eBook Publishing Made Easy

Illustration/Uttam Kumar Swarnkar

Illustration/Uttam Kumar Swarnkar

Ever considered publishing an eBook on photography? Ketan Kundargi tells you how to go about the process of publishing one easily and quickly.

Photographers wanting to publish their work are often scared of the challenges and costs one has to face. Not very long ago, this would require a significant investment of money and time and the backing and approval of a publisher. This would result in many photographers handing over the ownership of these images to the publishers or simply forfeiting their project. But today, with the internet-led democratisation of the publishing industry, you can have a book to your name with a few simple clicks of a button.
Simply put, an eBook or electronic book is a digital cousin of the traditional printed book. You can view them on almost every device with internet access. You could be reading one from the comfort of your desktop computer or carry an entire library packed in your smartphone.

What Book Can I Make?
If you thought being a photographer meant you can only bring out a photobook, think again! Photographers around the world are being innovative. Instead of a photobook, you can publish your thoughts on the nuances of photography. From a simple book on the basics of composition to a specialised one on how to sell your photographs, you can ePublish a book on just about everything.
If you want to stick to a photobook, you can still experiment. Instead of publishing your usual work, make a book of behind the scenes of a shoot or your cellphone work. With eBooks, there is a huge and diverse market. So do not shy away from bringing out something completely new.

Make sure that you have an attractive cover that immediately grabs the attention of the reader.

How To Make One?
Putting together an eBook is very simple. While there is a fair amount of coding involved, most of it is handled by various software. When printing a photobook, you can use Adobe Lightroom which comes with its own Book module. Select the images, adjust the size, add some text and your book is ready. A textual book is even easier! You can write the book as a simple Microsoft Word document. Select a font and add some images before you publish it as a PDF book.

Where Do I Publish It?
Did you know that 90% of all eBooks are read on Amazon’s Kindle, Apple’s iOS devices and the Barnes & Noble Nook? While the latter two use a standard EPUB format, the Kindle uses its own proprietary format. You need to convert your PDF file into either of these formats before you decide to submit your book on these bookshelves. While the PDF file can stand on its own and can still be read, it does not display well on digital readers.
If you want to put the book on the Kindle store, Amazon offers a free software called Kindlegen to convert it to the required format. On the other hand, Calibre is a free software that will allow you to convert your Word document into the EPUB format. For a small fee, you can publish this final version on these virtual stands for your readers to download.

What Do I Do With My eBook?
Writing an eBook is only one half of the job. The second and often the more different bit involves marketing the book. And more importantly, marketing it to the right audience. If you want to simply showcase your body of work, you should distribute the book through multiple channels rather than simply putting it up on your website. You can always direct the readers to your website through it.
While selling books will help you earn money, there is more to publishing a book than just that. A photography eBook is a unique way to showcase your work. Instead of lugging around with a portfolio or emailing individual images, your can simply send your clients an eBook of your work. And what’s more? You can make multiple eBooks of different bodies of work at a very reasonable cost.
The eBook market is still new and continously evolving. More readers today are opting for eBooks. Since the costs involved are minimal, you can publish niche, personal projects that may otherwise not make monetary sense. For all you know, it might just be the next big bestseller.

Choose a platform which lets you decide the price of the book.

Five Free Photography eBooks You Must Read

Tags: ketan kundargi, National Geographic, market sense, Amazon, Photobook, June 2013, Eric Kim, eBook, Publishing, Print, Kindle, Calibre, David Hobby, PhotoShelter, Scott Baradell