I recently received a Kindle as a gift from my husband, which was a lovely gesture. But my first thoughts went directly to the two large boxes of books “To Be Read” under my bed. I do like the Kindle for portability and it will be wonderful when I travel. Also, the success of the Kindle and the Nook and all the e-books that are hitting the market right now can’t be ignored.
But I still find myself drawn to my paper books.
I attended the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Conference this past weekend and went to a CreateSpace Workshop. Tom Kephart gave a presentation on how easy it is to use this program and the benefits that Amazon provides its “indie” authors, including a new application that is supposed to easily convert your book into Kindle format.
I recently did a book layout and helped an editing client publish her memoir about being one of the first women engineers to work on the Alaska Highway, Engineer in High Heels.
I used CreateSpace and I found what people had told me before and what Kephart said in his presentation to be true. It was a relatively easy process (only a few missing hairs while figuring out various aspects) and it is free if you do the layout, the cover design and everything yourself. They do have programs to design the cover and the layout if you choose, for a fee. They also have a support staff to answer your questions when you get to the hair-tearing parts.
So it really is a pretty simple way to see your “baby” born into a real book. My recommendation to anyone wanting to self-publish, though, is to have it professionally edited, and go over the proof with a fine-tooth comb. You want a clean, well written and edited, professional-looking product.
Then you can convert it to Kindle, and have your cake and eat it too!
A native Montanan, Heidi M. Thomas now lives in Northwest Washington. Her first novel, Cowgirl Dreams, is based on her grandmother, and the sequel, Follow the Dream, has recently won the national WILLA Award. Heidi has a degree in journalism, a certificate in fiction writing, and is a member of Northwest Independent Editors Guild. She teaches writing and edits, blogs, and is working on the next books in her “Dare to Dream” series.