How to make an eBook, Part One

Now that I’ve got your attention, I’ll admit that I don’t have a clue. But I’m going to try to find out how to make an eBook, and I thought it might be useful to blog my experience. If you’re interested in the subject, maybe you’ll follow along — and if you know how to overcome the hurdles I’m facing, please shout!

Step one: get some writing done, to put in the book.

Well, I have a handful of short stories that have been gathering dust for years, and a few poems I could intersperse between them; maybe that will be enough content, at least for a small book.

Step two: [insert text here]

Ah, my cluelessness rears its ugly head; I don’t know what ‘step two’ is, yet.

I’ve been (well, mostly) boycotting Amazon for some time now due to their tax avoidance practises. But I have downloaded the Kindle reader on my sparkly new ‘phone… hmm… dilemma. Much in the same way that I don’t really have any choice but to use Windows on my PC, to reduce the complexity of this project, I guess I need to ‘suck it up’, as they say, admit I’m lacking in principles and just go with the flow, this once.

OK, so let’s try googling “How do I make an eBook for Kindle?“. The top link for that search takes me to an article on dated August 2018. I hope that will be recent enough, as scanning down the offered links I see that something called ‘Calibre’ may not be a good tool to use…. Let’s see… it seems we need to save the writing in a ‘.mobi‘ file format. And we can use free online tools to do this. Sounds good. The article says there are three ways forward: of these, it looks like #2, ‘Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) tools’, is good for me, as I already have my writing done — and it’s in the required ‘.doc‘ format (Microsoft Word). I’ll scroll down to that; bear with me….

Right, I’m back. Sorry about the delay, I got distracted by a link to another article on by Janette Novak, which points out that I’m going to need a cover for my eBook. I think I’ll make that ‘step three’.

Back to the plot: It looks like my most straightforward choice is to use Amazon’s ‘Kindle Create‘, which is software for PCs and Macs. That means I won’t be able to create ‘.ePub‘ format files (which apparently are used everywhere other than Amazon) — but maybe I’ll look into that another time.

Looks like ‘step two’ is:

Step two: Decide on the digital format and software to use.

My choice for these (at least for the time being) is ‘.mobi’ and ‘Kindle Create’.

Step three: Create a cover for the eBook.

Janette Novak says that the best results, sales-wise, will come from having a professionally designed cover. Makes sense, but then I’m not really expecting my writing to be hugely popular anyway. When creating a cover oneself, she suggests four tools, one of which is Canva, which I’ve used before, so I’m going to try that… uh oh, I’ve just been to the Canva site for the first time in ages, and Firefox has popped up an alert that 100 million accounts were compromised in 2019. I’d better change that password….

OK, password changed. Logged into Canva, and it offers me a friendly hint straight away to search for ‘Book cover’, which I do, and it then presents me with a whole slew of different cover styles to choose from. I pick one, change the text on it, download it as PDF, and voila! One shiny new book cover! Step three turned out to be a doddle.

Onward, to step four!

About peNdantry

Phlyarologist (part-time) and pendant. Campaigner for action against anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and injustice in all its forms. Humanist, atheist, notoftenpist. Wannabe poet, writer and astronaut.
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14 Responses to How to make an eBook, Part One

  1. blindzanygirl says:

    I’ll be following this. I’ve been meaning to do a book for ages! Just never got on with it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hariod Brawn says:

    Good luck with the book, Pendantry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pendantry says:

      Thank you!

      … I still haven’t read yours (he said, somewhat shamefacedly). I bought it some time ago.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hariod Brawn says:

        I know you did, and I’m much obliged to you. That book demands rather more application than most readers are prepared to give it, so I’ve discovered — it’s not an ‘easy’ read at all. Although those who have applied themselves to it so have generally found it fruitful, or better still, I’m gratified to say. I’m currently completing a trilogy of novellas, each of which are rather easier going. :)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: How to make an eBook, Part Two | Wibble

  4. Pingback: How to make an eBook, Part Three | Wibble

  5. Pingback: I’m a published author! | Wibble

  6. Gray Dawster says:

    Isn’t it always the case, you find an easy way to publish in a format that you are at ease with, only to find that the vehicle, in this case Amazon don’t adopt that option, oh dear back to the drawing board.

    They do try and scupper one’s adventure before it even gets started don’t they? I will be back later to read part two of your discoveries into the world of e-book publishing techniques, and as I already know that you were successful, I am feeling more confident in a solution.

    Thank you for this unique opportunity to learn.


    Liked by 1 person

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