Saturday, December 14, 2013

Draft2Digital: Update for Self-Publishers

I was so excited about learning of a new company that provided distribution and FREE file conversion for authors wishing to self-publish their books as ebooks, both in Kindle and ePub versions, I blogged about the company, Draft2Digital, in a recent post

As I mentioned in my earlier post, the company does not work totally for free, Draft2Digital take a very reasonable percentage of each sale for distributing your book. I was intrigued enough though to experiment with the company using several of my titles, two of which had been converted by eBook Architects, and two which had yet to be converted to ePub.

The previously converted books took me less than 15 minutes each to upload and "publish" using Draft2Digital's system. I previewed the two books and they looked perfect. Since these had been professionally done by eBook Architects, I expected this result.

Having heard nightmare stories about the "meatgrinder" conversion process used by Smashwords, I was more concerned with my two yet-to-be-converted files. Draft2Digital will convert manuscripts uploaded in Word, either .doc or .docx.

Fortunately, you are able to download the converted files and preview them prior to "publishing" your book. Both of my books had issues after the conversion process was finished.

Since my books are non-fiction and are often graphic intensive, most of my issues were with the graphics as well as a few cosmetic issues.

Wondering what needed to be done to rectify the issues, I contacted Draft2Digital using the e-mail address provided on their Contact Us page. To my surprise, I received a response in about three hours from their customer service, who had looked over the finished conversions and then sent me detailed, step-by-step instructions on the changes to make on my Word .doc so the conversions would be acceptable.

I thought this was not only good customer service, but very reasonable for me to make the changes to the original myself in order to get the finished product I wanted for FREE, except for my time. 

Granted, it would have been better if Draft2Digital's converter had worked without any work on my part, but the step-by-step directions have been saved and all my files in the future will be created using those directions, so I have no issues with this. A little time spent learning now will save me a lot of time and money in the future.

I will work on the needed changes during the coming week and then upload the files again. Hopefully, the suggested changes in my original file will do the trick and I will have two more books available for distribution.

Good customer service provided quickly goes a long way with me. So far my experience with Draft2Digital has been a good one. The Dashboard is easier to use than CreateSpace's Member Dashboard, which so far has been the easiest of all self-publishing sites to use based on my experience. 

I saved a good deal of time in the process of uploading the files for all four books because due to all four being in print in paperback. I simply used the book descriptions I had already provided Amazon. The two previously converted books were already on sale as Kindle and Nook books so I only requested distribution to iBookstore and Kobo, a simple process only requiring I check those two companies.

As I continue working my way through getting these four books published and distributed using Draft2Digital I will continue report about my experiences. So far, so good!