Wow! I finally did it! Although I have previously published my first two books through a standard publisher, I decided it was time to try out e-book publishing and was steered towards Smashwords.com. It astounded me that they were a service that I could afford (FREE is my cup of tea!) that reaches so many different e-book formats. They also provided a FREE ISBN number for my book, which is a huge help in getting it out there.
So, I downloaded their FREE e-book explaining exactly how to format my Word manuscript and printed it out. (I like to have something I can take with me on my travels ferrying Max around during soccer season, etc. since I don’t have a smart phone or e-book reader.) Then, I read the entire booklet before touching my manuscript, giving me a chance to see if I could really do it myself. The guide seemed to be amazingly simple, except for one thing: I am a WordPerfect writer, having worked in WordPerfect since I first started on computers back in the70’s. Word is still alien to me.
I managed to re-save my manuscript in Word and then put it through Notepad to really clean it up, as they suggested. Since I’m only faintly familiar with Word, finding the proper settings was the biggest challenge for me. Believe it or not, my biggest problem was finding how to to a page-down to skip to a new page, as I never use it. (I had to travel back through my memory when I was a legal secretary back in the ‘80’s to remember how to: control-enter.) I have to say, though, that in spite of my Word non-expertise, I made it through the manual in approximately 3 days.
Due to my ignorance concerning Word settings, I ended up having to put my manuscript through the publishing process 5 times before finally being accepted. It was entirely my fault for not properly setting up my paragraphs. But I stuck to it and was successful in finally being accepted by Smashwords before my Saturday deadline: I wanted to have it done in time for the Annual Bluegrass Festival where we Lake County Authors have a booth, so I could advertise my new e-book!
Be sure you visit my new page at: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/87374