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SO how hard is it to create a Kindle book?

Hildie Meets Guttenberg

So, if you've been hanging out with me on Facebook, you probably know I finally grabbed the bull by the horns and epubbed a story.

Here's the backstory --
*My story "People" won the 2nd prize from the DelMarVa Review -- a really nice and happy thing. I was thrilled to let folks know. But DelMarVa only publishes the first place win (I really need to read the fine print!). And people kept saying "when can I read it?" So I thought about sending it out and about. I did, but that would take a year probably until folks had a place where they could go read it.

And I'd really been meaning to try that epub/Nook/Kindle thing. If for no other reason than to be able to speak of it intelligently.

So I did.

you can download the nook or Kindle version of "People" here:

for Kindle
for Nook

(no, you don't need a nook or Kindle to read this story -- you need only download a nook or Kindle FREE app to your computer, Ipad, or phone.)

Was it easy? Yeah, it was.

Super easy? Not sure I'd got that far.

Fun? Yeah! Hell yeah!

Groovy cash flow?

Not what you'd think.

So here goes how to:

And before I start -- a huge HUGE HUGE thank you to Raima Larter for paving the way. Bloody feet, sisters, has worn smooth the path which you come up hither. That's all I got. Gratitude.


First you have to format your publication. This is the most time consuming part, assuming you do it right.

I watched youtube videos that walked you through the process. I used ones by a writer and former editor named Jill Williamson whose YouTube user name is Jwilliamsonwrites.

There are a series of 4 minute long videos on how to "format a manuscript FOR SUBMISSION" -- start there. Then on how to format for nook and Kindle (it's not the same. Of course.)

this is the first one -- part 1 of 5 of formatting . Keep your manuscript open in a window as you go through these steps. Just pause the video, do the advised action -- "search and replace tabs" or whatever -- and then unpause the video and go to the next thing. It starts off simplistic, but trust me, if I found it worthwhile, you will, too.

You need to go to the Amazon and Barnes and Noble sites to get accounts on "PubIt" for Nook
Kindle Direct Publishing for Amazon.

side note: Nook files use Word .doc -- Kindle uses HTML files. No biggie -- just know you have to go through both processes -- and save them with different names on your 'puter.

As you go through Jill Williamson's steps to formatting for Kindle, she will suggest you download free software called MobiPocketCreator to help you do this. HTML can be tricky, if you aren't used to it and I did it this way and it worked out -- okay -- not perfect but definitely serviceable. There are page breaks I don't love in the beginning that I COULD NOT FIX, but that's life. Maybe folks didn't notice? Maybe?

Covers???? -- yep, you'll have to design your own cover. It HAS to be a .jpg. If you design it in WORD, you will have to convert it to a .jpg by copying/pasting into Publisher or Powerpoint and saving as .jpg. Or you can do this crazy thing in Paint. Don't. Better to just create it in Powerpoint.

And you have to own the art. Remember that. I used a photo I took at the National Aquarium last summer.


**if you agree to be exclusive to AMAZON for the first 90 days you can get a higher royalty rate.

HEY! Is she talking about money?

Yes, I am.

If you go in do it too fast and don't pay attention -- you miss it.

Nook pays 40%, and Kindle 35%, unless you agree to certain exclusivity rules with Kindle, then it can be 70%. But they might also give it away free.

That sounds kinda evil, right? I didn't pay too much attention to all this because I did Nook first because it was easier, so by the time I read this, I could no longer offer it exclusively to Amazon.

Also, an interesting non-scientific note -- 5 times as many people have downloaded "People" onto Kindle than onto Nook.

On a more money related note, you don't get royalties paid until you have $10 in royalties (and then it's 60 days after the end of that month). At 35 cents royalties a download for a short story, you have to sell a bunch to make anything at all.


So there you have it.

Easy, but . . . Questions?


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Raima Larter
Feb. 2nd, 2012 01:18 am (UTC)
Great post, Hildie. And thanks for the shout-out! As an aside, I, too, have noticed a huge difference in Kindle sales vs Nook -- much, much higher for Kindle. Maybe that exclusive deal with Kindle isn't such a bad idea after all? -- Raima
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )