As technology has evolved, so has the format in which we read our books. The rise of mobile devices means that there is an increasing demand for digital books, or e-books, that can be easily uploaded and read on personal e-readers and tablets.
To publish your manuscript as an e-book you can submit your work to a digital publishing company or you can go it alone and self-publish your e-book. Many traditional publishing houses have now launched digital imprints that accept manuscripts for e-book publication, such as Pan Macmillan Australia’s Momentum.
Your submission will almost certainly be requested via email and each publisher will have their own list of guidelines, including what you need to write in the subject line, so make sure you follow them carefully. Generally you will be asked to send your manuscript (or the first few chapters) in a Word document, including a cover letter, a brief description of your work, word count and your contact details.
In most cases you should receive an auto-reply acknowledging the receipt of your email. Don’t be surprised if it takes up to 5 weeks or more to hear whether your manuscript has been successful or not. Keep in mind that due to the large volume of manuscripts received, some publishers may not contact you again if you have not been successful.
Self-publishing your e-book means you’ll be taking on the whole process from writing the content, to choosing a file format, the cover design, getting an ISBN number, deciding where to distribute your e-book (e.g Amazon, Smashwords and handling the marketing and promotion of your work. However, by cutting out the middleman you can reduce costs and gain more control over your published work.
If you are not a professional designer, or you need help with other aspects of self-publishing, including technical questions or distribution and marketing approaches, there are a number of companies that specialise in assisting self-publishers. The Copyright Agency has up an independent website, Digital Publishing Australia, to assist people with publishing their work online, including a step by step guide. For a fee (or free for members) The Australian Society of Authors has a paper called an Introduction to Digital Self-Publishing.
Australian Society of Authors www.asauthors.org>
Australian eBook Publisher <www.australianebookpublisher.com.au>