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Last fall – when Dom & I announced the “Googling” we’d received – and put the site on a reader-supported/direct advertising basis – I mentioned that I intended to also try putting together my first “ebook.” I think that’s what they’re called, at any rate. My previous books were all conventionally published. Meaning, I wrote the manuscript and then handed it off to professionals to format and bind. They also handled illustrations and photography – neither of which I’m any good at. ebook pic

Now I’m working on this eBook – chiefly, because conventional book publishing is deader than Elvis. But, how to actually do it? I mean, once the thing’s organized and written – I can do that part. Do any of you have any experience with “e” publishing?

One big question that springs to mind is: How do you keep people from simply downloading a copy for free? I mean, once it’s in electronic form – and once it’s on the Net – can’t anyone just make a copy?

Another is the graphic design/formatting aspect. This book – which will be an extended rant about the narcoleptic-Cloveritic character of the typical American driver, how he got that way – and what might be done to fix him (or at least, fix the ones who are fixable) – will probably need images. If I don’t take them myself, I assume anything I pull from online is copyrighted – and for the same reason I’d prefer not to give my book away for free, I respect the desire of people who do photography and illustration for a living to not have their work taken for free, either.

But, I haven’t got the money to pay for photography.

These “e” books seem to be entirely author-financed deals, which is fine if you have the financing. I don’t. Site revenue is slipping to the point of unsustainability and this book will have to be produced on a shoestring budget. On no budget. What I’m wondering is whether any of you have experience in photography and might be interested in some kind of revenue-sharing arrangement?

If any of you out there have any thoughts, advice – anything – it would be much appreciated.

The actual manuscript should be done in a couple months.

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  1. Egads, what a cluster @*&()#! As if all those Starbucks novelists weren’t bad enough. It appears many of them pay thousands and tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege of being “an author.” I guess trying to be a small businessman is the same kind of idiocy 90% of the time, so I shouldn’t talk, or look at my own finances too closely either.

    It makes sense if they eventually get their money back and make some kind of profit. But how many do? Pakleds Publishing. We need things that make us published.

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    • I’m looking into it… but from what I gather, it’s largely a vanity press deal.

      It occurs to me that writing – and musicianship – is increasingly becoming a lot like it was 500 years ago in that one must either be financially independent to pursue these things, obtain the support of a wealthy patron… or try to do it while living a gypsy sort of life, the modern analog of which would be the proverbial van down by the river.

  2. Once the text is in e-form, there is little (to my knowledge) that can be done to prevent someone from making the e-book available for others to disseminate to others. (I am not familiar with the apple I-tunes)

  3. I’ve been contemplating self publishing some of my books for a while. If you go to Amazon.com and look at their book section, you will see that you can do that – both ebook and “print on demand” hard copy – without much “up front” expense. The downside is that they take a large percentage of the income when books are sold. You would also be limited to their kindle format for the ebook, but could publish again elsewhere in other forms. A friend of mine has written a small ebook on self publishing, since he’s done quite a bit of it himself. I gave him the URL of this site and post, so he may look in. Oh, and he also does graphics… 🙂

    Anyway, I’ll check back in from time to time. And good luck. 🙂


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