“Out in the Ether” An e-publishing workshop by Catherine Lang

If you want to know about e-publishing ask Catherine Lang. Former Educational Editor with Blackie & Son, Catherine gave an informative and inspiring workshop on the subject to her fellow Club members last Wednesday. Starting with deciding on “what book you want to write”, Catherine took us step by step through the procedure of getting your book assembled and ready for publication on Kindle, and answered some of the niggling questions a would-be e-writer would want to know.

Our major aim is to make our book as professional as possible, so it is essential to scrutinise our document with an “editorial eye”, or even get others to read the book to find anything we may have overlooked.

Transforming your manuscript into an e-book might seem daunting, but as Catherine assured us, “Creating an e-book is a lot easier now than it used to be.”. Initially, Kindle required the author to use Mobipocket, a system that could prove complicated and time consuming. Now, however, providing the author has created their manuscript using Microsoft Word, the conversion process is a lot simpler. We learned how to use the Paragraph Tool for formatting, especially for setting indents and spacing, to meet Kindle requirements.

With so many books on Amazon and Kindle to choose from, Catherine suggested the author should aim for an eye-catching cover that clearly illustrates what the book is about. Catherine demonstrated with a potential cover image for her memoir, “Coping Single Handed”, which shows her about to step off and abseil down a 70ft fermentation tank. Gasps from the audience, while Ann noted Catherine’s feet were in a ballet position! Whatever image is used, the author needs to have copyright. Michael Malone pointed out that, if you don’t have access to an artist or photographer to help with your book cover, there are royalty-free image sites available online, which have a wide range of photos and designs to choose from.

How to market an e-book was the final topic of the talk, which can be the most challenging part of the whole exercise. Having sold copies to your family, friends, neighbours and workmates, what do you do next? You need to get your book out there, let people read your work and, above all, get great reviews on Amazon! The more reviews the better chance the book will sell. Church Guilds and Libraries are always looking for speakers and, with a bit of luck and keen marketing, the appreciative audience will buy a few copies and tell others what an entertaining evening they had.

So with all that sound advice what’s stopping you? Get that e-book up and running and, before long, you may be a best-selling author.

Helena Sheridan, April 2016

One comment

  1. Sue Collins

    I recently met James & Angela on an Italian holiday and was alerted to Catherine Lang’s memoir ‘Coping Single Handed’ which I would be most eager to read, should it become available. You see, I lost my right arm to cancer, almost seven years ago and have had to learn how to cope single handed in order to remain independent, sane and contented.
    Shared experiences are always of benefit.

    September ’16

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