Saturday, 17 September 2016

The Pitfalls & Pratfalls of Self-Publishing an Ebook


Anecdotally, it is very easy to publish an ebook on Amazon Kindle. Anecdotally, it is as easy as uploading a post to Facebook. Yep. If you believe the anecdoters. More fool you if you do. Let me enlighten you, gentle blog reader. 

The story starts with a writer, an eMac, and a newly finished novel called Murder & Mayhem ...

* Copy novel onto memory stick and take down to office computer. Spellcheck, because eMac has limited vocabulary. Go through whole book adjusting spaces and paragraphs which have gone awry in short distance from upstairs to downstairs. As things do.

* Format novel** as word file and send out to first editor.

* Novel returns. Deal with issues arising.

* Send novel to second editor.

* Ditto

* Novel is proof read.

* Ditto

* Apparently flawless novel is turned into epub file and transferred onto BH's iPad for final checking.

* A few small formatting mistakes are found in the transfer and dealt with.

* Send now definitely flawless novel as mobi file to select group of reviewers for pre-reading.

* Deal with small formatting mistakes spotted by one eagle-eyed reviewer.

* Go onto Kindle Bookshelf and do all the 'back of house stuff' ready for upload. This involves    uploading cover, writing blurb, deciding on Amazon categories, keywords, pricing etc.

* Upload 'temporary book' so that can offer it for pre-order.

* Amazon sends email that 'real book' must be uploaded in 10 days time. Ignore it.

* Family stuff happens.

* Amazon sends second email warning that if book not uploaded by agreed date, will remove book, writer, reputation and probably send goons round to burn down house.

* Fail to appreciate that in the US, month comes before day. Think we only have two days. Panic.

* Load Calibre to format book file as epub. (One day left before Amazon ends career.)

* Calibre refuses to recognise book file and convert it. Panic.

* Try putting book file through as doc-ex. file. Seems to work.

* Upload epub to Bookshelf six hours before Amazon deadline expires.

* Preview book. Seems OK. Hopefully.

* Await publication day (22nd September) with great trepidation and large bottle of prosecco.



**  All the techie stuff is done by Beloved Husband. I do the checking, panicking and drinking.You didn't seriously think I was capable of doing the techie stuff. Did you? 


13 comments:

  1. Haha, brilliant post, Carol! Unfortunately, I no longer drink alcohol so as I await the pre-order deadline 'end career and send goons' date I devour large quantities of chocolate instead!! Not good on the muffin top - or the nerves! SO looking forward to reading Murder and Mayhem.

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    1. It is very unnerving ~ I sometimes wish I wasn't such a cheapskate and could make myself pay someone else to do it...but I can't.

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  2. Oh goodness, yes! I know this process only too well....fingers crossed for you, CarolStar!

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    1. Aw..thanks Val..And after all this, I KNOW someone will contact me on social media to tell me they've found another mistake!

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  3. Oh how you've earned that prosecco!

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  4. ** At least parts of it. Like: Downloading Calibre, trying to convert file on Calibre (epub to mobi worked fine for me). opening Prosecco bottles (that's technical stuff!)

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  5. Arrghh! Yes doing it properly is not easy. I've always uploaded Word files rather than convert to epub or mobi though. KDP does the conversion automatically on upload.
    Very much looking forward to your publication date.

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    1. Thanks. I really cavail against the 'it's easy' brigade.It is 'easy' if you're not prepared to work very hard at it!

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  6. I have to keep telling myself that this is what I really want to do, despite the insomnia, hair loss and bad temper!

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    1. Quite..and the idiots who say the quote I started with..or...'I could write a novel, can't be that hard.' There is a special Hell awaiting them, I hope.

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  7. But all that's only 2% isn't it? The other 98% is promoting the damn book. Was seriously disturbed at how quickly I turned into a cheap slut who'd do anything for a sale...

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    1. Hahaha..nice. I think there are ways to get sales w/out leaning against a literary lamppost with your garters on display...

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  8. Hi, Carol! If you go by way of Smashwords, you don't have to do the conversion yourself. And you still get listed on Amazon. And it's free. Actually, we beed to ralk. I'll PM on Facebook later.

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