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Writing Process & Programs > Questions from a 'techno-peasant'

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message 1: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Park | 9 comments We're exploring publishing our next novel through Amazon Publishing, in E-book and paperback.

We currently write in Word. Reviewing how to convert Word documents to Kindle-compatible formats seems like a cumbersome process i.e. removing page numbers, etc. Are there other word processing programs any of you use which are easier to convert to E-book formats?

Also, what thoughts do you have about self-publishing through Amazon? Our last novel was published through an author services company. They did a fine job with cover design and formatting the book, but are doing diddly as far as marketing. We're not interested in spending a few thousand bucks for another such experience.

Lastly, can you recommend editing services and cover design services, understanding all this costs money....

Thanks!


message 2: by Phillip (new)

Phillip Murrell | 367 comments D.J. wrote: "We're exploring publishing our next novel through Amazon Publishing, in E-book and paperback.

We currently write in Word. Reviewing how to convert Word documents to Kindle-compatible formats seem..."


I have Createspace format my books. I used 99Designs.com to find a cover artist. I’ll use him from now on because of the work from that competition.


message 3: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Park | 9 comments Phillip wrote: "D.J. wrote: "We're exploring publishing our next novel through Amazon Publishing, in E-book and paperback.

We currently write in Word. Reviewing how to convert Word documents to Kindle-compatible..."

Thanks, we'll check 'em out!


message 4: by Charles (new)

Charles | 148 comments I write in Word. I've been a professional editor, so I do most (not all) of my editing. I pay someone with a lot of talent and experience a modest amount to format my work into E-book and Print Formats, and then use an artist on Fiverr to have a cover made. I publish through Createspace. I have published two novels so far with excellent results, (over 150 paperbound copies in libraries) and should have a third out this spring.


message 5: by Timothy (new)

Timothy Skilton | 17 comments I still use Word a lot, but I do quite a bit of writing in Scrivener which will compile to various formats. However, I've fallen in love with Vellum which outputs the absolute best final product in any store format you want, mobi, epub, pdf, etc. I don't use it for writing, except for minor tweaks. It absolutely loves Word and you don't need to clean up anything much, just drag and drop. Th only problem is that it is Mac only; Scrivener is cross-platform. If I were still using Windows, I'd rent Mac-in-the-cloud just to be able to use Vellum.


message 6: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Word is perfectly fine for formatting your ebook and paperback, but you can't use the same settings for both. Amazon has a very simple to follow instructional guide for Kindle formatting.

Createpace is a little more difficult, since you're dealing with physical parameters that you don't have in an ebook, but they have a great forum with excellent information.


message 7: by Micah (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 1042 comments For writing I've switched from Word to Scrivener ... it's simply too good for organizing a book project, keeping all documents (manuscript, notes, research links, pictures, video, backstory write-ups, outlines, etc.) in one place, easily backed up. But I have yet to try its output functions.

But for converting to Amazon's eBook format, Word is fine as long as you follow their formatting suggestions.


message 8: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 335 comments Regarding ebooks, MS Word is fine, BUT you have to switch off almost all of their formatting. I write with the "show formatting" alive to check what I am doing. Get the free guide on formatting from Smashwords and if you follow it, you can't go wrong.


message 9: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Park | 9 comments Terrific, thanks for the info!


message 10: by Noor (new)

Noor Al-Shanti | 147 comments I use word to write and then I do whatever formatting I want to do in there and then convert it to epub and other formats through Calibre. It works well for me because I don't have to stress too much about the converting process. I just move it to calibre and do the conversion and then I look at the file to see if it still looks the way I want it to in the epub format and I resize the window and stuff to make sure it will look well on different size screens, etc.

I usually upload my finished epubs to amazon, and I've found that I don't really have any issues with their conversion process that way.


message 11: by Micah (last edited Mar 21, 2018 10:30AM) (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 1042 comments Noor wrote: "I use word to write and then I do whatever formatting I want to do in there and then convert it to epub and other formats through Calibre..."

I started out going that path but at the time Amazon was rejecting all Calibre files. They've gone back and forth on that a couple times. Been years since I looked at it so that's probably not an issue anymore.

My bigger issue with that method is that ... I'm a bit anal about some things and when I looked at the actual HTML files Calibre generated, they had put a bunch of stuff in there I didn't want. Specifically, superfluous metadata like noting that Calibre was used to generate it. I know...doesn't matter for what people saw, but it kind of cheesed me off, so I learned to generate the HTML files myself.


message 12: by Ian (last edited Mar 21, 2018 10:45AM) (new)

Ian Bott (iansbott) | 263 comments Ian wrote: "Regarding ebooks, MS Word is fine, BUT you have to switch off almost all of their formatting. I write with the "show formatting" alive to check what I am doing. Get the free guide on formatting fro..."

I use MS Word for e-book publishing also, through both Kindle and Smashwords. I would definitely recommend downloading the Smashwords style guide. It is quite lengthy (and therefore appears daunting) but that is because it steps you through the process of removing formatting with lots of illustrations and detailed instructions along the way.

The advice about removing formatting applies to any e-book, so it makes sense for Kindle too. I always go through these stages to arrive at a clean master copy of my text, from which all formats will be created.

The style guide does include some requirements specific to Smashwords, such as the copyright page. Kindle then asks for some different formatting such as adding a table of contents and bookmarking chapters that Smashwords doesn't require. So I always end up with different "final" documents for the different outlets.

The paperback version, through CreateSpace, is different again and I choose to hire a book designer for that.


message 13: by Noor (new)

Noor Al-Shanti | 147 comments Micah wrote: "My bigger issue with that method is that ... I'm a bit anal about some things and when I looked at the actual HTML files Calibre generated, they had put a bunch of stuff in there I didn't want. Specifically, superfluous metadata like noting that Calibre was used to generate it. I know...doesn't matter for what people saw, but it kind of cheesed me off, so I learned to generate the HTML files myself. "

Haha, I actually have trained myself not to look at those files. I looked at one once at the start and was like .... nope...
So you've just made me want to check out your method to see if I'll like it better! :) I also have a huge folder with too many little files for things so looking at your description of scrivener I think I'm going to check it out.


message 14: by Micah (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 1042 comments Noor wrote: "...looking at your description of scrivener I think I'm going to check it out. ."

I've not finished a book yet in Scrivener so I'm not sure how I'll end up doing the actual eBook formatting. It might work well enough. But for writing projects? Yeah, I'm never going back to Word.


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