Home / Features / eBook Authors: Render Thy eBook or Miss The Boat

eBook Authors: Render Thy eBook or Miss The Boat


I am a non-fiction and technical book reader at heart. Lately I have become addicted to ebooks. I like the ability to get the ebook anytime and anywhere and read it anytime I want. Recently a historical fiction hardcover book was passed to me. A book about Elizabeth 1 of England and the period in history called the Tudor dynasty.

Sometimes I like to read a good historical fiction novel and this turned out to be a good one. After I was about half way through the novel, the analytical part of me took over. This hardcover book was the ideal candidate for an ebook.

It was large and heavy. It was over 670 pages and weighed in at almost two and a half pounds.
I put down the book. I needed to see how this book appeared as an ebook. Online I went and seconds later the same book was on my Kindle. No expense spared for my blogs.

As a side note the Kindle version was $14.99. Ouch!

I started a comparison of the hardcover and the ebook. I wanted to find out what the publisher had done in the way of creating the ebook. They had made it digital okay. They did add a linked table of contents and they did put a link to their website. That was it.

The potential for so much more was there. What could they have done to make this a real ebook not just a copy of a hardcover book?

Rendering
Right up front they missed the opportunity when they listed the author’s credits. They listed several of the author’s books with no links to a buy pages. I guess they wanted me to go to the Internet and search for the other books, if I was interested. There I had the purchasing device in my hands and they missed the opportunity.

Next there was no mention of a website for the author or even better a link to that site to get the reader hooked on the author’s books. Now mind you this was not an older book that the publisher was just getting around to digitizing. This was a brand new release. I went back to the hardcover and that information was missing there also. Finally they got it right on the dust cover. There was a web address for the author.

The cover was not included in the ebook, just a title page. I don’t understand that one.

There were many historical characters referenced whose names I recognized like Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Francis Drake, and Shakespeare. Some I had never heard of like Robert Dudley, one of the main characters in the story and in English history. This was a great opportunity to have some information in the appendix about him and many of the other fringe characters. Not done.

I am one of those readers that always is looking back in the book to try to keep up with the story. In-book links added in the rendering process can help the reader with this problem especially with a book of this size. Sorry no effort here.

How about a family tree of the Tudor dynasty? Or some background on the Spanish Armanda? Or some pictures of some of the characters? Wikipedia some great pictures on this Elizabeth and her followers. I can think of lots of thing I could do to make this a real ebook.

This book is a great read but there is little or no effort made to make it a real good ebook. If you’re going to read this book while you are traveling, you definitely want the ebook version. It is not a book that you want to read on your cell phone or blackberry. So why not go further than just a copy?

By the way for you ebook reading buffs, I am 54% done with the hardcover version. eBook Authors, you are taking notes aren’t you?

Good Examples of Rendering
First I would like to highlight a good example of how an author can use the power of in-book links during the rendering process. Bloody Omaha by biographer Garry M. Graves is a rendered ebook. His ebook had 39 pictures and illustrations in which he needed to give credit to the sources. Instead of interrupting the reading process, he linked the picture’s titles to a credit note in the appendix of the ebook. If the reader wanted to know the source of the picture, the information was just a click away.

Another example is my novel, Call Off the Dogs, a story about the Assassination of President Kennedy. This is a rendered ebook with in-book links to various terms, location descriptions and color pictures to assist the reader in enjoying and understanding the content. That additional information is also held in the appendix of the ebook so that it doesn’t interrupt the reading flow.

Another example of rendering to improve the ebook experience is the use of links in Travel Guide ebooks. So many times the ebook Guides don’t have quality links to important information. Again most of the Guides I have read are just copies of the hardcover version.

Missing the Boat
I think we are missing the boat here. Not only traditional publishers but self-publishers are falling into the same trap. Let’s get the printed version out there and follow up with a copy in an ebook format. No wonder the indie authors/publishers are getting a bad rap. And the traditional publishers must feel like that with little or no effort they can add to their bottom line.

We need to do something here. What are your ideas? Do you think new ebook author can take advantage of the ebook technology? Is a copy of the original hardcover version good enough?

Related blogs:
eBook Authors: Render Your eBooks
eBook Authors: Use The Power of Links
A Bloody eBook Conversion Project
Ebook Authors: Travel Guides are the Ultimate eBooks

View my website: HBSystems Publications
Or EMAIL at: jrm@hbspub.com
Or goto my blog: The eBook Author’s Corner
Author: Call Off The Dogs, a rendered ebook
LinkedIn Profile: James Moushon

  • http://jim-murdoch.blogspot.com/ Jim Murdoch

    Excellent article. I am due to release my first two novels as e-books shortly and never considered this for a second.

  • http://www.thefutureofpublishing.com Thad McIlroy, The Future of Publishing

    You make good points about missed opportunities in digital editions. Accustomed to browser-based interactivity, ebooks seem inert by comparison. Part of the problem lies in the still young market and the simple fact the book publishers have never had to get their arms around technology (compare the first couple of iterations of your favorite newspapers or magazines with what you’ll find today for a reference point).

    The other challenge is that the ebook file formats, EPUB and mobi, are not as rich and versatile as HTML and PDF. The e-publishing association, the IDPF, has just released a new specification EPUB 3, which affords far richer digital interactivity. It will take some months but by this time next years you should find a far impressive reader experience in the digital books you license.

  • http://www.antellus.com Theresa M. Moore

    Your post is meant well, but the fact is that in order to make a book like that all-inclusive, it would take almost another month to interlink the books. I prefer to post one link, to my web site, and if people want to look stuff up they can just as well go on Wikipedia and see it. There are other readers who don’t really care how much interactive extras there are and would rather read the ebook itself, not try to navigate the network of links. Cut us some slack, Jack.

  • http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/members/ronfritsch/ Ron Fritsch

    James, I think Theresa makes a good point. You and I would click on a lot of the links you describe. But I’ve heard a lot of readers (of fiction especially) just want to read the book and not be distracted by the scholarly links. I guess they see the links and think, “I must click on this,” instead of what I think: “I may click on this if I’m really curious about it. And thanks to the author for providing it, even if it’s only a shortcut to Wikipedia.”

  • http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/members/jimhbs/ James Moushon

    Thanks Theresa and Ron for your comments. Theresa, I agree with you about the time and effort required to render an ebook. Maybe not an extra month but a fair amount of extra time.

    Also I think the author’s website should play an important role in the reading experience. The author’s website URL missing from the ebook version of the Elizabeth 1 book is a major omission. That should have been rendered into the ebook when the publisher produced the TOC and inserted their live web link.

    Information at the end of a book is not a new concept. Information like footnotes, references, terms and character descriptions has been a part of Traditional books for a very long time. Rendering to this information with in-book links is a much quicker and more efficient method then paging to the end of the ebook and looking for the information.

    In-book links have some distinct advantages over Internet links in an ebook.
    1. You do not have to be on-line/connected to access the information.
    2. They provide a quick read of the additional information and ‘back’ you go to the content.
    3. In-book links are never broken. They will be there as long as the ebook is digital.

    Theresa and Ron, I can see your point. There are some types of ebooks that should be rendered and some that should not. (Novels vs Non-fiction) In the end the author should control what they want to provide the reader. If the author decides that links in their ebook will distract from the story, they should not include them.

    But if the author has an ebook filled with reference numbers and footnotes, they need to make the access to that information a more efficient process.

    For example, the book ‘Reclaiming History’ by Vincent Bugliosi is a very large book. Its bibliography is over 22 pages long. The hardcover had so many endnotes and source notes, the author included them on a CD inserted in the front of his book. These items could be handled easily by rendering the ebook version with in-book links.

  • http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/members/jimhbs/ James Moushon

    Jim thanks for the comment. Good luck with your ebooks. Summaries of other books you have written linked to the back of your ebook with internet links to your website or to your buy pages could help you also. Most of the traditional authors give the reader a sneak peek at books to be published. Same concept.

  • http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/members/jimhbs/ James Moushon

    Thanks for your comment Thad. I am just trying simply as I can to let the ebook authors and self-publishers know with little or no effort they can take advantage of the digital platform.

    I can see us in a year having this same conversation and trying to judge how many changes have been made to the ebook experience in that 12 month period. I can hardly wait. I subscribed to your blog today.

  • http://www.biroco.com/journal.htm Joel

    It’s a question of where you draw a line. An ebook should contain everything that is in the paper book but no more. If there are notes then they should be linked in a convenient way but adding extra information that is not in the paper book but easily available on the web shouldn’t be in the ebook. Otherwise if you take that to its logical extreme then an ebook should include a dictionary for those readers with a limited vocabulary. Perhaps the book on the Tudors in hardback should have included a glossary of lesser-known figures, but it’s omission in hardback would be the issue there, not its potential inclusion in ebook. Just because it’s digital that doesn’t make it a dumping ground for all manner of extraneous material that wasn’t thought necessary for the print edition. But I agree that some thought should be given to the best organisation of the included material.

    • http://ebookworming.blogspot.com/ Simon

      I think part of the attraction of ebooks is the ability to add information relevant to the texts without having to add to the size of the physical book. You are merely adding to the size in memory on the ereader and memory is cheap whereas paper/publishing is not.

      An ebook _should_ be more complete. Joel, in your example the omission of lesser-known figures in the Tudor book is exactly the kind of enhancement that ebooks should be published with.

  • http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/members/jimhbs/ James Moushon

    Joel. Great comment. I agree the content should match the hardcover version. I still go with the publisher not making an effort in the ebook conversion process. Again this book was over 700 pages long so additional information would have added to the cost of their production.
    But not including author’s web address with a live link, I think is a serious omission. Ebook only books present a different opportunity. Now we are talking about the original and it’s up to the author to fill in the blanks if they wish.

moduretic amiloride and hydrochlorothiazide precose dosage for benadryl metformin 500mg side effects en espanol does viagera help women cheap eltroxin no prescription celecoxib capsules 100mg free cialis trial pack cialis 5g best price 5mg cialis cost of singulair without insurance eltroxin tablets 50mcg vytorin cholesterol drug price prodotto 87 esomeprazole 20 mg ceftin for sinus infection dosage retin a cream wo script florinef side effects viagra for women pink pill hyzaar side effects with alcohol valacyclovir hcl 1000mg glucophage xr 1000 mg glipizide side effects dose can metformin be taken when mensurating folcres mexico vacations prednisolone acetate ophthalmic suspension usp 1 dog casodex prostate cancer treatment very very cheap viagra buy cialis online forum seroflo inhaler buy cheap clonazepam zofran odt 4mg price sofilex capsules vs softgels buy prescription cough syrup online colchicine gout treatment naprosyn side effects in elderly insurance company ratings am best westhroid medication reviews lidocaine cream over counter duphaston pregnancy side effects minocin antibiotic side effects discount code for all pills shop lozol side effects zovirax medication for children viamedic coupon code viagra without a doctor walgreens otc asthma medicine buy name brand viagra diamox side effects altitude sickness provigil depression side effects effexor and weight loss medication zofran for children dosage medrol side effects how much is adderall without insurance aciclovir for sale cyprodin precios promethazine hcl 6.25 mg bactrim and alcohol intake irbesartan hydrochlorothiazide 300/25mg online qsymia buy from canada lipitor side effects muscle pain degeneration viagra tablets online viagra in hyderabad increasing testosterone levels in men naturally maxalt migraine generic abilify weight gain drug buy flagyl 400 mg shipping methotrexate misoprostol order buy clomid tablets online viagra buy houston venlafaxine hcl er 75mg androgel coupons abbott cialis guenstig novolog flexpen needles ketazol tablets for toddlers norlevo torrinomedica permixon clindamycin phosphate gel 1 side effects pharmacy express scam vilches ateneo vardenafil 20 mg no prescription generic viagra suppliers uk cheap cialis 20mg online viagrawithoutprescription us benicar hct side effects webmd tablete za mrsavljenje ananas kemadrin 5mg melatonin buy zanaflex online overnight delivery ciproxin hc ear drops trimetabol in capsulestrimixgeltrustedrxukkamagrauroxatral lipitor online no prescription periostat for rosacea roxifen gel nail alli best buy misoprostol induction protocol buy cheap doxycycline prandin 0.5 mg provigil online purchaseproviron vitamin b12 deficiency anemia online pharmacy slimex sildenafil citrate 100mg pills side effects vimax malaysia dealer careprost bimatoprost ophthalmic solution 0.03 minocycline side effects cant sleep display pictures of accutane packing prozac uses and side effects depression tramadol side effects medications for dogs ciales puerto rico pictures san juan purchasing clonidine ordering zoloft without a script flagyl antibiotic used to treat bacterial vaginosis lamisil generic tablets metazole tablets with keyboards furosemide 40 mg medication cialis 100 mgs of clomid without a prescription brand viagra vytorin generic available kamagra from india long lasting cialis kelnor without prescription buspirone side effects weight gain chloroquine resistant malaria prophylaxis claritin side effects for children desogen generic apri buy diovan from india provigil 200 mg price pilex tablets side effects kamagrafast crooks n dutasteride vs finasteride cost nitrazepam dosage of tylenol orlistat no prescription elimite no prescription keflex antibiotic dosage zyban smoking medication disgrasil orlistat precious metal prices nexium side effects treatment nexium 40mg esomeprazole side effects orlistat diet pills online no scrip cialis vitamix reviews qvc myambutol ethambutol dosage buy stieva a cream vistaril and pregnancy contractions indocin dosage gout zolpidem medication side effects how much do viagra cost lamictal side effects medication protonix 40 mg over the counter free cialis sample pack cytotec consecuencias thyroxine without a prescription in uk iraplax orlistat 120mg estradiol cream estrogen isoniazid and alcohol altace medication dosage bactrim ds dosage for sinus infection cialis 5mg generic sale clindamycin phosphate lotion asthma attack at night viagra tropfen kamagrafast comcast perlutex information processing magnesium deficiency symptoms leaves will there be a primatene mist replacement promethazine with codeine syrup dose illegal viagra diamox sequels 500 mg cap sdmd propecia for womens hair loss trichologist tadalafil 20mg lowest price brand levitra discount elocon 0.1 cialis non script for around 50 dollars strattera usa overnight rimadyl 25mg dogs dosage berifen 100 srca advantage federal credit union rochester ny mirtazapine for cats with renal failure detrol samples forum ordering clomid online uk tantalum oxide lens soft viagra tabs fgr 100 generic viagra best legal on line site to buy cialis prednisone eye drops orderpharma accutane baby cabaser cabergoline dosage levitra 20 mg tablet pinamox pinewood studios vidalta 10mg prednisone frumil fortegames otc viagra body alignment nutrition macrodantin 50 mg dosage generic cialis for less atomoxetine hydrochloride patch levitra coupons from viamedic cefa tabs without prescription xenical weight loss stories neurontin medication uses amikacin sulfate solution cipralex alcohol yasmine petty bio what is betanoid tablets used for glucotrol side effects glipizide medication mefenamic acid 500mg what is terramycin ointment for humans citalopram 20 mg dose online viagra purchase vente tadafil 689 buy liquid antibiotics online does viagra make you bigger phenergan suppository pregnancy viagra generica barata peru buspar xanax benzodiazepines calis tablets for sale levitra brand for sale spiriva side effects medication levita for sale no prescription where to buy elimite over the counter femara drug interactions ciprobay 500mg information extenze reviews mens health eulexin schering plough research valium side effects in elderly best over the counter viagra red 7 pill brand viagra uk ortho 777 online without a prescription how long for viagra to work zovirax cream ointment prospect peritol sirop vytorin generic simvastatin coversyl side effects medicine cipa canadian approved pharmacies viagra coupons printable imiquimod side effects blog tijuana pharmacy medications viagra canada 50 mg pharmacy effexor side effects with alcohol vosteran removal instructions doxepin medication for hives diarex polishing pads depakote withdrawal symptoms drug reliable online pharmacy canada actavis promethazine codeine for sale canada prescription online no perscription acyclovir in the us abilify without a prescription buy thyroxine in usa on line mupirocin uses in dogs albuterolnoprescription reviews mincorp mining zocor medication interactions furosemide online rezeptfrei famciclovir for shingles dosage antibiotic minocin side effects norvasc medication 2.5 diovan hct side effects forum advair hfa inhaler coupon isoptin sr 240 mg of caffeine generic subutex images artane side effects trihexyphenidyl 2mg buying ativan in mexico salzarex vardenafil levitra buy viagra super active online cialis supreme suppliers nexium ingredients buy lasix online vistaril for anxiety during pregnancy adderall xr dosages available haloperidol side effects dose amoxicillin dosage for cats chewable female viagra azithromycin no script levitra canadian pharmacy 1mg finasteride no prescription colchicine levofloxacin 500 mg usage costco travel packages grathazon dexamethasone does generic propecia work viagra without a prescription usa crestor savings card opus health liposafe gnc bactrim ds online no prescription cleocin t lotion www online generic kamagra onlaintv ntvspor digoxin side effects taking metformin without prescription zoloft without insurance generic for lo ovral 28 mesterolone steroid forummetformina brand levitra sales what is tizanidine 4mg zanaflextolchicinetopiramate fda approved contrave weight loss drugcorega buy real levitra pergotime 50mg clomid side effect of eltroxin tablets where to buy luvox pills digoxina in english what is a thespian clotrimazole and betamethasone dipropionate lotion venlafaxine er 37.5mg reviews cialis store proventil inhaler medication drug viagra et maladie du coeur iraplax orlistat 120mg cheap lisinopril hctz side effects for men cialis 5mg lilly online pharmacy that take paypal fertomid and clomidfinax ramicomp genericons furadonin wikipedia free viagra by check azitromicina on line effexor reviews for anxiety eisai aciphex patient assistance programacitabacivir enalapril maleate medication side effects weight loss injections colcrys side effects clomid and twins 2005 apo sildenafil 50 mg kemadrin tablets amaryl medication vosteran search provider ventolin evohaler buy buy perictian uk alli online shopping in canada dapoxetine online purchase walgreens employee website company employer flagylindia paypal direct rx online glipizide medication for diabetes chlamydia treatment antibiotics for sale allegra d 12 hour coupons provera medicine taking zofran ex medoflucon fluconazole for dogs where to buy prednisolone for dogs cafergot bestellen nexium 40mg esomeprazole drugs generic nexium raymeds reviews for fifty flagyl antibiotic regenon romania pentru glipizide and metformin hydrochloride propecia side effects treatment original viagra in pakistan cyclidox tablets at walmart buy lantus solostar rumafen medicine cabinets comprar cialis paypal generic synthroid for sale ditropan xl where to buy viagra in india lorinol tablets sale amoxilcillin overnight no prescription doxazosin cardura medication prdering levitra viagra online cialis generic with paypal catafast 50 mg viagra baytril for rats for sale viagra before and after pics effexor xr side effects sweating lisinopril 20mg online pharmacy online cialis noprescription paypal mebendazole or albendazole arthritis of the spine can you take valtrex and breastfeedingvalvirexvantin non script toradol maxolon medication cyclo progynova tablets clavupen gutis maximus berodual prezzo real viagra for sale online 178 diane stretton clomid and twins next stage stanozolol side effects in dogs isoptin sr 240 mg caffeine lilly cialis in canada search http ontariovolleyballchampio promethazine 25 mg tablet increasing breast milk supply after 9 months cheapest prozac online ranigast max cena atenolol buy uk losartan potassium 50 mg remeron dosage for anxiety expres cialis salzarex thyroxine t4 rimadyl for dogs side effects aciphex 20mg medication doctor eprex injection administration stepseprostol digoxin sales metformin cheap best viagra tablets in india awc canadian pharmacy viagra navidoxine meclizine hydrochloride side viagra canada pharmacy legit donepezil hcl tabs nootropil 800 information customer seroquel side effects in the elderly primatene mist inhaler canada viagra in usa overnight tramadol overnight mastercard cat zithromax oral suspension fungsi metronidazole cabaser dosages stilnox 10mg medication buy levitra online in australia arcoxia 90mg tablete macrobid for uti nitrazepam dosage for melatonin alli trippy bikini estrogen pills uk vega 100 online italia pramipexole dihydrochloride 0.5 acnelyse gelato silagra side effects noroxin antibiotics flovent inhaler dutasteride avodart side effects minocycline without prescription restonite ambien addiction qsymia cost precio sildenafil en ginebra starcef cefixime for gonorrhea bay cialis fast shipping atrovent inhaler contraindications vicodin dosage by weight tamsulosin side effects vendita cialis professional buy metronizadole online paypal floxin ear drops side effects levitra sweden revista kosovarja prednisone with paypal venlafaxine 37.5mg and weight loss promethazine vc syrup drug rx drug support gupisone prednisolone 5 mg usage of water furadoine 50mg uk dieta de la sopa can to much visgra have opposite fffect imiquimod 5 cream packet clotrimazole lozenges eldepryl manufacturer coupons side effects of generic plavix buy doxycycline hyclate 100mg acne lexapro side effects sexual dysfunction how much does viagra cost per pill risnia syrup of black testosterone gel androgel reviews can u snort generic strattera tesco pharmacy viagra desyrel trazodone hydrochloride zenerx in stores finasteride 5 mg prices erectalis 20mg hydrocodone best viagra online pharmacy mobicool mobile refrigeration repair vitamix recipes weight loss reminyl er 8 mg democratic socialism lady era tablets xanax dosage for panic attacks albuterol sulfate syrup 2mg 5ml highest strength cialis buy synthroid 200 mcg no rx polarmeds in canada the executive branch over the counter inhaler vrdrug forum energy medicstar reviews on apidexin arimidex breast cancer length of treatment belgium viagra cozaar blood pressure pill tadalfil 20mg lipitor vs crestor cost natija dyal 9wilbat aliviosin dyal ghold levitra vs cialis vs viagra cost 1 carprofen dose for humans cuckold creek hollywood md exelon stock price today fat&t yasmine hamdan hal lyrics tegretol bipolar medication insulin resistance and weight loss need diamox 250mg in middle east trental 400mg adalat ppt buy cheap pfizer xalacom nexium otc vs prescription amermycin 100mg clomid potenz mittel fanegada en metrosouth trazodone for insomnia side effects coversyl 4mg lanoxin 0.125 mg daily midamor manufacturer coupons allopurinol dosage administration diazepam for dogs dose for anxiety increasing sperm count diet amoxicillen buy online fucidin cold sores astelin generic name