Monday, April 4, 2011

Part1 - ebooks - Are they worth making?


Last week I got an email from Illustrator Laura Zarrin asking if I thought publishing my own children's ebooks is financially worth the time. I've published 3 of my own ebooks in the last 4 months and have learned so much in doing so. There was too much information to type out in an email so I thought I would just make a video and answer her question here. I hope this helps anyone contemplating this decision. If anyone has an more questions just leave a comment and I'll try to answer it.

24 comments:

  1. Wow Will! You got some good things going!! Way to go and nice presentation!

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  2. Such a great video Will with some really interesting and helpful advice, thanks so much for sharing and inspiring! Looking forward to the next one! :o)

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  3. thanks so much for sharing!! Really got me inspired!

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  4. Thanks guys! I could tell by the number of emails I get on this subject that there are a lot of us in the same boat. This information is changing so quickly that in a few months much of what I said could be obsolete. Hopefully the sales will be way up! :)

    I already have 3 more books in the planning stages. So is it worth it to me? Oh yeah. Good luck to all of you that take a chance with ebooks!

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  5. Thanks so much for this excellent video. There's really a revolution going on, and it's great that you're in it from the ground up. I'm looking forward to seeing your next video on the ins and outs of making ebooks. Will that video touch on how to get an app made? Thanks!

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  6. Hi Will, great video, thanks.
    What are your thoughts on ebooks versus Apps?

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  7. Thank you so very much for this! It was exactly the chat I was wanting to have about e-books!!!

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  8. Will,
    a very informative video. I didn't realize iTunes was such a wasteland after the 15 minutes of fame.

    This would make a nice appendix to your "Illustrating Children's Books" series.

    On a humurous note the autocorrect put in childbearing instead of Children's. Doh.

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  9. I've got 2 books up now. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  10. Will, thanks so much for this. You are always a well-spring of information. Thank you so much for selflessly informing your fellow Illustrators/Writers about your experiences, techniques and wisdom. I posted your video over on my blog. I plan to post other information that I find in regards to the e-book phenomenon there as well in the next few weeks. I can't wait to see your next installment!!

    I do have a question for you, you said that your brother is helping you set up an app for Itunes. Does this app give interactive function somehow to your books. If not, do you see yourself adding some level of interaction to your books later to increase their value? .Also, what specific profession is your brother in that he knows how to create this app? I would like to field my friends and see if any know how to do it, but asking for a more specific skill set would probably be helpful. Thanks in advance for any help!

    P.S. I just bought Monkey and Croc from The Illustrated Section yesterday! How well is that working for you in comparison to Barnes and Nobles and the other outlets? Will you be adding your other books there?

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  11. So many great comments and questions - I'll answer them next week in my next blog post. Keep in mind that you can always get a lot of this information on google. If any of you have information that I don't have I would love for you to share it with us. Like I wrote before - things are changing so fast that you probably won't be able to find current info in a book - ironic?

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  12. Great video!
    Will, do you know of any message boards or blogs where writers and illustrators can hook up to create ebooks?
    Thanks!
    Gin

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  13. Will, I appreciate you sharing your knowledge so so much. Thank you!

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  14. Will, you always seem to come up with some info that is just what I was looking for! Are you psychic? Thanks for your selflessness in sharing your knowledge. I already recommended your video.... before I even got a chance to watch it myself! I know you always throw a quality product out there....so recommending your latest video was a no-brainer. :o) Great info.... looking forward to the next one.

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  15. Caught your video post through Mary Kole's app site. Loved it and loved your attitude. It was informative, helpful, and generous. I’ve been published traditionally, but have been thinking about redoing a few of my out of print books as ebooks so have had conversations with the illustrators I’ve worked with. Any tips on getting existing work into the ebook format? I downloaded Monkey & Croc on my iPhone, So cute!

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  16. Will, thanks so much for sharing this info. You'rev ight aboutb how sharing this info for free brings this community together. I'm looking forward to your next post. I'm a writer & this info is very helpful. I have no program skills at all, so I'm interested in seeing what's up next. Also, I have found a pretty good place for converting... It's called corona sdk. Which I'm probably going to look into. Anyway, Gin posted a great comment earlier in regards about a message board where writers & illustrators could collaborate on ebooks. Thanks Will!

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  17. Wonderful. alot of information...alot to think about since I think I am stuck in the old ways that things were done. Great blog, thanks so much

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  18. I'm so glad to have found you! U have added so much insights into my dull mind (much more than it can handles). Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and techniques so generously. Now I'm really tempted to check out your video series and hopefully moved my stagnant illustration to a higher notch. Hopefully, i can create ebook for my baby boy and other children soon. God bless your heart of gold! Arigato!

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  19. You're welcome blackcabbit! and everyone else who posts here - ebooks are so new we really aren't going to find current information in books - we all need to share what we find to help out the community!

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  20. This was great informative video. I had not considered the time vs money aspect of it. I've been toiling away on trying to make something interactive first, without first doing a solid, stationary ebook, but after watching this, I realize that I'm not quite ready to do that. iTunes sounds incredibly intimidating, so I'm going to shoot for Barnes and Nobles first. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge on this topic.

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  21. I graduated from several courses at the Institute of Childrens Literature, and excelled in writing. Now I have several children's books ready to publish but I have no illustrations. I love to draw, but I just can't get the hang of this Adobe CS5 software program. I can draw, scan, save, but the multiple layers confuse me....How long did it take for you to learn the program? I began writing a children's book one day, and got side tracked by watching the news...I succeeded in finishing a book reflecting the economy and surviving in hard times, I was offered a contract, and got published, but it has never been my desire to write anything other than children's books. Do, you have a more efficient and fast method for me to get some illustrations, other than spending a couple years learning to use adobe cs5? Should I hire an illustrator and if so, are they expensive? I really like your work Terri, in comparison to some of the SCWBI illustrators I have met and reviewed their work....your illustrations seem to come to life, they are very detailed.

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    1. Wow - you have a lot of questions and concerns...There are no easy answers - so many different routes you could take. It has taken me a few years of constantly using photoshop to feel really comfortable with it. That's a long time and a lot of paintings...there really isn't any other way. Illustrators are fairly expensive the busier they are. I know an illustrator that just accepted a manuscript direct from an author vs through his editor (which he normally does) for 20k. That's a big chunk of change.

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  22. Hi now its been a year, what are your thoughts now on ebooks? Is the market flooded? Is B and N better than Amazon? Has growth leveled in ebooks sales?

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