I spent last Saturday at ePublish Unum’s first Digital Publishing Workshop for Authors. EPublish Unum is a new company started by Evo Terra and Jeff Moriarty to educate and assist digital authors in publishing their work. Between the two of them, they have a host of knowledge and experience in writing, marketing, social media, and podcasting.
I am at the beginning my writing career. I attended this workshop because I’m ready to take my blog writing to the next level and become an ebook author. This workshop taught me that writing a manuscript is just the beginning of being a successful digital author.
Being a digital author is completely different from using a traditional publisher. I co-authored a book chapter during law school. I wrote the manuscript and had to proofread the draft after it came back from the editor and that was basically it. As a digital author, you don’t have the burden of shopping your work around for a publishing house, but there are so many other things you have to do and consider.
- A digital author is an author, publisher, and promoter.
- An acceptable layout on paper may not translate well to an iPad or Kindle.
- Your cover art has to look good as a thumbnail.
- Ebooks are a lot cheaper than paper books, but they are outselling paper books.
- You have to convert your book from a manuscript to an ebook and decide which service to use.
- You have to proofread your work after conversion to catch any “gremlins” that were created.
- You have to decide how you will promote your work and interact with your fans.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg! There was so much information, I felt like a sponge taking it all in. Despite the enormous amount of information that was being presented, Evo and Jeff always presented the material in a nonthreatening way. I walked away inspired and feeling like being a digital author was something I could do successfully as long as I was willing to do the work.
I currently have three ideas for ebooks:
- The legal side of blogging,
- The legal implications of being a flash mob organizer, and
- The best thing I did in law school was take off my pants on the light rail (how I made law school work for me).
I am petrified and excited to begin working on these projects. I am grateful that there are successful digital authors I can look to for inspiration and the incredible people at ePublish Unum I can turn to for guidance when I need it.