Monday, July 8, 2013

Easy, Attractive, Low Cost Kindle Book Conversion For Do It Yourself Authors!

In my never ending quest to find ways to make my self-publishing efforts more profitable I have tried to learn how to do as much as possible myself in order to save costs. At times that approach has been costly due to the amount of time lost or wasted. Other times I have spent money to have work done and, while the work was worth what I paid for it, it was money I could at times ill afford to spend.

Since eBooks appear to be the future of self-publishing, I have been struggling with how to convert as many of my titles as possible into Kindle editions. As I have often mentioned in this blog, if you are willing to pay to have conversions done, I recommend eBook Architects.

But, if you're like me and need to save money and are willing to do the work yourself, converting your print edition file to Kindle is a hugely daunting task.

I am happy to say, I no longer feel that way. 

I spent over $100 on books telling me how easy it was to convert my Word document into a Kindle file. The only one I ever understood was Aaron Shepard's book on inserting photographs and diagrams into a file for Kindle. I don't want to add up the number of hours of frustration I spent trying to convert files that would look reasonable, just reasonable, in Kindle or ePub format.

What's changed?

After using one of Joel Friedlander's new Book Design Templates for my latest non-fiction book's POD release and being so pleased with not only how the interior of the book turned out but how easy it was to use after about 30 minutes of playing around with the template, I decided to give the ebook template a try.

I spent the money to purchase a multi-title version of the ebook template I wanted to use. I spent two long days cutting and pasting the book I was converting into the ebook template. Don't let this statement discourage you. I had to learn a little about using the template, remove formatting that got transferred and correct the format in the template (very easy to do, just time consuming) and position the 200+ diagrams the book contained. The big time consumer was the diagrams.

I then converted the file to HTML. Uploaded it to the FREE program Calibre, converted the file and uploaded it to KDP.

When I previewed the file before publishing it I was stunned. For the first time I had created a book in the Kindle format that looked like I wanted it to!

Of course, I plan to purchase a copy to make sure the Table of Contents and the links in the book work. But, the interior turned out great! It looks just like it did in template form as a Word document before starting the conversion process!

If you have books you want to convert to Kindle editions and desire to do the work yourself, take the time to investigate these templates. Joel offers a lengthy guide on using the templates for both POD and eBook file creation and offers customer service via e-mail if you have a question concerning the use of the template.

I have already started converting another book using my template and the process is going much faster as this book does not have diagrams. 

You owe it to yourself to investigate these templates!