Thursday Oct 29, 2015

Robert Ballantyne

Ballantyne & Associates

Publishing an eBook vs. Paper Publishing

Recently Robert Ballantyne and Sherry Jennings wrote and published a book. This talk was not about the contents of the book, instead it was about the experience of writing and publishing an ebook — a book that is available only online. There is no printed version.

This talk was directed at anyone who has ever considered writing a book, or knows someone who has. Is writing a book that exists only in the cloud the wave of the future? Robert demonstrated that the whole process is different from printing and distributing the material on paper.

Here are some of the discussion points from the talk:

  • For anyone who been thinking about writing a book, Robert made the case that now is the time for you to do the work, and publish — no more excuses, the reasons you’ve held back are no longer valid. He talked about the old days when someone would labour over their book for months only to receive rejection letters. Now that person can find the niche for their volume.
  • An ebook is very different from paper publishing because the work can be updated and existing customers can download the latest version. A writer may now listen and learn from readers, and then add value to the publication. He said, “This forever changes the relationship between writer and reader.” A book can be thought of as a software startup, and it is possible to beta-test the book.
  • Robert compared the costs of paper-publishing vs. e-publishing, and the advantages of both. He then explained how the royalties are managed for his ebook.
  • This was not a technical talk, but Robert did describe some of the tools needed to accomplish publishing online — he explained that you won’t even need a word processor (unless you like to write with one).

The talk was not about the contents of the book by Robert and Sherry, but for the curious, you may find out about it here: You can even peruse the entire book online — and he explained why he and Sherry chose to make it available for free reading online.

Robert has presented this talk to the following Rotary Clubs: The Rotary Club of New Westminster, The Rotary Club of New Westminster ~ Royal City, Rotary Club of Burnaby Metrotown, Rotary Club of West Vancouver Sunrise, and the Rotary Club of Bowen Island.

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