The Path is Now FREE on KOBO!

My short story, The Path is now available for free on the KOBO platform.  Since you are not able to permanently list books for free on Amazon kindle, and I have exhausted my 5 promotional days, I was looking for a new way to share my story.

It has been on KOBO for a few months now, and will be available for free from now on!  If you have a KOBO reader or have the app installed on your PC or any devices, please check it out!

http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/The-Path/book-hvhoLxbtKUyCEXShZ0japw/page1.html?s=vcEsWJuvEUiozd3ZfGOULg&r=1

My other book, The Science of Getting Rich (Wallace D. Wattles) is also available for KOBO at the following link:

http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/The-Science-of-Getting-Rich/book-ycy5AZTcWUuSMQQSEGvxzQ/page1.html

Look for details on my upcoming book project, tentatively entitled The Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting a Small Business very soon!

Publishing Kindle E-books

As an update to my ebook saga, I did manage to produce my two ebooks — the reprint of The Science of Getting Rich, and my short story, The Path. Using PagePlus X6 I was able to import the Word Docs and then re-edit them for conversion into the Kindle format (.mobi) and ePub format used by others like Kobo, Barnes & Noble Nook and Apple iBooks. I finally found software which actually mimicked the ebook text flowing through the entire book. This made it much easier.

After becoming frustrated with editing the 60+ page The Science of Getting Rich, I decided to take a different approach and convert my eight page short story first — so I could finish and see the final product — to make sure everything worked alright. At first I imported the Word version, and things went well. I made a few edits and then converted it to Kindle, choosing my cover graphic and entering some details such as author, publisher etc. along the way. I previewed the finished product using my PC Kindle program — it looked fine. Next I emailed the file to my iPad and viewed it using my Kindle App. Again it looked great! I was excited. But there was one nagging issue…the file size was almost 4 MB. I new something was up — most ebooks, full novels even, aren’t even 1 MB in size.

I decided to worry about the file size later. I moved onto re-editing the book. I made it 5-10 pages in, and decided to convert it to see how it looked. Most of the re-edit was working ok, but some things were still out of whack…especially when new chapters started. I quickly learned that I had to insert page breaks after each chapter, to ensure that the next chapter would start on a new page. Somewhere along in the process I decided to start over. This time I converted the Word version to plain text before importing into PagePlus. This removed all of the formatting…I had to completely re-format once in PagePlus anyway…so I wondered if this was a better approach.

Once again I began editing and formatting the book, every so often, converting it to check the progress. Things were going well, except for some table of content issues, and the title page which I had the title of the book in large font. After conversion, it basically ignored my large font and printed almost regular size (12 point). What now, I thought to myself. I went back to edit the title page…this time I used the “Heading” tag from within PagePlus…most of the other text was “Body”. I noticed that this somewhat fixed the font size issue, and gave me more control over the document. Another bonus? The file size of the whole book was in the 400 KB range — that was more like it.

I discovered several things through the process of editing and converting my book to Kindle and other formats. First, it is best to start with plain text, and fully edit and format within the program you are using to create your ebook. This is kind of a pain, especially since you most likely have your book already looking great in your word processor. But the truth is, using the text version you can “correctly” format within the software so that it will turn out right once converted…and the file size will be much smaller (Word inserts tons of its own tags which increases the file size immensely).

Armed with this new knowledge I repeated the process again for The Path, and the file size came in at about 100 KB.

Now I had both ebooks and they looked great on my PC and on my iPad. I was ready to upload them to Amazon. I signed up as an author, and then proceeded to add the books to my author “bookshelf”. During this process, you must enter information about your book, provide a description, choose a selling price, upload your cover image, and choose whether you want to lock it down using DRM (copy protection) or not. I clicked save and then publish…and my book was uploaded. I was surprised to see that it was re-converting it to Kindle format. I wondered to myself if that might screw up some of the formatting (again!)

Now the book was in a que for review by Amazon staff before it would show up on the site, for sale. I somehow missed the option to preview the book. I would have to wait until it was live on Amazon.com to see if there were any issues with the formatting.

My short story was live within 12 hours, while the book took about 18 hours. I now had books for sale on Amazon.com! How exciting. There were a few formatting issues with the book, by the way. I had to do some fixes and resubmit it. Another issue with the whole experience was, that you have to charge a minimum of $0.99 for your book. I was hoping to have my short story as a free book. I just wanted to post it for exposure. But alas, it is $0.99 to purchase…so I doubt I will be selling many copies considering it is only 8 pages long. Turns out the only way to offer something for free is to sign up for Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). By signing up you agree to publish exclusively to Kindle for 90 days. Within those 90 days you can offer a promotional price price of $0.00 for up to 5 days.

I decided to wait and see. So I will keep monitoring sales (if there are any!) and make the decision on KDP in a few weeks. In the meantime, this has been a very challenging experience, but one I learned many things from along the way. I now know how to properly format and convert my documents to ebooks, and how to post them to Amazon for sale.

The next time will be much easier…and there will be a next time!

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