Tuesday, October 19, 2010

5th Grader Publishes to iPad and Amazon Kindle: Says 'It's Easy'

Amy, then a 5th grader, published her first “book” last year at age 11. You can read it on your iPad or Amazon Kindle. Turtles Actually Teach Responsibility is an eloquent though very brief case pleading for Amy's parents to allow her to have pet turtles. Be warned that it is a tiny, tiny project—only 250 words.

Her Daddy helped her publish it, though she could easily have done it herself. You know how parents are? They get in the way, not letting kids go ahead and do what they know how to do (better than Mom and Dad).

"Turtles Can Teach" offers two major themes:

First, ANYBODY can easily publish books, short stories, cookbooks, memoirs—anything!--at no cost and sell it in Amazon's Kindle Store. Then people all around the world can read those books on iPads, Kindles, iPhones, iPod Touches, Androids,computers and more.

Second, publishing to Amazon is so easy even a Fifth Grader can do it.

Amy doesn't like having to charge 99 cents for the book. But the price can't be any lower due to Amazon's rules for Digital Text Publishing. The rules for publishing to Amazon are pretty clear, and very fair for the most part to the author who uses DTP.

And since Amazon now provides the Kindle for iPad app free, iPad users have easy access to Amy's book and over 800,000 others in the Amazon Kindle Store.

For brand new authors, there's even a free book from Amazon called Publish On Amazon With The Digital Text Platform.  You don't even need a Kindle--or an iPad--to get and read the book.  However, you would need a computer and another free app, Kindle for PC, to read the book sans Kindle and sans iPad.

"Publish on Amazon" does a reasonably good job of walking a new author through the very simple process. True, there are some places to trip up that the book does not cover. But there are help forums for that, plus a few dozen Kindle Store books written by enterprising authors who attempt to do a better job of explaining the process.

By the numbers, the Amazon Kindle store is the place to go for new and unknown authors.  Recent research and surveys show that the Amazon Bookstore is providing huge percentages of the ebooks now being read on the iPad.

The Los Angeles Times reported last week that research firm Cowen and Co. expects Apple's iStore to sell 5% of ebooks for 2010, compared to Amazon's overwhelming domination of over 76% of the market.

And of all iPad owners who buy over 25 books a year, says a survey by Nielsen, about 44% of those hard-core readers get books from Amazon to read on their iPad.

Now, this story is “old news” to a lot of people. Amazon's Digital Text Publishing platform is over two years old. And “everybody” knows there's an iPad app called “Kindle for iPad.”

But iPads and even Amazon Kindles are only in the hands of fewer than 10 million readers, so far. Apple sold about 4.2 million iPads in July through September, alone, and the pace of sales is speeding up.

That leaves several hundreds of millions of people, many of whom will be getting their first iPad or Kindle during the December holiday season.

So this story is for the “newbies” to both ebook reading and ebook publishing. The experts on all the major and minor news web sites, and the knowledgeable people who write all of those excellent blogs on the subject, have handled and written this story months ago. They've moved onto the cutting edge news.

But so we don't forget the “new kids,” Planet iPad offers this “old news” item because it is amazing “new news” to so many people.  Maybe we'll run this story every time the iPad racks up another million sales so all those "newbies" can hear about it.

Amy and her Daddy don't expect you to buy her book; it was published to make a point, not to make sales.

It won't be nominated for the Nobel Prize, or the National Book Award, and a Pulitzer is out of the question. But none of those honors compares with the proud gleam in her Daddy's eyes, or her own feeling of accomplishment. 

She is, officially, a Published Author.

That may lead her one day to publish more, and perhaps become a Bestselling Author.

And, of course, if her Daddy had his way, Turtles Can Teach Responsibility would win the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer, and all the rest. I know that for a fact.

Because I'm her Daddy.  -- Tom Dulaney, Editor in Chief

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