As I announced I finished the first draft of my book and am now letting it rest before setting out to edit it and prepare it for publication.
One of the ways I intend on publishing the book will be through something called Smashwords. In order to do that you have to follow their Style Guide, a 48 page PDF document. When you upload your masterpiece something they call the “Meatgrinder” converts it into various ebook formats so it can be read on the Kindle, Apple iPad, iPhone, Sony Reader and a bunch of others.
In order to upload your tome it has to be presented to Smashwords in a MS Word .doc file. If you’re using the 2007 version your work is saved as a .docx file. No Good! Now, not to pat myself on the back too hard but I’m VERY proficient with MS Word but this weekend I learned at least a dozen things about the program I had no idea about.
For example, if you have Word 2007 on your computer bring up a document now. See that circle in the upper left hand corner? Click on it.
A drop-down menu come up on your screen with options you probably don’t know about. Of course there’s the usual Open, Save and Save As options. If you click Save As you can automatically convert your document into a PDF document.
Anyway, the Style Guide goes through a lot of formatting information and I thought before tackling my book I’d try something a bit smaller. There’s a lot of short fiction and non-fiction stuff on Smashwords so I dug into my old files and decided to polish up a story I’d written a long time ago and played around with for years. It’s about my single-handed sail from Key West to Isla Mujeres, Mexico. I set about polishing it up and went through the Smashwords formatting. Let me tell you, there are a LOT of things hidden in your documents you never even thought might be there.
I spent a couple of hours refining my story and formatting it and adding a cover for the story. Now I’ve gone up to the Info Plaza and set up my Smashwords account and have uploaded my story.
I’ve put a price of .99¢ on it, well, why not? HOWEVER, you, my faithful readers can get it for FREE. All you have to do is send me your email address and I’ll send you a special coupon that will let you allow you to download it for absolutely nothing. The coupon offer expires February 17, 2011, so hurry. Go to http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/37782 and after you’ve added the story to your cart enter the coupon number and you’ll get it for free.
Well, actually there’s one thing I ask you to do for the free story and that’s to go back to Smashwords and write a review of it. I think you’ll enjoy the story, but even if you want to say “I think your time would be better spent surfing internet porn than writing,” I’ll accept that, too.