Preparing your Kindle EbookThese instructions help you prepare your base ebook file in order to publish it on Amazon Kindle, Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble Nook, and Lulu ebook sales systems.
I began my Kindle Ebook project at 5pm on Friday, August 19th, 2011. My aim was to do a start-to-finish run through the process and see how long it took. My test case was a 54 page long ebook on "Quick, No-Cook Low Carb Recipes". I had previously put together this ebook's format in InDesign back in August 2010. I wanted to move the content out of InDesign and into Word which was in my mind a much more long term solution. I'm fairly sure I'll keep maintaining active copies of Word (or a Word-like equivalent) on my computer. I'm not so sure I'll always have a working copy of InDesign on my computer in the future years.
So the first part of my process was the same as any other ebook creator - the creation of the Word document that has the material of the book. On BellaOnline we train our editors to write 10-20 articles on a given topic and then to compile those articles together in order to form an ebook. That way the book grows organically and has a built in marketing base on those article pages. If you have a website or blog you can do that same thing. The key is to compile a group of interesting, informative pages and then organize them into the ebook format.
What I did during this time period - about 2 hours - was what any ebook creator would be doing. I was cutting and pasting content from another location and into my Word document. In my case I was cutting and pasting from InDesign but for most people they would be cutting and pasting from whatever website they had used to build and develop their content.
As part of my Word document setup, I had these items as part of my Word document layout. Click on an item to get my full page write-up of how to do that task.
It took me until about 7pm to get my starting Word document all set. That was two hours to go from completely raw content to having a finished "base level ebook" So at 7pm I first saved my document as a Word document. Then I was able to do File - Save As - PDF in Word and POOF I had a PDF file!
The first stage of my process was complete. I had a PDF file that was ready to go.
You should have a single, well named directory to hold all your files associated with this one ebook. So in my case I can call that directory "QuickNoCook" and have all files in that one directory. It'll be important for you to be able to have all your files together.
You should also have a text file in this directory called something like aaaVersionNotes.txt. The "aaa" at the beginning makes sure it sorts to the top of your directory list and doesn't get lost. This is where you should keep track of what you're doing and what versions go with what systems. It can be easy to get confused along the way. It can be easy if you come back in six month to make a change to forget what is what. By keeping that text file updated with notes, you save yourself a lot of time!
Let me know if there's anything else you need help with on getting your basic eBook ready!
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