My brain is about to explode.
In my quest as an Indie author to stay on budget with a quality product, I uber-researched ways to create illustrated chapter e-books for kids. I want go digital to expand my market and use low-cost e-books to entice readers and build book discoverability.
I published two print chapter books for early readers on Amazon that contain color illustrations. But I was bedeviled trying to convert them into digital format across platforms (Kindle, Apple) because the DIY quality of that digital conversion just isn't there. In the past eight months, I have gone through two graphic designers to wrestle Amazon’s formatting technology and a coding guru who finally helped me create an ePub doc.
Thus after great toil and tribulation, Sweet T and the North Wind is finally on Amazon as an e-book for $.99 US. However, it shouldn’t have taken a gazillion hours to create an ebook, right?
Currently, I’m exploring cost-effective DIY e-book options, such as Apple’s iAuthor and Amazon’s newly released Kids' Book Creator software, to turn my Finding Fuzzy You-Decide tale into an e-book.
I asked for help from today’s guest blogger, writer and self-publishing guru Catherine Ryan Howard. Her wit and knowledge I find on her blog are great sources for inspiration on my writerly journey. She responds to my question about KidLit e-books below.
Check out her new book, Self-Printed, The Sane Person's Guide to Self-Publishing, too.
Can you suggest ways, sources, etc. to get quality conversion of printed books with illustrations into digital format across multiple e-reader platforms?
I wouldn't be an expert in illustrated e-books, but there's two ways I know of to achieve a full color, high-quality fixed-format layout, which is what you're after. (Essentially you need things to stay in place - the text on page 3 has to be opposite the illustration on page 4, etc.).
The DIY method is to use Blurb.com, better know for their absolutely GORGEOUS coffee table POD books, which I have used to make amazing presents for big birthdays, milestones, etc. I love that company. Alternatively you could go to a company like eBookPartnership that will create and distribute your fixed format e-book for you. I really don't know what a graphic designer would've done for you - what you need is an expert e-book builder. What the average self-publisher would do - go to Amazon KDP and Smashwords - is just a waste of time for you.
What I would say though, Cat, is that this is going to cost money. Are you sure there's a market for this before you begin, as in are you sure you're going to be able to sell these as e-books to the parents of K-3 children? I'd make sure before I spend the cash.
Catherine Ryan Howard is a writer, self-publisher and caffeine enthusiast from Cork, Ireland.
SELF-PRINTED: THE SANE PERSON'S GUIDE TO SELF-PUBLISHING (3rd edition) is out now in paperback and e-book and available from Amazon. Follow the #selfprintedsplash on Twitter and/or visit www.catherineryanhoward.com for chance to win an amazing prize that will get your self-publishing adventure started!
“SELF-PRINTED is my self-publishing bible. It taught me how to format, create and upload my e-books and print-on-demand paperbacks. It showed me practical things such as how to build a website/blog and how to promote my books. More importantly, it taught me how to compete with the professionals. Just look at the results - The Estate Series has sold nearly 100,000 copies and following that I got a traditional book deal with Thomas & Mercer too, so I’m now a hybrid author. Jam-packed full of hints and tips all in one place, I’m always referring back to it. In a word, it’s priceless.”
– Mel Sherratt, author of The Estate Series and DS Allie Shenton Series
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Indie KidLit e-book creation or technology?
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