When a Google search for “ebook” produces 497 million results, it’s pretty clear—the e-book is here to stay. And with all the online buzz about the fate of traditional publishing, authors increasingly ditch the nerve-racking process of being accepted by a publisher in favor of creating and publishing an e-book. If you’re considering this route—take heart! While it’s not always cheap, it is super easy. Let’s start with the basics.
What Exactly Is an e-Book?
The word “e-book” is short for “electronic book”—so in its simplest form, an e-book is a compilation of text and images that can be read on an electronic device (think computers, iPads, ereaders, smartphones, etc.). Traditional print books can be converted into e-books (and many are), and e-books can also be print books.
Turning a Book into an e-Book
The second biggest difference between a book and an e-book (after one being a hard copy and one being digital) is actually behind the scenes: formatting. Whether a book is printed traditionally or digitally, it will have to be converted into its respective format to avoid random, weird page breaks or symbols. For e-books, this includes getting rid of page numbers and breaks, reformatting pictures, and adjusting code for maneuverability through the book. Many sites offer e-book conversion services, but you can do this yourself with such programs as DeskTop Author. We should also add here that, unfortunately, not all digital devices can interpret all e-book formats, so be sure to do research before choosing an e-book conversion service (more on this in part 2).
In part 2, we’ll discuss publishing an e-book and its advantages and disadvantages.