Thursday, August 14, 2008

Kindle Your Book

I finally got a Kindle edition of my novel, Too Near the Edge, up on Amazon this week! And I am so pleased. There’s just something so satisfying about having a paper-free edition of my book out there. Once I upload it, there’s no printing, no shipping, no extra costs for the publisher (me) or the purchaser. I love it!It took me a while because the most recent and complete edition of my manuscript was in PDF format (for Lightning Source) or InDesign (used for layout before creating the PDF. In their guide to uploading and converting content for Kindle, Amazon says,” Adobe PDF files are supported, but the quality of conversion is difficult to guarantee.” I optimistically tried uploading the PDF, which looked horrible, then downloaded the HTML from Amazon so I could edit it, but the process was so discouraging that I never quite got through with that editing. So months went by.

But then I discovered April L. Hamilton’s free free PDF guide, IndieAuthor Guide To Publishing With Amazon’s Digital Text Platform And MS Word 2003 Or Higher, which was a great help. Thank you, April. I ended up converting my PDF file to a Word file and doing some rather tedious editing, but it worked. My upload to Kindle looked great when I previewed it.And I’ve already sold a copy! Admittedly the $2.45 I made from that sale doesn’t go far towards paying for the time it took me to convert my manuscript. But now I know how to do the conversion. I went on to convert my daughter’s novel, Following My Toes, which is also live on Kindle now.

And I will continue.With rising fuel prices, hard times at publishing companies, and the increasing focus on green products for an eco-friendly lifestyle, I’ve come to believe that Kindle and similar reading devices are the wave of the future. If I had one, I wouldn’t have to lug a suitcase full of books with me on every vacation, or keep buying bookcases to hold my overflow, or fill my recycling bin with newspaper.

And readers who are downloading books onto Kindle will probably be less likely to care or even notice who the publisher is. I think Kindle will do a lot to level the publishing playing field.

I’ve started to have very positive feelings about Kindle. In fact, while I was messing around getting my book up there, I even watched the Amazon video touting Kindle’s features. Did you know you can search for a term in all the reading material you’ve downloaded? And you can virtually “turn over the corner” of a page you want to remember to re-visit. And the Kindle books cost about half the price of printed books.

I figure I only need to sell about 150 copies of my Kindle book to make enough to buy myself a Kindle. Maybe by Christmas?In the meantime, I encourage all indie authors who haven’t already done so to get April's free guide and get your books up on Kindle. I truly believe it will be worth your time and effort to do it. And you’ll have the satisfaction of putting out a green product.