Here it goes, in no particular order—some observations about publishing a Kindle book (my short story, “Out There”):
- Publishing on Kindle can be very, very easy. And that’s both thrilling and scary. Thrilling because of the prospects for indie authors. Scary because I really wonder about the prospect of a ridiculous glut of unedited, junky ebooks.
- Amazon’s Kindle publishing how-to for Macintosh users is clear and easy to follow. Yes, it involves using Microsoft Word — I’d prefer to use anything but Word for writing (or formatting) — but the guide simplifies things and doesn’t require much technical know-how.
- How much time did it take to format and publish the book? Well, I was publishing a short story I’d written in the 1990’s; it already existed as a Word file. Formatting the book, using Amazon’s directions, took two or three hours. Designing the cover took about a half-hour or an hour. Publishing the book using Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) took about a half-hour.
- My recipe for a simple e-book cover: Strong image. Big type. That’s it. Yes, I could have spent much more time on this, and I’d like to with other books, but this was really an effort at experimenting with publishing on Kindle and I didn’t want to obsess over any one element of the project.
- I’d wondered whether there’s a minimum length for a Kindle book. There’s not.
- You can decide who’s listed as the publisher of your book.
- Many writers have embraced blogs and Twitter. But ebooks? I think we’re still at an early stage of seeing how independent writers explore the ebook. I expect we’ll see a lot more writers publishing ebooks and embracing the role of writer as entrepreneur.
- Once you publish, you can revise. I’ve already changed the cover of “Out There.” In the future, I may reformat the way the title page looks, reformat the header for the Table of Contents, center the headings for chapter titles, and make other changes.