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Author Marcelle Soviero offers workshop in evolving e-book trend

Marcelle Soviero

What’s the hottest trend in publishing today? According to Wilton author Marcelle Soviero, it’s publishing your own work as an e-book, thanks to the new avenues digital technology has opened for writers.

“Many authors are bypassing traditional publishers and reaching readers by publishing their work as e-books at relatively low cost,” said Ms. Soviero, who published her own e-book, An Iridescent Life, last May. “Digital format can achieve a readership, earn fans, create buzz, and earn money. In fact, self-published e-books have cracked best seller lists and are changing the face of publishing.”

Ms. Soviero will give a workshop sponsored by the Wilton Department of Continuing Education, “How to Publish and Promote Your eBook” on Saturday, March 23, from 9 to noon at Wilton High School. She will present a seminar on the same subject at Westport Writers’ Workshop, 3 Sylvan Road South, on Saturday, April 27, from 9 to noon.

“Participants will learn the insides and out, from manuscript to finished book, of the e-book publishing process from a writer’s perspective and direct personal experience,” said Ms. Soviero. “There’s a world of opportunity for independent authors to publish and promote e-books online with distribution through amazon.com and others.”

E-publishing has entered the mainstream with a splash, according to Ms. Soviero, who is also owner and editor of Brain, Child magazine. According to the website of Bowker Market Research, which tracks publishing trends, the number of self-published books produced annually in the United States has nearly tripled, “growing 287% since 2006, and now tallies more than 235,000 print and titles.”

“E-books are now being reviewed by Kirkus Reviews and other traditional book reviewers,” Ms. Soviero said. “There is no stigma to it anymore.”

Students in her classes include aspiring novelists, short story writers, essayists, and memoir writers, she said.

“It’s a good way to publish a memoir about a beloved family member,” she said. An e-book can allow a writer greater flexibility in the length and style of a manuscript, according to Ms. Soviero.

“For example, you can write a novella,” which can be a hard sell to publishers, who often set traditional guidelines about the length of a book.

Her class also offers tips on “how to polish the final manuscript, hire a proofreader or copywriter, take a good headshot and write a bio, price your book in a competitive market, list your book on search engines, and design the cover, either by your self or with a designer or a company.”

Another topic covered in her class is how to market a book with a marketing plan and public relations campaign and how to use social media and a website to promote the book.

Traditional print publishers once did this work for authors, but most are now forced to market their own books, Ms. Soviero said — which underscores the point about e-books as a viable option.

“You also have more control over the royalties and distribution,” she said.

The cost to publish an e-book can range from $300 to $15,000, Ms. Soviero said. E-books are also published faster, typically within four to six weeks.

At the end of the class, participants will be armed with a strategy for producing an e-book, and will be given “a full set of resources and handouts to start the process for themselves,” she said.

Information: wiltoncontinuinged.org/CourseCatalog/ScheduleView.asp?ScheduleID=3335.

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