Thursday, 5 April 2012

Guest Post: What e-books can do that your p-books can't!

Today, I welcome GR Yeates, 
author of the Vetala Cycle 
(free on Amazon now), who has 
some cool ideas on how you can 
make your e-book work for you...

This week I released the collected edition of my horror series, The Vetala Cycle, and, in doing so, took advantage of the ebook format moreso than I have done before. 

At the moment, we're still at a stage where the ebook and the paper book are pretty similar in terms of structure - you have your cover, you turn to the first page and you start reading, you finish it and that's it done. 

But there are things that the ebook format allows for, particularly if you are a self-published author, and I'm going to discuss some of those things now.

1) Chapter/Story Commentaries

When you watch a DVD or blu-ray, you have the option of listening to the commentary, so why not in an ebook? I included this feature because it allowed me to let the reader see more of the nuts and bolts of the writing process. How many times does a writer get asked where their ideas come from and how often do we give an answer that is rarely satisfactory? Writing these commentaries for me allowed me to gain more of an understanding about what inspires me as a writer and also, I hope, entertain the reader with some anecdotes.

2) Deleted Scenes and Alternate Endings

When you edit your work, you cut it and, when you send it to your editor, it gets cut again. But nothing that is cut is necessarily shit. The additional material I included was removed because it did not fit with the tone of the narrative or it was a fragment that seemed to belong elsewhere. These are not wood shavings scraped from the floor but the dirty gems that just didn't come out exactly right, so why not show them to the reader so they can see where the story might have gone, and how some characters might have turned out?

3) Reader reviews

I recommend this if you are on a one-to-one basis of contact with any of your fans. As self-published writers, we have the chance to acknowledge not just our peers and critics in our work but also to say thank you to the readers by asking them for a couple of lines about why they liked the book and then including them in the opening section - trust me, if you ask them, you will make their day.

The reason I added all these extra features to the collection is because I believe every title you release should be unique and, also, they give the reader something more for their money than just a collection of your books bundled together. And, bear in mind, releasing a volume like this would very likely be unfeasible in the traditional publishing world and, remember, ebooks and digital publishing are very different to that world, so make the most of it, use that freedom you have, use the technology to benefit not only yourself but the readers - because they are the ones that count the most.


G.R. Yeates has been published in the Dark Continents anthology, Phobophobia and has been accepted into the Horror for Good anthology coming soon from Cutting Block Press. He is the author of the critically-acclaimed Vetala Cycle, a trilogy of vampiric horror novels set in World War I. Expect more, much more, from this writer in 2012.


The Vetala Cycle is available at Amazon:

Vetala is free on Amazon today - so if you'd like to pick up a copy, head over there... :)


  1. Great interview, Vickie. Mr. Yeates has certainly offered a lot of great advice.

  2. Loved this! Wonderful ideas and I am going to try some out - particularly asking a couple of my FB fans to write something for inclusion. That's a fantastic idea :D


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