As someone who is going through the self-publish route right now myself, it can be a bit of an overwhelming experience.
For me, the first difficulty I had was with the format style. What is
acceptable by the average reader? Do I double space or single space my
text? Should I use Ariel, Courier, Times New Roman? Should I do default
to a size 12 text or smaller? While a lot of this stuff doesn't matter
because of e-readers, it still makes a difference in the html, pdf, and
rtf formats of your book and you want it to look professional. <span>
<div><span>Moving forward from there was the most difficult part I've had so
far. HOW THE HECK DO I CONVERT AND FORMAT FOR E-BOOKS? First thing you
should do is find a program or service you wish to use to help format
your book to an e-reader. Amazon actually offers a free program called KindleGen
to create kindle-ready e-books. They also offer a kindle preview
executable so you can see how it'll look, but I can't understand how to
get their e-book converter to work. It doesn't have a graphic interface
so everything is commanded through dos and can be a bit confusing. Maybe
I'm just stupid. </div><span>
<div><span>I'm a perfectionist, so I want to have as much of my formatting
figured out by the time I am ready to publish. That means I'm hesitant
to use Smashwords due to the fact that I can't tell if it will publish
my partially created work when I submit my word file for conversion. The
site comes highly recommended for it automatically publishing your book
to multiple e-book formats and the fact that you can upload a normal
word document to start.
I actually use the program Scrivener
for writing. It is supposed to compile your work into a e-book
document, but I can't figure out how to make it format the way I want it
to. I've resorted to compiling a word document of my final work and
moving forward from there. </div><span>
<div><span>Another program that is pretty good at easy conversion is calibre.
The program is technically free, but I would recommend you donate for
it. It's an e-book management software that happens to allow conversion
if you upload pretty much anything but a normal .doc word file. The
program lets you convert to specific e-reader pre-settings or to generic
epub files. It also allows you to directly edit the metadata of the
epub file which is always nice. But your original file needs to be
pretty much complete in the style before you use it to convert.
Another thing to consider is book cover. Don't leave it to the last minute.