Someone I went to high school with self published a nonfiction book using Smashwords. I had done some research on LuLu but since Smashwords was free I had pretty much decided to use them. I spent 4 hours one Saturday going step by step through their formatting guide and once I had my document formatted and my cover image set I went to upload. I entered my information, how they were going to pay me (yay!), set my price, uploaded my doc file and jpeg file. All I had to do was hit submit and for better or worse I would be a published author.

I remember that moment like it was yesterday. I had my green laptop set up on the dining room table and I took a moment to myself before I pressed that submit button. It sounds somewhat silly but at the time I hugged myself and maybe said a little mental ~I wish you were here to see this~ to my dad. Then I pressed the button and felt something close to bliss for oh about 2 seconds until the error message came up. I spent another hour attempting to upload it before I gave up and went to bed. Pretty sure I cried myself to sleep.

It would seem I missed a step along the way formatting and lord knows I was not going to go through that guide to try and find out which step it was. I hired someone to format it for Smashwords and for Kindle. If memory serves it took about 10 days and cost about $100. Should have done that from the get go. Formatting is clearly not my bag. The person I hired asked if I needed a cover done as well and since I already had one I was all set there, or so I thought.

After waiting the 10 longest days of my life I got my files and went to upload them. I repeated all of the steps I had done before, skipping the sweet moment of reflection to embrace becoming a published author. I hit submit and it worked! Except for the fact that my cover image was the wrong size. How could that be? I had set it to the pixel what the requirement was for the premium catalog. I swear computers hate me. When I saved it from one place to another my computer made it smaller. I blame my computer because I have no idea how that works. Problem was Smashwords would not allow me to upload another cover image. There was much cussing in my home that night.

The upload to Kindle was much easier, and the next morning my book was there. That was a very cool feeling. I still wanted it on Barnes and Noble, because at one point in my life I worked at a Barnes and Noble and I thought it’d be cool to buy my book from them. It took me a day or two to wonder if they had a service similar to Kindle KDP, and they did. Uploading my book and cover to Pubit was just as easy as uploading to Kindle. My novel was live on Kindle Sept 11, and on Nook Sept 13, 2012.
A Bridge of Her Own by Carey Heywood
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Published on November 06, 2012 09:52 • 224 views

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