20 July 2013

Further thoughts on e-book publishing

Having now seen all versions of "Theory in information behaviour research" I can confirm that the best version to buy is that available through the Apple iBookstore. This is hardly surprising, since the book was designed with iBook Author and intended for publication through Apple. The problem with the Smashwords conversions is that the formatting varies from version to version and figures, in particular, cause problems of location relative to the text - sometimes the figure caption appears on a different page from the figure itself, for example. All of this varies with the device or app on which the book is read and if you have an IOS device, buy the iBookstore version, not the EPUB version available through Smashwords.

18 July 2013

Publishing an e-book

I have recently been engaged in publishing an e-book. A couple of years ago I got an idea for a book, collected a number of colleagues to write chapters, and approached a publisher. Interest was expressed and things were going nicely until a new person was appointed to the liaison role - she wanted some changes, to which I was not prepared to agree, and so we parted company. I suggested to my colleagues that we should go ahead with an electronic publication, and they agreed. By May this year the text was ready - all chapters had been submitted and reviewed in a kind of peer review by everyone. I had been exploring Apple's iBooks Author for some time and decided to use it to convert the Word documents - not automatically, but by cutting and pasting! Ultimately, everything was ready and submitted to the Apple iBookstore by the end of May. How things proceeded can be found in a post in our e-books research project blog. I also began to explore how to deliver the book to other platforms and decided to use Smashwords. This involved converting the .iba file back to a properly formatted Word .doc file according to the Smashwords' style manual - a non-trivial task. The process of working with Smashwords is also the subject of a blog entry. The book, "Theory in information behaviour research", edited by myself and with chapters on Activity Theory, Critical Theory, Personal Construct Theory, Personality Theory, Practice Theory, Social Cognitive Theory, Social Phenomenology, and Theoretical approaches in Russia and Eastern Europe, is now available both in the Apple iBookstore and, for non-Apple devices and apps, in the Smashwords store. It is priced at a modest $9.99 - less than the cost of a paperback book, in the hopes that students will find it not only of interest, but affordable, and all royalties go to support the publication of Information Research.