Keep on publishing!

We came up with the concept of ePublish Unum four years ago. Since that time, digital publishing has moved from a niche to respect. And if we played a tiny part in making that happen, we’re satisfied.

But we’re moving on. Thanks to everyone who attended one of our events, signed up for a class, purchased one of our books, watched the Books & Beer Hangout, or engaged our consulting services. We greatly appreciate the chance to work with you in furthering your career as an author. Our assets — books, videos, etc. — will remain at ePublishUnum.com, on YouTube, our social properties, or any number of online bookstores for you to enjoy.

If you want to keep up with us, we’re pretty easy to find. Please reach out to either of us if you need anything, even if it’s not related to indie publishing.

Now go publish something else!

Evo & Jeff

Help us get to South by Southwest!

PanelPicker logo by Zach Meyer

PanelPicker logo by Zach Meyer

Jeff and I have each submitted talks for SXSW ’13, and you can help us get picked as speakers.

Of the 3200 talks that were submitted, I have no idea how many are focused on digital publishing. There was some of this last year, but not nearly enough. We both spent a lot of time on our submissions, so we’re cautiously optimistic that we’ll make the cut.

SXSW has an interesting model of selecting speakers from their event. Public voting accounts for 30% of the criteria, so it’s not to be overlooked. Yes, that means we’re pandering for votes… of a sort.

If you can only vote for one, we recommend voting for “The Kindle is doomed because Superman told me so“. We don’t think the Kindle will remain dominant with all the different types of books out there. Comic books, for example, could develop into a rich, interactive medium if they had a device tailored for how people read comics. We want to explore the different types of books out there and how they could evolve with a custom reader.

If you can vote a second time (the rules change from time to time), then please also vote for “The Singularity of Books: Ink-lings of the Future“. Looking far into the future, what will a “book” even look like? Will it even be a single object (or file), or will it be an experience you have across multiple devices and formats?

If either get picked, SXSW picks up the tab for our admission. We still have to fit the bill for travel and lodging, but saving the money on the badge will help a lot. That, and it give us a chance to spread our smarts to the SXSW crowd.

Thanks for your help, and we look forward to seeing you at SXSW!

Amazon Kindle Publishing Isn’t Enough By Itself

As the competition among marketplaces increases, we’ll see more wooing of top authors with promotional offerings, higher revenue share, and other specialized support. But that often comes with the price of exclusivity. Many authors have opted for Amazon’s Kindle Select program, and enjoyed great benefits. But as a growing number are discovering, limiting to only Amazon Kindle publishing is limiting, indeed.

Read Ed Robertson’s excellent examination of the declining nature of exclusive digital publishing deals with marketplaces for more insights.. Not only does he use his own books and experience with Amazon Kindle publishing as an example, but he also contrast that with changes some higher-profile authors are reporting.

The results are telling. Authors must decide if the additional incentives offered with an exclusive arrangement with a single marketplace are of greater value than the increased exposure that comes with multiple channels. And that equation changes on a near-continuous basis as the marketplaces mature.

In the long run (and without knowing the specifics of your publishing goals,) we take the long view: Exposure will probably beat out exclusivity. But with all things, YMMV.

 

Need personal advice? We offer 1-on-1 consulting services on a pay-as-you go format. Are you a visual learner? Catch the Books & Beer Hangout for a fun, lighthearted conversation on digital publishing issues. And subscribe to our blog and sign up for our mailing list to stay up to speed on our latest educational offerings for authors who want to survive — and thrive — in a digital world.

Books & Beer host J.C. Hutchins and Lynette Young

Books & Beer w/ J.C. Hutchins & Lynette Young

Books & Beer w/ J.C. Hutchins & Lynette Young

Our weekly Books & Beer video chat takes a big step this week with our first Hangout On Air!

If you don’t frequent Google+ you may not be aware of our weekly chat session, where we crack open a tasty beverage and discuss all things digital publishing. To date we’ve had open discussions, but with the Hangout on Air function we get the ability to stream the discussion to our Google+ page and record it for later. We’re kicking this off in style tonight with two guests discussing their own from-the-trenches digital publishing tales!

J.C. Hutchins is a 15-year writing veteran and successful New Media storytelling pioneer and marketer, best known for his innovative use of written fiction, podcasting, video and fan-fueled crowdsourcing to create thriller stories.

Lynette Young is a social media coach, social technology specialist, and a strategist for businesses regarding implementation services. She’s deeply involved in the social media and technology front, and is currently writing her first book.

The discussion will last about half an hour, during which we will watch our Google+ page for comments and input. After the discussion, we will open up the Hangout for another half an hour for anyone who wants to join in. We will post a video of the discussion with J.C. and Lynette after it concludes.

Books & Beer is co-produced and co-hosted by Evo Terra & Jeff Moriarty, publishing pioneers and craft beer enthusiasts. We Hangout every Thursday, at 6:00 pm PT/9:00 pm ET, and all you need is a free Google+ account and a webcam to participate.

Join us for a half an hour of good fun, lively discussion on the realities authors face in a digital world, and great beer!

Update: Here’s the link to download the show. Or you can just watch it on YouTube!

Great digital publishing education offerings in Phoenix

PodCampAZ 2011 - Nov 12 & 13

When you boil it down, digital publishing is just the next step in a long line of using new media tools and technology to share ideas. It’s the heir to blogs and podcasts, who each embraced new tools for creating, distributing, and consuming content. Digital publishing might be more formal and commercial, but the core concepts are largely the same.

The more you understand about those new media concepts, and the way they allow people to share, collaborate, and connect, the more effective you will be online. Just putting your book up on Amazon.com isn’t enough.

Fortunately, If you’re in the Phoenix area, there’s a great event this weekend to help you learn some of those concepts and connect with other people trying new and interesting things.

PodCampAZ – Great people, ideas, education (and free!)

PodCampAZ is a BarCamp style unconference, which means they actively recruit all sort of speakers with interesting ideas and perspectives, and it is not nearly as restricted as traditional conferences. Attendees are encouraged to explore new ideas and really build connections with other people attending.

Evo Terra and I will be presenting a short talk at PodCampAZ on “Intro to Digital Book Publishing” Saturday at 2:45. Evo will also be giving talks on “Life Lessons From A 7 Year Podcasting Veteran”, making a live podcast episode, and participating in a Podcasting Panel.

Check out all the great talks on the PodCampAZ schedule, and stop by if you can. It’s absolutely free, and you can register online.

Digital Seminar – Publishing and Promoting Your Work Digitally

If you want even more information on digital publishing, we’re excited to announce a two-session seminar coming up on January 28th. After our full-day publishing workshop in September, we had great feedback on which areas authors wanted to explore in more depth. We’re cracking two of those areas open for two-hour deep dives:

Each individual session is $79, which includes all the great content, a workbook, and a tasty meal. Attend both for $129 and save nearly $30!

Read more about both digital author seminars, and let us know if you have any questions!

Digital Author Events In Phoenix – November 2011

We’ve got our next digital publishing seminar slated for late January. But you don’t have to wait that long to learn from us. This month, there are two events where we’ll be presenting on various aspects of digital publishing. We think that both of these events make a lot of sense for authors to attend, even beyond what you’ll learn from us.

Podcamp AZ | November 12th – 13th

Podcamp AZ bills itself as a Relevant Media Unconference. It’s free to attend. And you should go.

It’s put on by volunteers (full disclosure: I was one of those volunteers the first three years) and caters to the DIY aspect of creating, producing and releasing media in many sorts. While the conference isn’t specifically about publishing, the skills discussed will be very relevant to any author trying to take control in the world of digital publishing.

ePublish Unum is a sponsor of Podcamp AZ. If you attend, you can signup to win a prize-pack of some free 1-on-1 consulting time from us. Jeff is going to talk specifically about digital publishing, and I’ll be working it into the conversation of all the sessions I’m leading. Register here.

SMAZ | November 18th

SMAZ, or Social Media Arizona, is a business-focused event. And if you’re not treating your life as a digital author as a business, you’re doing it wrong. You’ll learn from and mingle with business people in the valley who are much more than hobbyists when it comes to promoting and interacting. No, this isn’t a digital publishing conference. But business-minded authors will find the event invaluable.

ePublish Unum is a sponsor of SMAZ, and Jeff and I will be presenting on the business-side of being a digital author these days. Register before November 1st and you’ll get a hefty discount.

 

As a digital author, it’s important for you to get outside of your comfort zone and learn from lots of people. Sure, attending conferences, workshops and seminars specifically about digital publishing is important. But sometimes you learn the most when you get less specific. Both Podcamp AZ and SMAZ are smart events with plenty to teach you and others.

Go. You can thank me later.

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No, the Digital Author Workshop didn’t kill us…

ePublish Unum - Digital Publishing for Authors...

Image by sheiladeeisme via Flickr

We’ve been woefully remiss in updating our humble site since our Digital Workshop for Authors in September but wanted to let you know how we’re faring.

As Evo Terra mentioned in his blog, the author workshop was a hit! Everyone who attended was engaged, curious, and excited to jump into digital publishing and get their work out there. We couldn’t have asked for a better group.

In our eight hour session we covered an enormous range of topics from the state of the digital publishing landscape, to preparing and pricing your work, to promoting yourself as an author. It was a lot of material, and by the end of it Evo and I were ready to promote ourselves into taking really long nap.

Being big believers in continuous improvement, we surveyed all our attendees on the content and format. A few areas came up by far the most often as content of greatest interest, so we’re going to spend a little time focusing on these for our next effort:

  • Detailed discussion of the types of eBooks and their differences
  • How to get your eBook out there once you’re ready to publish
  • How and where to promote yourself as an author
  • Marketing yourself and your work with Social Media

We also heard that while the day-long workshop was great, it was a lot to absorb at once. People asked for shorter, topic specific seminars and downloadable ecourses. We’ve started work on both of those, and are planning a follow-up seminar based on this feedback in January (details coming soon!)

Thank you for all your support, stay tuned, and keep on writing!

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Amazon’s @Author provides digital authors incredible fan access

A student raising a hand to ask a question at ...

Image via Wikipedia

Authors who are hoping to go digital but never have to interact with their fans got some bad news from Amazon.com last week. They are creating a way for readers to ask questions about specific passages in the books they are reading:

The new program, called @author, lets Kindle users highlight a passage and then ask the author a question about it via their Amazon author page or Twitter. Only questions as long as 100 characters can be asked from within the e-book itself, but more in-depth curiosities can be posted to the author’s official page on Amazon.

Of course, only a handful of questions will actually be answered directly by authors, but other readers are free to chime in and offer their take. If the writer does respond, readers will be notified by email.

via E-Books Get More Interactive With Amazon’s New Author Q&A Feature.

Authors who ignore the feature could find themselves entirely left out of incredible discussions around their work, and missing a fantastic opportunity to connect with readers and turn them into fans.

Savvy authors can use this as not only a nice way to give a reader a thrill by talking with them, but also a source of invaluable insight into what characters, plot points, ideas, and passages are making an impact. This could be a gold mine of information and a powerful way to build a fanbase that helps promote your work to others.

This is just getting rolling, but you can see notices of participating authors on Amazon’s @Author Twitter account.

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Announcing the Phoenix Digital Publishing Workshop for Authors

Workshop

Image by boellstiftung via Flickr

Our goal at ePublishUnum is to help authors take their work digital. We can blog and post about that all day long, but we plan to do something much more tangible to help you move forward.

That’s why we’re excited to announce our first workshop for digital authors! This full-day workshop will be held in Phoenix on Saturday, September 17th, and is chock full of information ranging from ePublishing trends to copyright issues to using social media for promoting your work.

This isn’t a conference on developing your characters or making your plot more engaging. There are plenty of other conferences for that. Instead, we assume you already know how to write and want to learn the technology, techniques and tactics required to become self-publishers in the evolving digital world.

What will you learn?

You will learn the terms and trends of the industry, the how to protect the rights to your work, how to get the most out of what you write, and how to promote yourself and your book using the power of social media.

We will be covering:

  • Intro to Digital Publishing
  • Taking Your Book Digital – Understanding and planning for the world of digital publishing
  • eBook Formats & Trends
  • Format Choices – How digital formats impact how your final product looks
  • Copyright & Copyleft – The reality of rights in a digital world
  • Getting It Out There – Getting digital content out where readers can find it
  • Same Sh*t, Different Way – Publishing your content in different mediums to reach the greatest number of people
  • The Business of Branding Your Book
  • Social Media Marketing for the Self-Published Author

Is it for you?

We have a lot more detail on the digital publishing workshop page about the content and format, and what you will get out of it. This should give you all the info you need, but please send us an email if you have any questions!

Sign me up!

Good – you are very wise! Space is limited, so head over to the digital publishing workshop page and register!

If you have other ideas for content or classes you would like to see, let us know!

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South Korean Schools to Replace All Textbooks with Tablets – TNW Asia

I know you want to cling to your print books like a comfy blanket, but the world is headed in a different direction.

By 2015, students will be carrying digital textbooks in lieu of paperback books in all schools in South Korea, according to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

via South Korean Schools to Replace All Textbooks with Tablets – TNW Asia.

Am I heralding the doom of print? No, not right now. But I also bet that people argued that lamps powered by whale oils were far superior to anything else. That argument seems rather silly now. I bet this one will, too. It’s only a matter of when.