Enhanced Ebooks

March 2, 2022

Back in the mid 1990s I visited the London Book Fair.  I had written my first novel, “Cogrill’s Mill” and although there was some interest from a few agents and publishers none of them were willing to take a chance on an unknown writer.  I downloaded a pdf to a CD, labelled it with a book cover I designed and set off to promote it at the book fair.  No one was interested because during this time no one had heard of Ebooks.  So I gave up on the idea, formed my own publishing company and went down the print-on-demand route and began printing my own paperbacks.  A few years later someone approached me and asked if I had any Ebooks for sale.  I had not as I was busy promoting my paperbacks.  Then low and behold the Ebook phenomenon took off.

I was still promoting my paperbacks but it was not difficult to produce them simultaneously as ebooks.  Initially, I posted them on Amazon in Mobi format which was being used by Amazon for their electronic Kindle readers.  Then other platforms were developed, notably by Kobo.com, Google and Apple.  I visited a gathering of ebook enthusiasts at a Soho café in London where I met someone who told me that the way to go was with the epub format as Apple was using this to produce interactive ebooks.  He pointed me to Apple’s interactive version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland which featured videos embedded in to the text.  I checked it out and remembered one featuring a caterpillar on a toadstool smoking a cigarette.  Later I vivited the London Book Fair once more and found a small number of publishers producing epub books with videos embedded in the text mostly used as promotional tools.  I was smitten.

Amazon was sticking to its mobi format so I began to produce my own enhanced epub ebook to showcase on Apple as what were then called ibooks but are now called Apple books.  I decided to utilise a book of short stories as a few of these I had turned into audio books.  So I inserted two audio books into the text at the beginning of two short stories and embedded a video trailer advertising the whole collection before the contents page.

I am still promoting this ebook.  The problem I found was that the files I made available to download are much larger than text only ebooks.  This may be off putting to the average reader.  In addition Apple has proved difficult for a small independent publisher such as me to work with so now I have made this epub book available free of charge on Google Play and Kobo.com.  Readers can download this themselves by following the link below or it can be open to read on line without downloading it at

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Luke_Johnson_Crime_and_Passion?id=YvK0DwAAQBAJ

 

Keith Jahans

Crime and Passion enhanced ebook is available at:
http://peatmore.com/crimeandpassion.HTM


Ebook Publishing

July 20, 2010

The revolution in digital publishing means that there are now new platforms available to self publishers that make a welcome addition to the traditional hardback and paperback formats.  POD companies require pdf file templates so the transformation of these into ebooks is an easy step.  The growing use of mobile phones, PDAs, the Apple iPad and readers such as Amazon’s Kindle mean that these are in popular demand.  To take advantage of these innovations it is now more important than ever for the new publisher to network with others in the book producing industry.

On 15th July there was a digital publishing drinks night at the Chocolate Bar in Soho that proved highly informative.  It seems that the preferred industry ebook format is epub and this is utilised by most of the new mobile apparatus.  Apparently there is little chance of your book being taken up by readers such as the iPad or Kindle unless it is in this format; but to be taken on by Apple for the iPad more hoops have to be jumped because it is necessary to deal with middle men and distributors without whom no negotiation can take place.


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