Thursday, August 05, 2010

Thursday's Pre-Publication Post: E-books, Or When Seeing Your Work In Print Is Only Part of the Story

For a long time, the dream was relatively simple. And focused. It involved seeing my story collection, Quiet Americans, in print. As in: a book. With pages one could turn.

But, as you may have heard, there's a new kid on the publishing block: the e-book. Actually, he's not just one kid. He's got multiple platforms.

If I haven't been linking here on Practicing Writing to lots of articles about e-books--how to publish them, how to read them, how popular they're becoming--maybe a little bit of that is due to my not-so-subconscious desire not to have to deal with them insofar as my own work is concerned.

You see, I already have a full-time job, and getting my story collection into print has quickly become almost equally consuming. Getting the collection ready for e-publication that is far more sophisticated than the simple downloadable pdfs used for my old market directories seems to be one layer of responsibility too many.

But it will happen. My publisher seems to be pretty comfortable with the Kindle platform, so that may well be the first vehicle we turn to for Quiet Americans once the print version is complete. (In fact, literally just yesterday, my publisher blogged about the recent royalty-related developments affecting books published via Amazon/Kindle.)

But how many of you rely on the Kindle? How many use other systems?

And for those of you with experience transforming your words from docs on your screen to paid-for content on others': How did you do it? Let's leave aside those of you working with big publishers who can easily handle the task for you. Have you used Smashwords? Have you required the services of a freelancer to format and prepare your text? What do you wish you'd known then that you can share now? I'd love to learn from your experiences.

6 comments:

Bill said...

I know that the Kindle and the Nook and other e-reading systems are popular but I still the love of a real tangible book. Personally I will not purchase one of those e-readers even though I see their importance, I just like to tough, feel, and even smell (especially old tomes) a book!!!

Tara said...

Because my novella was published a couple of years by a small publisher who isn't preparing digital files for the Kindle, I was allowed to do the work myself and put my book out there for Kindle and iPad. (Actually, my programmer husband did it for me.) It seemed pretty straightforward, took about a full day's work to get it up on Kindle and iPad, BUT I think you need some programming knowledge to make it happen. Here are some resources I used in researching what to do (hope they're helpful to you):

free download of how to format for Kindle:
http://www.aprillhamilton.com/iaguides.html

blog post about how to format for Kindle:
http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2010/04/how-to-format-for-kindle.html

Anonymous said...

You did retain the rights to the electronic publication, right?

Anne Whitehouse said...

I recommend both Smashwords and Feedbooks. I have done well with my novel, Fall Love, on both of these platforms:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1652
and
http://www.feedbooks.com/userbook/1900
It is also for sale at the Amazon Kindle store.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0028RY0UY

Erika D. said...

As usual, I'm grateful for the wonderful comments. And yes, I do have electronic rights.

Kerrie McLoughlin said...

ah, if only my ebook would translate onto Kindle ... but it has these crazy tables that contain email addresses and other info. so i fear it would look all screwy on Kindle's little screen. so i'm stuck in .pdf land!