Since I’m putting out a new ebook, I thought I’d take the time and explain the process to those who wish to do it, too. It’s easy, it’s free, and it’s the wave of the future, so if you have a book in paperback to which you own the rights, or you’re a writer with a new novel and wish to go the indie rout . . . self-publish in the Kindle store!!!
I use Microsoft word to write my novels, so if you do the same, then follow these simple steps.
First off, for whatever reason, tab-spacing does not convert for the Kindle (hitting the tab button to indent each paragraph). To avoid this, delete the tab spacing (put the cursor next to the indent and hit delete) so that the entire paragraph is aligned with no indentation at the beginning. Once you have done this, highlight the paragraph and slide the ruler at the top of the screen to manually indent. If the ruler is not present, click on “View” and check the Ruler option. It’s best to do this a chapter at a time (delete all tab-spacing in a chapter, highlight the chapter, and use the ruler to re-indent).
If that sounds too confusing, here’s a guide:
The Kindle has the option to “Go To” places, such as the cover image, the beginning of the text, the table of contents, etc. To set these “Go To” places, place your cursor on a section of your novel that you would like to designate as a “Go To” item.
If it’s the cover image, click “Insert” then “Bookmark.” In the “Bookmark name” field, type “cover” (without the quotes, of course) and click “Add.”
Follow the same steps for the beginning of the book by placing the cursor there, selecting “Insert” then “Bookmark” and typing “Start” (once again without the quotes). Click “Add” when you are done.
For the table of contents, repeat the above and type “TOC.”
You may use bold characters, italics, and heading. You cannot, however, change the font or make the text bigger than . . . oh, say size 18 (I think that’s the size, at least). You also cannot use bullet points, headers, footers, or page numbers.
It’s important to enter a page break at the end of each chapter. If you don’t do this, the Kindle might land on multiple blank pages even if your manuscript doesn’t have any simply because the Kindle allows the font size to be flexible.
To insert a page break click “Insert” at the top of the menu bar and then select “Page Break.”
Use JPEG formatted pictures with center alignment. Insert these the same way you have been inserting your page breaks: “Insert.” In this case, it will be followed by “Picture.”
Remember that standard Kindles display pictures in grayscale. The more up-to-date models handle color.
Use it!No point putting out a novel and having multiple spelling errors when it can be helped. Not only will this plague the reader, but it will make your work look less professional. Manually proofreading also helps. View my “Drafts” blog post for more information on proofreading.
Once you have completed the above, you are ready to save. Select “File” then “Save As.” Where it says “Save as type” you will select “Web Page, Filtered.” (Remember the location you save this to, you’ll need it later!!!)
Note: When saving the Word file as HTML, all the images will be extracted and stored in a separate folder (don’t worry about it! The images are like cats—they’ll find their way home).
Two great tools to use are the Mobi Pocket Creator and the Kindle Previewer.
Once you have downloaded the program from the first link, open the Mobi Pocket Creator. On the right, you’ll see an option that says “Import From Existing File.” The first link under it is “HTML Document.” Click on it. To choose a file, select the “Browse” button and find your HTML document (that’s the “Web Page, Filtered” document you saved earlier, cough, cough). Then click the “Browse” button next to “Create publication in folder” and designate an output folder (again, remember this location!!!)
Once you have done this, click on “Import” at the bottom of the screen. This should bring you to a new screen. You’re almost done! On the left, you’ll see a toolbar that says “View” with a bunch of options under it. The “Publication Files” tab should be highlighted right now. Click on the one below it. The one that says “Cover.” Once you are there, click “Add cover image.” Select the cover you wish to use for your ebook. Then click on “Update” at the bottom of the screen.
Now, draw your attention up to the icons on the top of the application window. There should be one for “Home,” “Open,” “Save,” “Files,” “Build,” “Deploy,” and “Settings.” Click on “Build.” “Standard compression” should already be selected. If it is not, select it now. “No encryption” should also be selected. If it is not, select it now. Once this is one, click “Build” and then “OK”
Abracadabra! A window should pop up with your very own compiled ebook with the location you have designated (ex. C:\Documents and settings\ etc.)
Feel free to use the Kindle Previewer (the second program) or your very own kindle to view your ebook.
That concludes part 1 of publishing in the Kindle Store. Part 2 will bring you through the process on how to upload your file, set the price, and start making some money!
Just had to say it . . . Luke's Situation will be out on the 31st!
Charge up those Kindles, plug in those Nooks, get your E-readers ready because you will not be disappointed!!!
And I have a special treat for you . . .
It's only going to cost you $0.99 to read it!!!!!!!!!! How's that for a deal? You probably lost more than that in the cushions of your couch last year!
As everyone has heard: life imitates art. Or vice versa . . . or versa vice . . . or . . . well, you get what I mean :P My good friend recently provided me with this link:
He said the man it is referring to sounds just like one of my characters from Second Coming. When I clicked on the link and read the short article, I burst out laughing! I couldn't help myself. It definitely was a classic case of life imitating art!
Take a look at the article. Can you guess which character from Second Coming the man in the article resembles?
Okay, every time you walk into a bookstore you encounter signs above the shelves: horror, mystery, romance. Many of these genres are self-explanatory. But there are many other genres out there: children’s, fantasy, sci-fi, thriller, etc. Some of their definitions might not be as clear as others.
I’ve compiled a list of a bunch of genres and their definitions to simplify things.
Children's or Independent Reader: Children’s or independent reader books are for kids, usually from toddlers to about eleven years old. They usually feature characters (human or animals) in the same age range. A lot of the books aimed for the lower age range have many pictures and are simple in writing and/or theme. But don’t mock this! Because the Harry Potter series falls into independent reader genre and those books are simply among the best books ever written!
Horror: Horror is one of my favorite genres. Horror books evoke a specific mood. With ghosts, creatures, and blood-and-guts, horror books allow the reader to tremble as they turn the page. The characters are usually found trying to escape some horrible misfortune and must, by some clever means, work together to solve their problems. Second Coming, my first novel,is a horror novel. Check it out to see what I mean.
Thrillers: Many readers confuse this genre with the above. To remedy this, just think of thrillers as suspense or action novels. These books grab the reader and lead them through a rollercoaster ride of emotional trill. There may be fighting, there may be a little bit of mystery or romance—whatever it is, these books keep the reader turning the page. My next book, Luke’s Situation, is a thriller. Because of the situation in which Joe finds himself, the reader is sucked into the story, forced to flip page after page if they want to find out what happens to Joe and his friends.
Fantasy: Fantasy is fantastic! Fantasy books contain elements that people do not encounter in every-day life (ex. Magic, elves, trolls, etc.). The settings may be in our world or someplace else (usually green with lots of animals :P ). The characters in fantasy tales can often use magic, talk to animals, or have some specific talent. Some of the best books are fantasy books. They allow the reader to get lost in a world that they wish they could stumble upon.
Science Fiction: Think metal and nuts and bolts. Often these books are set in space or a far-away planet. Sci-fi encompass a lot of science, so it’s not surprising that these books—like Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the moon--somewhat predict the future. The characters may face problems we face in everyday life (or not), but they typically face them in a society set in the future. If not, the characters can just hop into their time machines and go there!
Mystery: It is what it is—a mystery! In these books there’s either a crime or an unsolved murder that the protagonist must try to solve before they come to the end of the book. What makes these types of novels fun is that the reader gets to solve the mystery along with the character as they flip through the pages.
Romance: How sweet! Even though many books include feelings of the heart between characters, these books make it their main focus. Whether it be between a vampire and a werewolf or a burly fireman and a lonely housewife, there is love in the air. They may have to overcome certain obstacles, but in the end these characters usually find happiness.
Westerns: “Draw, padner!” That says it all. Think cowboy boots, hats, and six-shooters. This genre is defined by a specific time and place, usually between 1800 and 1890 and in western parts of the US (some may take place elsewhere, however). In these books there’s usually an outlaw, a hero, and in some even the damsel in distress.
Young Adult: Just like the children’s genre, young adult books are usually written about characters that fall into the “young adult” age (typically twelve to eighteen). In these types of books, the characters can find themselves in a variety of settings: fantasy, sci-fi, or even horror. There are plenty of issues for them to contend with throughout the books, so they’re wildly entertaining. Sometimes the characters even fight an internal struggle when they realize they like someone and they can’t tell them.
Literary: The best way to define this genre is to ask the reader to think about poetry. Literary fiction is not exactly poetry, but it deals with prose. The author uses eloquent words to fashion a tale—despite the genre—that makes the reader cry out for more. Characters in these tales may find themselves in emotional situations, but it is how these situations are described and how the characters deal with them that makes these types of books so entertaining.
Experimental: Here we go, let’s try to do something new here. Let’s push the envelope, let’s play devil’s advocate, anything to grab the readers’ attention and get them to run away with an idea. This is typically what experimental fiction does; it goes against convention—either in style or how the words physically appear on the page—to grab the reader and either tell a story a get a point across.
Note: There are many other genres and sub-genres, but these are the ones you’ll typically come across as a reader. Remember, as a writer, if you are going to contact an agent, there are specific agents that represent specific genres. Do not—and I repeat DO NOT—send your horror manuscript to an agent representing romance novels! You’ll will be regarded as a novice writer and laughed at!
For those of you interested in querying (or contacting) agents for your manuscript, please read my post on that subject next week.