Archive for May 2011

04 May, 2011 | Posted by: st

Ebook vs Printbook…

And the winner is. . . .

The Tipping Point For Ebook vs Printbook Sales to Consumers has occurred this year, and it was February 2011.
Not only did ebooks experience triple digit growth over their number of sales from the previous February, but ebooks outsold all other categories of books.
The significant paragraph is, “For February 2011, e-Books ranked as the #1 format among all categories of Trade publishing (Adult Hardcover, Adult Paperback, Adult Mass Market, Children’s/Young Adult Hardcover, Children’s/Young Adult Paperback).” *

There are also smaller ongoing changes in the ebook scene of particular interest to photographers. Barnes & Noble’s Nook, one of the important ebook reading devices, has come out in color. Apple’s iPad has beautiful color. Amazon’s Kindle, as a device, remains black and white, but the applications for reading Kindle books on the iPad or smart phones do allow color.
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The opportunity for photographers to publish
their work in ebooks has never before been so auspicious.
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In the recent past the pattern was: produce a printbook of your work, then maybe an ebook. Increasingly, the pattern is becoming: produce an ebook of your work, then maybe a printbook. Possibly the printbook could be a print-on-demand book with an entity such as Lightning Source, which would mean that any bookstore working with the Ingram system could order it. However, quality and inexpensive print-on-demand remains black and white, as of now, but--all these matters evolve.

Some basics to keep in mind are the following: You will want your ebook to be available through Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, and the Apple iBookstore. There are other players, but they are now relatively minor compared to these three.

The next decision is: will you do all the coding work yourself to prepare your ebook, going through those learning curves, or will you engage a provider, such as Smashwords, to process and present your ebook to these entities? Smashwords calls its conversion tool for all formats “the meatgrinder.” The results are not always pretty. All these nuances are evolving.

The publishing barriers to entry, the gatekeeper world of the past, with a select few publishers and editors determining what would be published, has changed forever. With the rise of ebooks, which have preparation cost but little production cost, the future looks bright for the photographer who wishes to see his or her work published.

In my own case, I will publish two new ebooks on my favorite subject, Northern California travel writing/photography, in 2012. I’ll tell you more about them in future months.

You can watch this progress in my individual content segments at I’ll explain exactly what my printbook, ebook, website, app, stock photo, and article/photo-placement-in-magazines strategies will be. Maybe you have similar publishing dreams for your favorite subject.
* You can read the press release from the Association of American Publishers, at

Lee Foster
Foster Travel Publishing
PO Box 5715
Berkeley, CA 94705

Travel writing/photos on 200 destinations for consumers and content buyers at
5,000 hi-res photos searchable and downloadable at
Two new photo travel guidebooks at
Latest thoughts on travel at
Travel photo guide app on San Francisco at
Travel photo guide app on Washington DC at
Travel guide app on Berkeley, CA at