Easy & new ways to create e-books [plus some big news from me]
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It's been several months since I sent a newsletter! As you might imagine, quite a few things have happened since then. Most important: I am leaving my post at the University of Cincinnati when the academic year ends, and joining the Virginia Quarterly Review as their web editor. (Read more here.)

If you subscribe to my public updates on Facebook, that's the best way to stay current between newsletters.

Groundbreaking E-Publishing Services

The past year has seen tremendous progress and growth in e-book creation and distribution services. Here are the most notable and impressive that I've seen.

PressBooks lets you easily author and output e-books in multiple formats (no techy knowledge required) including EPUB, Kindle, print-on-demand-ready PDF, HTML, and InDesign-ready XML. It's an amazing and free tool, and if you're already familiar with how Wordpress works, then you'll find it even more incredible. (It's based on the Wordpress content management system.) The people behind it are helpful and trustworthy. Check it out.

Apple iBooks Author
If you've been looking for a do-it-yourself solution for creating illustrated/color e-books, enhanced e-books, or multimedia e-books, then iBooks Author might be your new best friend. Yes, it's a free tool, but a couple caveats: You have to be a Mac user, and your resulting iBooks (anything created in the proprietary .ibooks format using the iBooks Author tool) will only be available to readers using iPads or iPhones. Read more here from Apple. Do be aware: Apple's terms of use have caused some controversy, so make sure you're comfortable with them. (Here's a balanced overview of what their terms mean.)

Vook Book Creator
The latest service to be made available directly to authors, Vook is a strong competitor to Apple's iBooks Author tool. Aside from creating standard e-book files, it also allows you to easily add images, audio, and video, through a drag-and-drop interface (similar to Apple). Is there a catch? YES. While Vook distributes your e-book to all the major retailers/devices, and lets you keep 100% of your net royalties, you have to pay to use the service. Your cost will depend on a few variables, but the lowest you can possibly pay is $79/month or $849/year. The service is geared more toward businesses than indie authors, though an indie author can still use it.

Side Note: Argo Navis Author Services
This option is limited to authors who have literary agents. Agents can offer Argo Navis as an e-publishing distribution option for their clients. The program is limited to reverted and not-in-print or never-published works. Argo Navis treats the authors as the publishers, with agents playing their traditional role in managing the relationship and communication.

Keep watching for more digital distribution services along the lines of Argos Navis. INscribe Digital is another I'm keeping an eye on; for now, they only work with authors or publishers with at least five titles. However, unlike Argos Navis, they allow for a nonexclusive relationship (meaning you can still use other services for distribution or pull your content at any time).

Thank you!

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Electric Speed. If it was helpful for you, the best thanks of all is sharing this newsletter on your favorite social network.

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The Future of Publishing

Now Free!

My e-book, The Future of Publishing: Enigma Variations, is now available for free. Click here to find out more.
Missouri Writers Guild

Where I'm Speaking Next

Missouri Writers Guild, St. Louis, April 20
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