Sunday, September 11, 2011

Combine text, images, audio and video in an ebook

© Luke Finlayson, 2011
While many people dream of penning their own novel - anecdotal evidence suggests around 50% of the population have this goal - not many have the discipline and determination to do it.  However, if you have what it takes then technology makes it easier to publish your work.

Luke Finlayson is a New Zealander with both the skill and determination. He is a novelist with a twist as he 'writes' graphic novels - stories that are told only with images. This is not about cartoons with speech bubbles or simplistic drawings. It requires a lot of talent to write and just as much, if not more, to tell a story without any text. If a picture tells 1,000 words, then Luke has 'written' well over 100,000 words.

Luke doesn't work for that big studio in Wellington or other similar place. Like many artists and writers he has to work at something else for a living and then he crafts his graphic novels in his own time. He's keen to share ideas that might help others like him, particularly the free, online, ebook software, which he used to publish his graphic novel Lily of the Valley. This ebook is a dark, fairy tale of Gothic proportions and is 'light years' away from Mickey Mouse. Check it out here.

Luke is not selling his novel at present as it is not complete. However, he's made it available for free online to build his profile and interest in the story, and as a way of showing others what is possible with this free technology. As well as viewing Lily of  the Valley you could check out the free ebook software he used, www.myebook.com and use this to create your own graphic novel or to produce professional looking photo albums, brochures and magazines.

The software enables you to combine text, photos, images, audio and video in ways that could make your ebook more interactive with the reader. www.myebook.com offers the chance publish your ebook online for free (apart from the work you'll have to put in write/draw/format/upload, of course) and also a channel to sell your ebooks online (for which the organisation takes a fair commission of 10 - 15%).

Without actually trying it, we're not in a position to recommend this software or not. However, in our recent self-publishing and blogging courses we've had a few graphic novelists who need something more than www.smashwords.com, which we've used for text-only novels. As such, www.myebook.com could be ideal. Maybe you could trial it to create an online photo album or picture book? Think of scrapbooking, but doing this electronically. Email us to tell us about your experiences with this publishing tool.

It's developments like www.myebook.com and www.smashwords.com that get us excited about the opportunities for writers and other creatives to publish and profit from their own work.

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