Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and reading resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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January 7, 2013: After some hard thought, I've decided to officially shut down this blog. I know I haven't updated it in a while, but I thought I should let you all know so you can remove it from your RSS feeds, etc.

Reason: I've decided that I need to find ways to make more time to read and create books.

I had great fun working on illustrating I'M BORED (written by Michael Ian Black, published by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers in Sept/2012) and am now working on writing and/or illustrating new book projects. In addition to my picture book projects, I also want to get back to my novel writing.

My challenge: I want to do too many things and am currently involved in too many projects. My solution: To prioritize and cull.

You can find out what I'm working on at or follow me on Twitter at @inkyelbows.

Thanks so much for your support and interest in my projects.

-- Debbie

Entries in ebooks (3)


Digital Storytime

Digital Storytime

Thanks to Mike Cope for pointing me to Digital Storytime, which reviews kids' book apps as well as being a kids' book app store.


What publishers can learn from "The Elements" iPad app

From O'Reilly's TOC blog:

  1. The level of interactivity and multimedia included in a digital edition must be decided on a case-by-case basis. "There were a whole lot of ideas for interactivity that we didn't put in, because they didn't pass the test of actually making the book better," Gray said, discussing the iPad edition of "The Elements."
  2. Truly useful interactivity requires skill sets beyond those commonly found in publishing companies: videography, audio, programming, etc. If you want to produce a great ebook (or app), you need to bring in people who can make that happen. "Programmers need to be treated as top talent, just like authors," Gray said.
  3. Gift giving is directly related to the physical nature of print books. "A gift code for a copy of the ebook is really just not the same thing," he said.



E-Book Pricing: Consumer Perception vs Publisher Costs

Christine Kearney at Reuters on the fledgling e-book market:

The e-book market has grown rapidly with wholesale revenue from e-book sales in the United States increasing to $91 million in the first quarter of 2010 from $55.9 million from the last quarter of 2009, according to International Digital Publishing Forum. But e-book sales still only account for 5-6 percent of overall U.S. book sales and less than 1 percent in Britain, The Financial Times reported this week.

The article has some interesting insights from Eileen Gittins of on why doing e-books doesn't really save the publisher much money:

Contrary to popular opinion, most of publishers' costs are developing and marketing authors, not the cost of printing and shipping books. Such costs don't lessen with e-books even though they sell for less than paper books.

Even keeping that it's in's best interests to focus on print publishing, Gittins has a point. I've heard many people complain that the cost of e-books is too high, saying that the publisher is saving a ton of money by creating a digital version.

In addition to author development and marketing factor, I've also heard publishers say that if an e-book has a print counterpart, the costs associated with a brick-and-mortar warehouse remains the same.

If the e-book industry is going to continue to grow, however, publishers will either have to adjust to consumer perception of e-book pricing or find a way to change it.