In the past we have offered grants for the research, writing, design and printing of hard copy history books and publications. With the increasing appetite for online resources and potential for wider audience reach we have made the decision that we will no longer fund hard copy books, instead we will give preference to books created for online consumption. This means that those awarded funding can spend their precious dollars on research, writing, editing and design for a wider audience rather than on printing and distribution for a smaller audience.
E-publications can be sold via the internet and through electronic bookstores, and consumers can read the published content on a dedicated e-book reader, mobile device or computer.
When proposing an e-publishing project, outline in your application what type of publication you want to produce, such as:
• Approximately how many pages will it have?
• Have you incorporated editing, proof-reading and indexing costs?
• Do you have an established online platform to publish the e-publication?
• Will the publication be sold or freely available for download?
Obtain quotes for any of your publication costs to provide evidence of your funding request and attach it to your application. If you are using specialist services in your project remember to identify the consultants and provide their quotation. If you are undertaking the project yourselves, don’t forget to calculate ‘in-kind’ contribution labour costs.
Applicants should also consider the intended distribution means of the final product before choosing a format. One option is to create a print-ready PDF version. This is closest to standard print publishing. If you think that your intended audience is likely to want a book that they can download and print to read in hardcopy, this is the kind of e-book that you should produce. A print-ready PDF version is suitable for publications where the author/organisation is not planning to sell for profit and relies on people visiting their website or some other website to access and download the publication. (Note in this format, you could also print your own hard-copies for distribution down the track, though this won’t be covered by our grant funding).
Another option is to create an e-book that is readable via e-readers such as Kindle, Apple IPad, Kobo etc. The text must be converted into an appropriate format to suit the device that is being used to read the file. It is therefore a dynamic, rather than a static document. These publications are designed primarily for being read on portable e-book devices (such as those mentioned above). If your intended audience is likely to be happy to read a whole book on a screen, and to purchase it from third-party online content distributors such as iTunes, Amazon and the like, this is the kind of publication option that you could consider.
Self-publishing options are also now available online as well as many suppliers who are able to produce e-books for you. The Small Press Network based at the Wheeler Centre is a useful resource for getting advice (http://smallpressnetwork.com.au/).