Kindle-Garden Delights part 1

Amazingly, I have emerged from my adventure in making my ebooks available on Kindle (that’s Amazon.com’s ebook reader, for the uninitiated) with at least some of my coiffure intact.  I have been in the hair-tearing-out stage for the last several days. But first, some history. I had little trouble making my two ebooks, Inkjet Printing on Lutradur and Inkjet Printing on Fabric, into pdfs that I’ve  had available through my Artfire and Etsy stores. The next challenge was putting them up on Lulu, where they are also available as pdf ebooks, or as printed books.

I got through that okay, so let’s move on to the next step. Are you thinking of writing an ebook (or have you already)? What’s the 200-pound gorilla?  Amazon.com, of course. And therein lies the goal that has been on my to-do list for at least a year: get the ebooks formatted for kindle to sell on Amazon. And therein languished the goal month after month, sliding down to the bottom of the list.

What do you think Amazon says about publishing your own book for kindle? I’ll tell you: “Welcome to Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, the fast and easy way to self-publish your books for sale in the Kindle Store.”  Yeah, right.  Even just looking through the guides and help topics was enough to send me back to the to-do list.

So although I really like to learn new things and do most things myself, I realized that those ebooks were never going to be kindle-ized unless I got professional help.  I was lucky to have a free phone consultation with the inspiring creative-arts business coach, Jane Button.  Jane suggested I contact Joy Randall, who, among other things, helps writers publish theirs books and ebooks through her business Wisdom House.

And Joy was exactly what I needed! She took my WordPerfect file (more on that in part 2) and transformed it into a file that I could upload to Amazon for the kindle. I’m sure she has heard it so much that she’s sick of it, but Joy was really a joy to work with. She patiently answered my questions, she did exactly what we agreed to, and she delivered days earlier than her initial estimate. So ta-da! My first kindle ebook, Inkjet Printing on Fabric, went live on Amazon.com last week.

If you’re thinking of publishing an ebook that involves a format other than pdf (which can be tricky in itself), and you don’t want to learn how to do it yourself, I’d definitely recommend talking to Joy. You can contact her through her website.  There are many other options but I can’t vouch for them since I haven’t tried them.  Anyone out there have other services they’ve used and liked (or not)?

Anyway, getting that first kindle ebook made was easy – Joy did all of the heavy lifting.  But of course I had to pay her for her hard work. And you know (because I just said it) I do so love to learn how to do things myself. So therein lies the hair-tearing-out, about which more soon!

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3 comments on “Kindle-Garden Delights part 1

  1. Beth Farmer says:

    I have a book my Great Grandmother wrote about her travells around the world in the 1930’s. I have been entertaining the idea of publishing it on line, and hope to augment my Mothers income if it catches on.
    So….how hard WAS your book to do, and are we talking hundreds or thousands of $$ to publish on Amazon?

    • Heidi Rand says:

      Beth, I just saw that the book I did myself has gone live on Amazon, so I’ll write the next part about that process. The level of difficulty depends totally on your level of computer expertise and whether you have access to certain software (mostly Microsoft Word). In general I’d say it would be very difficult for most people. To pay someone to do it, it’s going to vary according to what format you have the book in – if you need it scanned from the original that would be much more, how long the book is and if there are images, how many. You can always contact people for an estimate, that would be free at least.

  2. Tamara says:

    Way to go, Heidi — both in writing the book, getting it out there, and writing this blog (and next piece — I can’t wait!!!) about the process. Very helpful!!!

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