My non-8-hour eBook thoughts: Part 1

“The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say but what we are unable to say.”~Anais Nin, American writer

That quote is true, but I am here today writing about all that I can. J.A. Konrath’s 8-hour eBook Challenge prompted me to write my story Mom, Star Trek and Las Vegas. I completed the challenge but not in eight straight hours. That’s okay; it’s done! But it was a lot harder than expected, and I made it that way. These are my tips for others.

1–Do not write your first 8-hour eBook with historical references.

I spent approximately 15 hours writing and editing the book. Many of those hours were spent fact checking information online. What year did Star Trek: the Experience open and then close? What were the names of menu items? What was the exact name of the hotel? Trekkies will know those facts and any errors will be noted in the accuracy. Trust me, in my Trekkie prime time, I would. I would dismiss the author and book instantly. I researched to the best of my ability, and then triple-checked those facts. That takes time.

Because the book is also a memoir, I had to be true to myself. I found the photos from that trip, the ephemera I saved, and I checked the dates to ensure I used the correct dates and days. That’s a whole lot of work that just writing a fiction story would not necessarily need. Or just a plain ol’ memoir story, something that was not date-and-event specific.

2–Expect registering and account setup to take longer than you think.

“Publishing takes less than 5 minutes.” That’s what the Kindle Direct Publishing page states. Maybe, but not the first time. It took me 3:45 hours. First you need to create a profile. Once set up, you have to link a bank to your profile, and you need both the account and routing number. That’s just to get you started.

Then there’s the formatting of the book. Save it as a Word document then as a PDF or webview or whatever it is for your computer system. Then you have to review it. If page breaks are off or text is not formatted properly, you have to go back to the original file, adjust that, and then repeat the upload process. In reviewing, you have the option to look at your book on several devices: Kindle, Kindle Whiteboard, iPhone, iPad…and so on. How obsessive do you become?

And I haven’t even gotten to the cover formatting. Think digital photo book choices with the pressure of professional style. *Whew* That’s for another time.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sheryl kay oder
    Oct 28, 2013 @ 09:17:32

    My guess is the eight-hour concept was to get people going on the project. However, you produced a quality piece, learning as you went. Your small book had the feel of accuracy and a well-conceived plan. That means your first appearance as a Kindle author was done professionally. The question is: what is a person’s goal. You achieved your goal. Congratulations.

    Reply

  2. dwhirsch
    Oct 31, 2013 @ 07:44:36

    That was the point. Remember when you wrote just for fun, no editor, just to pass the time, no concern over inner editor or any such nonsense? I do. I submitted stories I just whipped up as extra credit in high school. Where is the freedom these days? Thanks for your supportive comments. I can’t wait to do my next one!

    Reply

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