A few days ago I blogged that I had placed A MAN CLOTHED IN LINEN, a novel in which Herod the Great is the illegitimate father of Jesus on Kindle.
That seems to have transpired without any great mystery or glitches, although I ended up with a thumbnail cover I didn't expect (and have now changed.)
Then I stumbled across Smashwords, which formats and distributes to the e-publishing world beyond Amazon. So I uploaded A MAN CLOTHED IN LINEN onto it and pressed all the buttons I thought necessary for it to be converted to the appropriate formats. At the moment, I'm not sure that's actually happened, but it may have. You can find the book on Smashwords but when I look into my account info, I see that the book is in process. I also note that they have what they call a premium distribution channel which requires a lot of redone formatting. For example, you can't use the tab key to indent anything. That's a no-no. And you can't use more than 16 pt. type. Another no-no.
We'll see. The instruction book for proper Smashwords formatting is over 75 pages long. Does anyone have the time for something like that? Even when they warn you that they'll remove you from their system if you keep trying to get it right and fail...which they take as evidence that you're not serious?
There is a mechanism whereby you can pay a formatter $25 an hour to get your ms. right. That might be worth a few hours, but of course, the big question is how do you find your readers?
I was dumbstruck to find that I was number 4,500 in line when I put A MAN CLOTHED IN LINEN into the Smashwords conversion hopper. I take that to have meant there were over 4,000 books ahead of me. Which meant that the initial process required about 36 hours.
I'd welcome comments from anyone with experiences similar to my own. I'm not down on these publishing mechanisms; they may work...even for me. But there's clearly a learning curve. As in all revolutions, and digital publishing is surely a revolution, the fog is thick, the path uncertain.
Causes Robert Earle Supports
World Wildlife Fund