Further adventures in publishing: The e-book saga
OK, so my book has been out for a week-and-a-half. A few people have bought it (thank you!). Dana Kane blogged about it (thank you, my friend). However, the overall reaction I’ve gotten is, “I’ll wait for the digital version.”
(sigh) Once again, I have to reluctantly face techno-reality — people don’t read books anymore. They read book files on e-book readers. If I want to sell my book, I have to do so on their terms.
So, off I trotted to my account on CreateSpace, which gives one the option of publishing a Kindle version to Kindle Direct Publishing, which is associated with Amazon. They make it sound so simple — just upload your Word document, they’ll convert it to a Kindle format, and poof! All you have to do is approve it and submit it, and it becomes available as an e-book. Easy as pie, right?
I did the conversion, then checked the file. It was a total mess. And of course, I had no idea how to fix the Word file so that it would convert properly.
First, I tried to research the issue on my own. I read about free download software that would convert files for you. Tried installing a couple of those, and, when I couldn’t figure out how to use them to save my life, promptly uninstalled them. Tried to find online resources, but there was way too much information out there and I didn’t know how to narrow it down to what I needed.
So I decided to ask for help (duhhhh, right?). I posted a thread in a book group on FetLife, and also one on the Kindle Community Help Forum. Wow. People are amazing sometimes — I was deluged with information and references and links to places with tips. One thing was clear, however — my book file had to be reformatted. What you do in a file for a paperback won’t cut it in a file for an e-book.
I’ll spare you the details of all the stuff I’ve had to do, but suffice it say I’ve spent two days on it. Now, I think I just might have a clean file. I even downloaded a free Kindle Previewer so I could check it out thoroughly. But I don’t trust myself to submit it, so I have asked one of my clients for a favor, since they are experts in e-book publishing. I want them to take a peek at my file and see if everything looks proper.
Soon, Kindle readers. I promise. I will have this freaking book available for you.
Speaking of entering the 21st Century, guess who finally got a Smartphone? Yes, my beloved John. The same man who still has a 19-inch tube TV and Windows XP, has never owned an iPod or an iPad or an i-anything. And he didn’t get just any Smartphone; he got the top-of-the-line Samsung Galaxy S4, with a quad processor and a 13-megapixel camera. I have never seen him this jazzed over anything electronic before; all week, he’s been telling me about all the stuff he can do on this thing. It’s so cute.
He wants me to ask all you Smartphone users (particularly the men, since they generally have bigger hands/thicker fingers): Do you prefer to use two thumbs when typing with the touch screen, or do you hunt and peck rapidly with your index finger?
Have a great weekend, y’all.