Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Self-publishing ebooks: Sounds easy right?

   A self-published author of various works, I know what its like keeping up with the new age of the craft.  Authors need to stay in touch with their fanbase via:
Facebook     Twitter     Google+     Instagram    and so on...

     But today's social media avenues all point to reading new books with the touch of a button.  Videos, articles, songs and nearly everything else online is but a click away.  Its a great way to connect.  So, it makes sense for self-published authors to convert their paperback and hardcover books into ebooks for venues such as the ipad, kindle, and nook.  Access to your novels for interested readers is immediate, but the process to convert print into epub (format used for some ebook models) is not so immediate--not at all.

    In fact, its really complex.  While published authors have the perk of having their publishing company taking care of this, self-published authors have two choices:
     1) Pay professionals to make your book ebook ready, or

     2) Do it yourself

     Either is quite consuming.  But which one is best?  Well, I'm in the process of converting (possibly) two of my novels into Kindle.  Why only two and why only Kindle?  Read on...



    It will be done right
    Distributed to the right sources, for a fee
    Fully compatible to specific platforms
    May retain rights to your book


     Expensive services (cost depends on service provider)
     Costs extra for distribution  
     Book length, pictures, & fonts affect pricing
     Must purchase your own ISBN



     Cost effective
     May retain rights to your book

     Requires extensive research, or knowledge of programing
     May contain errors in formatting
     May not be compatible to platforms
     Pictures and unique fonts may not be embedded properly
     Must manually include a specific index for each book (very complex)
     Must purchase your own ISBN

     As for my experience, I could not format my novels properly on my own.  Don't get me wrong.  I researched, I practiced, I took frequent breaks...and then decided that the professional way was the right way to go.  But, each book has its own price for proper conversion, so I chose two of my most desired books to be converted to Kindle for the time being.  If sales are good, which I predict they will be, then perhaps I will use the same company to convert them to other platforms and maybe include other novels of mine as well. 
     In the end, its what works best for your style and your bank account.  Have pride in your work.  Treat each book conversion like your own hygiene.  As you have your nails done, your hair cut and your suit tailored, have your ebook formatted properly.  You don't want a "rolling stones" or "ice-skate uphill" experience.  Do your own research and don't panic.  All things you really believe in will work out in the end.  As with everything else in the self-publishing world, its your choice.  Happy writing!

-David V. Mammina