Monday, September 12, 2011

THIS BUSINESS OF E PUBLISHING

It's been quite a while since I led readers through the steps of publishing to Kindle. Excitement continues to build for not only Kindle publishing but all self-publishing, which has become a big part of E Book publishing. After speaking on a panel on this very subject Saturday at the Fayetteville, Arkansas public library, I've realized just how many writers have no idea where to start when it comes to preparing their own work for this type of publication.

Some of the questions made me stop and think about how much we who've learned how to do this fail to realize what information remains a mystery. It took me about three months of online and person to person research to decide which method of publishing I wanted to use.

I settled on Kindle first, as it's probably the most complicated to prepare for, but the highest selling. Since Amazon owns this "publishing house" if you want to call it that, Amazon does a lot of promotion of books published there. And boy do they know how to promote. But, you must know how to get their attention, too.

A question about tags was raised Saturday. Tags are one of the ways to get the attention of those searching for something to read in the genre and style they want. And on Amazon Kindle, you only get 7, so make them pay. First list the genre. Such as: Western historical romance, then go on to pick up phrases from the blurb you have written.

Blurb? I have to write a blurb? Yes, and you should use all the characters allowed if you can. And make sure each sentence contains lots of information about the contents of your book. Then go back and pick up some of those most informative phrases for your 7 tags. When a reader Googles for a book to read, you want your book and/or name to show up.

Other questions: How much does it cost? There is no charge to upload a book to Kindle. But let's back up a step or two. Before you format, and that's another subject, your book should be professionally edited. That will cost you something, but you don't want to ruin your reputation by putting out something that needs editing.

I told the audience that the pitfalls for a novice writer in self-publishing is they will upload a book that is not ready to be published. The pitfalls to a veteran writer is: they will upload a book that is not ready to be published. So please, find a good editor, one you like and trust, and turn loose of some money to assure that your book is ready to go out into that cruel world. Reviews can indeed be destructive if you're not careful.

Next, don't try to upload a regular Word document to Kindle. You could have a big problem. First, learn to format properly. You can get that information by going to Smashwords and downloading their free book on formatting. This formatting will work for all E Book publishing, though ways of uploading differ. However, you have to wade through a lot of whys and wherefores. I weeded out the actual steps and made myself a sheet I could easily follow.

I decided to get all my back list on Kindle first, then go on to upload to Nook and Apple. You may want to do them all at once, but I don't recommend it unless you are very expert on a computer and have a lot of patience. Something to remember is that Apple products have an APP that allows users to download Kindle books.

It's important that you follow instructions on formatting carefully. Just because you don't want to go back and put only one space after each period doesn't mean you can ignore that. Prepare your document exactly like you are told, then you'll need to download two free programs to your computer. One crucial step is to save your document to Word 2007. Kindle will not accept the new Word docx format at this time.

One program to download is Kindle for PC and the other is MobiCreator the publisher's version. If you're adept at HTML you can format in that for your upload, if not MobiCreator is your best friend.

Another thing that's important to know is that you must design a cover or get someone to do it for you. You can use Photoshop or the Paint program from Microsoft, which should be in your PC. Apple users can create covers easily because Mac is built for design work. Take advantage of copyright free images available online. I recommend Dreamstime. It's easy to search, inexpensive, and has millions of photos.

Mobi Creator will turn your Word document into HTML and a PRC file, which is the little blue book that shows it is what you upload to Kindle, as well as incorporating your cover design. There's a great tutorial to help you in the steps to putting your document into MobiCreator.

It there's anything wrong with your document you'll get it back, otherwise it'll go through the steps and you'll be notified.

Next time: Some of the things you can do to help in promoting your book.



5 comments:

mgmillerbooks said...

Thank you, Velda, for another great entry on ebpubbing. I'd be lost without your instruction and crazy without your patience.

Patricia Gligor said...

Velda,
How generous of you to share with all of us this step-by-step guide to e-publishing, which took three months for you to research. Thank you! This is definitely a keeper!

http://pat-writersforum.blogspot.com/

Jack LaBloom said...

I am learning so much about e-publishing by reading your blog posts. Thank you for sharing this information with us.

Victoryperfect said...

I actually enjoyed reading through this posting.Many thanks.

E-Publishing

jesus said...

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EPublishing