Recently I participated in a forum discussion on e-books and the likely-hood of paper books becoming obsolete.While I'm not alone in thinking that paper books will never disappear, it did get me thinking.
There's no doubt that technology's here to stay and, no matter how much we might love paper, e-books present writers with an opportunity to reach a much wider audience than they might otherwise be able to if they stuck to the traditional publishing route alone.
It was this discussion that prompted me to read 'Copyright and the Future of the Future' by Cory Doctorow. You can download a free copy of this essay and other articles of interest from his blog http://craphound.com
In his essay he talks about the advantages of using technology to give your work away! His argument for this is actually very convincing. Here's the excerpt I found most interesting (It's obviously okay to give you a sneak peek as he encourages you to download his work for free anyway!)
Most people who download the book don't end up buying it, but they wouldn't
have bought it in any event, so I haven't lost any sales, I've just won an
audience. A tiny minority of downloaders treat the free e-book as a substitute for
the printed book--those are the lost sales. But a much larger minority treat the ebook
as an enticement to buy the printed book. They're gained sales. As long as
gained sales outnumber lost sales, I'm ahead of the game. After all, distributing
nearly a million copies of my book has cost me nothing.
And on that note, here's a website that offers its services free of charge and assists you in creating an iPad compatible children's e-book. You can access a video on this from http://www.write4kids.tv/?videos=create-ipad-compatible-childrens-ebooks-for-free
From the little that I've read so far, I think that e-books could be a great way for new writers to build up an audience and get themselves noticed. It's certainly got me thinking!