Well, here I am in my second week of learning how to process a manuscript and upload it to Kindle and other ebook publishers.
After closely following directions I’d found online, I later learned that since they were posted in 2008, things had changed a lot. So, look at me starting over. I turned to Smashwords, where there’s a book you can download free to your computer and Kindle — now that’s interesting — which leads you step by step through the process. Your best bet is to follow these directions, then post to Smashwords. You’ll realize more profit if, once you get there, you opt out of Kindle and Nook so you can upload your book directly to them. More about that later.
Since my document was created in Word Perfect, I have to wipe it clean of all formatting. Nuclear cleansing, it’s called. After several tries to do it the way I was instructed, I ended doing it my way. I dropped the file into Word, then copied and pasted it into note pad. That wipes the formatting. Then I opened a new Word file, copied and pasted from note pad back into the new Word file.
Then I was ready to begin with the formatting in Word following directions from Smashwords. If you begin in Word it is recommended that you do the nuclear cleansing if you want to be sure the old formatting is all gone.
I’m working my way through the instructions, having a lot of trouble because I’m not familiar with Word at all.
Here it is, a couple of frustrating days later. I’m having some trouble with the formatting directions and have been advised that I might want to download Open Office, which is free and is said to work just as well when formatting a file to upload to Smashwords, Kindle and Nook, yet is easier to use than Word. I am determined to learn how to do this for future books I want to publish.
If you don’t want to do all this — essentially what you are doing is becoming the publisher of all your work — there are people who will do the set-up for you. Invest the money if you want. I’m going to continue to try to do this myself. I have a short story which I’m experimenting on for this first attempt.
Everything you upload needs a “book cover,” even short stories, articles, etc. If you have articles or short pieces and don’t want to bother with getting them to Smashwords, give Amazon’s Create Space a look. It appears to be a bit simpler. However you go, Amazon will post your published work once you have it done just right.
If you want to try to make your own covers, that’s another steep learning curve. There are programs online you can order to do that. One is Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 available at Amazon. There is cover art available online for romance books at a very reasonable price if you find something you really like. Check it out too. Another cover art for romances. Don’t forget istockphoto, where you’ll likely find something to suit any subject.
If I haven’t torn my hair out, I’ll post again soon to give you some tips on formatting that I hope to learn as I go. Remember, I’m no expert, I’m just sharing what I learn, and with the different Word programs out there, finding some of these formatting tricks can be tricky. Couldn’t resist. If any readers have suggestions or can help out, please post a comment.
Till next time in the journey to publication on the Web.
Thanks for posting this helpful information. I'm enjoying reading it and learning from it.
Persevere, Velda! It's worth it. I had two sales reported this week from foreign lands: one from New Zealand, and one from Thailand!
You're welcome, Jack. And congratulations on the sales, Marsha. We keep doing stuff, we know we'll do something right, huh? Sorry I haven't blogged lately, really working hard on this formatting. Think I've got it, but it'll probably be Monday before I can blog some more information.