Finally, my memoir, is ready to publish (as print-on-demand) and e-book. A project taking two years.
Last night, I tweaked the cover. I also converted to an EPUB for the ebook. The print book format stays as a PDF. I've noted down instructions as I did things (yet again), so that I can write a guide for those navigating this daunting process.
Why I tweaked the cover
I see colour more easily than tone, so I desaturated my design and there was a lot of mid-grey tones. I wanted more contrast, so I decided to do a black speech bubble with white writing (which also reflects that a lot of autistic people like to use white on black). I increased the size of the fonts. Also, added a fine line around the outside, as it can be lost in the white background when in the Kindle store.
I'm happier with the cover now - it's more eye-catching cover. The art on the cover is mentioned in the book. Plus the colour on one half, black and white on the other, represents more my creative-analytical mind.
Converting to EPUB
This was a headache every time I've done it. It was slighly less of a headache when converting from Microsoft Word instead of LibreOffice Writer (open source) to EPUB using Calibre (open source).
Reason being, it read the Table of Contents pretty much 'perfectly'. Although, it wouldn't show well the changes for my condensed front matter (copyright, disclaimer etc), so I ended up just using a header style in Word and converting that. To make sure the reader knows there is this stuff at the beginning that is relevant.
I could see how it wasn't showing that in the table of contents, when I checked using Kindle Previewer.
I ended up doing the process three times, which means updating the metadata of the EPUB file too.
Anyway, if that sounds like nonsense, the main thing to get out of it, is it's a pain in the butt.
checking with kindle previewer
I will be publishing my ebook to KDP on Amazon initially and KDP advices checking the layout after conversion with their free app Kindle Previewer.
The titles in grey that I put in via Calibre shows up but it didn't also add this to the Table of Contents. So, to 'force' this, I added a Header 1 style, same as my chapters etc, to the front matter parts (condensed) that I wanted to draw attention to. Such as the 'disclaimer'.
This time, I have not redesigned a cover to KDP's suggestions but rather kept the same proportions as my print cover. The printed book is slightly shorter proportionally than the suggested kindle cover size, so there has been black added to the top and bottom (not by me), which looks fine).
The print-on-demand book cover was made using a template generated from my chosen specifications. This is easier than trying to do calculations. The kindle cover is a smaller file and just the front cover.
So now, I have four final files to upload to KDP:
New Zealand requires the ISBN numbers to show on the interior for all formats (paperback, EPUB). The ISBN of the actual format goes on the outside. KDP will be stamping a barcode on the back of my books.
Print-on-demand is the most affordable option I know of for independent publishers, as each book is printed as it's ordered, then a fee for the printing and distribution costs is taken out. So no upfront costs, like doing a print run.
With an ebook, a small fee is taken by the distributor when a book is sold.
Anyway, I will try to explain this more logically in a guide, as it's very confusing doing it at first. For those who wish to do all or most of the process themselves.
All ready to publish
I need a break and could do with some chocolate before I do the uploading to KDP. Some things cannot be changed, so care needs to be taken to type in the correct details.
Then, it can be 48 to 72 hours for KPD to approve. Some features such as 'look inside' might take longer to approve.
All going well, Bipolar Courage: Are You Sure You're Not Autistic? will be out in a matter of days.
Disclaimer: the author of this blog is not an expert by profession and her opinions should not be taken as expert advice.