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post #539
bio: jen
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11/14/2012
15:04

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Oh My Gosh, I Published An Ebook
 
As many of you know, I've been blogging here on happyrobot for years. Even though I am pretty good at putting words up on a blog, I don't consider myself super technical. I still consider it really neat that I can put up pictures. And those pictures can be different sizes. Uuuuuuuuu.

If you were to tell me a year ago, Jen, you'll publish an ebook, I'd laugh. No way. I don't know how. I love paper.

Well, here I am publishing one. And I will tell you, ebooks are like blogging. Highly addictive. I want to do another.

It all started when I was walking the Camino in Spain back in April and May. I wrote two blogs about the Camino (they're here and here). They have pictures.

As I was walking 550 miles, I thought of writing a slightly irreverent guide that would answer all the questions I had about the Camino like what the ladies rooms are like and where I could easily buy toothpaste. I figured it would be a guide for the Slacker Pilgrim, the pilgrim who was the last to get up in the morning and drank wine from one end of Spain to the other.

I realized that a lot of the information in my Camino book would be timely and possibly out of date by the time it came out in paper form. Was there someway that I could get it out there as a book? An ebook? Why the heck not?

Back in Los Angeles, I started putting the manuscript together. I had originally thought that it would take a month. It took four months. I also got a book called Let's Get Digital by David Gaughran which told me that yes, I could do it. It was possible. Ebooks weren't a myth. By the way, I got his book in paper form.

His book told me about a website called Smashwords. Not only do they sponsor National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo), they also publish ebooks and enable authors to convert their files to the various ebook formats. All I needed was a properly formatted MS Word document.

Wait, MS Word, I can do that.

I went over to the Amazon Kindle self-publishing website. Amazon is big. Amazon is huge. Amazon also accepts MS Word docs. Wow.

Besides, a manuscript, I needed a snazzy cover for my Slacker Pilgrim Guide. I tapped Anthony, an artist and graphic designer I've known for years. Even though there are lots of free ebook cover templates available online, I figured Anthony could do a cool cover in half the time it would take me to figure out a template. Anyway, he did, and we were set.

Then the day to upload it arrived. I uploaded onto Smashwords. I uploaded onto Amazon. That night I shivered under the covers and wondered what horror I had unleashed onto the world.

The next day, I got great news from Smashwords. My document had no formatting problems. Yes! By the way, there's a great free ebook by Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords that shows you exactly how to format your ebook on MS Word. I actually created internal links in my document. I was so excited.

I sent the book to my Camino buddies, and I got such positive vibes back from them that I was walking on air. Wow, everyone should walk the Camino if only to get a positive posse. I love those guys.

So now the book is out. You can get it on Amazon here. You can also get it on Smashwords here. It will soon be coming out in formats for the Barnes and Noble Nook and the Apple I-stuff.

There's also a facebook page for the Slacker Pilgrim Guide. Yayyy. I actually did something on facebook besides wish folks Happy Birthday. 

Finisterre



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