Image courtesy of  Kullman  @ Wikimedia Commons. 

Image courtesy of Kullman @ Wikimedia Commons. 

Here's the thing: We authors and illustrators are what we read. Right?

I mean, you wouldn't try to write a picture book without first reading a ton of them and studying the form, would you?

Likewise, you wouldn't set off to write a piece of middle grade fiction without first knowing that genre.

Yet, many of the people who contact me for advice on how to create and publish eBooks and Apps don't actually own a device upon which to read their desired future publication.

My advice to them: Know thy Form.

If you wish to produce digitally, you need to obtain and study digital content first. For each story demands its own form or forms. And each form offers its own unique way of telling, and receiving, stories.

Digital formats are not simply recreations of traditional publishing formats. At least they shouldn't be. So knowing the potential of each of today's publishing options is the only way to know what you like and what you don't; what elements you simply must include in your future enhanced book or app; and what features you and your story can live without.

Most of us, however, are flummoxed as to how to begin. I know I once was. And the way forward seems always to be changing.

So I made this video for you: to demystify the process of obtaining eBooks and Apps, and to help you decide what is the best eReader for your purposes given your personal publishing goals.

I hope you find it helpful. If you do, please feel free to pass it on.

And if you have any questions or wish to share a comment, by all means, fire away!

This video premiered during my Intensive Workshop on Writing and Submitting Interactive Apps and eBooks with Julie Hedlund at the SCBWI 2013 Conference in Los Angeles.