It’s done, it’s done, it’s finally done!!
It was of course harder and not as hard as I expected.
Not as hard because I discovered IngramSpark! I was looking for a good way to release a POD book where independent bookstores would be happy to order it (which makes Amazon an underdog). A service called Lightning Source seemed like a good idea. It’s run by Ingram, one of the biggest – if not the biggest – book distribution companies in the world. And they refered me to Ingram Spark – which seems to have been created solely to serve self-publishers. For one low setup fee (around $60), they are doing the POD as well as making the ebook available through kindle, kobo, ibook etc…
Harder because going through Ingramspark required me to create the original epub – a process which totally baffled me at first because it’s so different from laying out a print book.
Not as hard because I discovered that an ebook was essentially just a zip file containing html versions of each story – bound together by some meta-data and a table of contents. A basic epub turns out to be one of the simplest digital documents I’ve ever encountered. Of course, I didn’t figure this out until after three days of hairpulling and loud cursing.
Harder because I kept making stupid mistakes with the cover image – originally submitting it with the wrong colour profiles from photoshop, twice downloading the wrong size of cover image, once omitting the upc code. I really had no excuse because these were rookie mistakes and I’ve been laying out and publishing magazines for years. I simply should have known better. (Ingram Spark will create you a cover from images you supply – for a reasonable fee.)
Today, I found my book, available for pre-order from Amazon (Kindle) and Chapters/Indigo (Kobo). The POD isn’t available yet – probably because of all the dumb mistakes I made with the file. But I can rest easy knowing it’s on its way.
I had enough information to set up an author page on Goodreads. I’ve spent most of this week soliciting reviews and sending out press releases – with some success.
So the journey so far has been great. Now I just need to go sell my 20 copies to family and friends (which is apparently all the sales that most ebooks ever make) and my job here will be…begun. It won’t stop until I’m a household name I tell ya. Kids will go to school, salute the flag, give their requisite DLSproule quotation…and….
I know, I know. Delusions of grandeur are no better than settling for selling copies to your sibs. But clearly – having your book available to the general public really IS JUST the beginning. My feet are in the blocks! There goes the starter’s gun…
and now I get to market my book – without being rude or pushy of course. I can give you the link, but I can’t MAKE you push the button…the red candylike button…