Formatting and Frustration all Free

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I could have done with listening to one of Earl Nightingale‘s inspirational speeches over the last couple of days as I tried to upload the already formatted Ebooks of Mordialloc Writers’ latest anthology: Kingston My City.

KingstonmycityFinalCover copy

I wanted to complete the dream (promise) of making the digital version free after our group launched the hard copy on the 14th November.

I had the book formatted for EPUB and MOBI and thought all I had to do was offer it to the local library, or even have it on the city’s website and the promise would be fulfilled, plus I could publish on my blog and the group’s blog and share links.

I’m a lifelong learner but my training in the workforce began with manual typewriters and progressed to an electric golfball typewriter, which I thought amazing.

I never received any formal training on computers let alone digital publishing.

manual typewriterselectric- golfball typewriter

 

I started blogging a year ago and only know the basics. Trying to publish our digital book, I discovered that WordPress won’t accept file types EPUB and MOBI. A young man I contacted via help and “live chat” was helpful, but he could’t tell me why these files are not accepted.

“Be Prepared” a motto I should have remembered from Girl Guides.

I visited the local library and found the staff extremely helpful, but they use a particular supplier for their ebooks, who in turn has contracts with ebook vendors. The library will happily provide a link to our book, but can’t load it directly onto their system, which is understandable.

And so my disappointment but also learning continued.

What were other possibilities?

I overthink, do too much research, and procrastinate when it comes to writing. Computer decisions also suffer from these flaws!  My confidence is easily shaken or disappears faster than a sinking ship. However, I don’t give up and I usually get there in the end.

I kept telling myself that many writers publish online everyday so decided to load the book onto Amazon and iAuthor with a zero price tag and then let people know through email or blog posts.

It’s embarrassing how many hours this process took. (It didn’t help when the Internet connection kept dropping out or slowing down – something that happens all too frequently now since a less than perfect NBN rollout.)

With the Kindle upload on Amazon I wanted to avoid giving my personal banking details, but ultimately had to because the Group doesn’t have an Amazon Account. Meanwhile, it turned out that it is easier to load the book onto iAuthor at zero price tag than Amazon.

The book is currently listed at $US1.99 on Amazon . It can be reduced to zero for a promotional period, but only if you haven’t listed the book with another site, which I have done! Another stumbling block on my learning curve!

I hope when I investigate further the book can be reduced to zero dollars, but this may have to wait until after New Year.

My blood pressure matched my frustration levels until a quicker and easier way to upload the book using other sites was revealed.

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I Googled and discovered this article explaining digital publishing and read about a site similar to Smashwords, that I didn’t know about: DRAFT2DIGITAL.

Within minutes I had the book loaded and available on a host of sites and as each distributor accepts the book they will notify me by email.

The fact I’m not looking for money from the book may have made it harder to publish on Amazon and easier to publish elsewhere, however the process on Draft2Digital was certainly quicker and friendlier and one I’d use again.

They have already emailed me to say the book can be downloaded from:

iBooks and Page Foundry

They will email me as the book appears on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Scribd, Tolino and 24 Symbols. Some of these online stores I didn’t know existed!

Most sites will guide you through downloading apps to read the book but here is information that may be of use provided by the company that originally formatted our book. Useful for those who don’t own a kindle or unaware you can read ebooks on a computer:

eREADER EXE
If you have no eReader then first you must install an eReader EXE for viewing your eBook files on your computer. This is free software.

  1. Do you have IPAD or similar device? If YES, then search “iBooks apps”;  add this free app and you will have epub format
  2. KINDLE SOFTWARE (You can get a version for your MAC or PC) http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=kcp_ipad_mkt_lnd?docId=1000493771  and https://www.amazon.com/gp/digital/fiona/kcp-landing-page?ie=UTF8&ref_=klp_mn
  3. Adobe Digital Edition (PC version)

http://www.adobe.com/in/products/digital-editions/download.html
(Run this EXE, when asked email id, skip this information, after installation you will see the icon on your desktop)
OUTPUT FORMAT: .epub
(After installation you see “LIBRARY and the Add Item to Library”, click that button and go your location where you located your epub file. Open EPUB file)

KINDLE for PC (PC version)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/kindle/pc/download
(Run this EXE, when asked email id, skip this information, after installation you can see icon in your desktop)
OUTPUT FORMAT: .mobi
After installation then press ENTER any Kindle format : mobi)

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No doubt my education will continue because the digital world is here to stay and after 20 years and nine anthologies I believe the future for Mordialloc Writers’ Group and the individual writers will be digital publishing.

We have dipped our collective toe in the water to establish our name, let’s hope we’ll soon be swimming. Enjoy our stories, share them and please let us know if you like them.

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10 thoughts on “Formatting and Frustration all Free

  1. Hi Mairi, I totally identify with the time that gets wasted with this stuff, along with the internet connection dropping out or going slowly. Mine’s terrible at the moment but I thought it was my computer until everyone else started complaining. All the best for the New Year.

    Like

  2. Great article and thanks or the mention of my post on Draft2Digital vs. Smashwords. I have since moved all books from Smashwords and haven’t looked back. There is even more that the program does than the article goes into…but I didn’t want to go overboard on the info. Let me know if you need any help with anything and again, great article!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dave, for all the information that saved me from grinding my teeth to extinction:) If you have tips as to how I can reprice our book on Amazon I’d be grateful! As I mentioned, I think I’ve done my dash with their Kindle Select program.

      Like

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