January 15 2014 Editor Assistance Newsletter
One of the most frequently asked questions I get is, with me having published over fifty books in print and ebook form, what are the steps I use? I can literally go from the raw material stage to having my book ready in a variety of print and ebook forms in under 24 hours. I just did that with my latest Low Carb Smoothies book.
Here is what I do.
Have the Material Ready
This topic here is of course the subject of countless articles, but the point is, write daily. Build your library of content over time. That way when you're ready with a block of it you can compile it into a book. For my fiction novels I write a chapter a day. For my non-fiction topics like Low Carb and Sangria Recipes and so on I post something each week. This means every few months I have the content ready for a fresh new book / ebook.
Cut-and-Paste into a Word Template
I have a Word template laid out with the title page, copyright page, headers, about-the-author, and other material all set. I simply cut and paste in my new content. This part takes maybe an hour at most to get set up.
Save as PDF
This now has the print version ready, with all its formatting. This PDF is what I'd load into CreateSpace or Lulu for the paperback version, and into BellaOnline for one of its ebook formats.
Resave Word as title-ebook.docx for Ebook Version
Now I make a fresh version of the Word doc for the ebook side of things. I strip out the headers with the page numbers, remove the paginated table of contents (since ebooks don't have "set pages"), remove any series-of-line-breaks such as vertically centering a title page entry, and make sure all images are in line (vs text wrapping which ebooks can't handle). I remove all tabs and tables. I save this as both the DOCX and as Filtered HTML.
Convert to EPUB and MOBI
I use the free software packages Calibre and SIGIL to turn that Filtered HTML into an EPUB and MOBI file. The MOBI goes onto Kindle as that is their native format - it ensures the cleanest load. The EPUB goes onto Lulu to distribute to iTunes and Nook. It goes onto Kobo. It also goes into the BellaOnline system.
Resave Ebook Word DOCX as SmashWords DOC
SmashWords is special in that it wants an old-style DOC file with special requirements. The Ebook version made above is nearly there, with the no tabs and so on. Resave that as -sw.doc. Now make sure you have no fonts over 18 point in size and that you remove all mention of Amazon and other links or ISBNs. In my case the only place I ever mention other vendors is on the copyright page. So I strip that all out of the copyright page and replace it with one line saying "SmashWords Edition". I can now load this DOC into SmashWords for distribution to a variety of places. I make sure in the SmashWords Channel Manager I turn off Kindle, Nook, iTunes, and Kobo, as I do those manually to get the higher income.
Create Entry on GoodReads
I now manually log into GoodReads and create the entry for the new book. If my book is part of a series, I then go to the Librarians group area and ask them to add this new book into that series page.
Voila! The entire process takes about three hours to complete, start to finish. The actual going live part might take a bit longer. Kindle books take about six hours before they're live, for example, and Kobo books can take 1-2 days. Still, now the meat of the process is done and you can pepper a series of fun announcements out to your fans as each book appears live in its specific system.
I have more detailed information on each of these steps in these sets of pages.
Let me know if you have any questions about any step!
Lisa Shea, owner
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