Archive for March 2011

30 Mar, 2011 | Posted by: st

The Incremental Sales

of Your App or Ebook

By Lee Foster

If you dream long enough about creating an app or an ebook of your work, which might be your photography and perhaps its writing accompaniment, chances are you will eventually get the product created.

The good news is that you can now develop such a creative product showcasing your work relatively easily.

Creating your product, however, wonít sell it. In the cyberspace-dominated modern world of marketing, your further attention will be required. Sales of your product will be incremental, and will be directly related to the level of visibility you can achieve for your product on the Internet.

For example, Terry Gardner recently wrote an article for the Los Angeles Times ,ďPhone apps for exploring California,Ē that included a recommendation for my app, San Francisco Travel Photo Guide. That inclusion and recommendation did not happen by accident. I had gotten my information in front of that writer.

A writer named Ginny Prior did a review article about my app, Berkeley Essential Guide, for her Happy Wanderer column for the Bay Area Media Newsgroup, the main newspaper/website in my Berkeley region. Her article is titled, ďVisiting Berkeley? Thereís an app for that.Ē This review didnít happen by accident. I put attention to getting my app in front of the writer.

All writers/reviewers are looking for good subjects to write about, so why not assume that your app/ebook solves their problem?

Every time I send out an email, there is, in my signature, a list of my travel books and travel apps. My Washington DC Travel Photo Guide app, therefore, gets a slight elevation of visibility every time I send out an email.

You will need to determine the answer to two basic questions if you want to sell your app or ebook product. The questions are: Who is your audience? And: Who influences your audience to make a purchase?

Youíll need to constantly wrestle with these questions as part of your ongoing sales efforts. It is not easy to sell anything in the modern world, whether a physical object, such as a book, or a purely intellectual object, such as an app or an ebook. And the number of apps and ebooks competing in your field may surprise you.

Today ,the Internet provides great opportunities to produce and sell your work if you put attention into the process. These opportunity were not possible 20 years ago, when you needed to be published by others (who had the distribution channels locked up), and the main form was a physical book. Now you can publish (and hopefully sell your product yourself. The primary barrier to entry to get published, the cash required) is now relatively low.

But youíll need to put your full attention to the marketing of your app or ebook, to complete the process successfully.

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

02 Mar, 2011 | Posted by: psnotes

The Ebook


By Lee Foster

The Bay Area of California, where I live, is especially strong as an ebook community. So much is happening here, where Google, Apple, Twitter, and Facebook all have their headquarters.

Wherever you live, however, you can benefit from this synergy.

Much of this ebook community, which is a subset of the independent publishing community, is centered around my friend Joel Friedlander, who publishes each day some item on his blog, The Book Designer, at

Wherever you are, you can plug into Joelís expertise on ebooks for free. You can read all his past postings. You can sign up, for no cost, to receive his daily commentaries.

I meet Joel once a month at our gathering of the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association, BAIPA. Each morning I glance at and sometimes I read intently his emailed blog post, especially when the subject turns to ebooks.

Click on his website and look to the lower right hand column list, choosing Ebooks & Readers.

Once you begin browsing around, the subjects get quite complicated quickly. For example, you will want to get your ebook into a format called EPUB. How do you do that?

Another typical question: since most print books are laid out in inDesign, how do you convert that to an ebook format? Joel knows a lot about this highly technical subject.

The revolutionary new combination of ebooks and print-on-demand physical book production puts publishing within reach of many people.

There is even a way to get your book available now through an entity known as Lightning Source into any bookstore that would want to buy it, via the big distributor, Ingram. Joel is following all these subjects intently. There are always strengths and limitations in different approaches. For example, print on demand does not yet do color economically.


Lurking in many photographers is the desire to publish a book of their works.

For many, the ebook will be an ideal medium. A color photo book looks great on an Apple iPad. The main ebook reading device, the Kindle, does not show color photos now. But the Kindle for iPad app displays color photos. You will want to sell your ebook through Amazonís Kindle Store because they are the dominant player in the ballgame.

Whether you end up publishing your photography in an app, an ebook, or in a physical book, donít underestimate the need for good design. Good design will alert consumers that your product is a professional contender for their attention. Thatís why Joel names his blog with the overall concept, The Book Designer. Today a critical aspect of design is getting your book into the right ebook formats and marketing channels.

Lee Foster Foster Travel Publishing, PO Box 5715, Berkeley, CA 94705, 510-549-2202

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