Formatting and Final Steps in e-book Publishing

What a busy few weeks it’s been! I got what is pretty close to my final draft done on my ebook and I’ve been working on formatting and getting a book cover designed. Here’s a little about the process.

I’ve decided that step 1 will be to completely self publish. I’ll be publishing on Kindle and on Barnes And Noble because it is free to do so as long as you’re willing to do the work yourself. Since the majority of ebooks are sold through those two outlets I’m okay with temporarily missing out on the possible revenue at Apple / iTunes. I’ll also be publishing via my own website using as the delivery mechanism. I’ve only been working with e-junkie for a few months, but they make my life so much easier… and it won’t cost me a penny over what I’m already paying to add my book as a product along with my existing products AND that they will deliver to customers after purchase!

My reason for skipping the Apple route is because they require an ISBN and those aren’t cheap. I did find that it would be an option to go through SmashWords and that they will give you a free ISBN when you publish through them. To publish through SmashWords you have to create a “SmashWords Edition” of your ebook (I think you just change the title page to say “Smashwords Edition” and that’s it), so I’ll definitely be doing this after I’ve got my own versions out there. Smashwords also takes a 10% cut so by self publishing to Amazon and B&N I can keep those nickels and quarters for myself and just pay the 10% commission on the places I can’t sell without their help.

After I wrote the initial book I was trying to decide how to get the book converted to the necessary formats. I was going to hire someone via elance, and the bids weren’t too bad (about $100 USD), but since I didn’t know what was involved I was uncomfortable paying just about any cost. I decided instead to go through the Smashwords Style guide to format the manuscript for auto conversion. I can’t say enough about how helpful that guide was. I read it through all the way once and then did the conversion according to the “nuclear option” mentioned. It took me about 1 day to do my 100 or so pages book, and I’m pretty confident that it will go through whatever conversions tools are out there. In the end I think I made the right decision. I saved a little bit a money and learned a lot about what Microsoft Word can do. I didn’t have to let my manuscript out into the world, and I don’t have to worry about someone doing it wrong and then me having to figure out what they did. I recommend you do it yourself when the time comes if you have the time to do it.

Now, for the cover I hired someone via elance. I posted the job, got about 15 bids in 48 hours and then just had to select the best one. I can tell you that in my bid I asked for both the cover and various banner ad sizes. The woman I selected to do the job has been great to get started with and I should have the first concept my hands in the coming days. She priced her bid very reasonably, not too expensive and not so cheap as to make think her work was cheap. I’ll let you know how it turns out and if it turns out really well I’ll post a link to her profile on to help both you and her out. As it is today I’m debating just getting the book out there without a cover so it will be available for sale. Maybe I’ll create a quick cover with just basic large friendly letters. I’m antsy because it’s a basketball related book and we’re coming up on basketball season. I don’t want to lose sales waiting on a book cover. Thoughts?

I’ve also included a few links below to things I found useful when going through this process.

How to upload to Kindle Store (pdf)

A writeup about the parts of a book and what goes in each part – a pretty awesome website ( with lots of great content for writers

That’s it for this installment. I’ll be sure to post some more once my book is actually out there somewhere. For now, good luck in your own efforts!

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