A Quick and Dirty eBook with Calibre

calibre logoSome indie authors are tech savvy and masters at formatting their completed manuscripts into the two most commonly used ebook formats, ePub and Mobi. Some hire someone to format their eBook files. However, the approach taken by many is the simple one, upload a Word document to Amazon and let KDP convert the file. If you’re only publishing through Amazon, this works great. At least until you want to send an eBook to a friend, submit your book to a reviewer who requires an eBook file for submission, or … well, you get the idea.

If your book is already published and you followed my advice to not use DRM, you might consider purchasing a copy of the book from Amazon and copying the file from your Kindle or the Kindle for PC directory to use for these purposes. (I’ll leave it to you to figure out how to do this.) But if your book has DRM or you want to send an eBook file in advance of publication to reviewers or beta readers, another approach is needed. There are many ways this might be accomplished. The approach I’m going to outline here is using a free program called Calibre. Continue reading

How to Make an eBook Cover in Publisher

publisher logoMaking a book cover in Microsoft Publisher is extremely easy. If you don’t have MS Publisher, I’m sorry, I don’t really know any comparable alternatives in freeware or on Macs. (If you know of one, please feel free to let us know, and if you’d like to write a guest post about it – even better!) I’ve been using Publisher for a ridiculously long time, and that’s what works for me.

There are so many options in Publisher, I could never talk about all of them in this article. Nor do I probably know how to use all of them. I’m a simple person – and keeping it simple works for me. I’m using MS Office 2010. If you are using a different version, some of this will look weird to you, but the basics remain the same.

Open Publisher. Select blank (portrait mode) from the options under New. Continue reading

How to Resize a Photo – Mac Edition

So you want to resize a photo and you own a Mac. The process is really simple and you only need the software that came on your machine. (For instructions on how to resize a photo on a PC this article is for you.)

To start, simply find the photo you wish to resize using the Mac’s Finder (the little happy face you use to find files), and click to open it. Mac automatically opens photos in its Preview software. Presuming you still want a copy of the image at the original size, the first thing you are going to do is SAVE AS and rename the file.

IMG1_cover_resize Continue reading

How to Change Your Book’s Categories

iStock_000008515543XSmallRecently I had a problem with the Amazon categories for one of my novels. However, I didn’t realize it until the day my promotion started. I was listed in nonfiction. Ouch. It’s not the first time I’ve been put in the wrong category. Kids can be so mean sometimes. At least with an automated system, I’m willing to forgive a few errors. Amazon has been very nice about it—even though sometimes they’ve introduced new errors in the act of correcting the original ones—but eventually we’ve gotten things squared away. Continue reading