Thanks to one of my English teacher friends who downloaded my eBook to her PC and actually read it, I became aware of a few pesky errors that I needed to take care of. Being somewhat of a perfectionist, I couldn’t let them go, especially when making the corrections is relatively easy to do when publishing with Kindle Direct Publishing. This was my third upload.
When I first downloaded the eBook and excitedly began reading through it, it was night, and I adjusted my Kindle Fire to show a black background and white print. Things were going along swimmingly for the first ten minutes or so, and then I came across several pages of no print. Nada, zilch, totally blank. Before panicking, I contacted KDP, and they told me how to fix the problem. Although I was ignorant about html code and notepad, I soon learned enough to find the glitch and solve the problem. Ah, sweet success.
Relief soon turned to unhappiness bordering on despair when my friend pronounced the book “excellent” and then tactfully commented on the in-text citations. That led me back to The Chicago Manual of Style to triple-check my formatting. Turns out that my friend was right, and I’m so appreciative of her sharp eye and willingness to bring these errors to my attention. She also said she saw very few typos! What? Very few??!! I don’t want any typos in the eBook!
Yesterday after carefully reading the manuscript aloud to myself, I changed every single error I could find. In fact, I was on the verge of changing whole paragraphs and adding additional material when I thought, “ENOUGH!” and walked away from the computer. I added an “s” after value (for Values Inventories), inserted a comma and a period in appropriate places, and broke up a couple of long paragraphs. And of course I made the changes to the citations.
This has definitely been a learning experience for me. Would I do it again? Yes, definitely. I feel a huge sense of relief and accomplishment when I recall that a month ago, I was considering paying a company $250 to upload the eBook for me. To add a “custom cover” would have cost another $150. Now I have that $400 to use for Christmas presents and what I perceive to be a decent book filled with great advice for technical and community college students. Next week I’m going to begin working on the hard copy version of the eBook with CreateSpace.
I’m deeply indebted to a couple of folks that I chatted with at the SCWW Conference who told me that they had published with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). I figured if they could do it, I could do it, and Folks, if I can do it, you can do it. About custom covers, one of these writers went to a local print shop and got some assistance with his cover, and the other person used a personal illustration. Me? I took one of my favorite photographs to UPS and with the assistance of a gifted employee, we developed the perfect cover to illustrate Crossing the Bridge: Succeeding in a Community College and Beyond.
Message to everyone reading this: If you have something you’d like to share with the world but are stumped about how to do it or reluctant to pay someone to do it for you, then shoot me an email or leave me a comment, and I’ll offer whatever advice and expertise that I’ve picked up the last few weeks.