from the files of children's author
and educator Barbara Jean Hicks
As promised last week, here are the short version instructions for converting your out-of-print novel to e-book format for the Kindle and Nook. I've also provided a link to my second e-book, Cupid's Chase, for an example of marketing copy and keyword suggestions.
Because Amazon and Barnes and Noble provide free e-reader apps for the iPad, iPhone and Android powered devices, these instructions can be used to make your out-of-print novel available as an e-book on pretty much any electronic reading device, including PC’s and Macs. I’ve published two of my out of print novellas as e-books using these instructions. I recognize this was two years ago now, however; if anyone has updated instructions, please comment below!
1) Save your novel as an html file (<Save As> <Web Page, filtered>). If you’re converting from a Word file, make sure to remove any headers and footers first. I left a few lines between the end of each chapter and the title of the next chapter. I also added a short bio at the end of the text, a notice about when I would have another ebook available and a list of my traditionally published books.
2) Compress your html file into a “Zip” file.
3) Design or have someone else design a front book cover; this is an important marketing tool. I enjoy working in Photoshop, so I designed my own cover and saved it as a .jpg. (If you use images from the Internet, use ONLY those that give express permission for reuse. “Royalty free” is not the same as “free”!). The image should be a maximum of 1280 pixels on the longest side.
4) Go to the Amazon Kindle publishing site (https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/signin)
and create an account. You’ll need your bank information, as Amazon deposits royalties directly into your bank account.
3) Go to the page marked “Bookshelf” and click on the “Add a new title” button. There are a number of boxes to enter information and the explanations and instructions are clear.
You’ll need to have a book description prepared (4000 characters or less), your second important marketing tool. Don’t cut and paste from a Word doc; you’ll need to type your text into the box. You’ll also need to select a category (genre) for your book and list keywords to help readers find your book through a search on Amazon. And you will upload your cover file and your text file on this page. Content guidelines and help with formatting are available through links. For examples of marketing copy for the book description and keywords, look for Cupid's Chase: A Valentine's Romance here for your Kindle or here for your Nook.
4) The next step takes you to the “Rights & Pricing” page, where you’ll have some decisions to make. For Tea for Two, I set my price as low as possible, at 99 cents, from the middle of December to the middle of January, and I sent a link to my fans, friends and family for download. In mid-January I went back into my account and set the price at $2.99, where it remains for general sales.
5) Click on the “Save and Publish” button at the bottom of the page and your book will appear in Amazon’s bookstore within a couple of days. That’s it!
Formatting for the Nook doesn’t require converting it to html; you can use your Word .doc files, minus any headers and footers. Go to the Barnes and Noble Nook publishing site (http://pubit.barnesandnoble.com/pubit_app/bn?t=pi_reg_home) to open an account and follow the simple instructions for uploading your files. You’ll be able to use much of the same information you used for the Kindle publication.
FYI: Free Kindle and Nook apps are available from Amazon and B&N for your iPad, iPhone or Android powered reading devices or for your PC or Mac if you don't own a Kindle or Nook device.
This article was first published on The Rushmore Kid blog in December 2011.