E-Publishing Final Exam

I feel like I’m back in college.

All semester, I’ve been taking this important course — E-Publishing. I’ve studied it at the 101, 102, 201, and 301 levels all semester. I’ve absorbed information on formats, aggregators/distributors, e-reader platforms, marketing, and about a million other things.

Now, it’s Final Exam time. The Term Paper is due.

Today, I start the manuscript formatting to get State of Grace published. I’ll be starting at Smashwords, then moving on to Amazon and B&N, then looking around to see where else I might need to be listed. I have a few thoughts on that.

But for the moment, I have to get started on Smashwords. Last night, I buzzed over to Michael Jasper’s excellent series on publishing digital books for the entry on Smashwords. The first thing he suggested doing was downloading The Smashwords Style Guide.

So, I did, and OMG! There were over 25 steps to getting the manuscript properly formatted, nearly all of which had mutiple sub-steps.

Because I’m the kind of guy who wants to really understand  how to do something, not just know how to do it, I read the thing cover to cover (figuratively speaking, of course — it is an e-book afterall). I read until past midnight. I took 12 pages of notes. (Yes, I know I had the book right there, but if I don’t write something down the information doesn’t stay in my brain.)

It felt like I was back in college, cramming for a big final. It reminded me of my first big paper in graduate school, which took me all night to write.

I was 23 then. My body is less willing to submit to that sort of abuse these days.

But I’m armed with knowledge and my notes. I am ready to do battle with Smashwords’ legendary Meatgrinder (the actual name for their conversion software if you’re not familiar with it). I am off to prove I have learned what I needed.

I hope I get an A+.

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