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Thursday, April 07, 2011

Pubbing My Short Stories

When I sold my two short stories to Mammoth Book collections, I retained the ebook rights. The offer I received for them was far too low and I held on to them. Thus began the great self-publishing experiment.

I knew I wanted to make these stories available to readers who simply wanted my stories, not the entire collection. It took me longer than I planned, but I found step by step instructions for Kindle that were clear and easy to follow. Amazon also made the process of uploading painless and it didn't take long for me to get the stories up in that format.

Around the same time, Barnes & Noble came out with their PubIt program for self-publishing on their Nook. I dragged my feet on this one because so many other authors were having trouble, but when I was nudged and finally sat down and did it, this was painless as well. A mere one click in Calibre to convert the Kindle version to the Nook EPUB version.

I thought I was done since other readers do EPUB and I didn't select DRM, so it should all be good. Only I found out it wasn't. BN Nookifies their files. I promised I'd get the stories up so everyone could read them.

So last night I tackled Smashwords.

I'd read their instructions at the same time I was working on the Kindle version, but what they said for formatting made my head hurt. That was why I was hoping to stop at Amazon and BN, but someone posted clear directions that were clear on a loop I'm on and I decided now was the time to give it another shot.

I decided to start with one story and see how it went. Since Blood Feud is shorter than Troll Bridge, I started with that one. I formatted and uploaded relatively quickly. And found myself 700 and something in queue. Gak! It was already after 9pm, so I went to bed.

This morning, I expected to have an error report on why my upload couldn't be processed. I didn't. Apparently it went through the meat grinder okay and is up for sale at Smashwords. I haven't had time to review the file yet, but I will after I post this blog. I hope it looks as good after conversion here as it looks on Kindle and Nook.

If it does, I will work on Troll Bridge next. If it doesn't, I'll be reformatting and trying again. I'm also waiting approval to go in the premium catalog which would put my book up at Sony, Diesel, Kobo, and Apple among others. This is where my formatting will really be put to the test. Keep your fingers crossed.

BTW, I'll share the links in a later post. I want to verify everything looks good before anyone buys a copy. Call me an anal perfectionist, but well, I am. This isn't always a bad thing because as a reader, I hate poorly formatted ebooks. I don't want to inflict them on any of you.