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Old 08-26-2011, 05:02 PM   #1
OneandonlyDoc
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Non-fiction independent ebooks?

Has anyone considered releasing independent non-fiction ebooks? I ask in specific because I'm considering the release of my Master's thesis (I have an MA in history, specializing in medieval history specifically) as an ebook. Thoughts?
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Old 08-31-2011, 04:37 PM   #2
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I'm working on a history book as well, and am thinking of publishing it chapter by chapter as an epub book, or at least as sample chapters. I've already experimented with public Google docs (read-only) embedded into a blog.
I like the 19th century model of subscription or serial novels and history works, but I'm a bit nervous about intellectual property rights, especially as I hope to run it by several publishers before self-publishing.
Anyone have any experience inserting footnotes/endnotes into an ebook format, so that they can be accessed like hyperlinks? That, plus the ability to add notes, would really appeal to scholarly readers.
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Old 09-02-2011, 12:41 AM   #3
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I ended up releasing it on Amazon and BN.com, just to test the waters and see what happens. I don't really expect it to sell, but it was a good practice run for how to format things, ect.

Footnotes = suck when trying to go epub/mobi.
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Old 09-10-2011, 03:49 PM   #4
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I just released a non-fiction business book on the topic of creating business presentations to Kindle. It went live today. This is my first time selling on Amazon/Kindle, so no real expectations. I'll post an update if it goes well.
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Old 09-13-2011, 01:23 PM   #5
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I'm working on a non-fiction book, which is a follow up to my novel. I hope to be "done" by the end of the year and I expect it to sell well - God's willing. I plan on doing a lot of marketing to get the word out. You never know what could happen, because big things have happened in the past. It's worth a shot.
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Old 09-14-2011, 05:58 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by OneandonlyDoc View Post
I ended up releasing it on Amazon and BN.com, just to test the waters and see what happens. I don't really expect it to sell, but it was a good practice run for how to format things, ect.

Footnotes = suck when trying to go epub/mobi.
What does one do for footnotes? I've been thinking about putting them in my book, and am curious as to the best/accepted practice.

Maybe a final chapter at the end, and the footnote links to that "chapter" of notes? But I'm not sure how to link directly to a specific note.
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Old 09-15-2011, 02:38 PM   #7
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What does one do for footnotes? I've been thinking about putting them in my book, and am curious as to the best/accepted practice.

Maybe a final chapter at the end, and the footnote links to that "chapter" of notes? But I'm not sure how to link directly to a specific note.

That's pretty much what I ended up doing....but I don't think the links survived the transition, which is crappy, but what're you going to do, right?
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Old 09-15-2011, 03:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by anamardoll View Post
What does one do for footnotes? I've been thinking about putting them in my book, and am curious as to the best/accepted practice.

Maybe a final chapter at the end, and the footnote links to that "chapter" of notes? But I'm not sure how to link directly to a specific note.
This is the reason Pratchett's books don't translate well to ebooks.

Linking to specific notes is software/hardware-specific; some readers will support it & others won't. (You'd also need a "back" link, because most ereaders don't have an easy "go to previous view" button.) Easiest is probably a "Notes" section, either at the end of the book, or at the end of each chapter, and make sure those are included in the TOC & don't bother linking individual references. (Or link them, but don't expect them to work for the readers, if they're not reading on a PC/laptop.)

Or you can go the control-the-reader-experience route and make PDFs sized for 6" screens, with footnotes on the bottoms of the pages. Can't distribute those through any of the standard vendors, but could have them as an option on a home page somewhere.

[insert unfinished ramble about how technology changes literary habits; how will academic formatting standards change as reading is more and more electronic?]
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Old 09-15-2011, 05:48 PM   #9
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I wonder if it wouldn't be easier to go to the old method* of footnoting.

* Where "old method" is defined as I saw it like this one time.

I.e., space it between topical paragraphs. It would break the flow of reading, but less so than trying to figure out how to get to the footnote and then get back.
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Old 09-16-2011, 08:20 AM   #10
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Something else to think about: Why have footnotes at all? If it is just a source cite, add a bibliography either at the end of each chapter or a comprehensive one at the end of the book. If the footnote is explanatory, determine how important it is. If important, then inciorporate it into the text; if unimportant or mildly important, consider omitting it.

Think of a footnote/endnote like this: You are making love to a beautiful person in the middle of the afternoon and just as you both approach climax, your doorbell is persistently rung, deflating the moment. The moment is lost and is difficult to recapture. The same is true of a footnote that interrupts the reader's concentration, especially one that really only diverts from the primary text.

Perhaps for an ebook you should rethink your pbook.
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Old 09-16-2011, 09:54 AM   #11
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I don't lose the moment when the doorbell is rung.

Perhaps the people who are bothered by footnotes and doorbells need to exercise more mental self control. Read the footnote or don't, it's your choice.
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Old 10-03-2011, 06:32 PM   #12
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Something else to think about: Why have footnotes at all? If it is just a source cite, add a bibliography either at the end of each chapter or a comprehensive one at the end of the book. If the footnote is explanatory, determine how important it is. If important, then inciorporate it into the text; if unimportant or mildly important, consider omitting it.

Think of a footnote/endnote like this: You are making love to a beautiful person in the middle of the afternoon and just as you both approach climax, your doorbell is persistently rung, deflating the moment. The moment is lost and is difficult to recapture. The same is true of a footnote that interrupts the reader's concentration, especially one that really only diverts from the primary text.

Perhaps for an ebook you should rethink your pbook.
Unfortunately, when it comes to nonfiction work, it's academic. I'd feel dirty without footnotes.
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Old 10-05-2011, 03:18 PM   #13
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Non-fiction e-books

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Has anyone considered releasing independent non-fiction ebooks? I ask in specific because I'm considering the release of my Master's thesis (I have an MA in history, specializing in medieval history specifically) as an ebook. Thoughts?
I have released a non-fiction e-book independently. The research I did, including personally speaking with an author who is now published but self-published his first book, showed that it generally makes more sense to self-publish a first book, especially if one has a decent platform. It's so hard to get published and, if one does, it's even harder to make any money. Even with a publisher, one has to do most of the marketing oneself.

Do you have a good platform?
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Old 10-06-2011, 06:26 AM   #14
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Hi you good people out there.

I'm thinking of writing a guide to a little known walk of about 1000kms in Europe. I know that very few would be interested in this. I want to do this as a project mostly for my interests. In a way you could say it'd be a labour of love, and I know that I will not get any payment for it as so few are aware of this route.

I don't expect a detailed answer, but I would be glad if any of you could give me a few pointers in the right direction, which could save me huge amounts of wasted as I'm also new to this technology. I mean what's a good way to begin, on what device and so on.

I ask here because you guys are publishing non-fiction which is not to a mass market.

I even thought just to make a blog and give its address to those who want to walk this route. Can blogs be printed off, incidentally?

Many thanks

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Old 10-06-2011, 07:31 AM   #15
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I don't expect a detailed answer, but I would be glad if any of you could give me a few pointers in the right direction, which could save me huge amounts of wasted as I'm also new to this technology. I mean what's a good way to begin, on what device and so on.
I'd suggest publishing on Smashwords. You upload a Word document (read their Style Guide before you start - it'll be much easier if you format their way from the start), and they convert it to various formats. You can charge or make it available for free, as you wish. If you follow all the instructions in the style guide, you should be able to get into the premium catalogue, which means that your book gets distributed to various other e-book stores (Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, Diesel, Apple. Plus Amazon at some point in the future).

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I even thought just to make a blog and give its address to those who want to walk this route. Can blogs be printed off, incidentally?
Individual posts can be printed off. There may be third party tools that could collate a set of posts into a single page to print or download, but I don't know of any.
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