If you are interested in self-publishing and publishing digital versions of your book, David Graughran's book Let's Get Digital (available on Smashwords, and on his website) is an excellent primer necessary in starting out. A little background on David Graughran: he is a short story writer, and considered by some an expert in the field of self-publishing e-books. His blog contains all things digital-publishing, and all of his books are only available via e-book format, so if you are looking for a trade book publication to pack in your tote, you won't find one from this writer. What you will find from his blog is simply all things related to digital publishing and ways to get there from start to finish, which is the subject of Let's Get Digital.
The book has three main parts: Part One: Digital Revolution; Part Two: Digital Self-Publishing; and Part Three: Success Stories. The Appendixes at the back contain resources and info about the author.
Let's Get Digital Chapters and Overview
The first part of the book is for anyone still deciding on whether to go the route of e-publishing. Part One is The Digital Revolution, and Graughran lists out his reason author's should consider self-publishing. Writer's have full control (and absolute responsibility) of the editing if it is self-published, and have to go through the same steps as any printed book as far as getting it to 'print.' Formatting, editing, and marketing are all still needed. He makes good cases on why a writer should self-publish, and provides examples on how the market is changing to support his theories.
The royalties part is surprising to anyone to who has picked up a book at a bookstore for the list price and thinks the author is getting rich by that sale alone. It is very surprising to realize that once the retailer, publisher, and agent get their cut of the book, very little is actually left for the writer, the one who did all the work in the first place writing it. With an e-book, little overhead is needed (shipping/storage/printing). Now that traditional publishers are beginning to take note of this, more and more print publishers are offering e-books to their customers, but keeping all the profits that would otherwise go to overhead. With self-publishing digital versions of your book, everything (profit) is yours to keep.
Part Two goes into the digital self-publishing nitty-gritty itself. Whether you are just getting into this form of writing, or have self-published already, his steps are insightful and you will learn something new from his discoveries through his steps.
Gaughran's Steps to Self-Publishing:
- Write Your Story
- Design Your Cover
- Edit Your Story
- Format Your Story
- Uploading and Pricing
- Blogging and Websites
- Social Networking
- Competitions, Discounts, Giveaways and Blog Tours
- What Happens When Your Sales Just Stop?
Success Stories and Examples
The last part is the most interesting as it lists success stories from 33 different writers who have shared their experiences and success with self-publishing, all in their own words. The sharing of their stories is important as it brings the case that self-publishing possibilities isn't just one writer's (the author of Let's Get Digital) opinion, it is real life experiences that other's share on their journeys.
In all, Let's Get Digital a really great read for anyone who is just starting out or for those who have a low opinion of self-published digital works. The self-published e-book you just passed over for the glossy print offered from a giant publisher could be written by a person not running the rat race of agents/publishing houses and instead making a comfortable life doing what they love: writing. The stories of Michael Hicks, Beth Orsoff, Sibel Hodge, Terri Reid, Stacey Wallace Benefiel, and others back it up.
- Let's Get Digital: How to Self-Publish, And Why You Should; by David Gaughran
- Arriba Arriba Books, 2011