Often, potential clients will tell me they’ve written a book, but when they tell me it runs 30,000 or 40,000 words, I have to break the news that they’ve written an animal that’s too long for an article and too short for a book. No more! eBooks break us out of the limitations of bindings and paper orders, allowing us to create books that are of that “in between” length. You can learn how to submit your book to Amazon’s new Kindle Singles program for those “in between” works here.

Of course, this opens up the question of, when will Amazon/Kindle and B&N/Nook take over the traditional job of publishers by wading through submissions and choosing the best ones, then providing editorial guidance to make the books “sing”? Will they soon begin working with freelance book publishing professionals to create an editorial vision or voice, weeding out the marginal material and highlighting the works truly of value to readers who aren’t related to/best friends with the amateur author?


So the iPad needs book publishers to use their imagination and work with the technology to offer readers added value, according to a piece in the New York Times. I have some ideas for nonfiction books I’ve enjoyed, read, bought, gifted, and even written:

1. Active links to websites and resources.

2. Active links to online forums or support groups.

3. Active links to video that demonstrates the idea presented in the book (there’s already a name for this: Vooks for video-in-boo).

4. Contact links so you can email the author with questions and feedback.

5. Links that take you to blogs of related interest

6. Links that allow you to purchase the book, other books by the author, or books that are recommended for those who like this book

7. Links to upgrades so you can get the deluxe edition with an extra chapter or material such as an audio download (for instance, audios of the guided visualizations)

8. Links to merchandise related to the book. In Raising a Sensory Smart Child, my coauthor and I recommended at least 100 products that parents would find useful.

9. An added feature where you can buy book insurance so that should your device get stolen, lost, or broken and need replacing, you can get your e-library replaced for free.

10. Links to magazines and movies related to the book.

Just imagine the possibilities...clicking through to buy the actual movie!

11. Multitude of font/background options for people who read a lot or have visual processing issues.

12. Easy way to make notes on the material.

13. Easy way to share notes on the material with other readers who can connect with you…In the tips section of my book, I’d love it if I could easily add tips and have readers submit their own, which anyone who owns the eBook could access.

Okay, that’s off the top of my head. The possibilities are endless. C’mon, publishers…get creative here!


…when they learned it was $500 to $849. Eep!

I admire the brave souls who buy the first version of a Mac anything (gluttons for punishment?) but I think this one is going to stay. I’m already looking at the screen with my over 40 eyes and thinking okay, I think I could actually read something on that size “page” without having to push the button to turn it every quarter of a second.


Tomorrow, Apple’s iTablet will be released. A New York Times article spells out the hopes of book and magazine publishers. Will Steve Jobs save print media from its current dilemmas? When’s eReader, Kindle, began to show signs of having legs, I said this might send the publishing world into a tizzy, and when Kindle sold more eBooks than traditional books this holiday season everyone began shouting about the sky falling. Personally, I’m thrilled to have the dinosaur industry I love forced to evolve. If it takes the iTablet to do it, goody for all of us, especially authors who have seen book publishers’ advances and payouts decline over the years ($5000 split into 1/3 on signing 1/3 on d&a, 1/3 on pub? Really? That broke?)–a decline that has coincided with less marketing support and editorial and marketing expertise. And how long have we been hearing about how publishers really have to do something about the problem of allowing booksellers to return unsold copies years after they were purchased? I first heard the musings around 1987 when I joined the biz, a literary agent who’s a bit older than I am claims she first heard them sometime in the 1970s. No, you don’t get 23 years to solve a problem, folks, before it bites you in the booty!

I say this all with love and affection, of course. I love my industry but really, it’s time to move out of the basement, get a real job and business model, and spread your wings like a big boy.