Outlining the challenge

Part of the challenge I’m facing here is that up until now there has been no central person at ACB to deal with the ebooks. A couple of hundred titles have been released with the big names you would expect (Sony/Amazon), but there’s been no consistency, no records kept, no quality checks done, and no rights checked. I’ve spent my first month here merely trying to pull together the information that exists and create some sort of coherent tracking system. I’m still not there, but I am much closer than I used to be. However, at the moment I’m pulling more titles from release than I am releasing. Every week I seem to come across another batch of books that have been distributed, that we don’t have the electronic rights. It really has been a case of getting it all out there and dealing with it later.

I deal with various different collections of books. Primarily there are three basic groups:

  1. Backlist titles which have been released as ebooks – for these titles I have to make sure that we are allowed to have released them, and slowly make my way through them (approx. 500) and do a QA check.
  2. Backlist titles which haven’t been released as ebooks – the plan is that eventually these will be released. However many of our titles have colour illustrations which are currently no good for the epub format. So right now they can only go out as alternative forms (e.g. pdf). Naturally this limits the people we can supply to.
  3. Frontlist titles – these have to be converted and released alongside the print copy. Can’t say I’ve been doing much on these so far, but I have managed to get one up and out there (Me And My Web Shadow, for Kindle).  I was strangely proud and pleased when this went up.  The first evidence that I am at least doing something.

Fair enough, you might think. But that’s just the beginning.

And so is this. To balls up a metaphor, I don’t want to put all my eggs into my first blog post. I’ll talk about the issues with have with conversion and distribution another time, as well as perhaps reviewing some of the problems that have cropped up in the past month.

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~ by kymethra on May 18, 2010.

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