To reach the largest possible audience you can publish in more than one format. Some people like to print out e-books; PDF would obviously work best for them. Some people love reading books in LIT format on their Pocket PC phone; they can take a dozen (or a hundred) books with them anywhere in their pocket; it's especially great when traveling. The Microsoft Reader software is available for Windows or Windows Mobile at http://www.microsoft.com/reader/ and it also has a text-to-speech package so the books can be easily accessed by the blind.
Another valuable advantage recently was demonstrated when Natalie Roberts, http://www.nataliercollins.com/ replublished her out-of-print book on Kindle.
October 16, 2010, Natalie wrote,
"I'm excited to announce that I have one new book, and two other books now available in Kindle!
"Sister Wife, which has been out of print for quite some time, is now available on Amazon. Twisted Sister, the sequel to Sister Wife, is also there in Kindle format. There is also a hardback version, for those who don't want an electronic read. And The Fourth World, a brand new book from me, is available as well, on Kindle. And the bestselling Wives and Sisters is also available in Kindle format."Roberts is giving away two free Kindles, with two ways to win
- Become a fan on her Facebook page (and stay there until the contest is over)
- Buy SisterWife, Twisted Sister, or The Fourth World, and review them on Amazon. Send her a copy of the review for proof to be entered to win.
However, while you're mulling your options, read Liz Castro's: EPUB Straight to the Point, http://tinyurl.com/2br2b2f posted at The Book Designer, http://www.thebookdesigner.com/.
Before you considering e-book publishing, try first to get an agent to handle your work. Then try to sell your manuscript directly to a publisher. After both of those efforts fail, choose (carefully) an e-book publisher.
A major problem with electronic publishing has surfaced recently -- it can be tied to a format which can only be read by proprietary hardware or software. Only one of the formats mentioned --- Adobe --- is an open format which can be read without buying special hardware or software, and that is not one which Amazon is going to offer.
"In ten years time, it is very likely neither Kindle nor Mobipocket will be available, or if they are available will use the same format. Nor is it likely that today's devices will still work that long into the future: they break down, they get dropped, they get lost. Where does that leave readers who have bought books in these formats? Or writers whose work has been published in these formats?"
It is imperative to keep abreast of the rapid changes taking place in the marketplace.
In July 2010, Newsweek published this article by Isia Jasiewicz, http://www.newsweek.com/2010/07/30/who-needs-a-publisher.html.
Aug. 4, 2010, Spiegel Online International published an interesting interview with the (German) CEO of Random House as to the future of print and e-books and the publishing industry, Part 1, http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,709760,00.html; Part 2, http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,709760-2,00.html; Part 3, http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,709760-3,00.html.
It's difficult to keep abreast of the rapid changes in the publishing industry, but it's imperative for every writer who wants to succeed.
Chapter 18 - Book Publishing: http://tinyurl.com/38d98qf
Next: 9-5, Book Publicity and Marketing: http://tinyurl.com/3aj2nrw