Where do I begin? So I had this idea to finally self-publish my little novella, Chronokari Alpha: Time is Relative, and while I knew it wasn't going to be easy, I must admit the journey has been filled with unexpected surprises. Being a rookie in the self-publishing game, I really had no idea what was truly involved in the process. In some ways, coming up with the idea and finishing the manuscript was the easy part. The advent of digital technology and eReaders, have essentially opened the door for authors and creators to bypass publishers and get their product into the marketplace. Manuscripts can be uploaded and published on a variety of digital platforms and are being consumed on desktops, mobile phones, and a plethora of tablets. However, with every advance there is always a drawback somewhere along the line.
What I didn't realize was that the manuscript needed to be converted into a specific type of file for it to be viewed correctly on the multitude of digital platforms that now exist. I decided to use Amazon's Kindle Direct as the portal that I would publish through. There were a few other options, including Smashwords, which was the first option that I had initially stumbled across. I was quite interested in the deal Smashwords offered, but when I looked at their instructions for formatting the manuscript, I was a little less enthusiastic. It's not that their process was laborious or even that complex, but as a neophyte I was a little overwhelmed. I had written the manuscript in Microsoft Word, but I was required to make sure it was formatted correctly to meet the requirements of their Style Guide. The reason this was so important was due to the fact that Smashwords distributes your book to several digital storefronts including Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and Sony. With that in mind, I looked at other options and I eventually gravitated towards Amazon's KDP. Since they were distributing books through their own storefront, I figured that converting the manuscript to meet their standards would be a little less daunting. After reading through their guide (and spending some time on YouTube) I figured that I had enough knowledge to format my little novella correctly. Needless to say it wasn't as easy as I thought it might be and I'll fill you in on my adventures in manuscript formatting in my next blog entry.