I will try not to make this ungodly long and hideous, however I wanted to jot down my "process" as both a way to help other newbie indie publishers find some PITA free process that works, and to hand it off to seasoned publishers for feedback on what I may be overlooking, leaving out or getting just plain wrong.
This is how I went about getting my book on Kindle -
1. Open Office
2. Set margins to 1.00, set default font to Century size 11; set new style headers to 13 and bold for titles, made another one for copyright info which was Century 10.5; turned off headers/footers, set first line indent at 3 spaces. Left well enough alone.
3. Wrote book 500 frigging times until I was having nightmares about it
3B Used page break for new chapters and no more than 3 P spaces on a page to break it up a bit
4. Proofed it 501 times, which was about 800 times less than what's required
5. Saved it in the OO format standard
6. Saved As 2nd version as HTML
7. Opened with Notepad++ and cleaned up additional space coding and warped span tags
8. Added the Kindle codes for start, TOC, pagebreaks, and changed image names; hand coded the hyper jump links for the TOC
9. Bundled it all up into a folder with images
2000x3000 size image using paint.net because I was too lazy to mess with Gimp
Resized image to 600x800
Forced to open Gimp anyway to save in 300dpi
10. zipped folder with html and images, and cover
11. Uploaded to Kindle, filled out info fields, uploaded cover
12. Previewed 500 times, back and forth fixing formatting or typos til eyes bled - finally got it looking sweet for the previewer, but no clue how it'll actually look on kindle
13. rinse, repeat
After going round and round with the formatting, the images weren't showing up in html, I opened the html page itself, copied the whole thing off the page and pasted it into another OO file, so it saved the hyperlinks for the TOC. Saved it as word 2000 doc and uploaded that to Kindle, forgetting to remove the cover from in the doc so when it finishes the recent update I will have to resubmit the final doc option without the cover inside.
A note on the cover -
I downloaded Create Space's cover template and opened it in paint.net and just pasted in my actual cover I'd made and lined it up with the bleed area edges, whipped up the spine and back cover and then "erased" all the bleed guide margins.
Still had to open it in Gimp though to make sure it was all flattened correctly and saved with 300dpi since paint.net always saves it with 72 for some reason and no options to change it that I can find
So the template came in handy to get all the sections done well and I can crop it out if I need to for other work's covers.
Finally, after the file was done, I removed the ASIN from the doc, exported it as pdf, turned off the copy and print permissions, etc. and now it's done.
So...how efficient would you say that is in getting it done without trauma, or did I do it the hard way?
Um, that sounds pretty hard to me! I have a pretty good system in place, but mine isn't necessarily the best. I think many authors here have systems that work well for them. I publish to more than one platform, so mine's a little different, and still fairly complicated:
1. Open a new document in Microsoft Word, apply my custom Book template (or my Children's Book template, depending). I adhere to proper format religiously, because it avoids problems later on. Every possible paragraph format that I use has its own style. I also add copyright info and stuff like that.
3. Write like mad (I write non-fiction). Add pictures, if necessary. I format them with captions in PowerPoint, save as JPG, then insert in Word. Add book blurb at the beginning, right after the TOC, since customers really seem to like that.
4. Save file for three different platforms: Nook, Kindle, Apple (via Lulu.com). Add pictures and book covers with appropriate links to other books on the same platform to each file.
5. Set aside. Work on another book.
6. Developmental edit and incorp. I do this myself, but I've been editing myself for 25 years, and even my previous editors pretty much left my stuff alone--very lucky that way! (I know several different style guides inside out.) Set aside. Work on another book.
7. Copy edit and incorp. Insert TOC (from headings, with hyperlinks instead of page numbers, so I don't have to bookmark them manually, very easy). Set aside. Work on another book.
8. One last review.
9. For Nook and Kindle files: Save As / Web page, filtered. Add book to Calibre. Convert Nook file to EPUB and convert Kindle file to MOBI. This is nice, because I don't have to insert extra page breaks; the conversion process automatically does that for me at each Heading 1 and Heading 2.
10. Upload Apple file as is in .docx format to Lulu. Upload converted EPUB file to Barnes and Noble. Upload converted MOBI file to Amazon. I do all of these simultaneously, so I can cut and paste from one similar field to another. Review the previewer results on BN and Amazon very carefully. I also buy a copy the next day and preview on various devices just to make sure!
11. 50% of the time: go back to Lulu 1-2 weeks later to fix whatever weirdness they say I have to address before they can publish on Apple.
12. Every month or two, set aside 2-3 days to publish to Smashwords and Google Play (barf). Google Play means I have to add another step to fill out all the ISBN info (I bought a block of ISBNs last year). Blech. Now I'm also trying to publish directly to Kobo, but I might as well just wait until their self-pubbing platform is in place. Once that happens...no more publishing to Smashwords. Sony sales are non-existent for me. I'm also going to start publishing to Ebookmall and maybe Ebooks.com just to see if it gives me any extra sales.
Wow, that's eye-opening. Sometimes, I feel like I spend more time in the publishing process than I do in the writing process. I would try to outsource the publishing part, but I really do need to be hands-on to get the best results. :P
Btw, that buy your own book step is something I always do. Once, my book got mixed up with another one (can't remember whether it was BN or Amazon), which I wouldn't have known if I hadn't bought the book. Also, sometimes the previewers aren't exactly what the customer sees. Oh, well!
I will try not to make this ungodly long and hideous,
well you HAVE.
all I can say is I would hate to be paying you on a time basis to format my book.
only reason we can do a perfect format for $75 is to use the KISS process in the Amazon Guide - it is DEAD SIMPLE.
however it only describes "styles" as per WYSIWYG Word 2010 and will only work if you set up your first para the way described and hit enter for subsequent ones.
if you want to FIX a file from a customer where formatting is all over the shop you need to do GLOBAL changes and for that you need a styles box on right and a style ruler on left or you are working in the dark.
I just type it in Word and save it as a Word doc and then upload. There's little things I do, too, like make sure chapter headings are bold and my paragraphs are indented, but--wow--what you listed sounds like a lot of work. My books look fine when downloaded.
I remember I was so worried that epublishing would take a lot of hard work to understand. I Googled and found explanations like this, and then I came to a simple explanation of uploading a Word doc and could exhale.
As long as you produce a good looking book, use your method. But the smashword guidelines are good. It's very simple to work with a word doc and format it. Perhaps you were being facetious when you mentioned the number of times for writing and editing. That process could take 10 years per book.
For covers, any image that you own or buy from shutterstock.com seems to work. You just have to learn to use your favorite image editing software to manipulate things..
But I'd like to hear your marketing tips.
Author's Website http://bit.ly/Jap3ei
I just type it in Word and save it as a Word doc and
then upload. There's little things I do, too, like
make sure chapter headings are bold and my paragraphs
are indented, but--wow--what you listed sounds like a
lot of work. My books look fine when downloaded.
I remember I was so worried that epublishing would
take a lot of hard work to understand. I Googled and
found explanations like this, and then I came to a
simple explanation of uploading a Word doc and could
you are just SOOOOO correct, ie as long as you follow the rules in Word you can just upload that, espec now you don't need to specify cover.
Because I found the whole process a lot of effort (I'm allergic to effort) and I was writing a novel which is quite enough effort for lazy me, I recently wrote a program to make the whole process really easy.
The idea was for the program to deal with all the techie difficulties and it manages that pretty well. For those who like the achievement of overcoming those difficulties it's probably not the ideal.
For those who don't like HTML it's likely more useful. All HTML is created and dealt with inside the program. You will never see it because what you input to the program is a simple text file. You can read more at http://www.instebook.com and I did upload an ebook created with my program to illustrate how effective it is. I had intended to make it free but Amazon does not seem to allow me to do that even though many other books are available free.
The book is 'The Jacobites' by Robert McCallum. It's a short pamphlet rather than what I'd call a book.
I write mine in Word according to the style format required by my paperback POD service (though I don't always end up using it) then I copy that file and globally replace certain aspects with HTML code, then in an HTML editor I complete the HTMLization.
Then I dump it into Sigil and create the chapters and TOC etc.
Then I dump the resulting epub into Calibre to create the mobi (and epub).
I upload the mobi to kindle and the epub to other digital sites (unless enrolled in Select).
I write mine in Word according to the style format
required by my paperback POD service (though I don't
always end up using it) then I copy that file and
globally replace certain aspects with HTML code, then
in an HTML editor I complete the HTMLization.
Then I dump it into Sigil and create the chapters and
Then I dump the resulting epub into Calibre to create
the mobi (and epub).
I upload the mobi to kindle and the epub to other
digital sites (unless enrolled in Select).
sounds like Frodo trying to get to Mt Doom
WHY make it so hard?
you write in Word so if you do that properly that is end of session.
I read all these "methods" and I think of the american fascination for TEOTWAWKI