Here are the questions I've been asked about E-books and E-format. Maybe they'll help you decide if this kind of delivery is right for you.
Q. What is an e-book?
A. An E-book is simply a 'real' book but in electronic form. It's formatted the same way a book is formatted if it were printed. It's available to be downloaded from a web site and then read on an e-book reader or a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), like a Palm. You can also read E-books on your computer or any other computing device that reads the specific e-book format.
There are several different types of e-book formats. You can download the one that's right for the reader you're using.
Why an e-book?
A. (1) Cost. It's very inexpensive for publishers to produce them (no paper, no distribution problems, no returns on those books not sold).
(2) Ease of use. You can store dozens of books on an e-book reader. This comes in very handy if you travel (and get stuck in an airport for a long period of time). It's nice to have ten or fifteen books to choose from, all in a device that's very easy to carry.
(3)Customization. You can change the font size on an e-book. You can also read it at night while your spouse is sleeping next to you in bed. It has a backlit screen, which makes it perfect for trips and for late night reading.
(4) Convenience/space. I read a lot but I don't usually need to keep the books I read. That means I can check them out from the library, or buy an e-book, download it and read it, then delete it from my e-book reader. It's still on my computer if I ever want to retrieve it and read it again. And it isn't taking up shelf space in my house.
Q. How do I buy an e-book?
A. There are several places to buy these kinds of books. Individual publishers (like mine -- HINT HINT -- Wild Rose), Ebookwise to name only a few. You purchase the book there then you can download it to your home computer. Once it's downloaded, you can transfer it to your reading device.
Q. Reading device -- what kind? where do I get them? What are they?
A. You've probably read about them: the Nook, the Kindle, the iPad. Rather than have me try to summarize what they do, here's a good link that describes them.
A. Devices vary wildly in price. It all depends on what you want: a dedicated reader? Or a multi-purpose computer?
E-books cost about $2.99-10.99 or thereabouts. You download them and you own them forever, just like a regular book. You can't print them, though, just like you can't copy a paperback -- that would be cheating, right?
Q. Can I ever get a print copy of an e-book?
A. Yes, you can. My publishers do create print copies of my books. I just don't know the exact date. Stay tuned to my web site and newsletter for details on when the print books are available. They are orderable from my publisher, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Most local B&N stores don't like to stock small press books, but you can order from them. If you're shopping and can't find a particular title, please ask them to order it for you.
Are you having trouble transferring files to and from a device? Just send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I can probably have you. I have lots of Tips & Tricks on How To transfer files.