The Digital Revolution

My main topic of interest lately, in between chickens and stuffed vegetables, has been ebooks. I haven’t been reading them, oh no, I have been reading about making them. Unbelievable though it may seem, the iPad has been with us for 2 years now and the demand is rapidly growing as is the competition to produce other similar reading devices.

As the demand grows so of course does the demand to supply reading matter to view on them. Amazon have invested a huge amount of money developing their Kindle readers and now are encouraging all us hopeful authors to self publish our masterpieces into e-book versions by making it really easy to publish our works with them. Apple too are encouraging this. At first it sounds really straightforward.. just press a button, upload your manuscript in word format and then magically it’s turned into an e-book ready for millions of eager readers to buy.

I have been talking to various publishers in Cyprus over the last year with a view to getting “Androula’s Kitchen” published in print. There is a lot of enthusiasm for the book but the money to publish it has been a little less free flowing. Communications are still open but it’s a slow process.

 As a part of most publisher’s packages these days they produce an e-book alongside the printed book and it seems like more of an afterthought to be honest. But as I seem to be hearing more and more about ebooks I decided that it was time I did a little investigation for myself. The one advantage is that there is hardly any production costs and therefore no risk of  getting left holding the proverbial… The process is fairly straightforward if you just want to produce a black and white print only book. My book however is a visual experience as well as informative, at least that is what I’m aiming for and there lies the rub.

The complications arise if you want to produce a photo rich book and are picky about how it looks on the reader. The iPad is quite an amazing thing, allowing you to view images, be they films or photos, as if you were holding your own personal cinema or projector screen in your hands. Also giving you the facility to zoom in on details. I could see that a photo rich book would take on a whole new dimension viewed this way as the photos would have the lit screen to enhance them and bring them to life in a way that print could not, there’s also no worries about true colour reproduction either.

A lot of thought and effort has gone into how my book will look, how the text lies with the photos, but unless you are uploading with Apple ,which allows a fixed format, the format has to be dynamic allowing for the text and images to be fluid to adapt to the varying devices used to read it.  I decided that the potential readers  of “Androula’s Kitchen” would not benefit from a dynamic format and I would rather go for the fixed format to give them the full experience so my options for self publishing in e-book format are limited. However, the situation is changing very rapidly and by the time I have had AK professionally tweaked and looked over and I’m ready to publish there will probably be even more options available to the self publisher.

So I’m keeping my eyes peeled…watch this space the digital revolution is here.

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