Sunday, 3 June 2012


In today’s Observer, Justin Webb writes “I have also stopped writing books, it is too much, too stressful, for too little return”.  I know how he feels.

It took me a while (eight years, to be precise) to get from my first to the “difficult second” book, but now I have three under my belt, I’m planning two more, on learning evaluation, with my colleague Alasdair Rutherford, and a fourth solo work, by the end of next year, already largely written.  But I sometimes wonder why I bother – there’s certainly no money in it.

As regards my two books with Alasdair, our plan at the moment is to publish one as an e-book and the other as a more traditional print/paper type.  Hedging our bets?  Perhaps, but both allow different possibilities, and the different formats may appeal to different markets.

Of course, regular books are now routinely converted to e-versions, as my last two books have been, but it’s a bit different - or it ought to be - to set out to write for the new medium.  The use of full colour, rich content including lots of pictures, and a wealth of hyperlinks, some to audio/video, are among the advantages of the e-book we plan to use.  We’ll also follow the common pattern of publishing a shorter work as an e-book, at least in our first attempt (I’m not clear why this is a pattern – perhaps someone can enlighten me?)

I’d be interested in tips and suggestions about how to make the most of an e-book.  Are there any experts out there?

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