book publishing

With today’s technology an author has many ways to produce his or her book. In addition to book printing there are electronic publications of many types that can also be to an author’s advantage. Let’s take a look at these technologies, including book printing and how they may serve an author and in particular those authors who self publish.

Book Printing:

Needless to say, there is not much to say about a topic that many of my blogs have covered on book printing. The most important thing to note is that it is still a necessary component of getting your book published and while there are many other steps in order to disseminate your work, book printing is still the building block to your success.

eBook:

The eBook is a simplistic digital format that allows the reader to download, store and read a digital file that is very similar in look to the printed page of a book. The most universal file format for this type of publication is the ePub file format. The ePub format can be read on all types of readers from Android to Windows Phone with one exception, the Amazon Kindle, which can read a .txt file format. The very first book, or at least its index ever published as an eBook was Index Thomisticus, the electronic index to the works of Thomas Aquinas, prepared by Roberto Busa beginning in the late 1940s. Some typical readers for eBooks are Amazon Kindle: Kindle, Kindle Touch, Kindle Fire, Barnes & Noble Nook: Nook 1st Edition, Nook Simple Touch, Nook Color, Nook Tablet, Kobo, Sony Reader and the iPad.

Some of the drawbacks of E-books are as follows: They can come in many formats thus making them less available across all platforms. With book printing usage of the printed books remain readable for years to come. E-books may need to be copied or converted to different technology which may even use a different file type.  Books that are printed can easily be presented as a gift whereas digital ones seem less tangible. Books created by a book printer cannot crash, turn off, generally not have illustrations such as those required for children’s books and the heat from leaving an e-book in an auto on a hot day will damage the e-book but not one from your book printing company. Additionally the resolution of an e-book is lesser than a printed book and may also create eye strain while reading.

Flipping Books:

This electronic version of the printed page is more sophisticated than the eBook format in that it actually turns a page, as if you were reading a book or magazine, providing the same feel as if you had the printed book in your hands, rather than scrolling. It allows for color, indexing of sections, hyperlinks to your contact information and is also readable on many devices from your computer to smart phone. Additionally many of these applications allow for CD Rom versions and the replication of disks using the same file you create. You also can drop an HTML file on your server so others can read it online. Another nice benefit is the bookmarking feature where the reader can bookmark any page they like for future reference.

Electronic Journals:

These tend to be scholarly type journals that are generally published in either HTML or as a PDF and published on the web for access by other scholars and educators. They also may be referred to as e-Journals and most are subscription based.

Online Magazines or Newspapers:

These are many times referred to as e-zines and may be published as HTML, PDF or Flipping Books.

PDF publications:

PDF stands for Portable Document Format and as the name implies, with the Adobe Reader it has been for the longest time the most universal and portable document format over all types of devices. It in essence is an image file, but if created correctly can also become an editable file. With the PDF, you can create documents from sophisticated software than many will not have and thus not be able to access and save them in the PDF format and make the same document universally readable.

CD-Rom and DVD:

While this is an older format, it still is a digital one. The advantage is that it is an easy way to distribute electronic files and publications and it does allow you the space to do so inclusive of images and graphs.

Blog:

The term blog is a shortening of the original term of web log and it is meant to be a discussion or informational post that may or may not allow for additional third party contributions. It has also been described as a type of online diary.  Today blogs can be personal, corporate, educational and usually are done around a specific niche genre such as politics, music or educational. Blogging can be done in HTML or PDF, but most nowadays is done with Word Press types of simplified formats.

Mobile Apps:

This refers to a software application such as Windows Phone, BlackBerry apps, iPhone or others which allow for electronic transfer of data and documents on mobile phones.

Podcast:

This is simply electronic files whether ePub, PDF, or streaming video files that tend to be syndicated as a continuing episode on the topic. POD simply stands for Portable Media Player.

 Audio Books:

The predecessor to eBooks, the audio book is wonderful for those on the go and who travel. Needless to say it is also an important medium for the sight impaired.

In the final analysis book printing is still the preferred technology as not only is there still a large segment of the population who prefer the heft of a book in hand, but libraries and publishers demand the copy from the book printer in hand as the primary methodology for selling books. In fact, you may even damage your chances of ever securing a book publisher should you precede the book printing with the publication of a digital version first. It is not only an issue of affecting the demand of your book but also one of piracy. With that being said what it all amounts to, is that it is in the author’s best interests to proceed along the path of least resistance and the most successful path as well. Therefore establish your book first by contacting a book printing company, hopefully Printing by Design, and arrange for the printed version as the first version. You can promote your book and add to the sale of it by the utilization of electronic versions as well. You may or may not, depending on the circumstances, sell a digital version or simply have excerpts from your book in order to encourage people to buy it.

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