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Turn Your Manuscript into an E-Book
My First Little Book
My Path to a Completed e-Book
I started my e-book publishing career with a small book of poetry, figuring that a small book could be quickly formatted, tested, and published. I then joined the Kindle Select program so I could offer my book for free for a few days to gain exposure. Kindle Select also makes your book available to borrowers through the Amazon Prime program. For a first book, the goal is maximum exposure and getting positive reviews while producing the next book as soon as possible and building a platform from which your writing can be discovered by readers in your niche.
I have now published over a dozen books and knitting patterns on Amazon as well as on Smashwords. Right now I am in the "writing the next book" stage of my plan, which will be my longest e-book yet. I hope others will find this information helpful. The more quality indie publications out there, the more the public will accept and demand e-books by independent publishers.
Image courtesy of adamr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
This is the best book for beginners who want just the facts on writing, formatting and publishing for Kindle.
Your Book Cover is Important
Make Your Book Stand Out from the Crowd
When you shop online, are you more likely to buy a product with or without a picture? Most people want to see what they are buying, even if it is a digital cover for a digital book. A good cover design shows potential readers a little about your personality and gives them a taste for what is likely to be inside the book.
I have used a stock design from the Cover Creator in the Kindle Direct Publishing upload page for one of my early books. Then I moved on to using my own photographs for my knitting pattern books. I am also working on some possible covers from drawings made by myself and my daughters. I even have a cover design done for a book I have not yet written. Why? I find it very motivating to look at my lovely cover and title--such a great cover deserves a book to go inside, right? If you are stuck in the middle of a book, try pausing to work on a cover for a bit and see if that gets you jump started.
When entering a subtitle in the Cover Creator, click on the subtitle area of the cover. You won't see a cursor. Ignore the styling options popup box and just start typing your text.
Producing my Content
I started small.
I had published poetry for several years on what were then Helium and Associated Content. It was a simple matter to take some of those poems (I still had rights to them--they were not exclusives) and paste them together into a Word document. I added a title page, preface, acknowledgements, and table of contents. I then followed Guido Henckel's instructions to clean up the html before uploading to Kindle Direct Publishing. Note: I now follow the Smashwords Style Guide to create my upload file and get good results.
My next booklet, According to my Research, I published on Smashwords as well as Amazon. Doing both means I can't enroll this booklet in the Kindle Select program, which requires 90 days of exclusivity to Amazon, but this is a specialty booklet of lesson plans for teachers, so wanted to cast a wide net to find my audience.
When my 90-day obligation on Kindle Select ran out, I also uploaded my haiku book on Smashwords so that users of Nook and Kobo reading devices can also find it. Since then, I have not used Kindle Select, but have published on Smashwords (opting out of their Amazon distribution option) and then tweaked my file to upload to Kindle Direct Publishing. (Kindle wants a .docx file while Smashwords wants a .doc file.)