Thursday, August 18, 2011

Nancy's How-To Guide Part II on eBook Publishing

All right, you've gone through the first twelve steps on how to self-publish your own book and now you have an edited manuscript all ready to go.
What's next?
1.  Consider how to get a cover made.  Why a cover, you may ask, since there's no physical book?  Kinda goes along with the mystery of the sphinx.  Guess people want to look at something even if it's really teeny and a lot of times in black and white, but whatever the case, you do need one.
2.  Thoughtfully rub your chin awhile, then check online for book cover artists.  Maybe buy an e-book from someone whose covers you like and see if the cover artist is listed inside.  Read blogs about self-publishing and see if cover artists are advertising.  Or, get creative yourself and expect to become really close friends with i-stock photos.
3.  Buy an ISBN number.  Repeat that.  Buy an ISBN number.  Didn't know they were for sale, but they are.  I bought mine at Bowker.  What?  Bowker.  It's online. (ISBN's seem kinda spendy for what they are, but okay.  Gotta have 'em.)
4.  So, now you've got your manuscript.  You've got your cover.  You've even got your ISBN number.  The last piece is putting the whole thing into HTML programming.
5.  HTM. . .what the?  L?
6.  Am I going to take the time to learn this?  LOL
7.  Or, okay, maybe you will.  You might want to learn something new, like HTML programming.  This may take awhile, so I'm going to go get a glass of wine and sit outside for a season or two while you perfect it.
8.  Go back to Step 2 and search for someone who does HTML programming.  (If his name is Guido, I'm gonna bet he's our guy.)
9.  Send your manuscript electronically to Guido or your other chosen HTML programmer.
10.  Question yourself:  What?  But that's my manuscript!  I can't just send it to a stranger!  What if they steal it from me?
11.  Send it to Guido anyway and then marvel at what comes back to you.  Wow.  It looks GREAT.
12.  Go onto the publishing sites for Amazon, B&N, i-Book etc. and follow the directions on what to do next.
Simple as 1, 2, 3....456789101112.

FYI: The HTML programming for JESSE'S RENEGADE just got finished tonight, so I'll be putting it up soon!
Thanks, Guido.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Nancy's How-To Guide To E-Book Conversion

I've spent a lot of this summer transferring some of my backlisted books -- older ones that have been out of print for sometime -- into e-book form.  Here's a 12-step program on how you do it:
1.  Read your contract and try to decipher what it says.  Force majeure?  What?
2.  Find the clause that deals with out of print books.
3.  Read the clause sixty-seven times to see if you understand what it means on how to contact the publisher and ask for your rights back.
4.  Write a certified letter asking the publisher for your rights back.
5.  Wait awhile, oh, six months or so, depending on what the contract says.
6.  Chafe at how long it's taking for those six months or so to pass.
7.  Receive a response from the publisher, telling you that some of your works are not yet vulnerable to reversion, but they would like to publish the others as long as you sign your e-rights away to all of them on this dotted line.
8.  Politely refuse said offer and tell them to send you your rights back....please....with an undertone of legal action pending....
9.  Receive a letter from the publisher granting you your rights back.  Unbelievable!!  Yay!!
10. Figure out how in the world to now convert that old book in your hand into Word -- scan it?  Write it in because scanning sucks?  Use Dragon-naturally speaking and talk it in? -- so that you can prepare it for HTML programming and then learn the next set of steps to self-publish.
11. Find wine and Skype or sit by yourself in a dark room and contemplate the meaning of life.
12. Open up Word and the book, and type in: Chapter One....

There is a second set of steps that follows this one on how to actually get your Word doc onto Amazon, B&N, Apple etc. sites in order to actually sell your book....more about that later....