College Graduate’s Survival Guide: An e-book for big kids
Many kids who read e-books are big kids. Kids who have already completed college. An important new e-book for those older kids was released at Amazon recently, The Unemployed College Graduate Survival Guide by Bonnie Kerrigan Snyder.
Snyder, who is a college planner, is an author of other books published the traditional way (The New College Reality is available from Adams Media). Still, she went ahead and published her latest book electronically.
“Helping recent college grads succeed in this economy is a timely topic and I thought it needed to be out there quickly,” she said. Getting a paper book out to bookstores can take up to a year, but a completed e-book can be available to an audience within minutes.
The slow publishing process is one reason for going with e-books, but there were other reasons as well. Snyder is aware of that tablets and e-books are growing exponentially, but paper books industry is barely growing at all. Many of the people shifting from print to digital are young college graduates. “The target population is very digital,” she said.
Kick-starting a new conversation
In addition to speed to market and a digital audience, Snyder has found that many people, including publishers, have been slow to recognize that a college education isn’t paying off like it used to.
In her work as a college planner, Snyder has noticed a bit of a denial in the national conversation about the fact that many people are spending big bucks on college degrees then working in jobs they could have walked right into right out of high school—without a college diploma. “People are resisting the fact that college is not always paying off,” she said. Snyder is one of the first people who is making this emperor-has-no-clothes type of statement. E-books are a great medium for allowing new voices and new perspectives to kick-start a conversation that the establishment seems to be ignoring.
The challenge of marketing
The most difficult thing about e-publishing for Snyder has been marketing the book. She started a Google Adwords campaign but it has yet to bear significant results. “Getting people to notice stuff is hard,” she said.
Advice to writers
To new writers, Snyder advises to “try traditional publishing first—but only invest so much time and energy into searching for a traditional publisher.” Just because they aren’t interested in your book, that doesn’t mean it isn’t good or that you can’t find your own audience. She advises writers to “shift quite happily” to e-books when they don’t get nibbles from paper book publishers.
One of the benefits of e-publishing is the insights a writer gets into the business side of the industry. “E-publishing a book forces you to look at it from the perspective that it is your business. Many writers are caught up in the art of writing,” Snyder said, “you can’t get a better education in that than going with an e-book and having an intellectual property out there for sale.”
“I’m so glad e-books are an option,” she said. Even though marketing is difficult, because she has more control over the distribution and gets a greater share of royalties “the potential for profitability is greater.”