Here’s a handy list of storytelling applications for iOS, Android and other mobile platforms.
Note-taking and writing apps were covered already, but storytelling is not only about creating stories, but also sharing them. What’s even more important, technology allows to tell stories instantly – you can think of them, create and share on one device and in one go.
The greatest thing about such instant stories is that they are catching the mood and emotions you would find extremely difficult to restore afterwards.
Every time you reach for your smartphone, think of it as a way to tell engaging stories and think of you as a storyteller. Here are a couple of applications with which you can reveal the creative part of you.
If you’re using a storytelling app not listed below, please share it in the comments.
1. iOS is a very versatile system, allowing the author to distribute books via different sets of tools and channels.
2. iOS users are more willing to buy the content – due to convenience (in-app, one-click purchases) and the nature of iOS ecosystem – a huge offer of apps, many of them for free or sold in a freemium model.
That’s why many authors want to find and define the best way to enter the iWorld. However, it’s not that easy as in Kindle Store. There are many factors which have to be taken into consideration.
To make the analysis as clear as possible I’ll split it into two stages: distribution and promotion.
This post is designed to give you a concise, yet comprehensive preview of most important free tools you can pick up to publish and promote your e-books. I hope it will help you discover the ones, which in a best possible way fit your author profile and personal needs.
I’ll update the list frequently. It’s planned to be a one-stop place with all what’s available for free and worth getting your attention. For info about updates of this post, please follow or add me to a list on Twitter.
The most obvious choices, like blogging platforms or social media networks, are not included. I wanted to focus on less popular tools. Even so, I’m aware the list is not complete, as new tools take off every day. Please share your tips, ideas and feedback either on Twitter or in the comment section below.
There are great services like Ether Books, which are designed to reach mobile readers and populate their minds with high quality reads tailored to mobile conditions. But what to do when you are not lucky enough to be one of Ether authors?
If you are a self-publisher actively using social media to find readers and draw their attention to your books (probably published in an electronic form), this post is for you.
I’d like to share a simple way to make your e-book available for instant purchase by mobile phone users. As you’ll see – it’s very easy.
Today I have an honour to take part in a self-publishing workshop in a beautiful place near Ravenna, Italy.
The event is organized by Mauro Sandrini, one of the leading Italian self-publishers, and the author of the avantgarde manifesto of the digital book, Elogio degli e-book.
The workshop gathers over 50 participants from across the Italy. Together with Mauro, Sergio Covelli, and Stefano Tura we encourage writers to enter the world of self-publishing and get the most out of it in the most effective way possible.
Sergio will share tips on how to prepare an electronic book file, and how to keep control over the e-book in different formats. Stefano will go through the process of selecting the self-publishing platform, which could best suit specific needs of every author. The next step of the process is marketing of the published book, and Mauro will talk about the best practices in this area (especially in online promotion), sharing some really interesting case studies. In my presentation I’ll show how to select the most suitable tools for every phase of the process.
Nowadays, there are many self-publishing events organized in the United States, but such initiatives in non-English countries are still very seldom. And there are a lot of topics, which make this challenge very different from US (or English-speaking countries in general).
First thing is the audience (scale of the local market, the level of the acceptance of e-books among readers, and the choice to make between going local or global).
I’m honored to share with you an interview with the self-publishing guru and the definite number one person in promoting good practices in ebook design, the prolific blogger and writer, Joel Friedlander.
The amount of knowledge Joel shares on his blog is enormous. If you want to find information about almost any subject related to self-publishing and publishing in digital times, you have to check his blog, The Book Designer.
Today, Joel gives insightful answers related to ebook design.
There are a lot of professional designers who focus on print books only. Is it a good approach?
Many of these designers are highly trained professionals with years of experience designing for offset reproduction. Since designers now start their careers with a lot of exposure to web graphics and HTML–the same type of coding that’s required for e-books–there isn’t much of a transition for them to make. But if you started your design career before the advent of digital there’s a good chance that any kind of code looks exactly like what you were trying to get away from when you first decided to be a designer instead of, say, a chemist.
I’m a big fan of Read an Ebook Week and have waited with this Kindle Store promotion until this year’s edition starts.
If you’re into tech-related, fast-paced stories, which remind of Kurt Vonnegut or Stanisław Lem, you may be interested in the two collections of flash-fiction I wrote, Password Incorrect and Failure Confirmed. The titles and covers say all about the books: technology makes us fail, and we have to, actually, start enjoying it.
I’m a heavy Hootsuite user. This powerful social media management tool gives everything I need. However, if you’re using something terribly intensively, certain things start to bother you. In my case it’s about the design of the dashboard.
Eventually I found some time to customize the look. You can do it as well. The only thing you need, if you use Chrome browser, is to get from Chrome Web Store an extension called Stylish. It’s also available for Firefox. This extension lets you apply your personal CSS styles to web pages.
Self-publishing is changing. I think that in 2012 indie authors should go global. One of the important topics to raise is how to price books for international customers. My advice is simple: keep them low.
The report on top self-published Kindle books of 2011, which I’ve recently released, shows a downward trend in both the number of self-published books in Top 100 and the average price. One of the major reasons is the growing price competition.
The perception of $0.99 is not only affected by Kindle Daily Deal, but also by the fact that more and more legacy publishers offer their titles for $1.99 or less. Those books easier become popular, because they convince price-sensitive users not only with a price, but also with a reputation of the publisher.
This means that tagging the book with $0.99 price is not as effective as it was a year ago, when there were $0.99 self-published books and $5.99+ books from legacy publishers.
There is also one more factor, which encourages self-publishers to increase prices. If they enroll their books in KDP Select, they sooner or later come to the conclusion, that for a Prime member, who is eligible to borrow from Kindle Owners’ Lending Library only one book per month, getting for free the book with a regular price of $0.99 is not a deal at all.
Authors who sell books at $0.99 earn $0.35. They were able to earn $1.70 in December from a single KOLL borrow. The fund Amazon gives to support KDP Select is raised in January from $500,000 to $700,000. It doesn’t mean that a single borrow can give a royalty higher than $1.70 as there are more books in KOLL and more people who can borrow them. But it means that the deal is still encouraging enough to sacrifice regular sales.
So, where is the pricing for international ebook users? I think, that even if you decided to raise prices of your books for US customers, keep them low for readers from abroad.
If you check this blog’s feed from time to time you may have realized there are not many new posts coming in. It’s because I now focus more to giving tips for readers of electronic books – and the better place to share them is my ebook discovery site, Ebook Friendly.
As I don’t want to republish every interesting article from there, I’ve managed to add articles from Ebook Friendly to this feed (Yahoo Pipes work fine for this).
I hope you’ll enjoy tips and workarounds for users of ereaders and ereading apps as well as posts and reports promoting self-published books. And make sure to benefit, too.
Recent posts from Ebook Friendly’s Tips & More feed are listed below. Don’t worry, they’ll be filtered and only the best articles will appear in your feed.
Wishing you a quiet, distraction-free Christmas!
I’m very pleased to share a new post by Paul Salvette. This time Paul will be talking about ePub 3 and how the new version of this popular file format can be used by authors and publishers.
For more helpful tips on ebook formatting, check Paul’s book How to Format Your eBook for Kindle, NOOK, Smashwords, and Everything Else.
What the Heck is EPUB?
The EPUB format is an open source standard that defines how the content and metadata of an eBook should be packaged and how eReading devices and software should render the format to the reader. EPUB is the most widely-adopted standard for eBooks and is the format utilized by the Barnes & Noble NOOK store, iBookstore, Sony eBook store, and many others. The notable exception is the Amazon Kindle store, which is discussed below. The open source philosophy of web design and development has fostered a culture of sharing best practices and lessons learned online, and this has allowed developers to write new software and iron out bugs for web browsers that have greatly enhanced the internet in the last 15 years–making web pages evolve from the dull designs of the 1990s to the new digital reality of the 21st century. It is reassuring that eBook design and development is following a similar trend of openness and cooperation, and this will greatly benefit the reader’s experience and adoption of eBooks on an international scale.
This is a last part of the Sigil tutorial by Paul Salvette. You’ll read about how to add images and metadata to an ebook, how to deal with table of contents, and finally – how to convert epub file to mobi format, if you want to make it available for Kindle devices.
You can read two previous articles here and here. For more helpful tips on ebook formatting, check Paul’s book How to Format Your eBook for Kindle, NOOK, Smashwords, and Everything Else.
The EPUB format supports JPG, GIF, PNG, and SVG images. The JPG format is good for photographs and has a small file size, the GIF format is good for text, line art, and tables, and the PNG format has a large file size that is good for images you want to look sharp (like a company logo). To add an image click on this button in the menu:
In a second part of the Sigil tutorial Paul Salvette gives tips on how to style the document. What is especially interesting is how to deal with headings and how to split an ebook into chapters.
Read a first post here and get free updates of the blog, if you don’t want to miss the next part, where Paul will explain how to add images, metadata and table of contents as well as share tips on finalizing a file and converting it to Kindle format. Check also Paul’s book How to Format Your eBook for Kindle, NOOK, Smashwords, and Everything Else.
Content with all the same font and characteristics is probably not how you want your finalized eBook to look. For instance, you probably want to add some italics, bold, or underlined text. To do that you simply select the text and then click on the appropriate button in the top menu:
If you can’t find books in your mother tongue at Kindle Store, you can try other legal sources. Here’s a list I’ve prepared for Ebook Friendly – with tips how to find books, if search by language is unavailable. Two sites, Smashwords and Feedbooks, can be a great source of contemporary books from self-published authors from your country.
Browsing for non-English books at Kindle Store is not easy. You can follow these tips to get most of it. However if you don’t find books in the categories of your interest, you can try to get them from other legal sources.
Remember, for your Kindle ereader or application, third-party books have to be:
- in prc/mobi format (also described as mobipocket or kindle),
- without DRM (unprotected).
Before you’ll buy a Kindle, check whether in your country there are any legal sources of DRM-free prc/mobi books. Some local ebook distributors may be selling books in this format, knowing that Kindle is the most popular ereader in the world – it ships to over 170 countries and is probably cheaper than ereaders officially sold by local ebookstores.