I’m finally getting around to posting and talking about this, but it is definitely what it looks like. I took that chapter (once posted on my blog) of the private detective assistant–named Aiesha Tonie–and made a flash fiction ebook out of it. It’s not quite the same as it was featured on my blog, but it’s her story all freshened up for some episodic releases. Now, I did this for several reasons, after sitting on the idea for years. One: I needed to give myself some kind of testimony as it pertains to where I am right now with Life. My dream has always been to write and illustrate my own cover. Professional designer and writer? Hell no! Willing to go at it despite researched opposing advice? Hell yeah! Therefore, good or bad or indifferent, I made sure to follow my inspired guidance and do it. Besides, I'm not good at learning without trial. But now I can say a piece of who I dreamed at 14 has been realized, and I will continue to produce chapters from here on forward with him in mind. Which leads me to reason number two: find some kind of momentum and means to get off my ass and get back to writing daily.
Nonetheless, here it is. My beloved Aiesha Tonie character is now on Amazon. As I mentioned, I have a slew of reservations–from the writing to the cover–but I just felt like I had to do something. I dislike being around people who talk and talk and talk, and I dislike being around myself even more when I do the same. Whether this project lives on or dies out, I’m putting my faithful foot into it. Am I a little scared? Absolutely. Hopeful and optimistic? Always. But ultimately, I hope my stepping forward inspires you to do the same. To go with what you love and do what's good for you. Whatever that may be.
So here are a few things I suggest you do should you want to sneak into writing ebooks with a chapter of your work.
~*The Fire & Lessons*~
0. Take your time, but don’t take too much time! Though it's necessary, it ain't that much of a luxury we can all afford. Do your research, then show up to your project with dedication. I preach showing up to your Life, passions, and ideas more than anything. And I mean it. Why? Because many people don't show up. Nothing can happen. No lessons can be learned. No success can follow. You have to play to win.
1. Write. Rewrite. Rewrite. And write more. This particular chapter I’m sharing is something I wrote in 2012, when I was in a mystery writing course provided by Gotham Writer’s Workshop. It’s been through many revisions, but it’s my project; I’ll see that it be expressed. Do the same for yourself. Even if it’s just a simple chapter. Actually, if it’s more than 10 pages–go for it.
People will judge you/it anyway. The important thing is that you take a step forward. Give yourself a chance. Never sell yourself short or count yourself out. And if that doesn't convince you, go look on Amazon now and see what's out there doing the same.
2. Get someone to read your material until you’re comfortable with it. Then let it go. The Universe worked me on this one, as I met a freelance editor at my day job who offered to help me get this together. A million thanks to her. But beforehand, I sat on my ass for a while fooling with some outsource services and emails that didn’t get responses until weeks later. Neither panned out as planned. Well, one did and I wasn't all that won by her work. Still, I took an "F this" approach and kept looking. Someone was going to read this besides myself, and advise me on changes. I had some money on the side specifically for hiring someone who could legitimately help.
Then one day I looked on my dresser, and there was an email I wrote on a slice of receipt paper more than a month ago. It was to that freelance editor I’d met at my job. I took it as a flag from the Universe.
3. Be prepared to learn about how to fill out Kindle Direct Publishing‘s enrollment details. I'll share a step-by-step video I found extremely helpful. Now it’s not a lot to learn, per se. But you’ll want to have a grasp on some of this until you get the hang of it all. My biggest concern was tags for the book, categorizing it, and pricing. All of which I've changed about four times now.
4. You can’t just upload your book from Word to Kindle Direct Publishing. No, ma’am. There are specific formatting guidelines you have to follow. Otherwise, your book will look a mess on buyers’ Kindle. You have to take into consideration an active table of contents (I didn't require one this round), layout, image placement, page breaks, and etc. (Guidelines HERE.) While I felt I could've formatted my chapter with the help of a guide, I decided to outsource via Fiverr. For this first round at least. Just be careful who you choose to handle your project. I tend to click on the most ratings and hefty queue mirco workers on the site. Additionally, if you don’t know a cover artist/designer, you can utilize Fiverr to find someone available for the job. Or the more expensive route, Deviantart.com.
I have one more video I found really helpful–and far more in dept and knowledgeable than myself. I'll HTML it here:
Anyway, that’s all I have for now. I suppose the promotional aspect is next. Because this is all so new to me, I'll try to keep you guys posted on my lessons and discoveries as I go along. Good luck and share your tips and stories on e-publishing in the comments below!