Okay, so I got this brilliant idea that I should write a couple of ebooks. I thought, ‘How hard could it be?’ There are hundreds of books, ads, software applications, articles, etc. that tout the awesomeness and easiness of the ebook and I’m no slouch, so really how hard could it be? Every writer’s site I’ve ever visited and all the writer newsletters I get also hawk the ebook as a legitimate and easy format to sell your writer wares. Most of these sites even sell ebooks. And how convenient are they that they take up no space on your bookshelves, are completely transportable and have true nuggets of golden information. Again, how hard could it be?
Apparently, too hard for moi. First of all there is the issue of the software. There appear to be hundreds of different software applications used to create ebooks. I, being the naive writer I apparently am, thought it was simply a matter of converting a file to pdf format and off you went. Oh no, my friends, there are mysterious things called ebook compilers and html compilers and then there are covers and tables of contents, formatting for the various readers out there – Kindle (Amazon.com’s answer to the ebook reader) so lots of choices.
Although, being the broke writer that I am, trying at this point to conserve on every penny I have I went looking for the freeware compilers, thinking, again, ‘how hard could it be?’ And again, my pea-sized brain or maybe it’s just a 20th century brain and I’m not thinking sufficiently outside the box – could not get its wits wrapped around those either. Because then there are editing issues and protection issues and watermark issues and jeez louise I felt myself just spinning slowly off into space.
I have at this writing, downloaded three different free applications as well as a freeware office suite which is reportedly awesome (although I still can’t figure out how to paginate my document and after two hours gave up and took a nap) and had the function of writing ebooks. Well, I will grant that it does allow you to save a document in pdf format, however it doesn’t give you the function of going in and editing that document. So whatever formatting you need to do you need to do it before you convert it. And too, there is the matter of whether or not the formatting will translate in the conversion or if you’ll just end up with a mess of non-sensical characters in the middle of the manuscript… “Aaaaarrrrgggghhhhhhhh!” she said as she pulled out the remaining hair on her head.
I know life would be easier if I could just get the Adobe software, or something comparable but no can afford the $300-$500 pricetag – not anytime soon at least. I will just have to find a way to muddle through all the freeware out there and hope against hope I can actually produce something that resembles a book, eh?
Anybody out there have any suggestions (aside from quick acting poisons) on where to begin on the labyrinth of the Ebook universe? Even a little advice would be better than driving with my eyes closed, which is pretty much how it feels now. In others, help!!!!
No, seriously, any idea, suggestions or actual knowledge? Please share!!!