Adventures in Epublishing: Step 3

By September 28, 2010

I’m proud to announce that I’ve completed my first ebook, a YA novel titled Into the Shadows, and sent it off to be formatted for it’s November 1st, 2010 relase date!   I’ve also started a live chat on Twitter, #ebooklitchat, taking place Monday nights, from 8-9 CST. Hope you will join us to discuss all things epublishing/ebooks! Readers and writers are equally welcome. I think we can learn a lot from ebook readers, they are our audience, after all!

This is the third article in the Adventures in ePublishing series (read Step 1 and Step 2). I’ve been following ebook mentor J.A. Konrath’s recipe for success, outlined in his How to Make Money on Ebooks article.

3. Format it correctly.

Joe suggests that unless you are crafty in the ways of Word or HTML, it might be best to let the pros do the formatting. I like to think that I’m pretty handy in the ways of Word, but after looking at all the instructions on what needs to be formatted per the Kindle site, I tried to weigh it out. I work full time, take master’s classes in Chicago, have a toddler, a house, and a husband in law school three nights a week. And I like to do some writing when I have time. Lately, ALL my writing time has been devoted to edits of Into the Shadows. So being that I’d like the book to look professional and be properly formatted without incurring extra stress, I decided to stick to the plan to pay a pro (suggested on Joe’s site) to handle it for me. I will pay roughly $200-230 (for Kindle and Smashwords) for the format job. In my head, I feel that it will even out based on the hours I don’t have to spend on it.

We had an informative discussion the other night on #ebooklitchat on Twitter regarding the formatting, and some authors who have done it themselves found that they were able to do it with no problems and encouraged me to try it out. Calibre, makers of online software you can download to make formatting easy, even chimed in, and I hope to talk to them more regarding how their product can work for me. I’m always a fan of learning to do things myself, as evidenced by my mastery of building IKEA furniture (Seriously, I’m a pro. I can put ANYTHING together from that store!). Besides, if I decide to make this ebook biz my writing outlet and don’t plan on being a one-ebook wonder, it definitely would not hurt to learn how to do it myself. Hey, we can learn together! And I can only imagine that the formatting programs will get easier and easier to manipulate as the demand increases.

I would love to hear from you. Did you format your own book? Do you have a computer background or just figured it out on your own? Please share what worked for you! And be sure to join us on #ebooklitchat where we can share live!

Karly Kirkpatrick is a YA writer, avid reader, high school German teacher, and mother of a toddler. She is currently pursuing an MA in Writing and Publishing at DePaul University in Chicago. Read INTO THE SHADOWS, the free online YA novel before it hits the ebook stores November 1st, 2010 at!