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There has been some big news in the ebook world recently, and authors should know about these changes in order to take advantage of them. I wrote a post back in October that lamented the situation for international publishers, but things have certainly changed!
If you didn't hear the news yet, Apple released their iPad last week after months of secrecy and online hype from fans. For all the details on the device, read this post.
For writers and readers, there will be an iBooks app which will contain ebooks from some major publishers but there is no idea yet how indie authors will be able to publish on the app. It is apparently DRM only, but I can see that changing as they changed music after a while.
It is certainly a multi-functional device, and I will be having a look when they get to Australia, although the website currently has the iBooks only available in the US. If you are a published author, then check with your publisher whether your books will be in the iBooks store. If you're indie, then we're waiting to see what will happen!
If you want to get on the Apple bandwagon right now, you can still create an iPhone app for your books or your brand that is globally available through the app store – and the iPad will still be able to use the apps. Some authors who have done this recently are Scott Sigler, Gary Vaynerchuk's Crush It as a Vook and Tom Evans, The Bookwright. (Tom will be coming on the podcast soon to talk about how he did it). Also, check out this article with Al Katkowsky who released a popular iPhone app.
In the last few weeks, Amazon have proactively done the following, most likely getting ready for the hype around Apple:
- Publishers (and self-published authors) can now receive 70% revenue when publishing on the Kindle
- International publishers and authors can now publish on the Kindle
- You can publish in multiple languages on the Kindle
- You can choose to publish the book in a non-DRM format with a simple checkbox
- The Kindle in basic and DX format are now available and being sold internationally
- More books are being released in Kindle format every day (we finally have big name authors and new paperback releases in the Australian Kindle Store)
- Amazon is opening up the Kindle to developers so expect some apps for more functionality
- Kindle has 90% of the ebook market right now and recently announced they have sold “millions” of Kindles
If you are a published author but you own the digital rights, you might want to follow the example of Stephen Covey, self help author of “7 Habits of Highly Successful People” who has gone directly to Amazon with his ebooks.
Here's why I like the Kindle and how it has changed my reading habits. I am still a Kindle fan, and I buy more books on it every day. It doesn't need to be multi-functional because I only use it for reading – no distractions. So even if I do invest in the iPad sometime, it won't be a dedicated Kindle replacement.
Smashwords.com expanded their offering last year to include publishing on the Kindle as well as Sony Reader, B&N.com and in many other ebook formats.
The site remains the easiest to use as it formats your book for you from a basic text edition. They have recently won the distribution of ebooks for BookViewCafe, a collective of well known writers including Ursula Le Guin.
Last week the DigiBookWorld conference kept many of us glued to Twitter and the blogs to see what was going on. That the conference even exists demonstrates that times are changing, so if you are not convinced about digital publishing, then check out the roundup of the posts here and the links from the main site here.
Here are just some of the topics discussed:
- The future of publishing is bright
- No and Low Advance Author Contracts
- How to get attention for every book
- Piracy, social media and will publishers even understand new technology
That's it for the round-up! Are you excited about ebooks? Do you have a Kindle? or are you an e-skeptic?