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Write On!
What Is With This E-book Thing?
By Ken Robinson
February, 2007, 15:10

E-books are the next evolution in publishing brought about by advances in technology. Instead of being printed, shipped around the country, and sold at bookstores, they will be sold as electronic documents that can be downloaded, emailed, or sent by snail mail on a disc. The major advantage of e-books is the cost savings. There is no paper or ink or shipping by truck. It can be read on a computer screen or on a device especially made for e-books. It is basically a hand held computer screen. Eventually phones and PDA's will be able to deliver e-books as well.
Should you write an e-book? You probably already have. If you've written anything it can be turned into an e-book. Anything that is in an electronic format is ready to go.
This is a very good opportunity for any writer. Find someone to set up a website for you and your book. Put a link on the website so people can buy your book. One way to entice them is to allow them to get a taste of the work with a few pages or even the first chapter free on your website. This may lure them in and wet their appetite to take a sit-down and order the whole thing. Another way is to serialize it and put out a few pages or a chapter every so often to entice them to want more. If it's good enough people will want to get the rest so they can finish it. There are plenty of examples on the Internet to prove that selling your writing this way is a successful approach.
It is a form of self/vanity publishing but you don't have boxes upon boxes in the trunk of your car or in the garage. But even printed material has changed with on demand publishing. There are companies that will keep the electronic copy of the work and only print it off when they get an order for it. No matter how technologically advanced we become, there will always be people who want to feel the paper between their fingers when they read.
If this gives you the hope that may keep you writing, use it. If you want to be an author the only way to do it is by writing. Having a ghostwriter is another way to do it, but that usually only works once. Although they say Shakespeare was more than one person and look how famous he is, hmm. But remember, there will never be another Shakespeare, Chaucer, Milton, Robert Frost, Toni Morrison, or William Goldman. And there will only be one you. Each writer is there own person and writes from the experiences they have or thoughts they think. No two writers are ever the same, so you are unique. There will be someone interested in hearing what you have to say. But for people to know you've got something to say you've got to get it out there for people to see. E-books offer a brand new avenue to accomplish that.
Write On!
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Ken Robinson, IN's Write On! columnist, winner of Bare Bones Int'l Film Festival Best Screenplay Award, has written over 10 screenplays, 3 episodes of TV series West Law, is executive producer for the feature Sacred Bloods, board member of the Oklahoma Film Society, founding member of Oklahoma Movie Makers. His email address is:

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