I decided to dust off a print book I published almost 30 years ago and turn it into an e book. Problem is that I work in MSWorks and everybody seems to want Word! I don't have word, don't like word, don't want to buy word...but I do have the free version of Open Office. So, I scanned the entire book into PDF and am now copying it into works where I can convert it into word. WHAT a job! Anybody know how to do this more easily??? Any advice? I was going to go with Smashwords until I saw all the tech stuff they wanted, so will go with Amazon instead...seems much easier. They say they'll accept PDF, BUT, PDF scanned files are sloppy looking since I scanned them right from the print book. WHAT have I gotten myself into??
I take it you don't have the original file you used to create the book? There is software that converts pdf to text, but you do have to check the conversion thoroughly because it isn't 100% accurate.
I would recommend taking the converted text straight to Open Office and working on the formatting and editing there.
I was going to ask the same question. However, if the book was only available in print format, then I guess it wouldn't matter what program it was created with.
I use software called Nitro PDF to covert my documents into different formats. Not sure how much it costs now though.
This book was written more than 25 years ago...long before e books, etc on a very old version of MSWorks in a font they no longer use. So the answer is "no".
I actually once bought a conversion program when I was switching from Mac to Windows and it worked great...but that was years ago and I have since tossed it!
What I am doing is putting the PDF work into MSWorks and then saving it as Word in Open Office. I am doing minor changes before I move the files and then doublechecking each chapter as I finish. Very, very tedious!
I've used MSworks for all my ebooks. I change them to rtf files before uploading.
What are rft files? Never heard of that...and which e publishers accept that format?
Traveler - RTF - Rich Text Format.
It was what we used before Word and works ever existed. You can check to see if Works can export to it (I'm sure they can). Also, Open Office may be able to read the MSWorks format. It would be easier than retyping it.
You could also scour the net to see if there is a conversion program or site.
PDF can also be read easily by a number of sites. A simple Google search will send you to a number of them in order to assist.
Alison and Douglas: Thanks so much for your help with this. I talked to my computer guru today and found out that I can easily convert MSWorks to rich text and do not need Open Office or Word at all for this project.
The problem was that I only had a print copy of the book, but no disks. So what I did was scan the entire book into PDF and then copy and paste it into MSWorks and now all I have to do is edit and save in rich text. This will save me tons of work, believe me. I do not like Word and I do not like Open Office.
My biggest fear now is to get the formatting correct. I know I need to put everything into a single file for uploading and use page breaks between sections, but that is as far as I have gotten. Any advice for other stuff?
If you get on the Smashwords forums you'll find people willing to format your book for a very reasonable fee.
What do you know about Lulu.com? They will accept RTF, etc and seem like they will be easier to deal with than Amazon. Amazon seems easy on the surface, but I can't even get an answer to a simple question from them...ie do I need to use a stand alone copy of Word or will one in a purchased version of MS Office do?
Lulu.com is a different kind of publisher. They create POD books (print on demand) as well as ebooks. I am not sure whether they distribute to all the various ebook sellers like Booktango and Smashwords do. I don't recommend them.
You are right in concentrating on Amazon because it is the biggest seller of ebooks, so your book has the best chance there - especially if you enrol it in Kindle Select for the first few months. You can always remove it from Kindle Select later and then publish it on Booktango as well.
Actually Lulu does market to all of the various booksellers and seems like it would be easy to use, but for me it's a "back up" choice. I really want to stick with Amazon if I can.
As I said before, you are right - you need to do Amazon first, and join the Kindle Select program to maximise your exposure at first. However after that, you should publish at Smashwords or Booktango as well, so your book can be available at stores like Barnes & Noble and iTunes.
Can you publish a book with more than one ebook publisher at a time? I didn't think you could?
I think you're misunderstanding the meaning of the word "publisher". YOU are the publisher. All you are doing is listing your self-published book with various stores.
Amazon is the best store to list with, because it sells the most ebooks. Several authors have told me the best way to get sales is by opting for Kindle Select - which means the book has to be exclusive to Amazon and not listed anywhere else.
Once sales die down with Kindle Select, you should opt out and use another service so you can get your book listed at other stores like Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple etc.
I've already mentioned Booktango as one way to do that - Marie just mentioned Bookcountry which I'd never heard of, but which looks interesting (though why they would list your book on Google Books where everyone can read it for free, I don't know - doesn't that just ensure no one will buy it?). Both offer reasonably-priced solutions to do the formatting, cover etc for you. They will even list on Amazon for you, though if you go through them you can't opt for Kindle Select.
Amazon is an online bookstore, not a publisher. When you self publish you are the publisher and you can sell your ebook through as many online bookstores as you like.
I've found something that works much better than Lulu.com, which is very slow and way too much hassle. You can publish an ebook through kdp Amazon. It's for free, and instantly published. You need a Table of Contents; if your software doesn't provide the feature, you can go to a local community college and use their computers. Here's the link: https://kdp.amazon.com/
You can go on to publish in paperback for free, using CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/ . They also publish instantly. They have a feature for turning your paperback into an ebook, but I recommend going through kdp, since they do a better job.
This is very inspiring and makes me want to pursue the e book option for my novel. I would be interested in learning about your success and whether your book will be available for Kindle. Have you designed a cover as well?
Smashwords has a great primer on how to format a book for e-readers. It is second to none, even if you decide not to publish on Smashwords. How a book looks and acts on electronic devices is very different than how it actually looks on a pdf
Formatting for e reading is critical and complex, but your readers are the most important and the Smashwords primer about how to format really keeps the reader in mind. If they can't read it because you hve formatted it poorly, they will not download it.
When I format my books for e-publishing, I have to unplug for several days and put all of my attention on the formatting process and Smashwords walks me through it step by step, even the potholes. I have published on both Smashwords and Amazon, but I start with Smashwords because if my book can make it through their "machine" it will work anywhere.
That has been my experience. I will be publishing my first printed book tomorrow and that process is so completely different - I was so glad that I had the e-publishing under my belt first first to learn the terminology. Smashwords is my go to site for advice on e-publishing and Create Space for printing. Good luck - how exciting!
I took a good look at the Smashwords guide and found it overwhelming. Since I do not have MSWord and they won't accept works, I have little choice...they don't even want word as it appears on Open Office, and I'm not about to spend hundreds of dollars for a program for a project that may earn me nothing. Amazon accepts word from the free Open Office, and I am thinking they must do something to make sure it looks good in addition to my own edits. I'm sure Smashwords is great, but it is more tech oriented than I care to deal with right now.
I agree the Smashwords formatting is horribly difficult. I got through it but it was a struggle!
I know Luis Gonzalez uses Booktango.com and he says it's much, much easier. So I suggest looking into that.
ALL ebook publishers will accept Word documents created in Open Office. Anyone telling you otherwise is misunderstanding your question. They will not accept documents in Open Office format, but they will accept them if you "save as" Word.
Open Office is free, and it even has a pdf importer so you should be able to import your pdf directly into the program.
Booktango is really easy once you get to know the steps (like having to place images one at a time in the interior pages) but I've just published two more eBooks on Amazon and fell in love with their free book cover options plus I can insert images withing the interior pages (from Word) and submit everything in one step.
One key thing to remember; you really need to do your own marketing and not rely solely on the distributor.
Any suggestions for marketing other than showing the book on social media sites and emailing people I know about it.
You have to market a book according to a plan which starts by answering the question: who would buy this book if they knew about it?
I am always up for a good learning experience and would love to find out how things go - would you post an update after you have published? It would be good to know.
I was a little confused by your statement about Smashwords not accepting anything in works - I am pretty sure I had to put everything into notepad or works to "scrub out" all of the formatting issues with Word, which I do not think Smashwords likes very much... but as you have already pointed out - the instructions are very complex and I was so focused on following the directions exactly - I am embarassed to say that I wasn't paying attention - that soemtimes happens to me when I am following directions - must be why I don't usually follow (or at least read) the directions...I like to pay attention.
Anyway, I am getting ready to publish my 4th e-book and if there is a more streamlined approach that gets the same end result for the reader - I would love to know. I personally really dislike Word and if there is an alternative - I am even more interested. Good luck!
You can convert any works document into word, but you must have a place to save it, which would be a word program on your computer or, in my case, open office. However, the publisher you are using says that doing this latter technique creates problems when publishing for them.
I have explained it in detail. Just follow the simple steps to convert your images into word or editable text.
Congratulations. Do we get to know what it's about or tell us where we can take a look?
No place to take a peek for now because I'm in the process of reformatting it and getting it ready for publication.
Originally it was to have been a book about a couple selling everything and living and traveling full time in an RV. However, tragedy struck shortly after implementing our plan and my husband died suddenly! So, it turned into a book about how a young widow survives the sudden death of her husband and moves on to create a new life for herself. The Title is "Second Chance", which may be a problem because others have used this same title, however, I have held copyright on this book for more than 25 years, so I'm hoping I don't have any problems.
It will be awhile before I put it up for sale on Amazon, but Kindle users will be able to read it for free the first 3 months or so. Stay tuned!
This is an autobiographical novel that is a true and very inspirational story of what happened to me, personally. Very sad in parts, but uplifting in its message.
Wow, that's so very sad. Im so sorry. I would love to read your story some day.
It should be ready for publication in a few weeks as reformatting is very time consuming and tedious. I'll do a forum announcement when it's online and, as I said, if you have a Kindle you'll be able to read it for free. It's probably the best piece of writing I have ever done, and I'm hoping many women will read it because it will help them to look "up" instead of "down".
I am giving the book away to all takers on January 10 and ll. Second Chance by Sondra Biggart on Amazon. If you read the book and like it, please leave a positive review for me on the Amazon site where you checked out the book. Thanks.
RTF = rich text format. Many word processing programs will let you save text in that format and many word processing programs can read it.
I saved this link some time ago; I can't recommend the advice because I haven't followed it myself yet, but you might get some useful information from it. Just delete the space between com/ and kindle to make it a working link.
I mentioned earlier in this thread that Smashwords "How-to" book is a good resource in e-publishing. Yes, it is difficult to read, but publishing is not an easy process, nor should it be - very much like the discussions that appear on this forum, the e-book world wants to ensure quality and if anyone can upload any randomly formatted book - there would be no quality control - kind of what happens at HubPages??? Slogging through the directions will ensure that your readers will have a good experience and actually be able to read the e-book. And in turn, if they can read the book, they can recommend it, and then you are off to the races.
Many of the questions you have been asking will be answered, especially about the formatting, the rtf, whether or not to use Mobi, or some other editor, cover, and process are answered in the Smashwords book - which is available to read free and even if you choose to publish at Smashwords or any of the other e-publishers...
I have found that uploading to Amazon and all of the other e-vendors is seamless if I follow the Smash directions and readign the directions does not require you to publish at Smashwords, in fact, of you are going to go the Kindle Direct route, your book may not be published anywhere else for 90 days.
Even if you continue to choose to not use the Smashwords resource, I can assure you that the chapter on "scrubbing" your book before you upload it will be helpful, especially if you are using a variety of fonts and have not established one set format.
I too wanted to rush to publish and learned that taking the time to format it correctly is the best investment of time you can make. I shy from the techie stuff too, so took a weekend, unplugged from everything and just read the resource. It was much easier the second time and by the time I published my third e-book I felt confidence and competent. Then when I published my 1st print book (this week) it was so super easy I was thrilled, but I had confidence and competence - the kind that only come from really reading the directions...sorry - if you knew me you would laugh because I am the kind of person who will lose the Amazing Race because I had to read the instructions and refused...but when it comes to e-publishing the investment is worth it and it only costs your time - no other fees are involved. I am now helping my friends to e-publish and consider yourself my friend because I am giving them the exact same info.
Read about "scrubbing" in the Smashwords reference book at the very least - it will save you tons of heartache regardless of which format, program, distributer, etc...
Please realize that I am learning too and have been intrigued by this thread, I have learned some things and still have a lot to learn and am open to feedback. This post is based upon my own experiences and I am sure that with the many talented and successful published authors out there - we can all continue to learn. The lessons are worth going through to produce a high quality experience for your readers.
Note of error:
"I have found that uploading to Amazon and all of the other e-vendors is seamless if I follow the Smash directions and readign the directions does not require you to publish at Smashwords, in fact, of you are going to go the Kindle Direct route, your book may not be published anywhere else for 90 days."
This only applies if you select the KDP program. If you do not select the program, you are open to publish on any platform.
First, I am so sorry about your loss! I know it's been long ago, but I'd never known of it. That's indeed a traumatic and life-changing event.
Since it sounds like a memoir, you might want to pitch it to publishers that specialize in memoirs. Hudson Whitman is a fairly new publisher that ONLY publishes memoirs. They're an arm of Excelsior College, and deliberately chose to deviate from the standard type of books university publishing houses produce.
Another way to get attention is to submit a chapter to a literary journal (Glimmer Train has a contest that ends on Dec. 31, by the way). Even if a chapter has been published before, you can still use it for a book, and the fact that it's been published gives it more clout.
One source for literary magazines (and other publications) is New Pages (it's a website). They list contests and information on what various mags are looking for at any given time.
Best of luck in getting it formatted for print, and in getting it published!
Thanks, Marcy. My main goal is just to do an ebook for now and see where that leads me. This story was very well received back in the day, and I feel it will be the same now...except now it will be marketed! Reworking it is bringing back many memories, some not so good, others fantastic. It has been quite a journey so far. Thanks for the info.
Download Libre office. You can save files in the format of a word document. I used Libre to send quotes to my clients for business solicitations. It worked out well for me and it's FREE!
I'd probably just try resaving into .rtf and then cut and paste into the online ebook program. (I have an account at Book Country and hoping to publish my first ebook.)
Honestly social media is your best and most inexpensive method that you can take to market your e-book. I'm willing to give you some help if you have any questions. Shoot me a message sometime.
Thanks. I'll be in touch soon. I need all the help I can get! Still struggling with the reformat on this one!
Yeah. Do you have a website? May I take a look?
Sorry, no website. When I email you I'll send you a link to the Amazon listing for the book so you can get some idea about what I have.
I would second that Lulu is an obsolete technology. Lulu is a fee-charging front end for Lightning Source. The best option is to either use lightning source directly, or start with kindle/createspace and move out to other distributors from there, either directly or by using draft2digital.
kdp select is an ebook publisher, and is associated with Amazon.
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