Self-publishing is quite a journey. As hard as I tried to make sure everything was in order when publishing my story to Amazon, I succumbed to stupid mistakes – one of which applied to the formatting of my story.

I really wanted my story to stand out and look pretty on whatever electronic reader was being used. I love how the drop cap format looks at the beginning of chapters and tried countless ways to apply it to my book in the Kindle format.

For those of you that may not know what the drop cap is, here is a paragraph from my story, “Beautiful People” (Yep, it’s my latest story that isn’t even out yet – so here’s a sneak peak – but you will have to squint!), with the drop cap format:

Drop Cap Example

So yes, I spent hours trying to figure out how to implement the drop cap. I could do it in Word, but it wouldn’t transfer to the Kindle format. I tried everything. First, using the drop cap function in Word – no luck, then I tried forcing the format by making the font bigger for the first letter – looked horrible, finally I went through every chapter of my book and pasted an image in of the first letter and wrapped the text around the image. OK, yes, tedious. But I wanted my book to look a certain way. The next step was to import the story and check to see if the format transferred. Guess what? It did!

At this point, you are probably wondering where my big mistake was? I’m getting to it. It’s a good one.

I scanned my story for 50 pages or so and it all looked great. Pleased, I patted myself on the back and took myself out for a coffee.

It was about a week or so later that I was notified by a reader that the very last chapter of the book had a bunch of random formatting. After the last sentence of the book, it had random chapter headings such as, Chapter 20 Chapter 30 Chapter 10 – these were all listed in random order. Evidently the import didn’t like some of the chapter and drop cap images and moved them to the end of the book. I’m sure it left some wondering what my intent was or if there was an issue with their download. So if you are one of those with my uniquely formatted book, yes, you have all the content. Please consider it a one of a kind. I do have a planned sequel to “Conduit: The Beginning”, so I like to think that the random chapter lingo at the end of the book can signify the chapters in the future books to the series!

So what have I learned from all of this?

1) Check every page with every fresh import for your story, even if it’s small change.
2) Use a tool such as MOBIPOCKET eBook Creator

To my second point, I dabbled with the MOBIPOCKET eBook Creator to fix the format of my book. It will import a Word file with special formatting and convert it to a .mobi file which is easy for the Kindle import and it appears that it will accept a lot of special formatting without much hassle. From this point on, I will always be using this tool. You can grab a free copy here:


Now some may be wondering why I’m sharing my stupid mistake with everyone. It’s my hope that others can learn from my error. E-publishing is a new world for all and though it is easy to post a book out on Amazon, there are plenty of pitfalls that need to be avoided as well.

Good luck if you are in the process of getting a book out there and I hope I have helped in some way!

I have been away from my blog for some time as I’ve been busy trying to get my second promotion off the ground.  If you have followed my book at all on Amazon, you may already know what a success it was.  Obviously, planning is a very important part of the process.

A month ahead of my promotion, I broadcasted the dates that I would be holding the free drive of my book, “Conduit: The Beginning” with the hope that some other sites might pick it up.

During the morning of the first day of the promotion, no one had listed my story.  By 10:00, I had given away around 150 copies.  Shortly after, the numbers doubled.  I realized then that someone had listed my giveaway.

By evening, I had surpassed my first giveaway by 3000 copies!  I was excited beyond words that so many people had downloaded my story.

My story ended up snagging the top 100 list for all free kindle books.  I can’t find words to explain how excited I am at achieving that ranking.  The total number of downloads for my two day promotion totaled to 5980!  The second day closed a truly exciting week for me.

Top 100 Best Sellers:

As always, I really hope those that downloaded my story find it to be an enjoyable read.  I look forward to seeing what reviews come in.  It is an extreme motivator for me to hear about someone who enjoyed my work.

Shortly after posting “Conduit: The Beginning” to Amazon and blasting out the news that my novel was available for purchase, I received numerous comments that people would like to buy the book but do not own a Kindle.

Due to restrictions on publishing work to Amazon, I am unable to open my novel up to other platforms such as the Nook, iPad, or Sony Reader for ninety days.  After the ninety days is over, I will be pushing it out to the other readers in addition to the Kindle.  Unfortunately, for those that do not own a Kindle, they will have to either download a free application that allows the purchase of ebooks from Amazon or will have to wait until the exclusivity period is over and “The Conduit” is available for purchase on other readers.

Amazon offers free Kindle applications for many different platforms including:

  • iPhone
  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Blackberry
  • iPad
  • Android
  • Windows 7 Phone

Simply click on the link that applies to you and follow the instructions on the page.  Once installed, enter the user information to access the Kindle store.

I hope this helps so that more people may enjoy my story.  It’s a good one!