• Breaking Into Digital Publishing

    Evo Terra, (cc) sheiladeeisme on Flickr

    I spent last Saturday at ePublish Unum’s first Digital Publishing Workshop for Authors. EPublish Unum is a new company started by Evo Terra and Jeff Moriarty to educate and assist digital authors in publishing their work. Between the two of them, they have a host of knowledge and experience in writing, marketing, social media, and podcasting.

    I am at the beginning my writing career. I attended this workshop because I’m ready to take my blog writing to the next level and become an ebook author. This workshop taught me that writing a manuscript is just the beginning of being a successful digital author.

    Jeff Moriarty, (cc) sheiladeeisme on Flickr

    Being a digital author is completely different from using a traditional publisher. I co-authored a book chapter during law school. I wrote the manuscript and had to proofread the draft after it came back from the editor and that was basically it. As a digital author, you don’t have the burden of shopping your work around for a publishing house, but there are so many other things you have to do and consider.

    • A digital author is an author, publisher, and promoter.
    • An acceptable layout on paper may not translate well to an iPad or Kindle.
    • Your cover art has to look good as a thumbnail.
    • Ebooks are a lot cheaper than paper books, but they are outselling paper books.
    • You have to convert your book from a manuscript to an ebook and decide which service to use.
    • You have to proofread your work after conversion to catch any “gremlins” that were created.
    • You have to decide how you will promote your work and interact with your fans.

    And this is just the tip of the iceberg! There was so much information, I felt like a sponge taking it all in. Despite the enormous amount of information that was being presented, Evo and Jeff always presented the material in a nonthreatening way. I walked away inspired and feeling like being a digital author was something I could do successfully as long as I was willing to do the work.

    I currently have three ideas for ebooks:

    • The legal side of blogging,
    • The legal implications of being a flash mob organizer, and
    • The best thing I did in law school was take off my pants on the light rail (how I made law school work for me).

    I am petrified and excited to begin working on these projects. I am grateful that there are successful digital authors I can look to for inspiration and the incredible people at ePublish Unum I can turn to for guidance when I need it.