E-Book Week: the How and Why of E-Books

Did you know that this week, March 8-14, 2009 is Read an E-Book Week? Whether you read books on your computer or in a reader like the Kindle, Sony eReader or your iPhone, enjoy free downloads here.

The world of publishing is changing faster than ever, with the means of production and distribution in writer’s hands at a lower and lower price.

Essentially, I’ve chosen to be my own publisher, and currently offer an e-book, Overcome Writer’s Block, and an e-course, Writer’s Adventure Guide.

Additionally, Several authors I know have some of their novels in the electronic book format:

Cheryl’s blog, Learn to Write Fiction, has a great post all about e-books, full of lots of resources. I’ve reposted it below in its entirety. Enjoy!


 Ebooks-Why You Want to Create One and How to Do It

 There are a lot of opinions in the publishing world about the future of  print books. Some feel that print books will be around forever. Others  think that we’re slowly moving to all electronic reading. Whichever side of the discussion you fall on, it is true that ebooks are gaining popularity.

March 8-14 is Read an Ebook Week. It is a week set aside to inform the public about the pleasures and advantages of reading electronically.

For a writer, ebooks open up more avenues for getting your work published. It can be easier and cheaper to set up as a digital publisher than a new print publisher. More publishers mean more possibilities to get published. And some print publishers are adding digital delivery to their formats. The more formats that are available, the more chances you have as a writer to find readers.

How Can I Get In On the Ebook Craze?

The easiest way for you to “cash in” on the popularity of ebooks is by publishing some of your own work as ebooks. I don’t mean just self-publishing your novels, though many writers choose to go that route. Instead, some authors are writing short stories or novellas to accompany their books in print. They make them available for free to their fans to enjoy. Lynn Viehl has done this regularly for the last few years and her fans love the new, original stories she puts out.

Why Do I Want to Make an Ebook?

You want to offer short stories for free download on your website (or through a document hosting site like Scribd) for two main reasons:

1. It provides a “reward” to your current fans by giving them more stories in a fictional world they like or starring characters they’re already familiar with. Short stories can be a great boost for your readers during the long intervals between book releases.

2. It provides a chance for non-fans to discover you and get hooked on your writing or your story worlds without making the larger commitment of buying a book.

Writers need readers and this can be a very low-cost (just requires your time) way to put your words in front of more people.

How Can I Create My Own Ebook?

It’s simple and easy to create your own Ebook to give away on your website.

1. Create the original document. Make sure it has good margins (at least 1″ all the way around) and line spacing (double-spacing is best) and choose a font that is clear and large, like Times New Roman 12. You want your story to be easy for people to read.

2. Next, save the doc in the PDF format. (I recommend you don’t save it as a “doc” type. That makes it a little too easy for someone to grab and copy your story.)

If you use Microsoft Office 2007, the ability to save a file as a PDF is already built in. Just do a File, Save As, and choose PDF as the type.

If your word processing software doesn’t have PDF functionality built in, there are several free PDF converters available for download or online. Keep in mind, some of the free converters will place a footer or a watermark on your document advertising their converter. If you don’t want that, keep looking around until you find one that doesn’t have that feature.

  • doPDF – PDF converter that you can download.
  • PDF converter – For this one, you upload your document to their site. It converts the doc to a PDF and emails it to you.
  • PDF995 – This free version displays a sponsor page in your web browser each time you run the software.
  • CutePDF Writer – A PDF converter to download.

3. Upload the new PDF file to your website. If you don’t have your own website, you can sign up for a free account on Scribd and upload it there.

4. Notify your friends and fans that you have a new story available for them to read and send them the link.

Places to Find Ebooks to Read

If you’re looking for some good material to read yourself (always important for writers to keep reading!) check out the Ebookweek website for links to free ebook sites.

And check out these sources:


Online Novels