Wednesday, 20 July 2011

My first e-book

After being given a Kindle for my birthday, and seeing how many independent authors were self-publishing their own books, I decided it was time to get in on this e-book lark.

I am currently in the editing stage of writing my first novel, but I thought I would try and sell a few of my short stories which were sitting around in laptop files. I enjoy reading short stories, particularly when I am travelling. I used to buy magazines of them when going away on holiday, but there are tons to download for a Kindle at about the same price as you would pay for a magazine.

Publishing through Amazon is relatively easy. There are lots of guides on the internet, so I am not going to attempt to write one, but setting up my account took just a few moments. The next couple of hours were spent formatting my work, which included taking out all the formatting I had previously put in.

You do need to spend a bit of time designing a cover. I did this largely on Word, using an image I had and some WordArt for my name and the title. Again, it was not difficult.

Strangely enough, pricing the book caused me some problems. I should have researched a bit more on this. The book is small, just four short stories, so I wanted to price it low, but you set the price in dollars. I checked the exchange rate and set it for $1.20, but failed to realise that Amazon adds VAT, so instead of the UK price coming out at about 70p, which is what I was aiming for, it ended up as 86p. In future I think I will set the price at 99 cents.

Once you have uploaded your book and hit “Publish”, all you have to do is wait 24-48 hours before it magically appears in Amazon’s Kindle book lists. to see it show up.

Of course, selling your book is a whole other ball game. Time to search for some more advice! In the meantime you can check it out on: