Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Must-Read For Indy E-Authors

I've been under a rock with this one. I got some good insight from another one of my Fellow Superstars Writing Seminar authors (Thanks Moses!) on how to format your e-book. I started reading Smashwords Style Guide: How To Format Your Ebook (STG) only yesterday, and I gotta tell ya, it's priceless!

. . .

Funny that I mention that, since it actually is free. :P

In case you don't know, Smashwords is a powertool site for e-authors. Not only can you publish your book there, but there are major online ebook retailers the site will send your e-book to. For example, there's Barnes & Noble, IBookstore, Sony, Diesel, all major smartphone apps like Stanza, Aldiko. . . phew! Get the idea?

I'll admit it. I had no idea that there was such a difference between an ebook and a traditional book's layout until I looked through STG (I had Prossia formatted through Xlibris). Like some authors, I thought that I could take my manuscript in its print format and just change the file to be an Epub, the typical word for an ebook compatible file. That simple. However, doing that is setting up for one's own failure. If you take your manuscript over without revising the format, then you're going to have a lot of angry readers who probably won't bother finishing all of that hard work you put into your masterpiece. And then there's the wonderful world called the Internet, where people have no problem telling others what they love and hate. You don't want your credibility ruined just because your book doesn't look professional, do you?

STG lays it all out for you. Not only does it include the basic fonts, sizes, and what-nots to follow, but it also talks about proper spacing, chapter separation, how to get your ebook to have a table of contents for your chapters, inserting illustrations, the list goes on and on!

And here's the crazy thing. Reading this book is going to help me with formatting traditional printed manuscripts in the future! Yeah, that good. Oh, and did I mention the guide has illustrations that shows you exactly how to do what it's saying, step by step? Yyyyyep.

If you're an author that's intends on trying the e-book route sometime in the future (and by the signs of things, you should ^_^), then you NEED STG. Download it at Amazon ASAP. AND IF YOU DON'T HAVE AN E-READER, DON'T WORRY. Amazon has a free kindle app that you can download onto your PC with no hassle.

 Most people can probably finish the book's directions in probably two hours or so. That means you can get back to the most important thing that you can do as a writer, which is write! It only takes an hour or two to format your ebook the right way with Style Guide: How To Format Your Ebook, but doing so might determine your future successes for a lifetime.

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