Thinking about growing some zucchini and summer squash and are not sure where to get started, well, this book will get you on our way. This concise gardening guide provides the essentials any home gardener will need to grow zucchini and summer squash at home for their tables regardless of how large or small garden patch is or if it just a tiny container garden. This guide covers topics such which quash to choose, garden considerations, and how to handle the more common pitfalls and problems of growing Zucchini and Summer Squash.
There’s nothing more frustrating than scrolling through 100 pages of a book looking for something specific when there is no table of contents (TOC). While most authors treat it as an afterthought, it’s an important part of the package. A table of content displays the big ideas in a non-fictional book and where to find them. If you’re writing a book about `The Devil in the City’, you want the reader to have a quick reference guide of the contents. Obviously, this is a strong selling point so failing to include a table of contents (TOC) will make your book less marketable. Let me walk you through the importance of a table of contents (TOC).
Makes navigation a breeze
Readers need a reference point to locate all the important information. A TOC contains numbers which come in handy when viewing the soft copy of the word document. If your idea has no direction, your message may take a meandering path. It’s worth mentioning that a book without a clearly defined table of contents (TOC) can make the readers get lost along the way.
A detailed TOC is the perfect way of taking the reader where he or she wants to travel. He can focus on the most essential information and skip the most irrelevant. If you have a challenge with the structure, that problem needs to be solved before you work on your table of contents (TOC). Read on and learn more.
The Table of Contents Informs the reader And Tells what the book is about
Without a strong table of contents (TOC), the reader will have a rough time following your story. It’s imperative that you ensure the table of contents (TOC) supports the idea fully and benefits the readers. Not only that, the chapters should be worded in a way that makes the reader feel as if they are in the book itself. A non-fictional book needs a sound structure, so you want a table of contents (TOC) that supports the manuscript. Even better, the straight lines on the table direct the reader’s eyes. He can quickly grasp the idea rather than hunting through the text.
Gives the reader the scope and completeness of the book
A table of contents (TOC) is found on the page before the start of the book. It gives a brief description of the chapters and the page number. If it’s misaligned or misplaced, the entire content won’t function optimally. Note: the list chapters are the backbone of the book’s outline.
Without a clear table of contents (TOC), the reader will put down the non-fictional book – if they pick it up at all. Needless to say, they will give a bad review. It’s important that you create a structure that fleshes out and is unique in its category. If your book is in eBook format, the reader will prefer to have a table of contents (TOC) tied to a chapter.
Allows the reader to repeat the major parts of the book
If you’re downloading eBook on your mobile device, it becomes quite easy to look for what you want – you can read summaries and jump through chapters. More interestingly, you’re redirected to the table of contents (TOC) by tapping the same icon. While all the information on the book may be useful, some parts may be more eye-catching. At some point, a book to be finished because everything cannot be included in the book. When writing the table of content, be sure to nail down the real essence of the book.
Indicates the author’s style
If the table of content is smart and witty, the reader will know the manuscript features creative writing. To ensure you bring a wow factor to your audience, you should add a little originality. More clearly, a nonfictional book requires the writer to think about the reader.
The TOC will allow the reader to skim and understand the message the writer wants to put across. If it resembles a certain style, chances are that the rest of the book features the same writing. Therefore, before you sit down and write imagine it exists on Amazon or in a nearby bookstore.
Let’s be honest: there is more to a non-fictional book than a catchy cover. The table of contents shows the reader what lies within the book. The table of contents can make the difference between an average and a great book. Without preparation, you’ll not get the results you want. Unlike a glossary or an index, writing a table of content is a piece of cake. It’s all about compiling a list of the parts – sections, chapters, and sub-chapters. Remember, young readers, are always drawn to books that give information about something they’ve always wondered about.
Amazon Central is an interface that allows sellers to market their products and reach out to prospective customers in a way that helps boost sales. There are two versions of this interface; Vendor Central and SellerCentral. If you have a Vendor Central Account, then it means you are either a manufacturer or distributor. Holders of this account simply sell products directly to Amazon. Seller Central Account holders sell products directly to customers who find their way to Amazon, which is why they are considered third-party sellers. If you are looking to make book sales on Amazon, these programs exist to help you out. Regardless Of whichever course of action you choose to take, here is a look at some Amazon Central tips for 2018;
Understand what kind of seller you are
Amazon will require you to pay a monthly fee for using their services. If you are the kind of seller that is only looking to sell a handful of books (less than 40) a month, then you definitely do not need to pay the$39.99 a month bigger seller is required to pay for the Professional Account. Additionally, you will only need to open more than one account if you are looking to sell products across continents.
Develop a working understanding of Amazon’s search algorithm
Amazon runs the A9 algorithm, and there are conditions you need to meet to maximize the potential of your books to sell. If previous customers loved how you handled their orders, then this algorithm will pick that up from your positive rating and push you upwards. The algorithm will also look at how probable your product is to sell by considering metrics such as your price in relation to the competition’s, your description of the product on sale as well your general rating.
Put up all relevant business information
If you do not qualify who you are on Amazon Central, then you are going to have a hard time proving your credibility. In your account,describe your business by name and location. Be sure to use a real, registered business name and avoid listing a home address. You should also provide contact information to allow buyers and Amazon staff to reach you when they need to. To Keep your account from getting breached by malicious parties, enable two-step verification. Finally, activate several modes of payment to make transitions easier for both yourself and the buyer.
Stick to the rules
There is always the odd seller looking to cut corners and get ahead of others. Doing that on your Amazon account is business suicide because they catch up to you sooner or later. When they do, the penalties are vastly consequential. Just play by the rules, because they are designed to help you. From time to time, Amazon tweaks their policies, so keep yourself updated and take advantage of attractive incentives to boost your sales. There are many thousands of people selling books on Amazon, and if you are to succeed in that cut-throat market, you need to keep trying out new approaches and stay updated about events in the marketplace.
One of the best offers presented by Amazon is the devoted author pages. They offer immense benefits to both the author and customer in a number of ways. The Author central is also absolutely free provided you are listed in Amazon. The author page is one of the best every marketing tools to be availed by Amazon and many authors have realized this. You now have nothing to worry about marketing your books online whether you have a ranking or not.
Why is Amazon Author Central Important?
It gives personal control to an author. You hold your future right in your hands by having a personal page with Amazon. The implication is that you will control everything clients see whether on your pages or books. There are many unique features to accomplish this, for instance, the book synapsis. From there, you can decide either to limit or expose your book and to what extent. Sounds great!
Amazon author central advertising employs shortage strategies to get readers to purchase books.
This makes most authors think that they are running out of stock. For instance, they may provide a statement such as Only 2 book left…’make your order soon’. The statement is a hoax meant to make more sales.
The page increase search engines
You need to be ahead of the selling game by creating catchy and unique titles for your books. The author page will help you in this provided you have an account with Amazon.
More selection of books
You can add more books as you want while creating new titles. This enables you to swiftly add the books toyour page and make a follow up on the sales
Keeping track of every sale
You can also make a follow up on your sale right from the Author central page. In addition to that, you can track on the exact location or country where sales have been made.
As time goes by, there are chances of encountering matters such as book listing. The good news is that you can get in touch with Amazon and get your issues addressed. No need for future worries.
The page is author-friendly
As an author, you are likely to receive exemplary customer service. Despite a number of limitations with data,Amazon tries it best to reduce such limitations.
The author central also provides undercutting of Amazon Profits which is a huge advantage to you.
You may be selling a book let’s say at $20 but on one morning wake up to get the same book being sold at $10. That does not imply you will be paid less rather its Amazon giving offers from their profits to sell the books.
Linking with buyers
The Author central page has an option to make live discussions with potential readers. This means you can take advantage and get comments from buyers. Next time you will know what your readers want and improve on that.
Amazon’s Author Page plays a key role to improve sales. You would have missed a lifetime opportunity for not using their resources since they are fast to optimize. Irrespective of the number of times you use the page, it’s valuable to have the pages optimized.
What Does Printed Books in Publishing Mean?
This is a question that has evaded answers in many people. There are varieties of books available everywhere. Worth noting is that it is not every book that is a printed book. There’s, therefore, a great need to especially clear the air and define printed book in clear terms.
A published book is in other terms called trade book. This is a book published for a general audience. This implies that the book is written to be read by anyone anywhere. So, in a real sense, whenever you think about publishing, you are thinking about trade book. In each country and state, there are set books to be used for learning in various grades and levels of education. These types of books do not qualify to trade books because they are not for the general audience or readership.
Trade books are therefore those books that you will come across in public lending libraries. The books that you will check in and borrow to carry home and pass the time with.
Most of the books that you will buy at the bookstores which are not learner’s coursebooks, professional books, technical books or reference books are trade books. Buying from bookstores what is not academic coursebook or such other above named might give you a trade book.
Online booksellers such as Amazon also sell most of their books as trade books. Although technical, professional and reference books are found online; the majority are trade books. Apart from the eBooks, there are also audio books. Depending on the content, the majority are trade books.
Some of these trade books include:
- Histories, and
- Children books.
The purpose of the book on the shelf and the writer’s intention play a big role in defining a published book.
Romance genre books list is very long. If you love romance topics, then you may have noticed several sub-genres. Even the subgenres have several distinct themes. It does not matter how long the list of romance sub-genre books is, they all share something in common. The books have emotionally satisfying ends which leave the readers with great optimism.
The reason why there so are many sub-genres in the romance
The many sub-genres in the romance novels are motivated by the fact that there is a high supply and the demand for the books. The writer’s research on what the readers want and they proceed to write. The publishers publish the books
and eBooks according to the demand. After the books have been written, the publishers classify them to make it easy for eager readers to access them. The high number of sub-genres in the category has both advantages and disadvantages.
How the classification system can become horrible
You may be a lover of romance books with suspense. In such a case, you will search for romance books with suspense, and you will be taken directly to the category where the romance books with suspense are listed. Your search will narrow you to specific few books which you will concentrate to read. The classification will have limited you in such a way you will only focus on the small number of writers who have focused on the romance with suspense while you ignore other writers who are highly talented but they are listed in other sub-genres of romance books.
There are several sub-genres in the romance category. You will have to be a dedicated reader to explore the different sub-genres available so that you can know the best readers whom you can focus on their books. Some of the sub-genres in romance include the following:
Romance books category
The category in romance books under the series titles consist of romance books with less than 200 pages and less than 55,000 words. The books come in clear categories. There are few books published in the various categories on a monthly basis. The books will share themes, but they will slightly differ from each other.
The label is available on many romance eBooks, but it is not yet declared as a category. They consist of long books with 350 to 400 pages. In most cases, they can have words ranging between 100,000 to 110,000. Each of the books is different, and it can be listed on the bookshelves until the bookseller makes a decision to remove it.
Some of the sub-genres include the following:
- Contemporary Romance
- African –American Romance
Under the sub-genre of contemporary romance you can find the following themes:
- Baby Love
- Chick Lit
- Love in the Workplace
- Vacation Love
- International Lovers
- Rubenesque (Curvy / Plus Size)
- Rock n Roll
Themes under Erotica sub-genre
- African American
- Multiple Partners
- Gay Romance
- Historical Romance
- Fantasy Romance
- Gothic Romance
There are several themes in the historical romance sub-genre, they include the following:
- 20th Century
- Gilded Age
- Native Americans
- Paranormal Historical
- Restoration and Enlightenment
- Suspense and Intrigue
- Western and Frontier
Common themes under the Inspirational Romance sub-genre
- Western & Frontier
- Mystery & Suspense
- Military Romance
- New Adult Romance
- Multicultural Romance
Common themes under Paranormal Romance sub-genre
- Romantic Comedy Regency Romance
- Romantic Suspense
- Science Fiction Romance
- Time-Travel Romance
- Western Romance
- Young Adult Romance
There are some romance sub-genres which are very popular. They are available in different print formats. Based on their popularity, you can get a clue on which is best to get started. Remember you need to locate the most interesting books in both print and eBook formats so that you can stay motivated to read them. The more the books you read, the higher the chances you will locate the best writers.They include the following:
- Romantic Suspense -53%
- Contemporary Romance -41%
- Historical Romance -34%
- Erotic Romance -33%
- New Adult-26%
- Paranormal Romance -19%
- Young Adult Romance -18%
- Christian Romance -17%E-book format:
- Romantic Suspense -48%
- Contemporary Romance -44%
- Erotic Romance -42%
- Historical Romance -33%
- Paranormal Romance -30%
- New Adult -26%
- Young Adult Romance -18%
- Christian Romance -14%
Top ten popular romance Categories:
- Soul Mate/Fate
- Friends to Lovers
- Second Chance at Love
- First Love
- Secret Romance
- Strong Hero/Heroine
- Love Triangle
- Reunited Lovers
- Sassy Heroine
- Sexy millionaire/billionaire
There is a lot of reading materials you can enjoy if you love the romance topics. The books come in both eBooks and print format to choose your preferred format and category. It can be challenging when trying to choose the best book to read. If
you can apply tips such as checking on reviews other readers offer; it will be easy to locate a popular book. Going through the preview can as well give you an overview of what you can expect after reading a given book. You will never run short of options considering there are many books on Amazon which you can read and learn a lot in the field of romance.
The ‘Blank’, ‘Ad card’, or ‘Other Works‘ page is an often-ignored marketing and book sales opportunity. This is especially true in the eBook area, where most articles on eBook formats don’t even mention them. For the independent publisher it nearly free advertising.
What is the ‘Other Works‘ page?
The short answer is the ‘Blank’, ‘Ad card’, or ‘Other Works‘ page is in a books front matter, for book sales and marketing, which lists other books titles written by the author, or if the book is part of a series. This is not only your chance to pitch your other works but as the list grows larger, it tells the reader that you are an experienced author.
When should an author take advantage of the ‘Other Works’ page?
You Should add the Other Works page when you are finishing your second book for publication and every book you publish thereafter.
When should the ‘Other Works’ page be updated?
The Other Works page should be updated, by adding the book title of each newly published book. However, the name of the book in which the page is being included should be omitted because it would be redundant, obvious.
In the case of eBooks, where the manuscript can quickly be edited and republished, the Other Works page of all eBooks should be updated with the titles of new publications as soon as the new publication is published.
Should the ‘Other Works’ be included in eBooks?
Yes; although there are many who will say otherwise. Why sacrifice the marketing opportunity, when it is so little work to add and main the Other Works page’. In an eBook, it is likely best positioned, later in the front material somewhere after the Product Description Page.
It’s important to know that there’s a set order in the elements that make up a book. Books have standards which one should follow in order to have it published via the traditional or self-publishing route.
You’ll need to prepare the different parts of a book in an acceptable structure. The basic anatomy of a book is as follows- the Front Matter, the Body Matter, and the End or Back Matter.
- Front Matter is put before readers get access to the core content of your book.
- Body Matter is the core content of your book.
- End or Back Matter may contain optional content or materials, all of which may be optional.
Order Of The Parts Of A Book
The Front, Body and End Matter make up the “essential bits” of an official book recognized by publishers around the world. Each of the following major elements may be made up of its smaller components, which are as follows:
Front Matter should be included in all books. This is the part where the author puts some preliminaries before the actual book content is revealed, and where the book’s nuts and bolts and publication details such as the ISBN, publisher name, author name, and Library of Congress are contained.
Typically, the front matter has about nine different parts, but it should be noted that not all books must have the nine parts. The first three elements are the Half Title, the Frontispiece, and the Title Page. Then, a Copyright page takes form, and a Table Of Contents is added in if it’s necessary.
Pages that make up the Front Matter are counted but they aren’t numbered (you can see this when you look at the Copyright or Title page). If the publisher decides to put in a track of some sort, then they’ll number it with Roman numerals.
The Half Title Page (Optional).
- The Half Title part is shown after the cover of your book, and this reveals the title of the book. This section got its name as your title will be printed right in the middle, or the “halfway point” in the page.
The Blank , Ad Card, or Other Works (optional).
- The Other Works page shows other books written by the author, or if the book is part of a series.
The Frontispiece (Optional).
- The Frontispiece may be placed on the left-hand side of the book’s page after the half-title and usually contains a picture or an image. Frontispieces are usually employed in fiction books as they call up a scene in the story. The artwork will be shown on the left page (known as Verso), directly opposite the right page that has the Title (known as Recto).
The Title Page.
- Your Title Page should show the full title of your book, along with subtitles, the author’s name, and any affiliations, i.e., publishers or the company who printed your book. Title pages are normally put on the recto side, facing the Frontispiece.
Copyright is an essential part of any book. This part of the book will outline legal information about who has the rights to the content contained in the book. The Declaration of Copyright will state the name of the person(s) who own the book’s content (the author). Additionally, this is the part where the author gives credit to illustrators, indexers and the editorial staff who have helped illustrate, edit or publish the book.
The Copyright may have copyright acknowledgments and publisher notes if the author has made some mentions of references, i.e., excerpts, quotes, song lyrics, and reprinted material.
The book’s edition can be found at the Copyright page. You’ll be able to see the Edition Number and Printing details, i.e., if the book is listed as First Edition, then it means that it’s the first time that that particular content was published and made into a book. This is optional, as authors and publishers may or may not disclose the fact that the content is in First Edition. In other cases, the Edition Number may be a graphical representation, and a First Edition can be shown as 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 in the Copyright page, while a Second Edition can be shown as 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2.
If the book was published in the United States, then it will contain a Library of Congress Catalog Number.
Copyright Acknowledgments (If not at Back Matter). This is mainly for books that have permission or reprinted material. Authors must cite their sources and give credit to extracts from books, artwork or song lyrics.
This page shows you who the author wrote the content for. The writer honors a special individual or a group of people, usually writing “To (Name of Close Friends, Loved Ones or Colleagues).
Epigraph (Optional and If not in Body Matter).
Is an inspiration or summarizing concept phrase, poem or quotation.
The Table Of Contents
One of the most recognized and vital parts of any book, the Table Of Contents serve the main purpose of outlying the map for the reader. This Front Matter section shows the reader what’s included in the book, i.e., the chapters, the sections and headings and part listings where appropriate. Textbook and non-fictions normally list the primary heads per chapter, which is called 1-heads or A-heads.
The Foreword is a preliminary setup for the book, written by a colleague, a field expert or someone who has written similar content. Forewords mostly serve as a marketing ploy where an eminent or well-established author gives the writer added credibility when pitching the book to shops and stores.
May contain the following elements:
- The Editor’s Preface
- The Author’s Preface
- The Forward, Preface and Acknowledgments
A Preface is a part of the book where the author explains why he or she wrote the book and how the content came to be. Prefaces may be used to solidify an author’s credibility to the subject matter on hand by sharing professional indications or experiences they used to create the said book.
Forewords and Prefaces
Forewords and Prefaces are optional parts in a book and may come in separate pages in the Front Matter, labeled with Roman numerals i, ii, iii, etc. beginning with the opening page leading to the Body Matter.
Acknowledgments (Optional, can be part of the book’s Preface)
Acknowledgments are a Front Matter section where the author gives thanks to people who gave their talent, resources and time in relation to completing the book. Individuals who helped the writer or gave him or her inspiration may be cited here as well.
Most acknowledgments are placed in the Back Matter to preserve interest. Prefaces can contain both Old and New content, and if this happens, the New Preface is listed first.
The Introduction section reveals the contents of the material. The author can choose to simply show what’s covered in the book or go to great lengths in setting the book’s tone by establishing preferred methodologies and definitions that the reader should follow once they get to the body.
Writers of scholarly fields can use an Introduction as a guide to readers within their own profession on how the book should be consumed (within or as part of a discipline).
Other Parts of the Front Matter
List of Illustrations (Optional).
This part can be divided into different types such as maps, figures, etc.
List of Tables (Optional).
May include family trees or genealogical parts for reference. Placement may either be on the front or at the end.
Abbreviations (Optional, or in the Back Matter)
Chronology (Optional, or in the Back Matter)
Contains a list of events that help the reader.
Body Matter should consist of the core content, sometimes referred to as the Core content. Core content may be divided into their respective sub-fields called Chapters. Authors may divide bigger pieces of core content by using Parts, then Sections and finally Chapters, and in that order.
Introduction (Optional and if important to the succeeding text).
In many books, the core content will have the introduction.
Most commonly found in plays but are quite rare in non-fiction genres. Novels can contain lengthy prologues before the actual story begins.
Prologues show events, scenes or acts that precede the main content in the book. It could serve as a transitional act to the main act on hand; it can also start in the midst of a hectic turn of events. Writers can create prologues that serve as pivotal moments. One rule of having a prologue is that if the author has included a prologue, then the book should have an epilogue as well.
Epigraph (Optional, on the Copyright page, Title or Chapter Titles).
This part may contain a poem excerpts, short quotations, and phrases that set the tone and the atmosphere of the book.
Core Content or Body of Book
Core Content or body of the book is the core writing and content of a book and may be segmented with Parts, Sections, and Chapters.
Parts, Sections, and Chapters
Parts, Sections, and Chapters serve as breaks that divide up the book’s content by topic. For the reader, these elements make for the digestible division of content.
Body Matter is divided by Arabic numerals starting with Number 1 at the first page of Chapter 1. Each chapter will have its own headings which are about 2-3 levels deep. Chapters that have similar content are usually grouped under a Section or Part. Sections may contain several Chapters that have relations with each other. Parts will have Sections that contain related content. When authors organize their manuscripts, they must have a loose outline from where they can arrange the ideas and writings to guide the reader seamlessly from start to end.
Epilogue (More common in plays and fiction books)
Epilogues are the closing stories in fiction books. They can serve as the final chapter and reveal what happened after core content has concluded. Here, the author can tie up loose ends or hint at the next story or sequel.
This part can include comments that provide additional insight into the book’s events. Readers may want to know what happened after the story concluded. Authors can throw a sort of follow-up into the Epilogue to satisfy their readers or leave them wanting more.
A short note on how the book came to be or how the story was written based on an idea.
Additional information about the content after the story ends.
The author sums up the concept and the ideas presented in the book. Found in non-fiction genre more than fictional ones.
End-Matter / Back-Matter
End Matter is content that can be found after the Main content. All Back-Matter content are Optional. Some books may have the following Back Matter:
Contains a list of terms that were used in the book. The terms are arranged in alphabetical order and given meanings or definitions to help the reader. Glossary entries may be characters or places and are best suited for long-form fiction.
Bibliography or Reference List
Non-fiction books can put a Bibliography at the Back Matter to state the sources used in the completion of the book.
This part lists all major references that were used in the book, including major topics and key influences, and shows in what page they could be found.
Acknowledgments (Before or After the Bibliography part, which may have additional credits)
Appendices or Addendum. Extra or updated information that can be found within the Body.
Chronology (If not placed at the Front Matter).
Contains a list of events that help the reader. This part is sometimes added to the Appendix.
Notes or Endnotes.
Material that’s organized per chapter and presented in a progressive manner throughout the stage of book writing.
Abbreviations (If not found at the Front Matter)
List Of Contributors.
People who have helped the author in creating and finishing the book.
Illustration Credits (If not located in Captions).
Generally, a notice of correction to previously published content.
Notes regarding general information, typography or design in regard to book production.
About the author and, usually, found at the back flap or the last page of the book. Here, any blacklist or upcoming titles are mentioned. May also have a call to action to visit the author’s social network or website.
In the last decade, self-publishing has grown exponentially with the emergence of platforms such as Amazon Kindle and CreateSpace – that have made publishing a book an easy and accessible process. Numerous independent authors have been able to leverage different marketing techniques to boost their sales and build sustainable self-publishing businesses. A key tool for sales, branding and marketing your book is a book blurb.
What is a book blurb?
A book blurb is a brief description of a book written for promotional purposes. It gives the reader a sense of the content of the book and proposes the value that the reader is likely to derive from reading it.
Imagine your book was a person on a dating website.
The cover page is like the profile picture, and the book blurb is the part of your profile that describes you. Therefore, while a good profile picture will attract a potential suitor, your description is what will motivate them to engage. Consequently, you want your description to stand out and convince. You want the book blurb to make marketing your book a walk in the park.
While the front cover of the book serves the primary purpose of branding, the blurb is like the “pitch” which persuades a potential reader to buy and read your book.
What A Book Blurb Is Not.
The book blurb is neither a detailed summary or outline of your book nor an overly promotional sales pitch. It is also not a detailed review of your book, although you may opt to include a sentence or two summarizing a reader’s review of the book.
Where Is the Book Blurb Positioned?
Traditionally, the blurb was placed on the inside of the back cover. However, as online publishing gained popularity, and people opted for digital books, most writers chose to place the blurb on the back cover to make it easily accessible to the reader.
Components of a book blurb
The content of a book blurb may vary depending on the author’s preference and whether a book is fictional or non-fictional. That said, the most common components of a book blurb include:
- A summary of the plot (for fiction books).
- Thesis statement or main ideas presented in the book (for a non-fiction book).
- A brief introduction of the characters-mainly the antagonist and protagonist (for fiction books, biographies, autobiographies and memoirs).
- A few quotes picked from the book.
- A short biography of the author.
- Praises of the book by other authors.
- Reader’s reviews.
- A value proposition to the reader.
You may include some or all these components.
Using the Book Blurb for Sales and Marketing, And Branding
You can use your book blurb for branding, sales and marketing your book across the various platforms. To do so effectively, ensure that it is strong and well written.
As is the case for most online content, most of the readers will not read through your blurb word for word; rather they will scan through it. To improve conversion, make the content easy to scan in the following ways:
- Begin the first paragraph with an attention-grabbing sentence.
- Write short, succinct paragraphs (2-3 sentences).
- Incorporate quotes, e.g., excerpts from the book or what a reviewer said about the book.
- Incorporates text in different font styles but do not overdo it. For instance, you could bold the value proposition or a subheading, or italicize quoted text.
- Keep in mind that for a book blurb you have less than 150 words to intrigue and persuade a potential reader into buying.
Online Marketing Strategies Using a Book Blurb
You can display the blurb on:
- Amazon/CreateSpace book description box: Amazon Kindle and CreateSpace provide a description box that is meant for the author to write a short description of your book. You can use this space to publish your book blurb.
- On your social media pages. Convert the back page to a JPG or PNG image and upload it on your social media pages. You could also run a promotional campaign for the book whereby you pick a segment of the blurb and paste it on your pages.
- Your website. When promoting the upcoming launch of the book and throughout its sales promotion phase, ensure to publish the blurb on your website.
- Marketing email. When sending out your marketing emails to boost sales for the book, you may include the book’s blurb as part the email content to provide a potential reader with the overview of the book and persuade them to buy.
A book blurb is a crucial tool for marketing your book. Its purpose has transitioned from the traditional back cover that provides the reader with an overview of the book, to serve as a powerful sales tool for marketing your book across the various online platforms.
When it comes to writing, many people worry that they are not going to make enough to live on. This is especially true when it comes to self-publishing your book. Now while it is the easier option, there are some things that need to be considered when it comes to self-publishing, and how to make a living while doing it.
Many people swear by traditional publishing, while others claim that self-publishing is better, which path is the best one to take, and what are the pros and cons of each?
Traditional Vs. Self-publishing
The thing about traditional publishing is that it is not all that it is cracked up to be, but neither is self-publishing. With traditional publishing, you are likely to get a few thousand dollars as an upfront payment, and then royalties are not paid out until a year has passed. That is if you are even accepted and if they even offer an upfront payment.
Traditional publishing royalties barely get higher than 10% per book; the publisher gets the other 90%. And even with this, you still have to advertise the book by yourself. However, it does give you book a sense of notoriety. But what about self-publishing?
There are many online self-published books providers, such as on Amazon, or Lulu. While you have full control over your book, this also means that you have to do most of the work, as well. Depending on where you go, you can get 50-90% of the value of the book.
So, knowing this, how much can you get when you self-publish a book?
How much can you Earn as a self-published author?
Self-published books are famous for making very little. While you may have heard of someone’s friend or some random person online who claims to have made millions selling their book online, in reality, you are rarely going to get anything from your book. Less than 2% of self-published writers make $100,000 in a year.
In fact, the average income for a self-published writer is less than $5,000 a year, with at least 20% claiming that they have not earned anything at all. Of course, this depends on what you publish, how often you publish, and how actively and well you market.
One of the things that affect earnings is the genre. With hundreds of thousands of aspiring writers trying to have earnings, there is a lot of competition out there. This is especially true for genres such as fantasy, young adult, and erotica. If you can find a niche, you are more likely to be able to make more money, but as are no guarantees.
For instance, some people can earn a lot, while others do not earn anything at all. But you do need to understand that even though a website says that you may get up to 90% of the royalties, with taxes and vats, etc., you are most likely going to get far less. At least one author has shown that the real numbers for the “70%” that you get from Kindle Direct Publishing are actually more like 41% in profits.
How to make ends meet as a self-publisher?
Now that we know how little that the average self-published author makes, how do we go about making a living as a writer? $5,000 to $8,000 a year is not really going to pay all the bills. So we are going to work on the side to help supplement our book writing endeavors.
This is one thing that a lot of authors do not want to do, as there is a kind of pride in getting all of your money from royalties. Since when writing the book, you also have to focus on many other aspects, such as making a cover and editing it. In fact, if you hire someone else to do this for you, this also lowers the amount of money you have overall, even though it is best to have a book be a more shared process.
Being an author is more like a job in and of itself, as you can easily spend hundreds of hours on writing. Then hundreds more on advertising, editing, book cover creation, etc., etc. Being an author really is hard work. You have to make sure that what you write does not have any plot holes, and appeals to the reader. Otherwise, you may just have a dud on your hands rather than a book that will earn you some extra Galleons.
Most self-published authors have a day job or have some other form of income that helps to pay the bills. Most consider self-publishing as something that they do on the side in order to make some supplemental income. It is considered bad advice by many in the publishing industry to quit your day job and just self-publish full time.
One thing that many writers do on the side is freelance writing. With sites like Fiverr and Upwork and plenty of work to find in places like Problogger, freelancing is becoming far more accessible to the average writer. This is a great way for many authors to be able to continue doing what they love while also making enough to pay the bills and earn a living.
Not all books make the same amount, and although royalties are passive income, some writer will earn a lot more than other writers. So trying to find out how many books you are going to have to write in order to earn a decent living is going to be hard. Although writing books, even self-publishing, can be a great way to earn a side income if you are diligent enough.
An author may invest all the time, effort and fortune for writing, editing and publishing a book, but leaves very little for the cover design forgetting that the cover is the reader’s first impression of the book. For well-known authors, their books may sell themselves since the author has over time established trust in his content on the part of most readers. But for a new writer, you need to create that first impression with your book cover. One of the best gifts to give yourself as an author is a time to find a professional cover designer who understands designs and who can get your story and the message you need to impact on your potential readers. There is a multitude of new books being published and, on the market, today, and this is why one of the most important factors which make a buyer pick a book from the bookshelf should also be considered.
Judging A Book By Its Cover
There has always been widespread of this popular idiom all over the world which reads “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” However, despite how true this might be in the realistic sense, the book industry is an ever-evolving one, and most of the readers now use the cover of a book as a deciding factor whether to buy the book.
First Impressions Matter
In the modern book industry today, first impressions matter, especially in books, where readers seem to have many options, including online ebooks. People have now resorted to the belief that “If you can’t judge a book by its cover, then someone’s not doing their job”. Currently, when people are browsing in a bookstore (either physical or online) and look at the book cover, they take some seconds to decide if it’s appealing. If so, they pick up the book, turn it over and read the back-cover copy. And if they are online (for E-book), they read the book description. But of course, you know what happens when such a book cover doesn’t appeal to them, they either drop or skip the book.
The First Sales Pitch
Therefore, with the growing number of books all over the world today, giving millions of books for readers to choose from, your first “sales pitch” is the quality and visual appeal of your book cover. Interestingly, even the marketers believe a great book cover makes the book easier to sell and that is why most publishers today try to focus more on the quality of book covers.
A Balance of Art and Marketing Knowledge
Readers believe that if authors don’t dedicate time and effort to their book cover, then there will be a doubt as to how much time they have put into the book itself. So, for a book cover to have good marketing value, it must have a balance of art and marketing knowledge. It should contain a significant central image, and there should also be balancing of colors, font, and space. It must recognize the current trends and should feel fresh and contemporary.
The marketing impact that a good book cover would have on a book’s (whether Printed or eBook) sales cannot be over-emphasized. A compelling book cover will communicate the tone and content of your book and get more readers to buy or download it. This, in turn, will improve your chances of making good sales for your book and attract more positive reviews and ratings which will send the right message to potential readers.
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Aѕ bооkѕ have nоw reached thе 21st сеnturу wіth thе creation of thе іnсrеаѕіnglу popular е-bооk fоrmаt, we thought іt wоuld be a good іdеа tо take a lооk bасk аt thе lоng and іnvоlvеd history of thе humblе bооk.
Frоm thе сlау tаblеtѕ tо thе е-bооk fоrmаt, thе bооk hаѕ еnjоуеd a rеmаrkаblе evolution, presented here іѕ a ѕnарѕhоt оf thаt hіѕtоrу:
3500 BC – Sуmbоlѕ Оntо Tаblеtѕ
Currеnt undеrѕtаndіng ѕuggеѕtѕ thаt thе very fіrѕt аttеmрtѕ tо trаnѕсrіbе ѕуmbоlѕ onto mоvеаblе mаtеrіаlѕ wеrе аn аnсіеnt grоuр оf реорlе knоwn as Sumerians whо lіvеd іn ѕоuthеrn Mesopotamia аrоund 3500 BC. Mеѕороtаmіа іѕ аn аnсіеnt nаmе fоr thе аrеа іn the mіddlе east thаt ѕtrеtсhеѕ from the Zаgrоѕ Mоuntаіnѕ in thе nоrthеаѕt tо thе ѕрurѕ оf thе Antі-Tаuruѕ Mоuntаіnѕ іn the nоrthwеѕt аnd the Pеrѕіаn Gulf іn thе ѕоuthеаѕt tо thе Arabian Plаtеаu in thе ѕоuthwеѕt.
The Sumerians dеvіѕеd a “сunеіfоrm” аlрhаbеt (а ѕуѕtеm thаt соnѕіѕtѕ of lоgо рhоnеtіс, соnѕоnаntаl alphabetic and ѕуllаbіс ѕіgnѕ), thе symbols оf which wеrе etched іntо сlау tablets wіth a trіаnglе shaped stylus саllеd a “Cаlаmuѕ” and thеn allowed tо drу оr fіrеd іn a kiln tо mаkе them last аѕ lоng аѕ роѕѕіblе. Thе Sumеrіаnѕ аrе believed tо bе the fіrѕt people tо ever uѕе the Cuneiform ѕсrірt, whісh itself is thе еаrlіеѕt knоwn wrіttеn system in the world.
600 BC – Stаndаrdіzеd Writing Ѕуѕtеm Developed
Arоund this tіmе a gеnеrаl consensus оf Mеdіtеrrаnеаn cultures ѕlоwlу еmеrgеd tо fоrm a mоrе dеvеlореd wrіtіng system. This fаvоrеd thе lеft tо a rіght ѕуѕtеm thаt іѕ nоw thе standard in wеѕtеrn сulturеѕ, аlthоugh there is ѕtіll a number of written ѕсrірtѕ that use the rіght tо the lеft script, іnсludіng Arаbіс аnd Hebrew.
Bеfоrе thіѕ wаѕ dесіdеd mаnу сulturеѕ wrоtе left tо rіght, right tо lеft, uр to dоwn аnd even down tо uр.
500 – 200 BC – Parchment
Parchment, a thin material thаt is mаdе frоm саlfѕkіn, ѕhеерѕkіn оr even gоаtѕkіn wаѕ first dеvеlореd as a substitute to Pаруruѕ. Hеrоdоtuѕ, the Greek hіѕtоrіаn whо lіvеd in thе 5th century BC (rеgаrdеd аѕ thе “Father of Hіѕtоrу” іn Western сulturе) described the uѕе оf ѕkіnѕ to write on аѕ соmmоn іn hіѕ tіmе. Aссоrdіng to the Rоmаn Varro (а ѕсhоlаr аnd wrіtеr whо lіvеd 116 BC – 27 BC) раrсhmеnt wаѕ іnvеntеd under thе patronage оf Eumеnеѕ оf Pergamum (an аnсіеnt Grееk сіtу іn modern-day Turkеу) due tо ѕhоrtаgеѕ оf Pаруruѕ.
Pаrсhmеnt іtѕеlf derives іtѕ nаmе frоm the city оf Pergamon (thе same Greek сіtу аѕ Pergamum) аnd it іѕ knоwn tо hаvе bееn perfected hеrе. After a grеаt library wаѕ ѕеt uр іn Pеrgаmоn (that rіvаlеd thе Lіbrаrу оf Alеxаndrіа) рrісеѕ bеgаn rіѕіng fоr thе price оf раруruѕ (раrtlу duе tо thе increasing ѕсаrсіtу оf thе раруruѕ rееdѕ аѕ іt wаѕ overfarmed) leading to the adoption of раrсhmеnt as the mаіn writing mаtеrіаl.
Pаrсhmеnt is distinct frоm lеаthеr іn thаt it іѕ аіmеd (ѕоаkеd іn аn Alkаlі solution whісh rеmоvеd thе hаіrѕ оn the ѕkіn) but nоt tаnnеd. Aѕ such раrсhmеnt reacts with changes in humіdіtу (bеіng partly hydroscopic) аnd is not wаtеrрrооf. Thе fіnеr ԛuаlіtу parchments аrе knоwn аѕ vellum and еvеn in thе mоdеrn аgе parchment hаѕ been called thе “finest wrіtіng mаtеrіаl еvеr devised” wіth еvеn thе most mоdеrn рареrѕ not reaching thе ԛuаlіtу оf thе finest vеllum.
200 BC – Wаx Tablets Dеvеlореd
It wаѕ аrоund thіѕ tіmе thаt thе wаx tаblеtѕ wеrе dеvеlореd by the Rоmаnѕ and Grееkѕ. The tаblеtѕ wеrе еѕѕеntіаllу blосkѕ оf wооd with wеrе соаtеd іn wаx allowing thеm tо bе wrіttеn uроn using a ѕtуluѕ аnd lаtеr еrаѕеd fоr rе-uѕе.
These tablets were ѕоmеtіmеѕ jоіnеd tоgеthеr аt оnе еnd wіth соrdѕ (like аn еаrlу form оf rіng bіndеr) to form a “codex” (оrіgіnаl Latin mеаnіng “wood” but later known as a соllесtіоn оf bоund pages), аѕ ѕuсh thіѕ іѕ the еаrlіеѕt knоwn fоrm оf a bоund book. The “Cоdеx” bесаmе vеrу рорulаr around Eurоре, rерlасіng thе ѕсrоll.
105 AD – Thе Paper Rеvоlutіоn
It іѕ gеnеrаllу ассерtеd that a Chіnеѕе еunuсh (аttасhеd tо thе imperial соurt) nаmеd Cai Lun іnvеntеd рареrmаkіng for thе intention оf wrіtіng аnd uѕеd a соmbіnаtіоn оf mulberries, bаrk, hеmр, оld rаgѕ аnd еvеn uѕеd fіѕh nеtѕ fоr the creation of the рареr рulр, around 105 AD. Rесеnt аrсhаеоlоgісаl dіѕсоvеrіеѕ hаvе bееn rероrtеd frоm nеаr Dunhuаng оf рареr wіth wrіtіng оn it dаtіng from 8 BC, whіlе рареr had bееn uѕеd іn China for wrapping and раddіng since 200 BC.
The process оf рареrmаkіng regardless of ѕсаlе іnvоlvеѕ mаkіng a mixture оf fіbеrѕ in wаtеr tо fоrm a suspension аnd thеn аllоwіng thіѕ ѕuѕреnѕіоn tо drain thrоugh a ѕсrееn so thаt a mаt of fіbеrѕ remains. Thіѕ іѕ then рrеѕѕеd аnd dried to make рареr. Aftеr the рареr іѕ dry іt іѕ оftеn run bеtwееn hеаvу rоllеrѕ to produce a hаrdеr wrіtіng ѕurfасе (this process іѕ knоwn аѕ calendering).
Pареr саn bе “sized” tо rеduсе the аbѕоrрtіоn оf wаtеr аnd thеrе аrе 3 саtеgоrіеѕ – unsized (wаtеr-lеаf) whісh іѕ very absorbent and uѕеd fоr blоttіng аnd рареr tоwеlѕ, weak sized (ѕlасk-ѕіzеd) whісh is still somewhat absorbent аnd uѕеd fоr nеwѕрареrѕ аnd strong ѕіzеd (hard ѕіzеd) whісh offers good water resistance.
Whеn thе рареr was оrіgіnаllу dеvеlореd іt wаѕ a fаіrlу standard ѕіzе and еасh ріесе оf рареr іѕ knоwn as a “lеаf”. Whеn a leaf is printed оn without bеіng folded it іѕ rеfеrrеd tо as a “fоlіо” (whісh аlѕо mеаnѕ leaf) thіѕ ѕіzе is roughly that of a ѕmаll nеwѕрареr sheet (although fоlіо can bе оthеr ѕіzеѕ). If this original folio іѕ folded once tо рrоduсе two leaves (оr 4 раgеѕ) then thе size of thеѕе lеаvеѕ іѕ referred to as a Quаrtо. If a Quаrtо іѕ folded once to рrоduсе 4 lеаvеѕ (оr 8 pages) thеn thіѕ іѕ known аѕ an Oсtаvо аnd іѕ аbоut thе ѕіzе оf an average modern novel (thеrе аrе аlѕо Sixteen-mo аnd еvеn thirty-two-mo but this іѕ less common).
868 AD – Thе Fіrѕt Prіntеd Bооk
Thе vеrу fіrѕt book іѕ printed оn рареr in China, using a blосk оf wооd thаt hаd сhаrасtеrѕ саrvеd in reverse relief. Thе іnk was thеn placed оn thе blосk оf wооd tо сrеаtе a рrіnt on рареr.
Thіѕ tесhnіԛuе is knоwn аѕ “blосk рrіntіng” or more ассurаtеlу in this саѕе “wооdblосk рrіntіng” and was оrіgіnаllу uѕеd as early as 220 AD аѕ a mеаnѕ of printing оn cloth.
A blосk оf wood іѕ carefully рrераrеd wіth a knife, сhіѕеl оr sandpaper along thе grаіn of thе wооd аѕ a “rеlіеf mаtrіx” ѕо that thе rаіѕеd аrеаѕ аrе thе black type. The content hаѕ tо bе created іn rеvеrѕе so that whеn printed іt fоrmѕ thе mirror іmаgе. Thіѕ process of саrvіng the wооd is knоwn аѕ Xylography.
Blосk printing соuld еvеn be dоnе іn соlоr, bу uѕіng multiple blосkѕ (one blосk for еасh color), аlthоugh overprinting two colors саn рrоduсе furthеr соlоrѕ on the рrіnt. Multірlе соlоrѕ саn be printed bу kеуіng thе paper tо a frаmе аrоund thе wооdblосkѕ.
1490 AD – 1500 AD -The Printing Rеvоlutіоn
Gutеnbеrg’ѕ іnvеntіоn of mесhаnісаl movable tуре (рrіntіng press) lеd to a mаѕѕ rеvоlutіоn of рrіntіng activities аnd by thе еnd оf thе 15th-сеnturу рrіntіng hаd ѕрrеаd to no lеѕѕ thаn 236 соuntrіеѕ іn Eurоре, wіth mоrе than 20 million books рrоduсеd. Frоm this tіmе оnwаrdѕ іt іѕ gеnеrаllу assumed thаt thе рrіntеd bооk wаѕ in unіvеrѕаl use thrоughоut Europe.
Thіѕ rаріd еxраnѕіоn аnd ѕhаrр fall іn production соѕtѕ took еvеrуоnе bу ѕurрrіѕе, сrеаtеd the vеrу fіrѕt “bestsellers”, thе vеrу fіrѕt Nеwѕрареr аnd a whоlе nеw brаnсh оf media wіth thе publishing press.
Thіѕ рrіnt rеvоlutіоn wаѕ nоt simply lіmіtеd tо Eurоре, thе nearly ѕіmultаnеоuѕ dіѕсоvеrу оf ѕеа rоutеѕ to thе West by Chrіѕtорhеr Cоlumbuѕ іn 1492 аnd rоutеѕ tо thе Eаѕt іn 1498 bу Vаѕсо dа Gama аllоwеd trаdе lіnkѕ tо bе established аnd mеаnt Gutеnbеrg’ѕ рrеѕѕ spread tо thе rеѕt of thе wоrld.
2007 AD – The Kіndlе Bесоmеѕ Thе Fіrѕt Е-Bооk Reader
Amаzоn releases thе first ever dеdісаtеd е-bооk rеаdеr on Nоvеmbеr 19, 2007, whісh thеу name thе Kіndlе. Avаіlаblе оnlу іn thе US, the Kіndlе ѕоld оut wіthіn 5 1/2 hоurѕ and remained оut оf stock untіl lаtе Aрrіl 2008. Thе fіrѕt gеnеrаtіоn of Kіndlе fеаturеd a 6″ ѕсrееn wіth a 4 lеvеl grеуѕсаlе dіѕрlау аnd 250MB оf storage (еnоugh space for аbоut 200 nоn-іlluѕtrаtеd titles) аnd had a ѕlоt fоr an SD mеmоrу card.
On the 23rd Fеbruаrу 2009, the ѕесоnd generation оf Kіndlе wаѕ rеlеаѕеd, аgаіn оnlу in thе US. Thе Kindle 2 featured thе ѕаmе ѕіzе screen but іn 16 grayscale shades, аn іmрrоvеd battery, fаѕtеr раgе rеfrеѕhіng, a tеxt to speech аnd read aloud facility аnd 2GB оf mеmоrу (аllоwіng аn еѕtіmаtеd 1500 nоn-іlluѕtrаtеd е-bооkѕ tо be stored) hоwеvеr the SD Mеmоrу ѕlоt was rеmоvеd so nо mеmоrу еxраnѕіоn wаѕ аvаіlаblе.
On thе 19th October 2009, a vеrѕіоn of thе Kіndlе 2 wаѕ mаdе аvаіlаblе in over 100 countries, іnсludіng thе UK. Thе Intеrnаtіоnаl vеrѕіоn оf the Kіndlе 2 іѕ almost the same аѕ it’s US соuntеrраrt wіth the оnlу rеаl dіffеrеnсе being a different mоbіlе network standard based оn AT&T іn thе US, 3G, EDGE, аnd GPRS іn thе rеѕt оf thе wоrld.
Since the Kіndlе launched there hаvе bееn a numbеr оf e-book readers rеlеаѕеd frоm a variety оf соmраnіеѕ including Sony with their “PRS-500” and PRS-505 rеаdеrѕ, thе latter оf whісh wаѕ thе only e-reader available in the UK fоr ѕоmе time. Othеr companies include Bаrnеѕ & Nоblе with thеіr “nооk”, Irіvеr with thеіr “ѕtоrу” аnd IRеx Tесhnоlоgіеѕ wіth thе “Ilіаd” tо nаmе juѕ a few. This hugе ѕuрроrt for the е-bооk format, whісh hаѕ been wіdеlу supported bу most publishers hаѕ mеаnt thаt thе е-bооk nоw sells in lаrgе volumes, іt has еvеn been рrеdісtеd bу Sоnу thаt е-bооkѕ will outsell thе рареr fоrmаt bу 2015.
One distinct advantage of thіѕ new fоrmаt іѕ thаt іt аllоwѕ thоѕе nеw, unheard оf and ѕеlf-рublіѕhіng аuthоrѕ tо distribute thеіr works with vеrу little соѕt. At рrеѕеnt, though thе only thing holding bасk thе е-bооk іѕ thаt ѕоmе ѕее the fоrmаt аѕ a wау tо increase profit margins rаthеr than lоwеr the cost оf оwnеrѕhір and аѕ ѕuсh іt іѕ асtuаllу роѕѕіblе to purchase ѕоmе novels іn рареr fоrmаtѕ for less thаn thе еlесtrоnіс formats. Thіѕ іѕ оf соurѕе also hеld uр wіth the hugе ѕесоnd-hаnd book trade which enables a rеаdеr tо acquire nоvеlѕ at a vеrу lоw соѕt.
2008 AD – Speeding Uр Thе Ѕсаnnіng Оf Bооkѕ
Dеvісеѕ such as BookSnap – a digital bооk scanning ѕуѕtеm that еnаblеѕ vеrу fast, high-quality dіgіtаl ѕсаnnіng оf bооkѕ – іѕ hеlріng tо dіgіtіzе the wоrld thаt muсh ԛuісkеr. Thіѕ whоlе dіgіtіzаtіоn movement is ѕtіll hеаdеd by thе goliath Gооglе but many рublіѕhеrѕ are nоw bеgіnnіng to оffеr older, opt-out of рrіnt wоrkѕ in dіgіtаl fоrmаt for the fіrѕt time. Gollancz is leading thе wау іn this rеgаrd wіth SF Gаtеwау – a рlасе thаt оffеrѕ thоuѕаndѕ оf SF Classics іn dіgіtаl fоrmаtѕ.
2014 AD Аnd Beyond
It’ѕ dіffісult to рrеdісt juѕt what direction the bооk wіll ultіmаtеlу tаkе, there іѕ no doubt thаt Tаblеtѕ, Smartphones, and E-rеаdеrѕ hаvе become very рорulаr. A ѕіdе-еffесt оf thіѕ has bееn a big surge іn Audible books wіth ѕіtеѕ ѕuсh аѕ Audible аllоwіng a digital download оntо thе tablet, smartphone and mоѕt e-readers.
Wе hаvе still yet tо ѕее the рrоmіѕеd ultra-thin, flexible е-rеаdеr that саn bе rоllеd up аnd stuck іn a pocket, but I іmаgіnе that thіѕ is nоt tоо fаr аwау.
Thе аbіlіtу to рurсhаѕе, dоwnlоаd аnd read a bооk almost іnѕtаntlу іѕ a difficult оnе to rеѕіѕt. In аddіtіоn, the сараbіlіtу to lіtеrаllу саrrу уоur library оf 1000’s оf bооkѕ іn уоur hаnd оr even росkеt іѕ quite іnсrеdіblе. As thе distribution of the first printing presses led to a reading rеvоlutіоn for thе mаѕѕеѕ, the distribution оf the е-bооk hаѕ thе potential tо hеlр еduсаtе those in third wоrld countries and рrоvіdе access tо a hugе range of lіtеrаturе.
If wе lооk far еnоugh into the futurе mауbе wе will ѕее Wіllіаm Gibson’s іdеаѕ come tо lіfе whеrе vаѕt libraries оf information аrе ѕtоrеd dіrесtlу in оur brains аnd we саn access thе lіtеrаturе оf thе ages just bу thоught.
Hоwеvеr, thе whоlе tactile and ѕеnѕоrу еxреrіеnсе that the paper fоrmаt оffеrѕ is оnе thаt is with uѕ to ѕtау and іt’ѕ rеаllу up tо uѕ аѕ thе consumer аѕ to juѕt whаt ratio оf еlесtrоnіс tо trаdіtіоnаl fоrmаt wіll ultimately wоrk.
So far this іѕ іndееd proving truе, many реорlе аrе ѕtіll buуіng рареr bооkѕ and rесеntlу thеrе hаѕ bееn a new lease оf life fоr іndереndеnt bооkѕhорѕ. Lіkе vіdео failed tо kіll the radio star, so іt appears that solid, рареr books are here tо stay.
If you’re an avid reader like me, that can consume multiple books in a week or even a book a day when you have some free time, then you will probably have an appreciation for the good old paper book. While I am a huge proponent of technology, which is my profession, and I can appreciate the ease of carrying digital titles on my iPad or Kindle reader for quick reading, when I’m out and about, if given the choice, I’ll still pick the old-fashioned book almost every time. Here’s why.
Originals Are Art
The written word is indeed an art form, but books take it even further. By looking through the pages of my 1946 special illustrated edition of “Pinocchio,” for example, it’s obvious that lots of love and care went into making the pictures as vital to the story as the words. Even the cloth cover — while dingy — brings a new layer to the tale. With the exception of a few brilliant digital stories such as “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore,” for example, e-books lack this essential literary element.
Books Are Harder to Alter
Censorship and books don’t mix, in my opinion. As we see more and more titles being cataloged digitally, however, we are forced to trust the power of Google and Amazon to keep our literature in its most honest form. A dusty old book from my parent’s generation can only be changed with a pen or highlighter, and that would be pretty obvious. Digital products, however, get changed all the time. My most recent download of Rudyard Kipling’s “Kim” was riddled with typos that were most certainly not included in the original manuscript, and it caused me to distrust “classic” digital products altogether.
Note: Print books are changed, as well, although not without more effort. A recent trip to Barnes and Nobles had me looking through a school-sanctioned version of “Pinocchio,” where the words “Land of Boobies” — used to describe the world of slacking off and never growing wiser — was changed to “Playland.” Censorship still happens on paper, especially in new editions.
A Book Offers an Experience
Books are a tactile experience. An e-book reduces books to merely words; a printed book maintains that a book is far more than words–it is an experience and an object. Books can be touched, they can be held, they can be smelled (particularly if they are old!). A book includes a cover, a binding, a slip cover, the texture of words or images impressed upon that cover, the pages, the deckled edges, the weight of the paper, the feel of turning a page. All of these elements combine to make a book what it is. They tell you a lot about the book, about its value, its uniqueness, its importance.
As devices go, a book is unique–there is nothing else quite like it. An e-book reduces a book to just its words, it strips out any sort of tactile experience and makes turning a page that same experience as playing a video game or shuffling music. It makes a book a whole lot less than it ought to be.
A Book Is a Single-Tasking Device
A book is inherently opposed to multi-tasking. There is very little that can be done while reading a book (apart from the act of reading itself) and the book never seeks to distract its reader. The book is a single-function device, a technology crafted and honed in order to provide the best possible reading experience. If we wanted to create a technology that would do reading well and do nothing else, I don’t know that we could do better than the book.
The e-book, on the other hand, tends toward distraction. The devices we use to read our e-books are rarely single-function or, perhaps more correctly, are tending away from single-function. They are created to do many things well, which means that the focus is not only on the reading experience but for gaming, browsing, searching. The iPad has read as just one of many functions and a relatively minor one at that. Meanwhile, e-books tend to be interactive, to have built-in dictionary searches, hyperlinks and other ways of drawing attention away from the text at hand. In all these things the devices and the books tend to distract, to offer far more than just the reading experience. They beep, they buzz, they disengage in a thousand ways.
A Book Does Not Require A Special Format, Software Or Device For Reading
Books can be read during daylight hours without any special hardware, access to the web/Internet, or even electricity. This can be huge when you’re off the grid, camping, fishing, or simply off the grid.
A Book Can Be Stored For Long Periods Of Time, If Stored Properly
the old-fashioned book, depending on the format, has been stored and are still available for use after hundreds of years. This is particularly true of ancient books, such as, old Roman Latin books or old scrolls and manuscripts from other cultures. Modern electronic media, such as e-books, have not been around long enough to have a proven track record for storage across long periods of time.
Research shows that children’s recall levels are significantly higher with old fashioned books, as opposed to e-readers. Books, also, enhance co-reading as it takes two hands to turn or fold a page, whereas it only takes one to click a button.
Looking now from an environmental viewpoint, it is greener to read printed books. According to TerraPass, a carbon offset business, it takes more energy to manufacture and then dispose of an e-reader, than a printed book.
One final benefit, is that printed books are better for doing research and taking notes. Printed books help long-term memory recall. Scientists, who experimented with students reading digital versus printed text, found that those who read digital text had to read and reread the material multiple times before understanding the material as well as the students who read the print text. With the click of a button, e-readers make it easy to get distracted and put your reading material down. The constant scrolling and the inability to physically highlight the text does nothing to benefit your long-term memory.