The first person I contacted in mid-December 2012 was Wesley Fryer. He had generously offered Webheads in Action a free copy of his e-book, Playing with Media. Being a longtime enthusiast and practitioner of technology in education, I immediately downloaded it to my iPhone and read it. I loved it. It’s a great read for any edtech fan.
I emailed Wesley and asked, "What software for Windows would you recommend I use to write and then publish my e-book?". The reply came at once. "My best recc for a software program to use to write an eBook is Scrivener". I explored the site and decided to download the trial version. And then I bought it. My first mistake, though not a complete one. I hadn't explored it enough. It didn't accept columns, the bulk of my work. Anyway, not everything was lost, because I will end up using it, for sure.
I explored Creative Commons (CC) and created my first CC license.
I explored Issuu, Simplebooklet (too many ads), Glossi (recently renamed Slipp) and Flipsnack . The links are to work created in the workshop.
I expressed my opinion about "indie" (independent) creations and publishers on two occasions during the workshop.
"What are your thoughts about the future of textbooks? I hope that the future of textbooks lies much more with "indie" e-book (ad)ventures than with paper books published by main publishers. Mind you, I love reading a paper book and handling books. But I see a lot of potential and advantages in e-publishing: timely updates, authentic materials that can be added on the spur of the moment, 24/7 participation and collaboration, to name just a few." (25 Jan. 2014)
"After looking at such fabulous and motivating chapters/projects this week, I truly believe that the way to go forward in Education is self-published, "indie" e-books. There's so much creativity out there that's being wasted! We're being forced to continue using textbooks that are not in tune with the times.
Our students deserve a "radical change" coming from those who are in the classroom on a daily basis, in contact with the students' demotivation and distancing from "official" curricula and outdated ways of implementing it.
Those of us "on the field", in direct contact with the students' needs, interests and ideas can create innovative, interesting, useful and motivating materials that resonate with the students, their time - the 21st century - and the tools they use 24/7.
If we can create this kind of work, preferably in collaboration with our students, imagine how education can change for the better. :-)
My two cents from the heart...". (8 Feb. 2014)
I read many articles (especially related to pdf) and read several e-books: Amazon Kindle Publishing Guidelines, eBook Creation: A Guide for Writers (Lisa J. Cohen), Smashwords Style Guide and The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success (Mark Coker). I contacted e-book authors, among them, Wesley Fryer (mentioned earlier), Lisa J. Cohen and Tom Corson-Knowles (introduced to me by my Radical English friend, Peggy Tharpe; I followed some advice he gives in his video on formatting for Kindle).
Though I got many great tips, I always seemed to come to the same conclusion. The best format for my dictionary was pdf, as Lisa and Tom confirmed. Working with columns was definitely a problem! I could have had it differently if I’d hired a programmer, but I wanted to do everything on my own. It was a very special project. :-)
Publishing 3.0 - A new model for independent educational publishing (Nik Peachey, 9Jan. 2014)
E-book Creation: A Guide for Writers (Lisa J. Cohen, revised Feb. 2014)
e-Publishing Options (in the eTextbook EVO2014 workshop)