Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Self Publishing Part 3: E-Book Special Features

This will be the final post of the "How to Write/Publish a Book" series. Expect next week the new blogging format for the site. Thursday I plan to show you the PDF that helped me get all of this stuff together. Maybe it'll help you guys grasp the larger context of the entire endeavor.

So the last and final piece of self publishing is something new, and, personally, very exciting to talk about. Kindles and tablets are very much Black Swan technology, by which I mean that they are pieces of technology that are being constantly leveraged in new ways that were never thought possible. Therefore, this allows you tons of possibilities in the E-Book publishing market. One of the easiest ways to help your book be successful is the addition of interactive elements in your book, particularly adding special features.

I think this is a great thing for books. Already, in the comic book world we see variants of this, such as the addition of concept art and first draft story boards at the end of collected volumes. Also the amount of added commentary is great as well, but even so, the addition of this content, while relevant, is somewhat redundant. What essentially has happened is that the publishers of DC and Marvel hook their readers with appended material of the same sort as the content already presented.

So then what does a book have to offer? With books, the addition of concept art and material that is interactive is a marvelous way of expanding the depth and realism of the universe that is presented in the text. Rather than trying to search youtube for author interviews and discussions of the book's topics, it's all there for you in your Kindle e-book. Here is an exampled of what you could add in the end of your book that would be exclusive to print editions.

  • Author interviews and discussions 
  • Character concept art and setting illustrations
  • Maps 
  • "Bonus" material unrelated to the book: beginnings of sequels or a comic book of a character outside of the realm of the story. 
Those are just examples I've fired out, and I'm sure there's much more that I haven't thought of. The big idea here is, be creative! What would you want to put at the end of a book to make it better?


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