eBooks & ePUB: multi-channel releases
One of the interesting things about the new paradigm of publishing is the lack of exclusivity. As I publish works for Radiqx and clients, I am continually struck by how many places I normally release things. My norm now is to start with Lulu, then do a Createspace version, then make an html version for Kindle, then a Word version for Smashwords, an ePUB version on Lulu for iPad, a PDF of one of the versions for Scribd, and others yet to be discovered.
Part of this is to see what sells and who checks it out, and what action develops. This is all in flux as far as I can see. So far, Amazon are doing the best [both CreateSpace, and Kindle], closely followed by Lulu—but these results are changing weekly. As far as traffic is concerned, Scribd seems to do the best. But, Smashwords has more people checking out samples. It is a real interesting mix. As far as I am concerned, it is much more interesting than my old relationships with a giant publisher back East somewhere.
It takes constant redesigning
This is where InDesign and the Creative Suite 5 in general, really shine. InDesign CS5 has really helped out the workflow. Some sites require separate insides and covers (Lulu & CreateSpace), some require HTML (Kindle), some require ePUB (iPad), some require Word (Smashwords), some work best with PDF (Scribd). They all take specialized designs. However, with layout adjustment turned on and a complete set of styles (paragraph and character) set up, all of this goes relatively quickly.
Of course, “they” all say you must get into the code. But you should know of my code challenge by now. If it requires code [beyond HTML and CSS], I’m not going to do it. My hope (and constant feature request) is that some app in CS6 will enable me to drop the need to be constantly playing with HTML and CSS also. Already, I am using Dreamweaver CS5’s CSS dialog boxes to edit my CSS—even for my WordPress templates.
It’s a brave new world
I’m really having fun learning to work in this new world. I’m gradually finding friends and sources of help. Liz Castro and Joel Friedlander regularly offer good advice on their blogs, for example. It’s really going to be interesting to see where it all goes from here.