The Virtual Book

by richard on August 26, 2010

curehelixcover 300x207 The Virtual Book

I know there are a lot of people interested in writing a novel (like me!) or some other instructional book. The biggest problem is finding someone to publish it. That’s under the old model of course.

There’s heaps of stuff about e-books on the Internet, and heaps of companies with publishing options, but I thought I would share with you my experience of a seminar I attended yesterday about researching, writing, publishing, and promoting your own e-book.

The seminar was arrange by the Australian Society of Authors, which, by the way, have lots of good articles and info about e publishing, contract review etc, etc. The speaker was Madisen Harper, who in a whirlwind day, offered scores of great tips and info to help punters like myself head down the right path.

What I really liked was the great sources of information for each step in the process. Many of the attendees said: “they were writers, and they just wanted to write”. Unfortunately, unless you are a Bryce Courtney, we can’t rely on anyone else pushing our product. (To paraphrase the quote: if someone writes a techno-thriller, and they put it on their website, and no one knows it’s there, are they really an author?)

Even if a publishing house picks you up, first time authors will be expected to do most of the publicity themselves. This strikes me as a bit mean, considering the cut they get, but it’s just simple economics.

Madisen shared lots of great tips on how to increase traffic to your site and build awareness about yourself and your craft. I’ve been coached on this before by people like Nic Lucas, but sometimes you need to hear it a few times to have it register! Suggests to me that it’s really worthwhile researching and seeking out multiple sources of information, to make sure stuff starts to sink in – no matter what you’re doing.

I have lots of notes and thoughts to digest from yesterday, and it may take me a while, but the best thing was, I left the day feeling energized about my project and my writing. I’ll take a day like that anytime!

If you have some sources of great info on e-books, I’d love to hear from you!

By the way, the photo is the latest draft of the book cover for my techno-thriller, ‘The Cure’. Let me know if you like it, or if not, why.

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Naomi September 12, 2010 at 10:28 am

Hey Richard,

how nice to be reminded that, ultimately ,is all about the craft – wrtiting it, editing it, and now publishing it oneself.

Check out Cory Doctorow and his stories of web to print publishing (I think on LuLu)
I am intrigues by your book cover. It gives great visuals for the content. Too non fictiony? Not sure, could actuall be an advantage considering the relative sales figures!



richard September 13, 2010 at 7:38 am

Hi nb,

Thanks for the comments and the links to Cory. I spent a few days in Tassie last week working on some alternative covers with my photography business partner, so I will put them up on the blog for review. Perhaps they are less ‘non-fictiony’!

Regards and xx

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