Let’s take a moment to define digital publishing. You’ll be hearing a lot about it from me in the future, so I want to make sure we are on the same page.
Digital publishing, also known as electronic publishing or e-publishing, is any type of publishing that involves disseminating information or entertainment by digital means. That’s a pretty broad definition and isn’t necessarily limited to the Web. In fact, DVD and CD distribution models are also a form a digital publishing.
The list of digital publishing media includes:
- E-mail newsletters or journals
- Web-based magazines
- Online newspapers
- PDF documents
- Mobile apps
- Online videos
- And variations of these media, plus new and emerging media yet to be realized
Some of these digital media can appear in a variety of formats. E-books, for instance, can be published for the Kindle e-reader and tablet market, ePub, and iBooks for Apple devices. Mobile apps can be created for a variety of operating systems, including Android, Blackberry, and iOS.
So, you can see, it can get complicated.
Who Can Publish Digitally?
When it comes to digital publishing, anyone can get in on the action. Fiction writers are doing it, poets are doing it, nonfiction writers and journalists are doing it, and even people who traditionally haven’t been writers are now learning that they can operate a publishing company within their business and have a staff person be responsible for that non-core business enterprise.
In a word, digital publishing is for everyone who has anything to say about anything. That includes you.
Why Digital Publishing Is Essential Today
Market research indicates that half of all magazine and newspaper circulation will be by digital delivery by the end of 2015. Tablet sales have grown exponentially in the last couple of years. People are reading books, newspapers, and magazines, listening to music, watching videos, and playing with apps all on a single device. The market is exploding.
If you’re a writer in any medium, this is your golden opportunity. It’s too late to get in on the ground floor, but if you get started today, you’ll still be a little bit ahead of the curve.
The biggest question for most writers and content creators is not, Should I get into digital publishing? Rather, the question is, How should I take advantage of the digital publishing opportunity before me. There are so many options. Can you really do them all? It can be a daunting task just keeping up with the day-to-day changes. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t despair.
Traditional Publishing Isn’t Going Away
I am not saying you should give up on traditional publishing. There are still plenty of opportunities there as well, and there will be for many years to come. However, the wise writer will recognize the opportunity that is knocking on her door right now.
Digital publishing opportunities are only going to get better. I suspect that the most successful writers in the future will be those who have one foot in traditional publishing and one foot in digital publishing. Maybe your agent will be the bridge between the two. Maybe your publisher will handle all aspects of both parts of your writing business. If you’re savvy enough, you could run it all yourself, or maybe you have an agent for your traditional publishing business and you do all your own digital publishing. There are countless possibilities.
Keep an eye out here for more information on digital publishing as we explore these possibilities more in-depth. I’m looking forward to interacting with you, and learning from you.