The eBook Publishing Process

Okay, so here’s the process for publishing your e-book on the Kindle store. Ready?

  • First, write a book. I know that sounds obvious, but you’d be amazed. I see agents write on their blogs all the time about how they get queries from people who haven’t written a book. Write one first, okay? Good.
  • Use your word processor or text editor to change the document/manuscript into HTML. If you don’t know how to do this, there are a TON of online tutorials which will show you how. No kidding. Here’s one right here. Me, I just use Word’s Save As… feature to change the document into HTML. Works great.

Done with that? Good. Now, here’s the next part of the process.

  • Download the MobiPocket Creator utility from this site right here. This will transform your HTML goodie into a Kindle-friendly .prc file.
  • Mobipocket Creator is simple and easy to use; there are instructions on their site. Just follow them precisely and make sure you know where it’s creating the files, or you’ll spend much longer searching for the document than you did creating it.
  • Alternatively, download the Kindlegen utility from Amazon’s Kindle Publishing site, and read the directions carefully. You’d better like working in Command Prompt windows, too; you know, what most folks think of as DOS.
  • Also download the Kindle Previewer program from the same site. You’ll need this or something like it if you don’t have a Kindle to check out your handiwork.

All right, with everything in place, here’s what you do:

  • Take your .prc file from MobiPocket Creator and load it into the Kindle Previewer (File > Open Book, browse for the file). It should load, and you can scroll through the pages to make sure everything is copacetic.
  • Look good? Great! Now, if you have an Amazon account (and c’mon, who doesn’t by now?), you can use it to sign up for Amazon’s DTP (Digital Text Platform) publishing feature.
  • Upload your book and hope it looks like it did in your preview. After uploading you will be able to review the manuscript.

Pretty simple, right? I thought so. Which is why my book is going to go live today. Probably. If I have the nerve to push the SUBMIT button and actually do it.

Wish me luck!



9 thoughts on “The eBook Publishing Process

  1. That sounds a lot easier than I imagined it would be!

    Best of luck with your ePublishing!

    Now hurry up and click the submit button! You need to do it quick, without thinking – rip it like a Band-Aid! 😉

    OW! No! I have to do these things at my OWN pace, a little at a time … 😉 (But I’ll let everyone know when I’ve done it.)

  2. Reading the above comment–this MIT research/science guy who survived tremendously bad burns all over his body conducted years of research to prove that ripping the bandage off quickly isn’t really better than removing it slowly. That said, you can’t hit a submit button a few seconds at a time.

    Anyway, hurray for you. Good luck!

    Thanks Marta. No, I can’t do it a little at a time. Gotta do it all at once. 🙂

  3. Good luck! Great post. I’m working with a self publisher now and we’re aiming to get our print books up on Kindle soon, so this is a good prep!

    (and to mapelba, seriously lol’ed reading your comment)

    Thanks, Brittany; I’m glad you liked it, and thanks for the well-wishes too. 🙂

  4. Interesting. I’ve never used many of the tools you’ve mentioned. My workflow is like this:
    1. OpenOffice export book to .html
    2. clean up html using notepad++ (or any old text editor with a search and replace)
    3. test in a browser.
    4. put html file into a zip file (using windows archiver thingy or 7-zip)
    5. Upload zipped html to dtp @ amazon.

    I think the MobiPocket Creator does a lot of the same things the Amazon DTP converter does. This way, I’m uploading a book, not an HTML file which needs to become a book. On another note, how did you do your table of contents? Or did you do one? I might have to since mine’s a collection of short stories. Just curious. Thanks for the wishes; hope you sell like hot cakes too!

    Good luck and may you sell a million. And can we see the cover?

    • I didn’t put a table of contents in oasis, but I’ve put them in other ebook projects. i just use an html unordered list with anchors that just point down the page. Like this: (we’ll see how the comments handle code…)

      Chapter 1
      Chapter 2

      Chapter 1
      Blah, blah, blah
      Chapter 2
      Blah, blah, blah

      WordPress DIDN’T handle the code; it saw more than two links and spat you into the SPAM. Heh.

      That’s what I figured would be the case, since there’s no page number to use as reference for the ToC. I’ll see what Word does with it in HTML mode and then convert — AGAIN. If it works, Ill go live. Definitely, positively, I’ll go live. 🙂

  5. Good luck. So what’s your book and will it be available in other formats other than Kindle once you get the nerve to push SUBMIT? I’m not sure how that works.

    Thanks, Courtney! (Great post today, btw — I like being challenged to think about WHY I do what I do when I write.)

    I’m planning to make the book available on Smashwords in a variety of formats — Nook, Kobo, etc. — but I can probably compile a PDF version for those who don’t have an eReader. 🙂

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