Sunday, January 6, 2013

Great Advice for E-book Writers

Like many aspiring novelists and writers who are seeking to take advantage of new opportunities in e-book publishing, I have been overwhelmed with all the possibilities.  And I've also been challenged by trying to navigate the technologies of ebook publishing.  For example, some ebooks are simply presented on websites as a pdf. file, but that is not the format to be used if a writer wants to sell books for use with an Amazon Kindle or a Barnes and Nobel Nook or an Apple iPad.  The Kindle Direct Publishing format was a pretty simple and accessible way to start, and I also discovered SmashWords which offered the platform to publish for numerous markets from Amazon to Apple.  However, the style and presentation expectations are different than preparing a text for a print publisher, and there is often much conflicting information on "how to format your ebook."

That's where Catherine Ryan Howard - aka - Catherine Caffeinated - is quite helpful.

Catherine's website is devoted to the craft of self-publishing, and Catherine is committed to sharing her knowledge of the industry.  In the world of e-book publishing Catherine seems to have tried it all, and she has numerous posts about all the different avenues.  For example, if you have questions on formatting or the business side of ebook publishing, Catherine has a page of links to all these issues.  I had uploaded my ebook to Smashwords, but I was delayed in getting it accepted to the Premium program because of formatting.  I couldn't completely remove the tabs or text boxes, and my ebook cover did not meet standards.  The tab problems resulted from me trying to adapt a traditional manuscript - because I wasn't going to retype 90,000 words.  Trying to understand Smashwords style guide was overwhelming, and I couldn't quite figure out the "nuclear option."  However, following methodically through Catherine's post solved all my problems.  This post by Catherine is the single most valuable ebook publishing post I've found so far.

I am really thankful that people like Catherine have put together blogs sharing their knowledge.  If you are struggling with how to publish your novel as an ebook, check out Catherine's blog.  And, of course, if you want to compensate her for all the help, you might consider buying one of her books.

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