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Jul 22 / King Kaufman

Ebooks: A guide for journalists at

Robert Niles

Robert Niles

Regular B/R Blog readers know your humble blogger has gotten interested in ebooks lately.

The first Bleacher Report-related ebook was published this week, and we’ve talked around here about how the format is an exciting opportunity for writers to publish long-form work that’s too much for most magazines or commercial websites, but not enough for a traditional book.

Robert Niles of the University of Southern California’s Online Journalism Review appears to be interested too. This week he posted Part 1 of a three-part series called A journalist’s guide to eBook publishing.

“Why an eBook?” Niles writes. “Because eBooks are one of the few online media where consumers have accepted widely a paid content revenue model, unlike on the Web itself. If you’re looking to diversify your revenue sources—and, as a journalist entrepreneur, you should be—paid content through eBook sales should be part of your business model.”

I don’t think the capital B is necessary in ebook any more than a hyphen would be. Do you? Aren’t we past that sort of thing?

Anyway, Part 1 has a lot of good advice about ebook publishing, and none of it is about formatting or technical issues. “That’s because those don’t come into play until after you’ve spent many, many hours thinking about the subject of your book,” Niles writes, “then selecting, editing, writing and rewriting, producing and re-producing the material you will include within it.”

In other words, the most important thing to remember if you want your ebook to be a success is: Write a good ebook. Reading Niles’ first post will give you a good start down that road.

Check Niles’ author page at for the next two parts of the series. Niles told me by email to expect them next Wednesday and Friday.