Some of you are complaining that you’re not able to follow Mark’s Guide. I thought his chatty approach was an attempt to make the process more approachable, but maybe something like Aaron Shepard’s ‘From Word to Kindle’ might be worth a look. The Kindle version retails for $2.99 on Amazon. He explains the why as well as the how of formatting in Word to create a quality eBook. Note that his book is directed toward publishing on Amazon, so some things might work differently. For example, in the Guide, Mark discusses direct formatting reverting to its underlying style when Meatgrinder (a Smashwords processor) converts the manuscript to an eBook. This is the opposite of the way it works when preparing a manuscript for Amazon. In his book, Aaron discusses how to use direct formatting to override Amazon’s preference for justified text.
Note that both the Guide and the book have been overcome by reality. Amazon no longer accepts MOBI files but now prefers ePubs. Both need to reflect that fact. Aaron’s book discusses how to save a manuscript as an HTML file for more control over the conversion process. A good conversion tool like Atlantis Word Processor will take your docx file and convert it into a presentable ePub within a couple of minutes. Messing the the HTML is not really necessary. If you feel the need to tweak your ePub further, you can do that in a free program called Sigil. And neither Mark’s Guide nor Aaron’s book stress the importance of using heading styles for the creation of the NCX TOC. (The NCX TOC is the list of sections and chapters that readers see when the touch the GO TO navigation tool. It’s a must-have for any eBook.)
What this all means is that guidance for publishing an eBook is a moving target. If you really want to play this game, you’ve got to put in some effort to stay on top of the process. As for the reviewer who’s complaining about not grasping the process in an evening, give me a break. We’re talking about creating an idea—which is all an eBook really is—that someone will actually pay cash money for. Maybe there is such a thing as the ’One Minute Book Publisher’, a companion piece to the ‘One Minute Brain Surgeon’, but I’ve never heard of such a thing…
(review of free book)