It has been an interesting few days here. As many of you may know, I am close to completing (for the umpteenth time) the first novel in the Aglaril Cycle. Over the last few days, I uploaded a version formatted for hard cover print and software print to Lulu.
I then turned my attention to ebooks.
I knew I wanted a version in Kindle format, PDF, epub (for the Apple iBooks store), and one for Sony reader. So I set out to determine how I can produce all these versions.
I started with Lulu because that's where my print version will be coming from unless a small press publisher picks me up. The problem with that approach is Lulu wants you to pay for a conversion to epub format. My goal is to try to do this myself. So I scratched that option of the list.
Next, I hit the Internet. I knew from previous research that Amazon provides instructions for creating a Kindle version. I reviewed those steps and moved on.
Creating a PDF version was not an issue either. I've been creating PDFs with Word and Acrobat for years. The real issue was how to create formats about which I knew very little, like the epub format. From what I discovered on the Internet, I could use Pages (an Apple word-processing application that is part of iWork) to export to epub. I happen to have a copy of that application so that seemed like an answer.
Then I read a little further and learned about Smashwords.com. They take Word files and create multiple ebook and electronic formats for free, including all the formats I wanted. So I decided to join.
Let me stop here and say, I had heard of Smashwords before, but didn't really understand why so many people were using that service. Dopey me. I really need to pay more attention to things like that.
But I digress. Once I joined, I went through their process of formatting a Word file according to their style guide. Then I uploaded the file as a test. Several hours later, all the versions were available. They look pretty good too. The one I like the best is the epub version because I dropped it into iTunes and synced my phone with it and Bamph! My book is on my phone. That is very cool.
I'm not done exploring Smashwords. They have a premium catalog that I'm waiting to get into. And they all have a marketing guide I want to check out. They will assign an ISBN to the book too it seems.
So that may be the way I start. I don't know. I am still investigating. I'll post updates in future blog entries.
Stay tuned. And if you are interested in checking out my book, go to http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/29970