I’ve gotten some questions about this, so here goes. There are lots of ways to prep an e-book for publication. Here’s what I did:

—Wrote original manuscript in MS Word; wrote, revised, walked, thought, wrote, revised, lathered, rinsed, repeated.

—Midway through that composition, began screenplay in Final Draft. Work on the screenplay proceeded in chunks, usually trailing the prose manuscript by a few weeks.

—Wanted to add visual elements like chapter headers/separators and so began to take photographs; at first took pics exclusively of thin objects or patterns which could be laid on their sides horizontally to mimic a divider … like this:

—Finished prose manuscript in Word; completed screenplay in Final Draft. Yay! (Or so I thought.)

—Learned both Pages and iBooks Author, since I knew I needed to output an ePub file (which Pages does quite easily, and which many e-Book retailers use) and an iBooks file (so I could get into the iBookstore and be read on an iPad).

—Bought pack of 10 ISBNs at Bowker for $250. Could’ve bought one ISBN for $125, but I knew I wanted to use 1 for each of the “editions” (Apple, Amazon, B&N), since they are all slightly different books. Plus, this gives me enough to do the second & third BALLARD installments (here’s a preview of the next one). You can self-publish at most places w/o and ISBN; but you have to have one at Apple and that’s why I bought some.

—Set up self-publishing accounts at Amazon, Apple, and Barnes & Noble.

—Realized that Pages and iBooks Author allow for larger, more portrait-aligned images (d’oh!) and so took more photos to meet those needs.

—Completed cover, final layout in Pages and iBooks Author.

—Output ePub and iBooks files.

—Uploaded ePub file to Amazon and to Barnes & Noble; accepted at B&N; rejected at Amazon.

—Realized Amazon was just kind of joking around when they said they took ePub files; they really preferred the .mobi file format; good one, Amazon!

—Reverted to MS Word version of ms; saved as RTF; ran that through Calibre to produce a .mobi file; uploaded to Amazon; accepted!

—Set up FB page for BALLARD; set up WordPress blog. Also set up separate Twitter, email, Pinterest, and Tumblr acts for BALLARD; decided not to use any of them. Just sticking with this WordPress blog, the Facebook page, with periodic updates from my personal Twitter and Tumblr accounts.

—Uploaded iBooks file to Apple via iTunesConnect; accepted after a couple of tweaks.

—Set up list of contacts in MailChimp.

—Finalized metadata (keywords, descriptions, genres, etc.) at all 3 spots. You should be able to find BALLARD by searching on any of the following: tarot, gravel, tower, rabbi, golem, comics, or graphic novel. I’m especially fond of the “gravel” keyword and look forward to lots or orders from construction companies worldwide.

—Went live with announcements via LinkedIn, MailChimp, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, and Tumblr.

I’m sure there are much more elegant ways to have done this. I could have gone the InDesign to ePub route, or tried to output the entire book via HTML5, but honestly I just wanted to take the path of technical least resistance, at least this first time around.

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