• West Cork Literary Festival 8-15 July 2022

How Digital Publishing Can Change Your Life

Writing.ie | Resources | Digital Publishing | Getting Published

Kevin Flanagan

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THE path to become a published author can be a long and painful one. Many writers have spent years transforming their idea into a book. The next step is often more difficult: sending your final draft to a publisher. After all this effort, it is likely that your novel will lie unread on a slush pile. So after months – even years of waiting, you may hear nothing. You might not even get the courtesy of a rejection letter!

At this stage many writers are tempted to throw in the towel and bow down to the tyranny of the traditional publisher. But what if you are not ready to give up? What can you do then? Well, there is another option – ePublishing.

Thanks to eBooks, authors can now cut out the middle man and provide their content straight to the reader. This global revolution has given rise to many authors who have made their names online. One such heroine of the eBook revolution is Amanda Hocking.

After dropping out of college twice, Amanda found herself as a home care worker. She spent her free time writing and eventually tried to get one of her first books published, but it was rejected. Like many aspiring authors she kept trying, but after five years she had failed to make any progress. On Amanda’s blog, she remembers a conversation she had with a friend where she vented her frustrations about failing to get a publisher:

“I don’t think I’m ever going to get published. I don’t know what more I can do. I’ve worked like a factory putting out the best books I possibly can. I’ve studied trends, the industry, business models.”

Amanda’s life soon changed when she read an article about eBooks on Twitter. She figured that selling a couple of her books would be better than a pile of rejection letters. Fast forward to 2011 and Amanda had sold a million eBooks and made over two million dollars, selling 9000 books a day! Ironically these sales figures grabbed the attention of a traditional publisher and she was awarded with a huge contract in the process.

Another revolutionary figure joining the eBook rebellion is fantasy writer Brian S. Pratt. After several years trying to find a publisher or an agent, Pratt decided in 2005 that he would put his books online. With no training or writing experience, Pratt earned close to $200,000 in 2011. He has emerged as a beacon of hope for aspiring authors who have found themselves blocked by the impregnable fortress of traditional publishing.

The success that Pratt and Hocking have experienced was not gained solely by their undisputable writing skills. The market for ePublishing has grown substantially and has proven to be a useful platform for many professions. You can publish manuals, memoirs, family histories, local guides or your very own recipe book alongside every other mainstream genre of book.

And there is money to be made, but it isn’t all plain sailing. Even though it has become easier to publish your books, it does not guarantee that you will become a bestseller. First, you need to develop your idea before you take on the substantial task of writing, subbing, editing and producing a final draft. Finally – and most importantly – you need to emerge from obscurity and become a recognised author by the clever use of social networks like Twitter.

This is easier said than done. Naturally, it will take time to learn tricks of a new trade, but you can give yourself a head start if you get the right support.

About the author

(c) Kevin Flanagan February 2012

Kevin Flanagan is running an ePublishing course in association with Independent Colleges in Dublin starting on the 5 March 2012. This course is designed to help you transform that idea, or already written book, into a fully fledged eBook that can appear on Amazon, Nook, iBooks and other ePublishing platforms. And who know where you will go from there. You could be on your way to making a fortune. At least you will be a published author in charge of your own destiny and not rotting on a slush pile of some disinterested agent or publisher!

Kevin is a best-selling author with six books to his name. He has also published on the main international digital platforms like Amazon. He is MD of the BeCreative Media Group in Dublin which is responsible for producing magazines and supplements for Independent News & Media. He edits The Sunday Independent Travel Magazine and Irish Independent LoveFood supplement. In addition, he writes a weekly blog for independent.ie on ePublishing.

Ciarán Ó Conluain comes from a marketing and business background and runs the digital and publishing arm of BeCreative Media Group. He has experience with bringing books to market over many platforms including Amazon, Apples iBookstore and Barnes&Noble.

For details contact: http://www.independentcolleges.ie/faculty-of-journalism/e-book-publishing

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