Learning what goes into self-publishing an ebook is an interesting process. Below are some of the steps my wife and I have taken.
-Editing. Even if I hadn’t been told that editing is a must, I’d still have the Mud-Bird story edited. So many otherwise well-formatted ebooks have sloppy editing, even—no, especially—ebooks that cost more than 99 cents. What gives?! Mistakes happen, but for a $5+ ebook, I don’t expect multiple errors in every chapter.
-Illustrating. Marrying someone with illustration skills helps! When we were dating, my wife showed me a picture she’d created. My first thought was, “THIS is how the Mud-Bird could be illustrated.” The rest is history.
-Digitizing the illustrations. Since my wife works with paper to create pretty fantastic pictures, scanning was required. Online forums and illustration websites had me thinking that we’d need to either purchase or borrow a high quality scanner. On a whim, we tried setting our 3-in-one Epson to its highest scan setting, and surprisingly, it worked! It caught every detail, including a couple dust mites on the scanning bed, which leads me to…
-Editing the illustrations. Things like cropping, removing dust mites, and occasional filling (so a picture that’s 10.99 inches wide becomes an exact 11 inches wide).
-Marketing. Frankly, it’s not how good an ebook is, it’s how good a marketer the author is, that makes it a bestseller. We’re working on this one!
-Testing. We’ve read drafts of the text to family and friends, and plan to request “test-run” families when we have an actual draft of the ebook.
-Researching. Did you know that Amazon has Kindle preview software that allows you to see what an ebook would look like on a phone, tablet or computer? Me neither, until last week. Self-publishing requires research into ebook formats; pricing structure; Kindle vs. Barnes & Noble vs. iBooks; ISBN numbers; the list goes on! The research will continue even after it’s published.
The good news is, once the Mud-Bird is published, we’ll know what to do if we’re crazy enough to try publishing another ebook!