Monday, July 23, 2012

My First E-Book

I wanted to title this post ‘Learning Curve.’  But that’s a cool title that can be used for something else.
Anyways, my first e-book is out.  This post is about the process of getting it there and not about the book itself.  Well, maybe a little about the book.  I wrote Punk Smith in November of 2007 as part of NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month).  I wrote it and put it up.  In the spring of 2008 I proofread it.  I put it away and then sometime in 2010 I reviewed it and edited out some of the content and sent it to several agents.  An agent is someone who takes manuscripts to publishers and tries to get them published.  The agents returned my letters and said things like it was an interesting concept but there is no market for this sort of thing.  So I put it away until late last year after looking into e-publishing.  After some research I decided to do to this.
In late April of this year I began reviewing and editing the manuscript one final time.  The cover is from Rebecca Swift.  She is great to work with and anyone in need of a book cover can expect nothing but a pleasant professionalism from her.
Part of e-publishing is formatting for the various and sundry types of e-readers.  It’s not like a writer can just send their Word document and push a magic button and voila’, out pops an e-book.  Now, I’m not a Luddite when it comes to this here internet stuff.  I know how the thing works and have done programming in the past (both customer-facing and back-office getting the data to the servers and crunching them there numbers).  Algorithms don’t just write themselves and I’ve done some of that.  My guess is I could format my own e-books and may in the future.  My guess is it won’t be long until someone invents that magic button to do the work.  But first time out I thought I would get it right so I went to the good folks over at 52-Novels.  There too, I found professionalism and prompt responses.  It’s nice to know such people still exist the world.
I splurged and bought a Nook.  It’s a nifty little thing and I’ve found a number of sites with free books and because I’m cheap I use them.  I also bought the Nook for testing my own stuff. It’s a business expense (that’s what I’ll tell the IRS).
When everything looked about as buttoned-up as it could get, I created an Amazon account, a Barnes and Nobles account, and an account at a place called Smashwords.  Smashwords is an e-book distributor to different sites, including the big ones.  They offer a system scary-efficient.  I mean that in a good way.  Amazon was easy to work with as well.  Of the three, Barnes and Nobles has the clunkiest interface and user experience (at least when it comes to submitting a self-published e-book).
So today it’s all done and you can get your very own copy of Punk Smith for $2.99 at any of those fine companies.  For that money most people can’t even drive to a Starbucks.  And once you get there, three dollars won’t get very much in the way of a frappuccino, which is what you need when it’s hot like it’s been.  My advice is to stay home in the air conditioner and buy my book instead.  At least help me pay for the Nook.
Even if you buy it and hate it and think it’s too wordy and preachy and that nothing much really happens, and why don’t we find out what happens with Carol and Pete and how come there’s not a big car-chase, that’s still a lot more than you ever get with a frappuccino. 
ps - other e-books are on the way.

No comments:

Post a Comment