What's Next for Digital Book Publishing?


Vision 70


What's Next for Digital Book Publishing?


Bianca Crouse

Copyright © 2013, Bianca Crouse, All Rights Reserved




You could publish a book right now, if you wanted to. No need to find a publisher, or an editor. No need to be rejected. All you need to do is write a book, and then put it on the internet.


This probably isn't a foreign concept. Not anymore. A writer can publish his book on Amazon, for example. The program is called CreateSpace. Once the book is uploaded it will appear within the next couple of days, and that book is officially published. The writer can charge whatever price he or she wants and hopefully make a couple of dollars. If the book is popular enough, it will make a lot of dollars. So, if you want, you can fly in the face of how humans have published books for hundreds of years, by releasing it on Amazon.


But why stop there?


The internet has opened up possibilities for people that have never existed before. Possibilities like CreateSpace, yes, but there are so many more.


A good example of this is a science fiction book about consumerism gone wrong called Rx: A Tale of Electronegativity. The author, Robert Brockway, finished digitally releasing his book about a month ago. I say “finish” because it took him around a year to release the whole book. It was published in three parts. Each part was about 100 pages long.


Obviously something like this is going to have some pros and cons. Each part only cost about $2 -- that's pocket change. And he made it available through a number of different sellers; the aforementioned Amazon being one, a site called Ganxy being another; it is readily available in just about any format readers might desire. And if readers buy the first part and don't like it they don't have to buy anymore. However, the model requires more work on Brockway's part—not only did he need to write the book, but he also had to do all of the advertising and marketing. Both are tasks normally taken on by the publisher.


So why would Brockway choose to publish his book this way? It's especially strange because he has already published books the traditional way, so he already had his foot in the door. According to the FAQ on his website, he did it because he could. It was something new.


Other writers—especially comic writers—publish their stories free online, putting up a new page once or twice a week as they write and draw them. Normally these people make money off of ad revenue, and by selling bind-ups of their work and tie-in merchandise. It may take a writer a while to get going, but once he's built up a big enough audience it is possible to make writing a full time job.


Still other people are giving the customer a choice of how much they want to spend on a product. Customers can spend anywhere from no money at all to $1 to $1,000. Like the other methods, this way can be tricky to attract customers in the first place, but it's still a possibility.


The thing is: those are only four different ways that people have thought of to get their creations out there. Who knows what else there is to try. The way that creations are made and shared with the larger public will never be as simple as it was before the internet, but that isn't a bad thing. This is a time of experimentation; a time to try something new and push the limits. Let's see what we can do.




Rx: A Tale of Electronegativity by Robert Brockway. AISN for Part 1: B0076E89Q0; Part 2: B00870EKFQ; Part 3: B008Y9LDZ0. The publisher is Brockwar Press: The Fightin'est Press in the West


Brockway's FAQ can be found at this link: http://www.rxthebook.com/2012/08/03/faq/