Just had a great interview with Lisa Shambrook on her “The Last Krystallos” blog post! We talk about writing, art, the creative process, and more. You can even check out some of my artwork, including concept art for Edgar Wilde!
Be sure to check out this wonderful new Edgar Wilde and the Lost Grimoire book review by Bekah Shambrook!
Formatting and publishing your own eBook can be an intimidating experience for a novice self-publisher. That’s why services like Smashwords are so popular: they can take a standard Word document, convert it into all popular eBook formats, and publish them to a bunch of venues for you. They take the hassle out of independent publishing.
But, for those of us who want bit more control over their publishing experience, formatting and creating eBooks by hand can be a rewarding experience. Why would you want to do this by hand, when there are services out there that can do it for you?
- Microsoft Word is a pain. Basically, it is overkill for the eBook writing process. Most Word features are either not needed in an eBook (e.g., margins, padding, page numbering), or won’t translate during the eBook conversion (e.g., font selections and footnotes). And, your Word document has to be meticulously formatted for it to convert cleanly. (If you’ve glanced over the Smashwords style guide, you know what I’m talking about.) Most people default to Word because it’s what they’re used to using, but I find that other options are much simpler, elegant, and conducive to the writing process.
- Formatting by hand gives you greater control over the look of your final eBook. I’m a typography snob, and I love the control that formatting eBooks by hand gives me. I can embed fonts, change the way that paragraphs and headings are formatted, even include drop caps into my opening paragraphs. While there is a bit of a learning curve involved in tweaking eBook output, I find the result to be well worth the effort.
In this three-part series I’m going to go over writing and formatting your eBook file, converting it to popular eBook formats like ePub and MOBI, and tweaking the output with a bit of styling. You’re resulting eBook files will be ready to upload to popular outlets like Amazon and Barnes & Noble for sale and distribution.
Ready to dive in with me?
Twenty-one months ago today my daughter, Sofia, was born. She was right on time, nailing her May 21 projected date of birth. By the time our pitch-perfect natural childbirth was over and we had ourselves a li’l baby to take home, I was thrilled, excited, nervous, and very, very tired.
I was also creatively worried. I knew things were about to change in my little world. The many art and music projects I had were all squirming in line like unhappy bladders at an out-of-order portapotty. I could already tell they were about to take a big step up onto the shelf and stay there indefinitely.
Were my creative days over? I mean, the child-raising was going to be creative, to be sure. And my whole heart and soul would be present and active for what was, by far, my most important creation of all. But part of who I am requires I make things — creative things. What to do?
And then, in an oddly unplanned moment, I let flow what would eventually become the beginning chapter of Edgar Wilde and the Lost Grimoire. From that pivotal moment, I sat for at least an hour every single night, slowly adding to my tale. Some of it was already in my head, and some was yet to arrive.
I was writing a book. This was the answer! Where I needed solid three and four-hour time periods to pull off my art or music, I could jump in and out of the book writing whenever time permitted. It was a whole different kind of creation, and somehow it was working.
After six months I had my first draft. At that time I was sure there’d be no more than a month or two of edits and fixes, and then it would be ready to go. I was elated! I never would have guessed, however, that instead of the two months I’d anticipated it was to be another whole YEAR of rewrites, edits and additional chapters before we’d get Edgar Wilde into its current, ready-to-publish form. But it’s been worth it.
A thoroughly enjoyable labor of love, Edgar Wilde and the Lost Grimoire is about to launch as an ebook through Nine Muse Press in just a few days. I can’t wait! And I hope you all enjoy these characters who have become so enjoyable and real in my head. And you can thank little Sofia for their existence, as I have in the book.