Electronic publishing or electronic distribution is distributing published work through electronic or digital devices. A book undergoes the whole publishing process until a print ready copy is established. At this stage, the publisher chooses either to distribute electronically or as a printed book. With the advent of technology and the internet, several electronic distribution platforms have emerged, advocating for electronic publishing – enabling authors to write and publish their work electronically, online. This means that the author will distribute their work through the intended devices, such as Kindle.
Advantages of electronic distribution
1. Global market
With Electronic distribution comes ease of access to the global market. Electronic distribution takes away trade regulations and physical distribution hassles such as shipping. It effortlessly gives you high visibility and international readership. Electronic distribution allows the author to have a collection of small niche markets. For instance, if you are publishing on a small market subject such as technical fields, you are able to group such small markets from different nations and collectively gain a huge market. It also saves you on time as the global market can be reached within seconds of hitting publish. This method works even better if the promotion of the brand or content is solid and well thought out.
E-readers and other digital devices can store a number of electronic books in a single gadget. There is no clutter in the house as compared to overloaded and dusty shelves and nightstands full of printed books. You can also conveniently purchase your e-book from the comfort of your home, especially during the current lockdown period. You can also easily find titles which are already sold out in bookstores online. E-books are most convenient when travelling because they allow you to have as many books as you want without adding weight to your baggage.
Electronic distribution comes with different forms such as audios and videos. They also give the consumer the opportunity to magnify and adjust text to a preferred size and sometimes colour and typeface. You are also allowed to increase or dim the lighting on your device and read comfortably without requiring extra lighting.
4. Links to other work
Electronic book format is also valuable in that they allow both the author and reader the use of active links to other work. As an author, you can connect links which will navigate your readers to another page of your book or to an external site that contains additional information about your content. Linking within your document not only adds valued ideas but also increases interaction with and among your readers and easily gives you credibility.
5. Updating content
Time and time again, authors and editors may wish to correct a mistake that is found after publishing. While an addendum can be produced for a printed book, the process is faster and easier with electronic publishing. Updates, for instance on a blog article can be easily uploaded and readers can keep up with the changes. Make sure that the editing is done before the new issue or information goes public.
Electronic distribution eliminates the cost of printing, warehousing and shipping. There is also no limit to the use of pictures and colour for fear of the huge printing bill. Without these expenses, e-books are cheaper than paperbacks and hardcovers. Electronic books also sell more because of their low price. Impulse purchases are also counted.
Electronic books are not only cost-efficient but are also a great way to help the environment since they are paperless.
Disadvantages of electronic distribution
1. Copyright issues
Electronic publishing gives everyone access to being published but it also comes with great responsibility. Most importantly, you must know how to protect your copyright. Read and understand the copyright law and protect yourself from plagiarism. Also, always make sure that you are not infringing on any copyright issues, especially where you use images. The internet is awash with excellent and tempting images that one may be compelled to pick out and use. Check the copyright first. The same goes for excepts from other works.
Electronic publishing has opened up wide doors for everyone thereby making it easier for every Jack and Jill who feels they have a brilliant idea to quickly put together something and publish. This compromises the quality of work and materials available to read.
3. Low profit
While e-publishing comes with lower costs of production, it also comes with low profits due to the cheaper value of books thereby making hard to make a sustainable living out of your writing career. If you are eager to build a profitable e-book business, make sure that your marketing is top notch and effective.
To access electronic books, one needs the devices, internet connectivity and power which is something that is not readily available to everyone hence the printed book will be preferred in these places. While some people may have access to devices and the internet, they sometimes have disruptions such as power cuts, hence one loses connectivity of the device may run out of battery. Printed books do not run out of battery. You can read them without draining the energy of your computers, cellular phones, and other digital devices.
There is no running away from technology. While it has its own downsides, it has brought along interesting perks that can especially work best for aspiring writers. The publishing sphere will never be the same again and one has to be abreast with changes coming along with technology and electronic distribution.
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