The “formatting tweaks” took more tweaking than I thought (I won’t bore you with the messy details), but I fired off my EPUB version of Castle Falcon to Barnes and Noble this morning. I’m interested in how the book’s online web page will look.
As I said before, the hardest part of e-book publishing is coming up with a file that does what you want it to when it shows up on someone’s e-reader.
A quick summary of programs I found helpful:
Adobe InDesign is great for formatting real paper books but it’s expensive. If you’re a student, you can get it a lot cheaper. The Kindle Plugin turns out reliable Kindle files, but I found that InDesign’s EPUB save function had some bugs. Your mileage may vary. Most people will get more use out of methods of converting Word files and the like, and unfortunately I didn’t do a lot of that so I don’t have much advice in that area.
Calibre is a great program for dealing with e-book files on multiple levels. I used it to create good EPUB files by simply converting my final Kindle files. It can do a lot more, but that one function was what saved my bacon.
Sigil is another editing program for working with e-books. Although I only used it for one minor formatting issue (losing my “coding virginity”) the program would be excellent for those familiar with HTML and working “under the hood” on e-books.
You can find book viewers (Kindle or EPUB) for any computer or almost anything that has a screen. If you don’t actually own an e-reader, this is critical for previewing your final files. All of the readers are free.
Kindle viewers can be found here.
Nook (EPUB) reading apps can be found here.
Now maybe I should get back to actually writing books…the one part of being an author that’s even harder than creating e-book files.