A Journey to E-books, Part 6

Your book is written, formatted, edited, proofread again and again, ad infinitum. You’ve written and honed your blurb. You’ve found the perfect cover. All your ducks are in a row, and you’re ready to publish.

This part isn’t that hard once you’ve done all the groundwork. I’ve published at KDP (Amazon), Smashwords, and Nook (Barnes and Noble), and it’s pretty much the same procedure. The publishing pages walk you through it, step by step. Generally they start with entering your title, your name as author, picking the categories you want your book listed in (the number you can choose varies from site to site). You upload your cover, and then your manuscript (more on that in just a bit). You set your sale price, which determines your royalty amount, you swear on a virtual stack of Bibles that you own all the rights to your manuscript, you click on something that says Publish or some variation of that, and then you wait for your book to go live. The length of time that takes depends on where you are publishing it.

Now here are a few extra details about publishing on the three venues I mentioned.

KDP: I think I read somewhere that Amazon sells 60% or more of the eBooks out there, so it’s definitely the place you want to be. Publishing on them is pretty straightforward. However, after you upload your manuscript, there’s a bit of waiting time during which they will tell you that you can proceed to the next page and select your royalty. DON’T DO IT, at least not then. If you go ahead to the royalty page, you cannot go back to look at the preview of your book at that time. You can back and look at it, but not until it has gone live, which can take 12 to 24 hours. If you check it at that time and see there is something you want to change, when you upload the corrected version, it will take another 12-24 hours for that version to go live. Now you’re probably thinking, I did all that proofreading, how could there possibly be a mistake in my manuscript? But it might not be your mistake. Sometimes when the manuscript is converted from a Word doc to mobi, it will make some things look strange. Italics might not always come out right, the system might throw in a blank page or two at the end of the chapter, and sometimes you do spot one more little typo you missed. If any of that happens, you go back to your original doc, make the correction, and reload the book.

Another caveat about viewing the previewer is that you can’t always get the previewer to work if you’re on line via Internet Explorer. This too is a mater that comes up frequently on the forums. I usually use IE, but when I’m ready to publish on KDP, I go on line via Firefox, and the previewer works fine.

NOOK: The strange thing that Nook requires is a SECTION BREAK between each chapter, not a page break like the two other publishers (or whatever KDP and Smashwords should be called; I know they make a point of saying that the indie author is the publisher as well, but what do you call them then?). If you don’t put in a section break, just a page break, all your chapters will just run together. You might not think that sounds bad, but I downloaded a book without breaks between the chapters, and it was very weird reading it.

Nook has a very nice and easy to use previewer for your book. If you check it and find a mistake, like you left out a section break, just go back to your original manuscript, fix it, and resubmit.

SMASHWORDS: A lot of people avoid publishing here because of the meatgrinder, because they’ve heard getting your manuscript through it is an awful experience. Personally, I’ve formatted my books the way I described and have never had a problem with the meatgrinder. The only problem I had there, and this was just recently, was with the table of contents. Word will put ‘hidden booksmarks’ in your list of bookmarks; you click on ‘hidden bookmarks’ in the bookmark box and it will show them. You delete them there, and everything’s hunky dory. Unless Word decides to put them back for some unknown reason (I don’t even know why they’re there in the first place). Apparently if your TOC has hidden bookmarks, it won’t work on Smashwords and you won’t get premium distribution. The only way they notify you of this is in a little box on your dashboard, and in my case, that didn’t show up until several days after publication. After you make the correction and resubmit, it goes to review again for premium distribution.

The nice thing about Smashwords is that they email you every time you make a sale or someone leaves a review. With the other sites, you have to look up your sales yourself. KDP has a new feature which they also call a dashboard that gives you a graph-like chart of your sales, and another feature that breaks the sales down by book. Nook also has a mini-graph that shows your sales by month. With both KDP and Nook you have to look at your sales page to see if anyone has left a review.

And there you have it in six easy parts (an I thought it would be a one-shot entry), how to go from idea to published eBook. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I might not know the answer, in which case, that’s what I’ll tell you.

BTW, I recently got a new computer and just downloaded Office 2013 to it. It turns out the feature I mentioned, Windows Picture Manager, which allowed you to resize your cover to the correct number of pixels, is no longer included in the Office suite. Boo on them!


Correction for Part 5 of A Journey to E-Books

In last week’s installment, I made an error when I gave a website for stock photos. I have now corrected it in the text of Part 5, but want to mention it here. I cited: freedigitalimages.net, when it should have been: freedigitalphotos.net.

I apologize for this error and hope it didn’t cause anyone too much inconvenience.

A Journey to E-Books, Part 5

The old saying is, ‘You can’t judge a book by its cover.’ Was that ever true? For e-books in particular, the cover is the first thing you judge the book by. If it doesn’t grab your attention, you’ll skim right by it and on to the next. The cover, just like in a physical book store, has got to make you want to (virtually) pick it up and take a look inside. So it’s a pretty important selling tool.

The indie author has basically three choices for covers: premade covers, custom-made covers, and self-made or do-it-yourself covers.

Premade covers come in a full range of prices, from $15 up to $100, with the majority in the $40-60 range. I’ve also seen covers on Fiverr for, obviously, $5 (more for extras, as usual at that site). I’ve never tried them because I’ve mostly seen covers for non-fiction there, and at present I’m sticking to fiction. On the Kindle Forums people have reported at both ends of the spectrum regarding their satisfaction with covers from that venue. You can find premade covers easily by doing a Google search; pages and pages of cover designers’ websites will come up. If you’re lucky you’ll happen upon someone blog page about cover designers which may have multiple links to cover designers all in one place.

I was pretty na├»ve when I first started looking for premade covers. I thought the artists were actually making the covers in their entirety themselves, using their own original artwork. Maybe that’s because I have some relatives who are artists (one actually making his living that way) and have seen the beautiful artwork that seems to just fall off their pencils and paintbrushes. I also have a photographer in my family (don’t we sound like an artsy-craftsy bunch?) so I figured the cover designers were taking their own photos too. Wrong. Maybe some of them do that, but the majority use stock photos, maybe making some tweaks to them or doing some cropping. The cover designers’ websites will usually state that they will only sell that cover image once, but that doesn’t mean that some other cover artist won’t buy that same image and use it on a cover they create. This happened to me, or semi-happened, because when it did, it no longer mattered.

My first cover, for a book then-titled Twice Blessed, featured a blissfully happy-looking couple. I loved that cover because to me it epitomized how the characters in the book were at the end. But then I got feedback that the blissful couple and the title made it seem like it was going to be a Christian book, and it certainly wasn’t that. So I found another cover with a steamier picture that fit in more with the content of the book, and retitled it Uncovering The Truth. A few weeks after that, I was looking at a presentation that Mark Coker of Smashwords had made at a convention. There, on a slide of covers of Smashwords books, was my cover — or so I thought. I got pretty excited thinking he was using my book in a promo, even though by then my cover had changed. But zooming in on it, I found it had an entirely different title (which I don’t recall now). I realized then the photo was a stock image, and some other cover designer had also purchased it and made a nearly identical cover. (By the way, I learned from the photographer in my family that you can go to a website called tineye.com and upload any picture and it will tell you the source of it. The picture on that particular cover had come from Germany and the site also showed the original version of the photo, which was actually nicer looking than the cropped version on the cover.) Since I had already replaced my cover, it didn’t matter to me that someone else used that cover too. However, now I know that could happen again with my current cover, or any other premade cover. So if you do buy a premade cover, be aware there’s a chance you could see one almost like it on someone else’s book.

If you want to avoid that, there are artists who do original covers with original artwork, and to your specifications. Of course you are going to pay big-time for something like that. I’m talking in the $200-$500 range. Face it, if you’re going to spend that kind of money for a cover, you’re going to have to sell an awful lot of books just to break even. If you sell your books at a newbie’s price of $2.99, you’ll only make about $2.00 per book once they deduct the distribution fee (I think that’s what they call it, basically a charge for electronically sending out your book to the buyer) from your royalty, so you’re looking to sell 100 copies if you paid $200 and 250 copies if you paid $500 for your cover. Even if you’re optimistic about sales because you’ve got a million Facebook friends or Twitter followers and they’ve all said they will buy your book when you publish, you can rest assured that 99.9% of them are lying. (Still, if you do have a million followers, that .1% who might actually follow through and buy it would pay for your custom cover.) But generally speaking, custom covers cost quite a bit with no guarantee you’ll earn that money back.

Some people chose to make their own covers. The book I mentioned a couple posts ago, Publishing E-Books for Dummies by Ali Luke, has a chapter about making your own covers using a free download, paint.net at http://www.getpaint.net/download.html I’ve never tried it because it looked complicated to me. I did, however, try making a cover from instructions I found on another blog, http://www.williamking.me/2012/02/22/create-your-own-ebook-cover-step-by-step-with-pictures/ You use Power Point for this, and a stock photo (or one of your own). It wasn’t too difficult or time consuming, but despite the artists in my family, I have no artistic eye myself. The cover was just okay, and it did give me a chance to see a book cover with the title I was considering, but ultimately I purchased a premade for that book (and retitled it).

KDP offers a self-made cover option on their publishing page, with a small selection of stock photos to choose from. It’s pretty simple to do and they do offer a variety of typefaces and tweaks to the layout, but there is always the chance there’ll be a cover very much like yours on someone else’s book. Another disadvantage is that you don’t really get a copy of the cover for your own use on your website or on Facebook, though I suppose you could copy and paste it. You probably can’t use that cover if you also publish on Nook or Smashwords because of it saying “Kindle Edition” and “Look Inside” on it. But making a cover on KDP is a cost-free alternative for Kindle e-books.

If you do want to try making a cover yourself and you aren’t going to use one of your own photos, Google royalty free and copyright free photos to find stock image sites to scour for a suitable photo. (BTW, when I spent some time scouting out stock photos, I recognized so many photos from covers for sale that I had looked at online.) You want royalty free so you don’t have to pay the photographer a fee for each copy of your book you sell, and you want copyright free because you don’t want the copyright holder making Amazon pull your book because you’ve violated his/her copyright by using it. (That happened to somebody just this last week per the Kindle forum.) Some of these stock photo sites actually offer free photos but be sure to check the requirements for using a free photo. One site, freedigitalphotos.net, requires that if you use the free copy of the photo, you must attribute it to both the photographer and their website on or below the photo itself. I can’t imagine it would look very good to have your cover showing Title, Author’s Name, and then Photo Courtesy of (Photographer’s Name) on Freedigitalphotos.net right on the cover. The cost at that site to buy the rights to use the photo only run about $8-10 for the size needed to make a cover, which isn’t that bad a deal. Some places have you buy ‘credits’ or ‘units’ or something like that and each photo has its own price in whatever term they use; there are also stock photo sites that want you to subscribe to them, by the month or by the year. You could also use your own original artwork for a cover, but make sure it’s pretty professional looking. A couple weeks ago I saw a cover where the author did his own artwork for his cover: stick figures. I kid you not. Two stick figures and a hand-printed title and author name. It looked like something you’d see at a first grade open house, and it was not a child’s book.

One other thing to watch out for with covers is their size. Each of the major distributors has their own size requirement. The first covers I bought said they were for Kindle books, and I assumed they would therefore be for all e-books. They worked fine for Kindle, as expected, worked for Nook, but then when I tried to download it at Smashwords, I got a warning that the size was wrong. Smashwords requires 1600 x 2400 pixels. But as I discovered after Googling the problem, you can use Microsoft Office Picture Manager to resize the photo. (I don’t know this for a fact, but someone told me that Microsoft has discontinued that feature on Office 2013; I certainly hope that is not true.) Also be aware that you can’t use this feature to buy the smallest size photo (which at Freedigitalphotos.net costs something like $3) because the resizing involves the program automatically adding more pixels to the photo based on what’s there to increase the overall pixel size. This can result in distortions of the photo. (This is per the photographer in my family.)

I thought that this would be my last installment on e-book publishing but there is something else to address before I get to the publishing part: writing the book description. That’s the sales blurb you use when your cover has enticed a reader to click on your book and see what it’s actually about. I think (and I’m sure a lot of authors, indie and otherwise, would agree with me ) that it’s easier to write an entire book than it is to write a description of that book. Nook and Kindle give you 5,000 characters with which to write your description (that’s characters, not words. Smashwords actually requires two descriptions, a short one (400 characters) which they use as a sales tool to the places they distribute to, and a longer one (4,000 characters). What you write will depend on what your book is about (obviously), but at a website called Authormarketingclub.com, in exchange for signing up for their free membership (their paid membership costs something like $150), you can get a PDF download called: How To Sell More Books with Awesome Amazon Descritions. It’s not the Holy Grail but it does have some helpful hints like using a headline to grab attention and using action words at the end of the description to urge the viewer to ‘Scroll Up and Grab A Copy Now.’ (Every time I see that on a book description, I know what they’ve read!) My personal advice would be, don’t give away too much of your plot in the description. There are descriptions I’ve read which have convinced me I don’t have to read the book now because they’ve basically told me everything in the plot already.

Now for a bit of blatant self-promotion: I just published a new book, so here is a link if you want to check it out: http://amzn.com/B00L4L0QJY


Next week, publishing! (Finally!)

A Journey to E-Books, Part 4

Let’s say you’re now at the point that you have your book written, and the formatting is all in order. I touched briefly on proofreading and editing in Part 1. I think they’re a pain, but very necessary. You are probably going to have to read your own manuscript at least three times, if not more like seventeen or eighteen times. You need to read it to make sure the continuity of your storyline is correct, you want to make sure your grammar and punctuation are correct, and you want to make sure you don’t have any spelling errors. Trying to do all three at once is a bit much, but I also think it’s rather difficult to do a read-through looking for grammar and punctuation issues and ignore any spelling errors you see (because if you pass them by for the next read-through, you might not see them then. As I said in Part 1, if you typed ‘form’ and it should have been ‘from’ you brain may see it as from, and probably thinks it being helpful, stupid brain). Even when you’ve done three or more edits on the manuscript, if you have a friend (who hopefully was an English major) with a lot of time on his/her hands and is willing to read it for you, that can help. (But a word to the wise, don’t rely on that completely either. I had edited a book multiple times and thought it was letter perfect. My sister, a teacher, offered to read it; she found about 25 errors. In the process of correcting those errors, I found about 75 additional errors. Yikes! Maybe missing mistakes runs in the family.)

I participate in the Kindle Community Forums, and a thread was going on a couple weeks back about the importance of hiring a professional editor to proofread your manuscript. Someone said doing that “wasn’t that expensive” and quoted a price of 4 cents a word. My books average about 100,000 words, or $4,000 if I were to have just one book professionally edited. To me it would be totally unrealistic to spend that amount on editing a book because the chances of recouping the money on sales is far, far less than zero. I’ve seen plenty of posts of people complaining the book they published on Kindle sold only 1 or 2 copies or none at all. Imagine how you would feel if you’d spent $4,000 preparing the book (plus the cost of the cover, and all your time writing) and your sales were abysmal. That’s a feeling I can easily live without. Just try to make your book as close to perfect as you can without using up your savings or going into debt.

Okay, your book is proofread and edited, so it’s ready to publish, right?

Not quite, but we’re getting there.

There are a few things you need to add to your manuscript at this point: a title page, a table of contents (which is a little more involved than you’d think), a metadata page, and an ‘About the Author’ page.

The title page is simple enough: your title, centered, in a font size no bigger than 16. (And when I say ‘centered,’ I mean centered horizontally on the page, not in the middle of the page. Apparently if you hit ‘enter’ more than 4 times in a row, it makes the conversion process go wild.) A size 16 font won’t seen very big on standard page of typing paper, and not having the title near the middle of the page will look wonky on Word, but on a Kindle screen, the font looks gigantic and the placement seems fine. Several lines below that, again centered, in a smaller font, 12 or 14, type your name. If you are using a publishers’ name for your books, it would go a couple lines below that. (Kindle/Amazon, Nook/Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords are not your publisher, although they are where you e-publish you books. I think they refer to themselves as your ‘platform’ or something like that. So if your name is Joe Smith and you want to call your e-book enterprise Joe Smith Publications, you can put that (or whatever you choose) on your title page as well. But a publisher’s name is not mandatory. (BTW, don’t put: YOUR TITLE by Joe Smith on your title page, just YOUR TITLE followed by your name, Joe Smith. I read that advice somewhere and it emphasized that by using ‘by,’ you’re marking yourself as a rank amateur. Just look at any physically published book and you’ll see they don’t use ‘by’ on the title page – or on the cover, though you will see that on some e-books too.)

The metadata page is that page with the copyright information. The basic format for it is to center everything. Whether or not you have decided to copyright your book with the U.S. Government (which costs $35 for an electronically submitted book, and they are slow as molasses in January at getting it processed), you are still technically copyrighted if you write Copyright 2014 (or whatever year it happens to be) followed by your name. Below that you can put Kindle Edition or Smashwords Edition or wherever it’s being e-published (stating Smashwords Edition is a requirement on Smashwords, but it is not mandatory on the other platforms), and below that the usual stuff you’ve been ignoring in books for years: “All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without prior written permission of the author/publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews.” You can also add something like: “All characters in this book have no existence outside the imagination of the author and have no relation to anyone bearing the same name or names. Any resemblance to individuals known or unknown to the author are purely coincidental.” Print books carry a lot more information on the metadata page because there are Library of Congress designations that must be included for print books. But the Library of Congress doesn’t recognize e-books (the bastards!) so indie e-authors don’t have to bother with their crap.

Next comes the Table of Contents. Start with centering Table of Contents at the top of the page, and below that, in single space, type, according to your preference, Chapter One, Chapter Two, or just One, Two, etc. for all your chapters. It’s going to be a navigable TOC, so you’re going to have to add bookmarks to your chapter headings in the text, and hyperlinks to the list in the TOC. I’m not going to go into great details about how to do that; even if you’re like me before I took the on-line e-publishing class and the only hyperlinks you’ve ever made were the ones that formed automatically when you typed a website address into an email or a Word doc, you can learn how to do it fairly quickly and it’s stupid easy. For the chapter headings, you highlight the first heading, go the ribbon and click on Insert, click on Bookmark, click on Sort by Location, go to the empty box under Bookmark Name and enter a one-word name for the chapter with no punctuation and click Add. Keep doing this until you’ve bookmarked all your chapter headings. Then go to your TOC, highlight the first chapter heading/number, click on Insert, click on Hyperlink, in the options on the left select Place in this Document, click the bookmark you want associated with the heading and click OK. Keep doing this for each of the chapter headings/numbers in the TOC. That’s it. Word offers instructions for bookmarks and hyperlink in their Help section as well, probably more detailed than what I wrote here. But as I said, it’s stupid easy (can you tell I’m a Psych fan?) However, just to make sure everything’s okay with the TOC, you have to undertake the boring process of checking each of the hyperlinks to make sure it works. Sometimes, for some unknown reason, they don’t, and you just have to delete the existing one and do it again.

Finally, About the Author is almost self-explanatory. Write whatever you want the reader to know about you. But keep it brief and professional — I’ve seen some that included the names of the author’s cats. Come on. If this is your first published e-book and you know the name or names of any future books, you could list them under a heading like: Look for These Books in 2014 (or whenever you think they’ll be out), and maybe even include a one- or two-sentence synopsis to whet their appetite for more of your work. If you already have other books published, list them here as well. (But why are you reading this if that’s the case?) I like to put the About the Author at the end, so when they’ve finished the book and if they liked it, they can see what else I have to offer. But I’ve also seen it at the beginning of books.

One thing I failed to mention earlier is that between each of the aforementioned pages, you need to add a Section Break. (If you’re putting About the Author at the end, put a section break between the last page of your book and the ATA page.) Why a Section Break and not a Page Break? I don’t know. The ed2go class I took on e-publishing said to do it that way, so I’ve done it that way and haven’t had any problems with it during conversion. Maybe you can just use a page break but I figure, why mess with something that works? But if you want to try it, feel free.

Next week I’ll cover covers, and, hopefully, finally get to the publishing part.

A Journey to E-Books, Part 3

“By the middle of this upcoming week, I will probably think of the other things I should have included here. That’s where I’ll pick it up next week.” From last week’s post.

I didn’t mean it to be a self-fulfilling prophecy, and it wasn’t quite, because I began to think of things I forgot to include about formatting even before the middle of this past week!

One important thing I forgot to mention is that at the end of each chapter, you must put in a hard page break (control + enter, or use the insert tab – page break on the ribbon). If you don’t do this, all your chapters will just run together in one continuous stream. That might not sound too bad, but I recently read an ebook in which the author had forgot to put in the page break about 95% of the time, and it got pretty annoying after a while. (And I don’t know if she used tabs or what, but all her indents were seriously messed up too.) (Nook Publishing has a slightly different take on the page break thing, but I’ll address that when I get to the publishing part.)

Once you’ve got your manuscript prepared, there are a couple handy things to use to check the formatting. One is the pilcrow. That’s the thing on the ribbon that looks like a paragraph symbol. It lets you see the hidden things on your typed page. Maybe you’re sure that each time you started a new paragraph you let the auto indent space it, but maybe there was that time you hit the backspace by mistake at the start of a paragraph and just automatically tabbed back into the right place. That will show a little arrow when the pilcrow is engaged. It will show your spacing and that you’ve put your page breaks where you should have (or if you didn’t). If you combine it with the ‘draft’ view (on the bottom ribbon, on the far right), you’ll get a pretty complete picture of what your manuscript looks like format-wise, as the draft view will also show the formatting style in the left-hand margin. If you’ve forgot to use the ‘heading’ style for a chapter number or title, or somehow started to use something other than your e-book formatting for the text, it will let you know that.

On Word there is also a Proofing option, which is not the same as proofreading. It checks all kinds of spelling and grammar matters. It’s accessed by going to File, Options, Proofing. I suppose some people find it useful, but I find it annoying. The person who introduced me to this feature recommended having everything it offers checked, but if you do that, it will probably take you longer to run your manuscript through it than it took you to write it in the first place. It will stop at every contraction, every sentence that starts with But or And, every passive sentence — the list just goes on and on. Even with being selective about what it checks, it can still take a couple hours to run, and it’s something that requires your active attention, not something you can let run in the background while you do other things.

One of the things the Proofing option will check is spacing, i.e., whether you have more than one space between sentences. I learned to type at a time when (a) it was still called typing, not word processing and (b) we were taught that two spaces were required the end of each sentence. That extra space, apparently, is something that does not go over well when your manuscript is being converted for e-publishing. But for me two spaces after a sentence is a habit I can’t break, so I used ‘find and replace’ to remove the extra space. I have found you can just space twice on the ‘find’ line and space just once on the ‘replace’ line, and it will take out the extra spaces, but to be on the safe side I’ve also gone back and put a . followed by two spaces on ‘find’ and . a followed by one space on ‘replace,’ and also the same with ?’s and !’s and quote mark’s, etc., as I’ve found some spaces have slipped by the first run (maybe I have some quirks in my version of Word).

In case you’re interested, most of the things I’ve mentioned here, I’ve learned from a couple sources. The first was an e-author named Ann Macela, who I saw speak at a local library. I thought at the time something she recommended was ridiculously complicated but I have learned since why it could be necessary (which she didn’t explain then). Her recommendation was that after you’ve done all the formatting, you save a copy of your file for reference, and make another copy and transfer that copy to Notepad. Putting it in Notepad will strip all the formatting from it. You then recopy the stripped manuscript back into Word, and replace all the formatting. (I don’t think I was the only one in the audience sitting there thinking WTF?) I have since learned that if you are writing your manuscript on several different programs, like Word and Open Office or on the cloud and putting it all together, you will have all kinds of formatting hidden in it from those programs and you need to clean it out before you can submit it for e-publishing or else it will be nothing but a hot mess. But if you’re just working on Word, that is just an extra step you don’t need. I’ve never done it and I’ve never had any problem with formatting, including going through the ‘meatgrinder’ at Smashwords. Ms. Macela has a website at: http://www.AnnMacela.com and under Articles she has an 89-page PDF about e-publishing.

I have found the book Publishing E-Books for Dummies by Ali Luke very helpful. This book is copyrighted 2012; there is a similarly titled book that is copyrighted several years earlier (and not by Ali Luke) that is not as helpful. I am not affiliated with her in any way (nor am I an Amazon associate), but here is a link to it on Amazon: http://amzn.com/B0091996BK

I also took a six-week class called Publish and Sell Your E-Books through http://www.ed2go.com. The class was very helpful to me as I am something of a computer phob and having a teacher available by email for my many, many stupid questions (which probably made her roll her eyes, but hey, I couldn’t see it, so what did I care) was great. But I have certain reservations about recommending the class in that it covered many things that were of absolutely no use to me (e.g., converting your manuscript to mobi or epub yourself — why bother when Kindle or Nook does that for you), or dated (e.g., there were instructions on downloading a book to Kindle which said your cover had to be part of the manuscript itself, and also had instructions on inserting the cover into the manuscript. My first time publishing on Kindle, I found Kindle has a separate step for downloading your cover, and the cover definitely did have to be inserted into your manuscript. I found out later the cover-in-manuscript deal had stopped in something like 2008; I took the class at the end of 2013.) However, I was able to take this class for free through my library, and if you have a chance to take it for free and need to build you confidence with computers, give it a try. (My library, however, would only pay for the class if you completed it and passed the final — you only needed something like a 60 to pass; if you dropped the class or didn’t pass the final, you’d have to pay for the class yourself, and it costs $149! Which is another reason I wouldn’t whole-heartedly recommend it; you probably have better things to spend your money on!)

This is getting long so I will end here. Next week will cover the final things you have to do to your manuscript before e-publishing, and if that doesn’t run too long, an overview of the publishing process at Kindle, Nook and Smashwords.

Enjoy your week!