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Friday, October 8, 2010

Book Publishing Made Anew: Pubit!

Most people in the book world will tell you that the publishing world has not really changed much in the last 100 years or more.  In fact, many of the same debates between publishers, distributors, and booksellers that existed then . . . continue today.  In the middle of all of that is the author.  The actual creator of the content.  Experienced authors know the barriers they face in actually getting the book to readers.  Not only is it costly to actually publish the book, but there is the difficult challenge of actually getting the book on shelves in stores.  But like any problem, there is a solution waiting to be applied.  And along comes . . . ebooks.

Not only are ebooks revolutionizing the way we read books, but they are revolutionizing the way books are published and sold to readers.  They are breaking down almost every barrier authors have experienced over the years.  Barnes and Noble, for example, just launched Pubit!.  This is an exciting new publishing model for writers that allows them to upload their book, have it converted to the .epub format (quickly becoming the standard ebook file format), and it is available to the masses within a day or two through Barnes and Noble's ebook store.  The author gets paid a portion of the sales and has access to sales reporting for their book.  Up until now, nothing like this has existed in the traditional publishing world.  

So how can this new publishing avenue be used?  There are several new opportunities this type of publishing open up for authors. 
  1. Self-Publishing Authors - Rather than pay out a lot of money to produce a print book, self-publishing authors can go straight to ebook with no out-of-pocket costs.  The challenge of trying to get one's book on 'store shelves' is also eliminated since the ebook is available on the same virtual store shelf as every other author in Barnes and Noble's ebook store.  
  2.  Authors Seeking To 'Test' a New Book - Maybe you had an idea for a new character or story line that is different than what you've done before, straight-to-ebook provides a great opportunity to get the book into the hands of readers who can give feedback.  Or perhaps this is the first time writing a book and the author now has an opportunity to test out both the book itself and various marketing strategies without the expense.  Then go to print after raising some money and maybe making some changes based upon feedback.
  3. Students and Teachers - A few years ago I had a teacher in the area who compiled classwork from his various English Class students into a book.  He used the book as an educational experience to teach the students about creating the work to publishing to selling.  Great idea too.  Now teachers can do the same thing with ebooks or perhaps a student wants to create a book of fiction, poetry, short stories that they've written and publish it as an ebook for a project.  Or maybe the student just wants to publish their own book.  Now they can without the expense and hassles of before.  
I'm sure there are many other ways authors can use this new model to get their work out i front of readers.  What do you think? 
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