How to Make an eBook, Part 2: Converting your Files

Wel­come to part two of our self-pub­lish­ing series, How to Make an eBook. If you need to catch up, take a look at part one, which will teach you how to cre­ate an eBook-con­ver­sion-friend­ly man­u­script:

In this tuto­r­i­al, we’re going to cov­er how to con­vert your com­plet­ed Mark­down man­u­script into eBook for­mats using a free eBook appli­ca­tion called Cal­i­bre.

Ready to get start­ed? Read On!

Self-Publishing 101: How to Make an eBook

For­mat­ting and pub­lish­ing your own eBook can be an intim­i­dat­ing expe­ri­ence for a novice self-pub­lish­er. That’s why ser­vices like Smash­words are so pop­u­lar: they can take a stan­dard Word doc­u­ment, con­vert it into all pop­u­lar eBook for­mats, and pub­lish them to a bunch of venues for you. They take the has­sle out of inde­pen­dent pub­lish­ing.

But, for those of us who want bit more con­trol over their pub­lish­ing expe­ri­ence, for­mat­ting and cre­at­ing eBooks by hand can be a reward­ing expe­ri­ence. Why would you want to do this by hand, when there are ser­vices out there that can do it for you?

  • Microsoft Word is a pain. Basi­cal­ly, it is overkill for the eBook writ­ing process. Most Word fea­tures are either not need­ed in an eBook (e.g., mar­gins, padding, page num­ber­ing), or won’t trans­late dur­ing the eBook con­ver­sion (e.g., font selec­tions and foot­notes). And, your Word doc­u­ment has to be metic­u­lous­ly for­mat­ted for it to con­vert clean­ly. (If you’ve glanced over the Smash­words style guide, you know what I’m talk­ing about.) Most peo­ple default to Word because it’s what they’re used to using, but I find that oth­er options are much sim­pler, ele­gant, and con­ducive to the writ­ing process.
  • For­mat­ting by hand gives you greater con­trol over the look of your final eBook. I’m a typog­ra­phy snob, and I love the con­trol that for­mat­ting eBooks by hand gives me. I can embed fonts, change the way that para­graphs and head­ings are for­mat­ted, even include drop caps into my open­ing para­graphs. While there is a bit of a learn­ing curve involved in tweak­ing eBook out­put, I find the result to be well worth the effort.

In this three-part series I’m going to go over writ­ing and for­mat­ting your eBook file, con­vert­ing it to pop­u­lar eBook for­mats like ePub and MOBI, and tweak­ing the out­put with a bit of styling. You’re result­ing eBook files will be ready to upload to pop­u­lar out­lets like Ama­zon and Barnes & Noble for sale and dis­tri­b­u­tion.

Ready to dive in with me?

Read More!

She crouches

She crouch­es
hun­gry to devour
destroy
to entan­gle a body’s length
depth
thighs trem­bling
weep­ing.
She whim­pers
muf­fled
dark leaks encir­cling
my strained por­trait.
She waits
fin­gers for a chink in the armor.
She whis­pers
“Do you miss me?”
her breath as sweet as death.
I do.

The Bride

This sto­ry was writ­ten for the Dark Fairy Queen Writer­ly Bridal Show­er, in hon­or of Anna Meade and Michael Loy’s upcom­ing nup­tials. To the joy­ous cou­ple: May you have an ecsta­t­ic life togeth­er, full of shared sun­sets and fairy dust. And Anna: watch out for Krak­ens!

The bride stepped gin­ger­ly into her wed­ding dress, and two maids care­ful­ly laced the gown up her back. The gown sparkled like the star­ry night above her, aglow with thou­sands of dia­monds sewn into the white thread. She wait­ed patient­ly as the maids attend­ed the dress, lac­ing, smooth­ing, gath­er­ing the long train around her feet. The maids then addressed the glo­ri­ous mane of her hair, tam­ing her wild dark curls. They ran exot­ic oils through her tress­es, till her ringlets shone and shim­mered. With dia­mond-encrust­ed ivory combs they cap­tured her hair atop her head, while way­ward curls framed her alabaster face and spilled down her back. With sweet berry juices they del­i­cate­ly col­ored her full lips, her creamy cheeks.

The wind swirled around her and she looked up to the night sky. A dis­tant howl echoed, and she shiv­ered.

The queen emerged from the shad­ows, and her eyes widened as she regard­ed the bride.

You look glo­ri­ous, my child,” an approv­ing smile curved her blood-red lips.

The bride cast her eyes down­ward, blush­ing.

The queen came towards her, then cir­cled around her, light­ly fuss­ing with her gown, run­ning her taloned fin­gers through her curls. As the queen came round and faced the bride, she gen­tly caressed the bride’s cheek, attempt­ing a com­fort­ing smile.

Are you ner­vous about the wed­ding night?” she purred.

The bride said noth­ing, but trem­bled, her blush deep­en­ing.

The queen leaned in, her lips against the brides ear. The bride could feel her warm, cloy­ing breath as she whis­pered, “There is noth­ing to fear. It will be over before you know it.”

Tears sprung to the bride’s eyes.

You must yield to him,” the queen mur­mured, cap­tur­ing a sin­gle tear on the bride’s cheek with her long, thin fin­ger, “Your body must be whol­ly his. Your skin…” she ran her fin­ger down her cheek, her neck, trac­ing the soft, swelling flesh of her decoutage, “…must be warm. You body must open to him.”

The queen stepped back, leav­ing the bride’s heart pound­ing, her exposed white skin shiv­er­ing.

It is time,” the queen growled to the maids, avert­ing her eyes from the bride.

The maids gen­tly led the bride across the sand, to the cliff that over­looked  the churn­ing ocean. The wind whipped her curls, the salty spray of the sea sting­ing her eyes. Blink­ing the mist from her dark lash­es, she looked up at the night sky, try­ing to swal­low the tears and bile that rose up in her throat.

Paul_Gustave_Dore_AndromedaThe maids pressed the bride’s body rev­er­ent­ly against the rock face, cap­tured her del­i­cate wrists in heavy chains. The ocean waves height­ened, swelled, and her gown was soon soaked by sea water.

The queen came to her once more, her large eyes wet with tears. Cap­tur­ing her face in her hands, the queen plant­ed one last kiss upon the bride’s cheek. The queen closed her eyes, breath­ing in the sweet and salty scent of the bride’s curls, then turned away.

The bride sobbed as the queen dis­ap­peared into the dark­ness.

A deep howl swept across the ocean, echo­ing above the ocean waves which rose high­er and high­er, now lap­ping at her feet. In the dark water, the bride could see an even dark­er shad­ow beneath its sur­face, impos­si­bly huge, trav­el­ling with hor­ri­fy­ing speed towards the cliff.

The bride breathed one last des­per­ate sob, then, at the queen’s behest, relaxed her chained arms, soft­ened her shoul­ders, weak­ened her knees. She yield­ed to her groom, who, with a tri­umphant and deaf­en­ing wail, rose to meet and con­sume her.

Title: The Bride
Author: Christi­na Ramey
eBook: Yes


(Pho­to Cred­it: s0ulsurfing via Comp­fight cc)

life is rife with it…

life is rife with it — the lit­tle anguish­es the sparks of plea­sure the swaths of bore­dom that roll in and out and over you till you close your eyes in hopes that the spin­ning will stop…and you weigh them cease­less­ly those quick­ly-flee­ing lit­tle pieces squirm­ing in your fin­gers in hopes that the good out­weighs the bad and you squint at them in hopes that the bad can be trans­formed if you turn it this way or that or hold it up to the light…and you try to peer ahead and arm your­self accord­ing­ly but still the slings come and still it stings…and you won­der if things will ever be bet­ter if the quips of wis­dom will sink down deep and man­i­fest them­selves as action and bright­ness but I fear it won’t get that much bet­ter two steps for­ward one step back and then anoth­er