Blogger: Mary Keeley
An explosion in ebook technology is imminent. Some say we’ll see major innovations this year. I can sense angst—maybe fear—of the unknown. But anticipating these and doing some advance planning will help to alleviate negative reactions and increase your enthusiasm for this exciting new world. Because chances are, whether you are contracted with a traditional or non-traditional publisher, your book will release as print-plus-ebook or ebook-only. Today, I’ll give you three tips for preparing your content.
With change comes adjustment always, but especially now for authors as you think about the experience your future readers will have as they “turn the pages” of your ebook. I recently read a post from ebooksepubtechnologies here that describes what’s coming. The important question for you is, what will it mean for me and the way I write my books?
Your book will live in an interactive world. Readers and authors will be able to have online conversations. We’re familiar with Goodreads and BookShout, whose app for iPad releases next month, where you can read comments on lots of books. This new technology allows you and the readers to carry on a conversation about your book. For novelists this means you will be able to get instant feedback on what readers like and don’t, at what point they are hooked or put the book down. Comments throughout your nonfiction book will help you see when and if you convinced the reader of your book’s message.
TIP: As you are writing your book, organize your notes in a way you’ll be able to reference them quickly to interact promptly. Include documentation and resources to support your content. Fumbling around for these later when the book releases will delay your response; the reader may get tired of waiting and be gone. These interactions are a great opportunity for readers to get to know you and for you to build your audience. Be prepared for instant conversations.
Your book will be in vivid, living color. No more plain black and white. Do you have a color illustration of your heroine you’d like to add? No problem. Provide sidebars, charts, and diagrams in vibrant color. Choose a color for your text. Yellow your pages a bit to look more like a print book.
TIP: As you search for the right words to use, think “in color.” It may change the way you will tell your story because there will be more involved than just words. They and the color will have to match. We’ve known this wa coming for a while. Share your thoughts on if and how you’ll adjust your descriptive words and phrases.
Videos will be a part of the ebook reading experience.What is the setting for your novel? You will be able to insert a video to show the landscape or history of the region. Videotape live interviews to substantiate your research. Record music to play in the background.
TIP: Plan early for your research and take audio and video recorders with you. For instance, if you visit the actual location of your book’s setting, you may want to record street sounds, or the church bell—whatever is part of your story. The point is to be prepared; a spontaneous inspiration might come to mind, and you won’t want to miss it. Practice with your current WIP. Share with us how, what, where you could make use of audio and video.
What is your reaction to how these technologies will affect your future books—or maybe the one you’re working on now? Some advance mental and physical preparation can make for an exciting, fun entry into this world.