In the back of my mind, I've been thinking that this is way too easy. That anyone can and will start putting up random books that they write, and that Amazon will be inundated with bizarre, unedited, spontaneous "books".
I really don't think that's going to happen. Even with all of the technological advances that have been made, it's not as simple as uploading a Word file and there you go, you have an e-book. And maybe that's intentional - because Amazon doesn't want an avalanche of random e-books.
Getting a book up there takes quite a lot of work. Allow me to elaborate:
- Write a book in your "spare" time.
- Reread, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit until you can't take it anymore.
- Torture your friends and loved ones with your manuscript, at which point you think you hope they're honest.
- Take the honest feedback and edit some more, until you're fed up.
- Take a break. A year is good.
- Revisit your manuscript and edit some more until you want to give up.
- You think you're done? Read it through one more time. Believe me, you'll find changes that need to be made.
- Decide that it will never be perfect, and decide it's ready to publish.
- Save file as .HTML
- Convert file to Mobi using Mobipocket Creator
- View with Kindle Previewer.
- You thought you were done? No. Now you can see the strange formatting caused by a power struggle with MS Word, which takes the liberty of inserting weird formatting at random and where you don't want it. Make a note of all the odd stuff.
- Go back into Word document or into .HTML document and take the crazy MS stuff out.
- Repeat steps 10, 11, and 12. You won't find all the errors the first time.
- Repeat step 13.
- Repeat steps 10 and 11 as many times as necessary to get rid of as much weird stuff as you can before you are fed up with it.
- View your document with the Kindle Previewer and look carefully at every single page (all 300-something of them) to catch any last-minute errors. If you still find some, which you will, repeat steps 13 and 10. Decide that you have found enough errors and you want to publish this document before your head explodes.
- Fill out all the required information and upload .prc file and cover art to Amazon. (This is after spending days creating and perfecting the cover art, with the help of your sweet husband).
- Hold your breath and click "Save and Publish".
I am not by any means good at computer stuff, but self-publishing requires you to stretch the computer-scientist part of your brain. It is an interesting exercise. You will gain some appreciation for people who work with computers behind-the-scenes.
Now, I will have to do slightly different processes to post on BN, Apple, and on-demand publishing sites. I guess I'd better get some rest...