I finished writing my third book almost two months ago. I sent it to Cathie Woods, my editor, and she did her “thing” to it, although not as quickly as she had hoped. Yes, life takes precedent over words, or should. Then the text was back to me for final care. I combed out all the snarls and primped it one last time and then, time to e-publish. Then the second challenge began.
If you’ve ever painted a house, you know what a chore it is. You’ve finally slathered on all the color and you think you’re done. You’re so proud of yourself then you realize you still have to paint the trim. And wash the sprayer and brushes. And clean up the drop cloths, wipe up all the spills, touch up all the blank spots, wash the brush again and hope you don’t accidentally put your hand in the wrong place. Yup, e-publishing is the same way.
First I had to change the file from .docx to .doc format and preview it to make sure there weren’t major discrepancies between formats. Then I had to save to .html format. Okay, I can do that. Then I had to install MobiPocket Creator and follow their procedures to change the files to .prc format. Then I had to install a Kindle reader on my PC and view the file again before finally saying it was done.
Then it was time to go back to KDP.Amazon and figure out how to upload the file from there. I became lost in the circular help file loop hell, not able to find a link to my control panel, so I logged out then logged back in again. From there I was then able to get to the right place to upload the .prc file. I wasn’t happy with the .doc to .html to .prc translated cover page but I could live with that.
My brother illustrated the book cover and, although the brilliant colors don’t show on the Kindle, they do while shopping on the Amazon site. Hopefully more people shop in color but if they don’t, hey, maybe I put together a decent story hook and the flashy cover won’t be needed.
I just wish I hadn’t wasted over six months writing query letters and trying my best not to let the form letters get me down. The only agent who was excited about my work wanted me to cut it in half so it would fit into the round hole of what most publishers want. Hey! I like being a square peg. I love reading long novels so that’s what I write, usually. Although my first published work is a short 69,000 words, the next three will be over 190,000 words.
Will I do it again? I’m already going there. I have three more novels ready to edit and fine comb and then they’re on their way to the Amazon store. Is it worth it? Ask any passionate writer if they’d trade their time for being published and I’ll bet every one of them says, ‘yes!’
The cost of e-publishing is zip. I didn’t pay anyone to design the cover, my friend, Cathie Woods, the best “healer” in the world, edited it and I did the file conversions and uploading myself in one evening. I’m only charging 99¢ per eBook and after Amazon deducts the data transfer fee and commission, I’ll get about 30¢ a copy. That’s not much but there are other writers out there doing the same thing and making thousands of dollars a month doing it. I’d rather have 30% of a buck times hundreds and thousands than 100% of one or two books sold at $9.99. Plus I know I’m being productive and won’t be getting any more of those, “Sorry, but I don’t feel like I’m the best agent to represent your work,” emails.
Look for more latest info at www.danihaviland.com on how this is working for me AND when my next book will be introduced.
Dani Haviland is the author of Dances Naked, a book in the Fairies Saga, available as a Kindle e-book.