E-books are popular these days. In the Philippines, the popularity of electronic publishing is opening doors for bloggers, writers, and aspiring authors. If you would like to become a published author, I think it’s time to overcome resistance and start writing your first draft or launch a blog as a platform.
Few days ago, my Twitter friend, Ida Torres (whom I just met on Twitter, Yes. on Twitter!) invited me to come to OMF’s first bloggers’ night all set for its 55th anniversary and launching of their digital publishing line at OMF Lit Bookshop, Boni, Mandaluyong City. She’s the media officer of OMF (Overseas Missionary Fellowship) Literature Philippines, a leading publisher of evangelical Christian literature in Asia.
I wasn’t sure that time if I’ll attend. But my curiosity and the thrill of traveling back and forth all the way from Pampanga motivated me. I’ve attended summits like #iBlog8 and #DIM2012 in Manila before. Probably, there’s nothing to lose if I go to this event.
And it was really worth it. As a freelance writer, tech blogger and social media strategist, I believe I am in a strategic place in my profession, where ebooks and electronic publications are about to set on stage in the land of the pearl of the orient seas.
As of this moment, very early in the morning as I zap the keys, I found the reason to blog my thoughts about eBooks and digital publishing. The thought just popped out: “Will eBooks and digital publishing disrupt traditional books?”
Ebooks and its Infancy
“Apple has transformed the market with its line of iPads, which have sold 84 million units worldwide, moving 28.8 million units in the first half of 2012 with the introduction of iPad 3,” said Publishing Perspectives.
Reading books has never been the same again since iBooks and Amazon Kindle were rolled out in the market. (Yes, I know there’s a difference, because I’m an avid e-book reader). However, only a few percentage of readers in the Philippines use such devices to consume ebooks. Not everyone could afford to buy an iPad or an e-reader, considering the economic status and the standard of living of each household.
But affordable smartphones are now available in the market, which can also be used to access digital books. Nonetheless, digital publishing is still in its infancy. A paradigm shift is happening stealthily. That’s why publishers are taking the appropriate measures before it’s too late.
The Use and Abuse of Electronic Publications
Before anything else, I would like to clarify the meaning of “electronic publications”.
“Electronic publications are those publications, which are formatted and produced in an electronic environment. An article on wiseGEEK, for example, would be considered an electronic publication,” according to Wise Geek.
It is safe to say that an article on Sette Writer blog is also considered an electronic publication. e-Newspapers, blogs, e-magazines are electronic publications. In addition to that,
Some publications are available both in print form, and through an electronic medium. Often, the rules for citing electronic publications will be slightly different than for print publications. The most common form of electronic publications are those which are found on the Internet, often in hypertext markup language (HTML).
In the Philippines, one of the most popular e-pubs is blogging. Yes, everyone can blog. However, bloggers should consider the rules and the purpose of blogging. That’s the thing, because not everyone knows the blogging ethics. Some of these so-called “bloggers” are abusing this means of communication to vent their frustrations and post nonsensical thoughts and destructive criticisms.
A blog is a publication. A single post could reach billions of people worldwide. Surprisingly, here’s what I stumbled upon Fact Browser:
- The Philippines has 106.4MM mobile subscribers and 10.8MM internet users
- Mobile penetration in the Philippines is 94%, while Internet is 32% and social media is 28%
That’s just Philippine statistics. Don’t you find electronic publications beneficial if used properly? Blog for a purpose. Blog for a cause.
Personally, I find electronic publishing beneficial not just for readers but even for writers, blogger and aspiring authors. Imagine how many people a single post could reach?
I interviewed two authors Marlene-Legaspi Munar, author of “Add Mo’Ko as a Friend,” and best-selling author Grace D. Chong, co-author of “Solo Flight” and “Magic of Apo Mayor” and also wrote these Christian books, “What Me, Retire?”, “Grace Found Me”, and “Gifts of Grace Vol. 1-3” during the bloggers’ night.
I asked them how did they cope up in this tech-driven generation and how do they use their blogs as published authors.
These authors are driven by passion, they can’t stop sharing their nuggets of wisdom to their readers aside from the topics written in their books. Surprisingly, Grace didn’t know the significance of more than a thousand of page views per day to her blog. (Congrats Ms. Grace.) And that’s a lot. Oh, the perks of having a tribe of readers!
Does that mean e-pub compromises the author’s work in printed books? I think NO. Blogging is very much different to writing a book. Electronic publication opens the door for more opportunities – readers, global audience, link exchange, purposeful campaigns and causes and giving value to readership.
Electronic Vs. Printed – Who Wins?
None! Both electronic and printed publication will always stay. While the former is taking a significant stake into the media, the latter still remains the champ for the baby boomers, and late tech adopters.
Considering the cost of eBook devices, this may be a barrier in its growth at this point in the Philippine setting. But I have high hopes that the gears will shift in the future. So start drafting that first novella if you want to get your book to get published.
You can also start from small beginnings, launch your professional blog now and start your personal e-publication. If you have something valuable to share or teach to an audience, by all means, start blogging. If you need help on how to set up WordPress blogs, I would gladly help you.