What is digital publishing?

Atomium Escalator by Harald Hoyer

Atomium Escalator by Harald Hoyer

Getting a book published wasn’t magic, but it seemed that way to many people. All you needed was to get a great idea down on paper, people would realize how amazing it was, and BAM! – it’d be in the bookstore. Well, in the last century anyway. In this century, after the BAM! it appears on Kindles and iPods, and on Amazon.com rather than Borders. The process has changed, but it still isn’t magic.

Unfortunately, since so many people didn’t understand how the old process worked, they’re completely stuck now that the game is changing. All the enormous opportunity out there for authors who want to become their own digital publishers is lost if those authors don’t know what the publishers did in the 20th Century, let alone how to evolve into the 21st. Fortunately, that process is very possible to understand. Not easy, but not impossible.

That’s the whole reason we’re here – to help you tackle the steps necessary to get your ideas out to your readers in this digital age. To do that, we need a common terminology. A way of describing the different parts of the process as we dive into them and show how they interconnect. At the highest level, we see five distinct phases.

Five Phases of Digital Publishing

Writing – Shaping your ideas, your content, and your story for the digital world. We’ll leave the basics of storytelling and character building to others, but will instead cover the early choices that might impact you later based on the mediums and tools you plan to use.

Editing – Now you have your content, how do you get it ready for the dozens of digital formats available? How will it look on different ebook readers? How could the title, cover, and even the font make a difference in how people find you and make the decision to buy what you have to offer?

Publishing – Your book is done, it’s shiny, and it’s ready to go! Now what? How do you get your work into the channels where people can read it? How will it end up on Kindles from Boise to Beijing? How should you price it? How do you protect the rights to your work before you kick your baby out of the nest?

Promoting – Now your book it out there in all its glory, and if people just had psychic powers they would know where to find it. Sadly, your readers are likely limited in paranormal ability, so you will need to get the word out the old-fashioned way. Well, the new old-fashioned way. How can the digital tools like blogs, Facebook, and Twitter help you spread the word, and build a brand for both your book and you as a digital author? What marketing and promotional tools can you you put to good use whether you’re just starting out or already established?

Interacting – In the digital world your connections with your readers are not limited to a single stop on a book tour. Fans, friends, and collaborators are going to want to keep in touch with your work both online and in the real world. How can you build a strong support base, and leverage it to help you with future work while not taking all of your time?

Five simple areas, each with a whole lot of depth. We’ll be fleshing each step out over the next few days, so please stay tuned. But if you have any questions or thoughts already, let us know!