I have been wanting to create an E-Book for quite a long time time now.
First, as I have mention in previous post, I have been writing children's books for years. I just have never shared them outside the family. Instead I have given them as gifts to the children in my family, and a few outside. I have been told to "get them published" many times. Something more important seem to always take up my time. My youngest son has mentioned E-Books a few times recently. I staved him off with the lame excuse of "as soon as I have time."
And, since I started blogging, I have been told to create an E-Book by many, but not about kid stuff. It's been suggested I write an E-Book course. Me, being a former teacher, loves the idea. The hours of the day never seem to be enough!
Well, The Day Arrived...
I finally just broke out my old files and did some tweaking, read about how to create an E-Book, and just did it! No, not really. It wasn't that easy. 🙂
Anyway, (small plug here) the title is "The Irish ABC Dictionary" and I love it! But, my day getting it ready for E-Book was not the best of days.
It will be much easier when I create my third, fourth, fifth, etc. books. But, this first one had me in my pajamas all day as I learned the process. I had to reformat all my files for the book I decided to go with first. I had them saved as PSD's (I'm Old School) and as a few as JPGs. And, wouldn't you know it, I needed them to be in PDF format!
After hours of working on my computer, my eyeballs actually began to hurt. I was determined though. No waiting for the new year to begin my "No More Procrastination" resolution! So, I am in Photoshop and I begin with the cover of the book. I had to change the written by from Aunt Nisi to my full name. Piece of cake. Then, I saved it as a PDF. I saved it about 12 times. It simply wouldn't show up in my file. I needed a drink and it was only 2pm at this point!
Is Day Drinking Allowed When Working on A Children's Project?
Turns out my program will only let me save it as a JPG, which in turn will allow me to save it as a PDF. 26 Pages and this happened to 2 random ones. I have no idea why either. Then, I skipped ahead and saved all the other pages as PDF's, not a problem.
If you ever run into this, now you have the solution, if not the explanation. PSD to JPG then to PDF. Crisis averted.
Back on Amazon's Kindle site I begin to fill out the forms. Basic enough questions about the title of the book, what genre it should live in, etc. Then, I have to upload it. Now, it tells me I need the inside pages as a one unit DOC format!!! Yea, I made a drink. It was weak, and I felt a little lushy, but I enjoyed it. My Da used to say that whiskey cured all - from baby teething to athlete's foot. He was right.
Well, I just spent hours changing files to the correct type, now I had to piece them together! I open Word and set the size of my page and the margins, then insert all the interior pages. Have you ever worked with full-page size images in Word? You have to format the picture so you can resize and move it around the page. Basic right? Well, I had inserted 26 images at once, meaning I had 26 pages. I am right on the money at this point. Happy me!
Oh, If Only It Lasted!
Then I click to format, and the next thing I know image 26 has jumped on top of image 25, page 26 has disappeared, and I am getting ticked off. I go to page 1 thinking it was smarter to start at the beginning anyway, right? Wrong! Every time I formatted a picture for proper placement another one jumped under or over it. My mind and fingers were not in harmony. I stopped for some fudge nut brownies and potato chips left over from the holidays. That helped.
Then it hits me. Soon enough, the chocolate kicked in and the brain and the body were starting to work in sync. It may have been the Jamison or maybe the sugar rush. It may have been a few neurons from the past firing. Either way, I knew what to do. I knew what I wanted to do.
I finished all the pages - including the activity maze i almost forgot to include - saved it as a document and went back to the kindle site. Once there, I upload it. Fill in a few more easy question boxes, and all that is left is to upload the cover. I attempt this. I attempt it again. Oh, wait. I decided to stop and read the fine print and there it is clear as day "must be in PDF format."
So, I comply. It's already in PDF format, I was just trying to upload the JPG of it. Next, I have to redo the picture 4 more times because their sizing in 16.809 X 8.5 for this 8 X 8 book and they won't accept it unless it fit's perfect. But, there was never a point where the size was given to me until I had already done the upload. Then the DPI (resolution) was set to 200 and it will not accept it unless it is 300, so I had to change that to 300. Saved it again the proper way, and viola, I was done!
Relief, Pure and Utter Satisfaction Too
My eyes hurt, my back was all tense and sore, and I was just a little tipsy. But, I finally created an E-Book from one the the first books I ever wrote. I completed a goal I had set for myself and that feels great!
Lessons to be learned from my mishaps...
Read everything through til the end before you actually begin.
Set aside at least twice as much time as you think it will take (Unless your a Jedi Master at E-Booking already.
Organize your files and keep each page in each format (for future editions, simple changes, or whole rewrites.)
Keep a bottle of something handy. You're going to want it during the process... or to celebrate when you complete it.
It was such an exciting experience to be able to search for it on Amazon and actually find it. I don't foresee making a boat-load of cash from this, but I feel a true accomplishment at completing this task.
I actually opened Word back up and started to create a second book from one I wrote 5 years ago. I smartened up. Shut it down, and took a break. Now that I know what to do I am positive it will be oh so much more painless. And, despite the folly's of the day, I really did have a good time with it all. And, now I look forward to creating my next E-Book - just not today.
Others may use programs different than I do so maybe for them the process will be a simple one from the start. And, even though I know the programs I use well, and I will stick with them, I was dealing with Kindle parameters and it was work. The next ones will be fun I imagine.
I am going to plug my book for the last time (today) now, so please forgive the shameless self-marketing. You can find it at my Amazon Influencer page. It is "The Irish ABC Dictionary". It's for grades K-8. Some information the smaller ones won't fully get. But, I have two 5 year old running around at different learning levels and they love it!
Oh, by the way. Here is the AmazonKindle link if you're interested in creating your own E-Book.