So what’s percolating in the coffee pot of my brain right now?
I did some research on the whole ePublishing thing. That’s ‘electronic Publishing’ for those of us who are just beginning to scratch the surface of this netherworld of blogs, twits (sorry tweets…why aren’t they called ‘twits’ instead of ‘tweets’? Either that or it should be called ‘tweeter’ instead of ‘twitter’…I am truly lost…), facebookers and the rest. Sure I am a techie yet I find that I have fallen behind the technology times every time I close my eyes…even if it is only for a short nap on the train to work in the morning!
Enough babbling, here’s what I’ve learned so far:
To publish a book online you need to use a standard format. ‘ePub’ seems to be the generally accepted standard, accepted by most (if not all) ebook online stores and native devices (iPads, iPhones, Sony e-Readers, Kindles etc).
To get a book into ePub format you can export from a main office application (Microsoft Office or OpenOffice) to a PDF format, then use something like Calibre’s free ePub software to convert that PDF to an ePub document.
Once you’ve got your document into ePub format, you need to sign up with an online bookstore. Here’s where it gets a bit hairy, because to make your ePub ebook…
- Available on Apple’s iBookstore you have to be based in the good ole US of A (as iBookstore limits publications to US based authors) Or sign up with a Print on Demand self-publishing house which is linked to iBookstore such as lulu.com.
- However, Lulu does not provide eBooks to Amazon, so if you want to have your eBook also available on Amazon, you then have to sign up with Amazon Kindle and re-publish your ePub on their site as well.
- Also, if you do publish with Lulu, you will not be able to publish a free ebook because Lulu will not allow it – only chargeable books will be sent to be visible on iBookstore.
- In other words, if you do not live in the United States of America and want to self-publish a free eBook on iBookstore, you cannot…unless
- You were willing to forgo any decent formatting, graphics, cover art or any other artwork, were willing to have another company pasted all over your freebook and give up the right to be your own ‘publisher’ (hence the term ‘self-published’)…because then you could always go for ‘Feedbooks’…who provide…
- An online form-based interface to ‘build’ your ebook online then publish it…Feedbooks sell themselves as a major free ebook supplier to Kindle, yet the licensing involved of your intellectual property is dubious at best, so I would not personally recommend it. This site is mostly for rehashed ‘public domain’ type literature or writing, not authors trying to get their work out there.
So there you have it, the basic steps involved in creating a standard ePub formatted eBook and publish on both the iBookstore and Amazon Kindle. (Ok, so we have not actually stepped through the whole formatting / conversion to ePub format…I’ll get to that later as I am still hammering through it myself…suffice it to say that it is not
Next time, maybe I’ll have some nitty gritty detail to go into about the engine-room level technical experience in creating and converting eBooks.
Til then, I hope you have loads of laughs and don’t choke on the residual spittle! 🙂