Saturday, October 22, 2011

My eBook Adventure

My eBook Adventure

It was bound to happen. I’ve dipped my little toe into the big ocean of eBooks. After I attended a talk by writers Jan Peck and David Davis (who have stuck all four of their feet into the eWaters) I decided to give it a try. Here's what’s happened so far.

First, the bottom line. What better eStory to start out with than a tip-of-the-hat to all creative writers. The short story is called Takeover: A Writer’s Nightmare. It is my offering to all writers who spend time in the ether of creativity struggling to create exciting characters that come alive for a story that starts out quick, builds interest and tension, moves toward a climax, and ends with a satisfying conclusion.

After looking a several options, I settled on using Smashwords to put my eBook into shape and get it out to as many eReaders as possible. The site has a number of helpful guides to walk you along the eBook path. Here are my experiences.

It’s a little tough to get your manuscript formatted correctly so that it can be converted to eBook format. This is because of all the gunk that Microsoft Word puts into the background of each document. Basically, you have to get rid of all of the Word formatting to make the thing work. I made a valient effort to remove all of the offensive formatting, but I gave up. Instead, I used the “nuclear option” which means copying the entire document to a plain text editor (such as notepad) to remove all formatting – then copying it back into Word, and putting in only the recommended indents and centering. (You can also hire something to do the formatting task.)

For Smashwords, once you get the document cleaned up, you submit it and they put it through their handy-dandy meat grinder that spits out the story in Kindle and other eReader formats. It's then sent to the formatting police who check to see if it passes the grade. If it's okay, it is accepted and “published.” But wait, there’s more. Once it is "published", Smashwords submits it to various sellers such as Amazon, which may take several weeks. All in all, plan for it to take a month before you can look it up on Amazon. So much for instant gratification.

There are other details that I’ve left out, such as getting an ISBN number for your book and creating a cover, but that’s covered in the Smashwords guides.

Now the plot turns to the subject of ePromotion. (Don’t you love all of the eWords?) Of course this isn’t a new thing. For every book I’ve written, I’ve had to beat the bushes to get it noticed (and bought). Please consider that this blog has now shaken your bush in the hopes that you will click here, and spend less than a buck to be entertained and amused -- maybe even inspired. A brief description…

Takeover: A Writer’s Nightmare by A.C. Elliott -- Is she insane, or trapped in her own story? Darla is thrown into a writer's nightmare where she struggles to keep characters from taking over her story. In a quirky romp through an action-packed adventure with a surprise at every turn of the page, Darla finds herself up against the pen of an unseen literary adversary in a battle to the finish -- and only one writer can win. It's creative writing gone berserk. Click for more information.

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