Friday, May 12, 2017

The self-publisher's bible

Now in its eighth edition, Notjohn's Guide to E-Book Formatting has been expanded with a chapter on how to format a print edition of your book. (And just to prove how easy that is, here's the paperback from CreateSpace.)

I became an Amazon e-publisher eight years ago, uploading a few Word docs to what was then called the Digital Text Platform. I soon changed to Html, the markup language used to build web pages. (All e-books are web pages at heart.) Then I discovered the wonders of the free and excellent Sigil software, which builds an "epub" of the sort used by Amazon's rivals in the e-book industry. It is by all measures the best way to format your e-book, creating a single file that can be uploaded to any retailer.

I outline the process in ten steps, with screenshots of my progress along the way. It's simple enough that anyone should be able to follow it, but as a fallback I also provide Plan B -- the Ultimate Basic Template that you can adapt to your own book. (And also a Plan C, in case you're still not convinced.) The Guide is intended to be used in connection with this blog.

On the US store, the "Matchbook" price of the Kindle edition is zero, meaning that if you purchase the paperback, you can get the ebook free. But you might want to hold that opportunity in reserve. I update the e-book once a year (and sometimes more often); that's a whole lot more difficult with print. I'll be happy to answer questions about the process. Just use the Comment window. -- NJ