Monday, March 03, 2014

How I Published My Kindles (Easy Peasy, Sort Of)

Gosh, I've been having at least a couple of conversations per week (oftentimes more) with fellow writers looking to bring out their own Kindle(s), so I'll just quit yammering and copy/paste this blog post into my email replies. And here's hoping this may be of use or interest for you, also, dear reader-- I know that many of you are writers.

It's changing all the time, and there is more than one way to skin this cat, but so far, here is what I can tell you:


My Kindles as of 2014:

Metaphysical Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution

+From Mexico to Miramar or, Across the Lake of Oblivion

The Building of Quality

Miraculous Air: Journey of a Thousand Miles through Baja California, the Other Mexico

Podcasting for Writers

+ and the Spanish translation of my novel, El último príncipe del Imperio Mexicano

Odisea metafísica hacia la Revolución Mexicana, Francisco I. Madero y su libro secreto, Manual espírita

My novel, The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire is also available in Kindle, but that was my publisher's doing (Unbridled Books).

1. Get your book's text into in a clean WORD.doc. 
This was not easy for some of my older works, which were written in Wordperfect and, alas, converted to babble in .epub (see step #2.). And one was in a PDF that did not convert well either. Most of them had multiple corrections made after it had landed in my original publisher's hands-- and to the galleys, as well. Oh well, I got it done.
2. Convert the WORD doc to an .epub by using a free open source program such as Sigil.
Download Sigil here.
3. Using Sigil, arrange your table of contents and chapters.
There are a multitude of Sigil tutorials on the web, Google and ye shall find. (I hired an IT guy to help me on this-- and that did save some time and head-aches.) 

***UPDATE. A reader writes: "I keep the process easy by setting the paragraph indents to .2 in .docx, then saving the file as Web Page, Filtered. It becomes an HTML file. Upload that rather than ePub (use for Smashwords)." 

4. Open a Kindle direct account on
Click here: 
You will need to provide your email, password, contact info and your bank account number-- they do need to be able to pay you!
5. Purchase an ISBN from Bowker at 
(For a Kindle this is not absolutely necessary, however.)
6. Make a cover.
Amazon provides some free templates. You can do it yourself or hire someone. The Kindle Direct publishing website provides all the relevant guidelines here.
7. On Kindle direct on, upload the description of your book, the files for your book's content (that would be the .epub you created with Sigil), and the cover. Select the rights territories, the price you want to charge, and then the button that says PUBLISH.
In about 12 hours, oftentimes less, you will be emailed the link to your book's page on Update your website, tweet, tell friends and family, etc etc etc.

ROUTE #2. 
1. Get your book in a clean WORD.doc.
2. Open a CreateSpace account (this is part of
3. Follow the very easy instructions to do a print/on-demand paperback edition of your book. (You can do this yourself, hire someone to do it, or pay CreateSpace to do it.)  Once that is all done, click the box that says "Make this a Kindle."

Multiple ebook editions all at once, for a fee, Smashwords does it all for you. I do not have experience with this. 

+ + + + + + +

Related blog posts:

>Seven Reasons Ebooks will be Big in Mexico
> My Excellent (If Occasionally Head-Banging) E-Book Adventure (Note: this is from 2011, ancient history, but includes many crunchy links)
>Guest-Blogger Deborah Batterman: "Publish Or Perish: 5 Links on the New Digital Imperative"

P.S. See all my ebooks in English here and in Spanish here.

Because they are quick to download, easy to read (especially for older people who need larger type and travelers of all ages with sore shoulders) and cheap, whatever one's own opinion about them may be, to expect that they will not continue to erode the traditional book market is to fight the winds and the tides. For those who would lament the loss of bookstores and paper books, take heart! There is the rare book market! (Cherish those autographed first editions with their dust jackets intact!) I say, paper books are like horses and candles. With the coming of cars and electricity the roles of horses and candles in most people's daily lives vastly diminished; nonetheless, horses and candles have not disappeared and probably never will.

Ceteris paribus, I'll take the paper book. But ceteris paribus is rarely what's actually going on. I have been buying and reading Kindles (and iBooks and free PDFs from at a rather voracious pace.

More links of relevance:

> To read Kindles, I use my iPad's free Kindle app.
> Cyberflanerie: Rare Books Entrepreneurship Edition
> Michael Suarez, SJ on the Flow of Books and Money and Information
> A Super Brief Introduction to the Opportunity Cost of Rare Book Collecting

> Your COMMENTS are always welcome. 

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