can be a quality product.

  1. Write a good book. I know that sounds like a no-brainer. But it’s far too easy to hack out something, throw it up on Amazon for 99 cents, and wait for the money to roll in. A good e-book requires the same care as a print book. It needs to be well-written, following all the rules you’ve learned.
  2. Edit a good book. Just as with a print product, an e-product needs to be edited by a professional before being put out for public consumption. Ease of technology and claims of quick earnings don’t take away the need for good editing.
  3. Create a good cover. Your e-book may not sit on a literal shelf, but the cover is still important. Your book will be shown cover forward next to all the others on the virtual shelf. The cover may attract more people to click the link describing your book than the title.
  4. Care about your reader. An e-book reader, while still looking for good writing, has different wants or needs than the reader of a print book. The book may be read on a computer or a smart phone. Younger readers often expect color or interactives with their books. E-books require that you consider the medium just as much as the message.

Writers can no longer ignore e-publishing. While I don’t think print books will ever completely go away, the future looks to be electronic.

Some things will stay the same. Your audience deserves a quality product.

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Susan K. Stewart is a teacher, writer, and speaker. Susan teaches Introduction to e-Publishing; e-Book Creating, Formatting, and Marketing; and other classes online and at conferences. Susan is the author ofScience in the Kitchen: Fearless Science At Home For All AgesPreschool: At What Cost? and soon-to-be released Making E-books: Design to Distribution(working title). Visit her at Make an e-Book: Design to Distribution.

Ed. Note: Susan will be teaching e-Book Creating, Formatting, and Marketing online beginning August 26.

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