Five Things You Can Do With E-Books

There is some writing that we almost never see in printed form, due to its length, content, format, market size, or other factors. When it comes to e-books these are no longer issues.

Here are five things we can do with e-books that we seldom see in print.

Novellas: A novella is a work of fiction that falls into the gap between a short story (under 7,500 words) and a novel (over 40,000 words). Novellas are too long for a magazine or literary journal but too short to meet the physical requirements of a printed book. When it comes to an e-book, length doesn’t matter.

Serial Fiction: We all have TV shows we love to watch. We anticipate the next episode to see what happens next. What about books? Yes, the same applies, but waiting a year or more for the next book is agonizing. What if we can read stories in installments or episodes? Although some magazines do this, it’s not too common. E-books are the answer. Imagine unveiling a 5,000 to 10,000 word e-book every month or so. Just like a TV show, there needs to be a self-contained story that is resolved and a larger story that advances with each installment. We can include cliffhangers and even write seasons.

Poetry: Although there are books of poetry, they’re not too common – unless the author is famous. Most poets toil in obscurity, with few readers ever seeing their work. An e-book solves that. I’m not much of a poet, but if I was (or when I am), an e-book will be the way to go.

Short Story Collections: Yes, printed books of short stories do exist, but they’re not common and are often anthologies or by well-known authors. For most writers, a printed collection of their short stories is a dream that will go unmet. E-books solve that.

Test Market: Most authors have critique partners (who give initial input on a book) and beta readers (who help fine-tune things further), but even so, these readers may offer conflicting advice or may not uncover all a book’s issues. With e-books, our work can reach an even larger audience and then be fine-tuned. That doesn’t mean publishing junk or half-baked ideas. The e-book needs to be the best we can make it. But if corrections are needed, e-publishing makes them easy to accomplish.

What would you add to this list?

9 thoughts on “Five Things You Can Do With E-Books”

  1. You can also publish standalone short stories, particularly ones of from your backlist of previously published tales. You can charge 99 cents for the longer ones (4k plus) or give away the shorter ones for free as a marketing tool.

    1. Jeff, thanks for pointing that out. Short stories need not be relegated to magazines or anthologies. What a great marketing tool.

      I assume some of your e-books fit this shorter length, if so, feel free to share a link here.

  2. I am in the process of compiling some of my poetry for an eBook, which will eventually be a paper copy as well. I think the possibilities are endless with eBooks. One thing I like is that the turnaround is pretty quick. Good post, Peter.

  3. I had no idea there were so many names and such for all the different types of books … is that bad being that I’m going to be an author? (;

    Great article! I’m going to share it with some other authors I know!

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