Friday, November 01, 2013

Day 1 - Creating An Ebook

Click to read workshop

TheBasics of Formatting an E-book

Leave a question or comment for the panel.

1. Pat Simmons
2. Lyn Cote

3. Rae Lori

4. Terri J. Haynes

5. TL James

6. Tremayne Moore

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Pat Simmons said...

Creating an eBook is not a short cut to telling a great story. The writer still needs a beginning, middle and a satisfying ending. An eBook could be anywhere from 75-150 pages for a novella. Keep in mind before you start an eBook that readers like series and will devour the story and be ready for the next one.
It can be challenging to keep a steady pace, but I suggest publishing an eBook every 3 to 4 months.
More tidbits coming...

Author TL James said...

I completely agree with Pat Simmons. You still need a great story. Creating eBooks are a great and economical way to build a following.

Lyn Cote said...

I concur. Not only do you need to have a great story, but also great editing, proofreaading and formatting. Only put up your best!

Pat Simmons said...

Amen Sister Lyn. Writers shouldn't try to skimp on the project just because it's electronic. Agents and publisher house editors read eBooks too. You may never know how you may land your book deal.

Lakeyshuh Carolina said...

Is there a way the you can format your book into an eBook yourself for free or do you have to pay someone to do it?

Terri J. Haynes said...

You can do either. Most platforms have step by step instructions on how to correctly format an ebook. If you are comfortable with formatting a Word document, you shouldn't find creating an ebook too difficult to do it yourself.

If, however, you don't feel comfortable, you can pay someone to do it. Most authors chose to format it themselves because it is more cost efficient than paying someone. But if you have to pay someone to do it correctly, great formatting is a great investment.

Anonymous said...

Is there a specific program available for formatting eBooks or is a Word document sufficient?

Terri J. Haynes said...

Word wil do. Also, some novel plotting software like Scrivener has the option to turn your manuscript into an ebook. The program is fairly inexpensive but it's basically a word processing software program like Word, so there's no need to buy anything else.

As for Adobe InDesign, the learning curve and price are too high unless you are a graphic designer. No need to invest in that right off the bat.

Lyn Cote said...

Again I would counsel that this is an investment in your writing career. Cutting corners by doing the formatting yourself could result in an ebook that's full of code errors that doesn't transfer to all the devices on which people read ebooks.

I formatted my first ebook using the free Smashwords Style Guide and it about drove me insane. I AM NOT A DETAIL person!

So try it but again only put out the BEST PRODUCT possible. I still have a few negative reviews on that books citing format errors. I went with a professional after that.

Maynetre said...

I agree with Lyn. I post to Amazon & Barnes & Noble first and save Smashwords for last. Smashwords can be a headache (considering you have to remove the publisher name, the ISBN info) and remove all of the formatting.

The latter is simply taking your word document, copy it and paste it into notepad (that clears the formatting), then bounce it back to word and save.

Amazon is actually the easiest to format versus the Barnes & Noble. Terri is right, for me it's easier to do it myself. If you want to add table of contents to your e-book, bookmark it to the respective chapter.

Pat hit it on the nail!

Rae Lori said...

I love what Pat said. It's so true and definitely something to keep in mind!

I agree with the other panelists (including about Smashwords which is a huge headache!) regarding formatting. Another program for formatting into epub format is Sigil. It can take some time and patience as it has a bit of a learning curve and is very detailed. Now that Smashwords and Nook Press takes epubs, if you want to create yours to upload you can do an online epub check for errors online.

Otherwise, I love Maynetre's technique by using Notepad to strip Word of all the extra junk that crowds the document which you don't need. Either way, make sure once you make your ebook file to check it on a device first before putting it up for sale. Looking at it through a reader's eyes will help you see what you need to fix and if it will interrupt the reading flow for you.

Maynetre said...

I may have to check out Sigil (thanks Rae). Oh, I'm Tremayne Moore :)

Rae Lori said...

Good to know you, Tremayne! :-D Hope Sigil is helpful to ya.

Barbara. said...

Has anyone used create space tis it good

Barbara said...

Does Smashwords work for you , is it worth using. I guess that's the wrong word to use. Do you see good connections using Smashwords?


Excuses errors on iPad

Author TL James said...

Regarding editing, formatting and publishing... when it comes to quality you get what you pay for. So if you want to format it yourself, be educate yourself very well.

Maynetre said...

Barb: I have seen some sales via Smashwords (mostly through Apple). I wholeheartedly agree with TL James.

I only use Createspace for the paperback and go through the KDP Amazon website to put my book on Kindle (just using a word document). Hope this helps.

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