Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Publishing Your Own E-book Part One

Yes part one because there is way too much to this to make one post. And this is an on-going adventure.

Over the last couple years I have been just itching to write and publish my own e-books, but I kept hitting brick walls and would give up. 

My 2011 goal in January was to finally just do it and get them written and formatted. Little did I know it's not quite that easy. Unless of course you are a formatting guru. I have read other blogs and sites where the formatting issues brought much more experienced people to their knees. So at least I know I am not alone. My ultimate goal is to get my e-books on Amazon.com as Kindle books. I am getting close!

I am lucky in that I am selling to a niche market, so that is my expertise. But many can use some of these tips no matter what market you are writing to.

I am so hopeful that in the next couple years we will see the big e-book outlets all settle on one or maybe two main formats. Until then know that they all have a different format with different requirements. For example Nook, Kindle, Google Ebooks, and Smashwords all require a different format. 

First of course you have to actually write the e-book. Be SURE you write it in an older version of Microsoft Word like 2007. For some idiotic reason this is what e-book converters prefer. Especially if you want to convert your book to Kindle. I cannot help anyone with formatting images because I failed miserably.

Cool 3D cover someone made me for my first E-book. The only thing I don't like is it is hard to read the title so not sure I will use it. I have paid to have about 4 different covers done so far because I suck at graphics.

I was told to download the free Mobipocket player and convert my word documents to Kindle from there. It sounded so easy!! I was so naive. It is real easy to upload your word document to Mobi, but then you look at preview and see the jumbled mess that is supposed to be your e-book and the headache starts. If your book doesn't have pictures it is probably pretty easy. Pictures seem to throw a big old wrench into converting to Kindle.

I will cut to the chase and say I never could get mine to convert. I then met some awesome people on the Demand Studios forum that helped me get going. One special person is Jamie. She converted all 3 of my first books to PDF format so that I could at least get started selling them myself without Amazon. She will be open for business soon to help others so I will update when she gets her site up and running. Although I downloaded the PDF converter, I also failed miserably at that.

My best advice on the formatting issues is to pay someone to do it. Especially if you are not code savvy.  I wasted two months trying to format my own and it just wasn't worth it. All these format issues go back to coding, which I have never had the patience for. Be careful though choosing a company. At this point the only person I can recommend is Jamie and shes not up and running yet. Average range of prices is 5.-250.00. Its pretty much all over the place.

I will end here for now but much more later!

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