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My Picture Book as E-book July 1, 2012

Posted by Ronica Stromberg in Uncategorized.
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My picture book, The Time-for-bed Angel, will be released as an e-book (electronic book) soon. I signed the contract last week.

This book was first released in 2008 as a hardback and, shortly after, as a paperback. When I first sold the book to the publisher, the contract we agreed upon didn’t include electronic rights. That’s how quickly things have changed in the past four years! Now many books are coming out solely as e-books.

Picture books haven’t typically been published as e-books. They are one of the most expensive types of books to produce because of the artwork. A picture book with a high-end illustrator can cost $100,000 or more to produce. Publishers have been reluctant to wager whether they can recoup their expenses to produce a picture book if it’s coming out only as an inexpensive e-book. They’ve also had concerns about the screen size on electronic devices and how to render what might be a 16-inch-wide horizontal spread onto a 6- or 7-inch vertical screen. Obviously, less risk is involved if the picture book has already come out as a paper book and the artwork has been paid for.

Electronic publication of picture books has advantages over paper publication. Offhand, I can think of three:

  •  E-publication conserves trees and, therefore, the environment.
  • Picture books can be made more interactive. Publishers can include applications like music and games at the touch of the screen. My publisher is thinking about having The Time-for-bed Angel narrated. I can see this working well with the book because the text is short. Small children have short attention spans but can easily sit through the complete reading of the book. When I was a child, I had storybooks with listen-along records. I was always interested in using these records alongside the books, but each record ran more than a half-hour in length. I usually lost interest before the story was finished. In contrast, The Time-for-bed Angel can be read in under five minutes. I think small children will be far more likely to find this useful and enjoyable.
  • Parents can save money. E-books are less expensive than paper books. The savings can be significant when picture books generally run about $15 and up. And parents can try out picture books in e-form before investing in the paper version, seeing how much their child really likes a book first. Conceivably, parents could buy a picture book wherever and whenever their little one is ready for something different.

No more boring bedtimes!