inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #151 of 209: Gail Williams (gail) Mon 15 Aug 11 17:31
    
Are there any generic e-book standards -- any open-source solution,
say, that can be viewed on assorted devices?  (And if not, why not?)
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #152 of 209: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Tue 16 Aug 11 10:41
    
Publishing's paradigm shift, The Book is Dead, Long Live the Book!:

http://bigthink.com/ideas/39689

A bit bigger than just the idea of Singles, but a good article and
videos on the paradigm shift taking place in publishing. Parallels the
one taking place in music as well.
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #153 of 209: Gail Williams (gail) Tue 16 Aug 11 11:26
    
Since nobody jumped in about standards -- and that may be getting too
geeky anyway -- I looked it up and lo and behold Adobe and the Internet
Archive started work on an open ebook distribution protocol two years
ago.  Here's one of the annouancements:  
http://www.archive.org/bookserver

It is not clear to me whether this initiative has legs but it could be
very good for readers and authors. Good for everybody but Amazon,
arguably.
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #154 of 209: Jane Hirshfield (jh) Tue 16 Aug 11 11:59
    
Oh, Amazon will sell those open format books too, I'd imagine. Why not?

That url link was most interesting for a sentence that is being hotly
disputed in the Great Debate going on about authors' royalties on e-books:

But it was the beginning of a huge change because . and I don.t think a lot
of people know this . is that it is much more profitable to publish
digitally.

If it is "much more profitable," then authors deserve higher royalty rates
than they're getting (standard in regular publishing is 25% on e-books,
which while higher than print books is not what many believe a fair share
would be on that "much more profitable" e-book...  but the regular
publishers are saying that it's not that huge a difference to drop out the
warehouse/shipping/etc--that they still have all their editorial costs etc.)

I asked <gower> over to tell us about vooks, which I'd have found
interesting, but looks like he hasn't made it. Too bad--it's a very wide
world out there, once books go digital, and I'd have liked to hear how his
experience went. Seems ideal for cookbooks, but pretty useful for all kinds
of other things too--manuals & how to's of any kind, but even "deep"
literature--you could have glimpses into the landscape where something is
set, if wanted, or, say, a video of Tolstoy's home as an extra appendix on
War & Peace. Many people are doing that kind of thing already, by turning to
the Web. If your e-reader has a browser, I guess you can make your own vook
in some ways already.
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #155 of 209: Jennifer Powell (jnfr) Tue 16 Aug 11 12:14
    
I don't know about other devices, but Kindle's browser is virtually
worthless.
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #156 of 209: Ed Ward (captward) Tue 16 Aug 11 12:19
    
I've seen some of <gower>'s cooking demos, videos that got folded into
the vook, and that's the future of actual cookbooks (as opposed to
celebrity-chef porn, which has its market). Actually looking at someone
doing something, no matter how mundane, will clarify things for
someone. I'd do the author the favor of looking at all the videos,
because you never know when you'll learn something new. I just had a
big advance in my knife technique, for instance. 
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #157 of 209: Eric Gower (gower) Tue 16 Aug 11 16:04
    
Glad someone got something out of it! 

Brad Inman, the founder of Vook, invited me to be the first cookbook
author to do a Vook. We shot the entire thing (about 16 videos) in a
single day, at Brad's house in Berkeley. 

The Vook is called The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen, which was
originally published by Kodansha International (which has since gone
belly up). LIke someone else's experience above, the rights to that
book were reverted back to me, so I was able to do the project. 

I actually haven't made a dime from it, because I haven't "earned out"
the "advance" of video production, which they claimed was way higher
than it should have been -- I've done plenty of video production, and a
one-day shoot, even with LOTS of editing, can't possibly cost as much
as they said it did. 

Do I regret doing it? No. The whole thing has been a good learning
experience, and I suppose it's not a bad thing to be among the first
out of the gate for new digital experiments. 

What it really did for me was give me the confidence to do it myself.
My newest book, The Breakaway Vegetarian Cook, features 30+ videos of
me making the actual dishes in the book. I just hired a great team,
paid them by the day, and got it done, with far higher production
values than Vook's. I now own this great library of videos. 

The plan was to release this "book" as an Ipad app, but development
costs are very high: average quote for this job seems to be about $20k.
So I'm probably just going release it as a web-book. I agree with Ed,
in that it's much better to actually see someone making a dish/using a
technique than to read about it. I just have to figure out the best way
to make a really nice package. Design is everything. It's a gamble for
me, in that I have to pay out-of-pocket for every cost there is, but
it seems worth it to me. I'm currently a little sidetracked with my new
matcha business, but I'll be turning my attention back to this project
very soon. 
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #158 of 209: Gail Williams (gail) Tue 16 Aug 11 16:07
    
Mmm.  The Breakaway Vegetarian Cook!  Hopefully to have a stint of its
own here in Inkwell so we can all try some of the recipes when the
time comes.
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #159 of 209: Eric Gower (gower) Tue 16 Aug 11 16:09
    
I should also say that I've had ample opportunity to publish this new
book with several big NY publishers, but I turned them down. They seem
to have NO idea of digital anything, and are hanging on to what's
worked for them before for dear life. They don't edit, and they don't
market authors like me. They're good at getting physical books into
physical bookstores that no one visits, and that's about it. 

I figure no one gives a hoot who the publisher is nowadays -- does
anyone ever even look? -- so it might as well be me. It's no longer
"vanity" publishing, it's something else. I think it's more like Seth
Godin's idea of "tribe" publishing: build a tribe, the tribe supports
you. Not easy, but very empowering if you are dedicated. 
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #160 of 209: Eric Gower (gower) Tue 16 Aug 11 16:10
    
Gail slipped -- yes, of course! 
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #161 of 209: Jennifer Powell (jnfr) Tue 16 Aug 11 16:16
    
I love that you taking charge of it all this way, gower. So
exhilarating.
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #162 of 209: Michael C. Berch (mcb) Tue 16 Aug 11 16:37
    
> I actually haven't made a dime from it, because I haven't "earned out"
> the "advance" of video production, which they claimed was way higher
> than it should have been -- I've done plenty of video production, and a
> one-day shoot, even with LOTS of editing, can't possibly cost as much
> as they said it did.

Wait...what? They made YOU pay the cost of production up front, by
deducting it from what would normally be a cash advance!?!? Of course
books have to earn out before the publisher pays royalties, but that
is after the author got an actual advance, which for many/most is the
only amount they will ewarn from the book.  

I am shocked (well, not shocked, but saddened) that Vook appears to 
place all the risk on the author, while not providing a traditional
advance and royalty structure. The publisher should be paying the cost
of production, not deducting it from the author's apparently mythical
advance.

If that is Vook's business model, it is my professional opinion that 
authors should not siugn with them, and I hope either they abandon it,
or the marketplace abandons them.  I hope *your* Vook sells well, but
you are very wise to self-publish The Breakaway Vegetarian Cook as 
a digital/video work.   
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #163 of 209: Jane Hirshfield (jh) Tue 16 Aug 11 16:38
    
REALLY interesting to me, Eric-- all parts of that. I'm dismayed that you
saw no income from the Vook, fascinated that you're bypassing NY publishing
to do the new one (IRRESISTIBLE title and concept to this fan who happens to
be vegetarian). I am very surprise that no NY house was willing to pioneer
this--or Chronicle Books, locally, I'd have thought might be up for such a
thing. I'd have imagined a dual release would be a great success, since the
concept is so strong. But maybe you don't want a print-only edition at all?

Is it too early to ask how you publish something like that? Multiple
platforms?

(I was involved with the first Greens Cookbook from birth of the idea, which
happened in my own living room, so I have some feel for how cookbook
publishing in the old way worked in the past--but no knowledge of how it is
now, really. I noticed in Mark Bittman's Times magazine article this Sunday,
he didn't even give a recipe for tabbouli, just said, "you can find a good
one easily." It's a changed world, for sure.)
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #164 of 209: Jennifer Powell (jnfr) Tue 16 Aug 11 17:13
    
I think the NY houses, as Eric says, are way behind the times on these
changes.
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #165 of 209: Amy Keyishian (superamyk) Wed 17 Aug 11 00:01
    
Can't you find an investor to develop the iPad app? Kickstarter? I
really want it to be that! Though the ebook actually would have a wider
audience I suppose.
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #166 of 209: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Fri 19 Aug 11 04:47
    
I want to thank everyone on and off the WELL for following this
discussion and all your great inputs; special thanks to Ed, Jacques,
and Jane for sharing their publishing experiences with Kindle Singles.
This topic is always open and please feel free to continue the
discussion here.
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #167 of 209: Jacques Leslie (jacques) Fri 19 Aug 11 07:48
    
thanks, Ted. I've been happy to take part, and will check in periodically to
see if there are any more issues to discuss.
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #168 of 209: Jane Hirshfield (jh) Fri 19 Aug 11 09:28
    
Very welcome, Ted, and thanks to you and to Ed for having the conversation
here.
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #169 of 209: Gail Williams (gail) Mon 22 Aug 11 15:43
    
I really enjoyed this. Thanks to all who made it happen.
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #170 of 209: Jane Hirshfield (jh) Tue 23 Aug 11 21:52
    
As a small coda, it was suggested that I might mention that I now have a
regular Kindle e-book newly published: the simultaneous release to a print
edition of a new book of poems, Come, Thief (Knopf).

<http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004G606LW/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_3?pf_rd_p=4865
39851&pf_rd_s=lpo-
top-
stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=0307595420&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0ZJD4V21
JAYKHMJ47K6D>


Well, that's quite a url! You could also just search for Come, Thief from
Amazon.com and turn it right up.

This is the first time I've had a print book come out also as an e-book from
day one. (Which is today.)
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #171 of 209: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Wed 24 Aug 11 01:38
    
Congratulations Jane, all the best with this.
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #172 of 209: David Wilson (dlwilson) Wed 24 Aug 11 05:42
    
How about this new development:

<http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/24/books/booktrack-introduces-e-books-with-soun
dtracks.html?ref=arts>
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #173 of 209: paralyzed by a question like that (debunix) Wed 24 Aug 11 09:03
    
(Reading the e-book of 'Come, Thief' on my iPhone Kindle app, and
loving it:  the phone is wonderful for reading one poem here, and two
poems there, brief interludes that fit so easily in to my day.  The
formatting is better than the last poetry I read on the phone/Kindle
too.
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #174 of 209: Gail Williams (gail) Wed 24 Aug 11 09:46
    
Reading poetry on your phone. Now that's using the technology.
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #175 of 209: paralyzed by a question like that (debunix) Wed 24 Aug 11 12:27
    
I like poetry in small bites--five minutes here, 10 minutes there.  I
have a lot of trouble getting through poetry in hard copy because the
books get pushed to the bottom of the stack before I finish them.  But
on the phone, I can read a few poems when I am standing in line at the
supermarket, or walking to work, between snatches of novel and
newspapers and the like.  The book is always with me, so I get through
it.
  

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