That could be the subtitle of this new series. I'm publishing my next book as an ebook--and I'm taking you along on the step-by-step adventure!
I spent about 30 minutes on the phone with Nikola Wilensky, head of customer service for BookBaby--and learned enough for at least 10 blog posts.
Here's tip #1 from Nikola:
Tip #1: Read an ebook.
I call it "ebook reading readiness."
Nikola calls it "the biggest piece of advice I can give you if you’re starting on this adventure."
"A high percentage of authors who want to publish an ebook have never read an ebook," she explains.
"But I don't have an e-reader," you say.
I didn't either--until I downloaded a free one. Yup, you can too. It's called Kindle for PC. There's also Kindle for Mac, Nook for PC, Nook for iPhone, and more. And they're all free so you can start reading an ebook as soon as you finish reading this post (and not a moment before, okay??).
and all sorts of variations--just Google what you need.
Kindle is Amazon's e-reader, so once you've downloaded it onto your computer, just head on over to Amazon and start shopping. Ditto for Nook; it's Barnes and Noble's e-reader, so visit the Nook Store. Both stores have lots of free ebooks, too. Just type "free ebooks" in their search box.
Now you're ready to read.
After you've downloaded your first ebook, open it up and click on all the buttons. You won't blow up your computer, I promise.
"See what happens when you change the font or make it bigger," Nikola says.
"A lot of authors don’t understand the difference between typesetting and formatting," she adds. "Ebooks aren’t typeset because there’s no fixed pagination."
In other words, as the reader you have control over the size and font, so when you change them, the page automatically reflows. Click on the table of contents and see how it takes you right to the chapter you click on. Figure out how to highlight text, look up the meaning of a word, and leave a bookmark on a page so you can start reading where you left off. (Hint: right-click is your friend.)
But wait, there's more!
Don't limit yiour ebook exploration to your computer. Hold a real e-reader in your hands. Nikola recommends going to Barnes and Noble or Best Buy and playing with a Nook, or going to the Apple store and playing with an iPad.
"Turn it sideways. Change the font. See what happens to your page. Then the things we’re asking you to do [regarding formatting your manuscript] make sense."
My book, which I'll tell you more about in a future post, has some illustrations so it's important to me to understand what happens to all those graphics when I change the font size and the pagination changes. So just pressing buttons on a Nook and watching what happened proved to be a very valuable experience.
If you try this, let me know in a comment what you learned.
Stay tuned for more on Diana's Excellent Adventures Publishing an Ebook: The Reality Show.
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I hope these posts are helpful. If you're looking for more support, feel free to get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks and I can’t wait to read what you write!