|A Day Out with Mom|
Here are the three books I've published through Amazon's KDP, available both as paperbacks and as ebooks:
- RTTC Bears in the Wild (2021)
- A Day Out with Mom (2014)
- I Write: Being and Writing (2012)
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|I Write: Being & Writing|
I've put together eight books since 2010 (see my Amazon author's page), using Adobe, Microsoft, and Google Doc word processing programs. The first book, a poetry book, was compiled using Microsoft Word, the next two used Adobe's InDesign, and the last have used KDP with Word or Google Doc templates. I had a friend who helped me a lot with the first three books, and we also designed the book covers using Adobe Photo Shop. For the later books, I used KDP's book design templates.
Here are some of the nuisances and limitations I've discovered using KDP and Google Docs on a Chromebook.
- The KDP downloaded templates have a set number of chapters when downloaded. Because of my limited word processing and designing expertise, I found the process of working with the sections, rows, and columns to be a challenge, especially since I only put together a book every few years. I did manage by fiddling around to learn how to widen certain cells or add more rows in the table of contents section. I learned how to add more chapters to the book and table of contents. If I knew more, I probably could have been more efficient, though.
- Some of what I learned through my experience with Word had to be massaged to understand for Google Docs. For instance, adding anchors for ebook navigation in Word (moving from the table of contents to the chapter and back to the TOC) was not exactly the same for Google Docs. "Bookmarks" is the Docs designation for anchors, and the possibilities for use seem to be limited in Docs. I say "seem" because it wasn't always clear. I'd read an article online of how to set up an ebook's table of contents for the Amazon Kindle platform using Docs, and then some of the directions from the article met up with the Docs platform just not having the "go to" or "click" steps available.
- As my book grew in length--as I inserted chapters and photos--saving the program grew a little longer. I had moments of panic when I received a message from the Kindle draft viewing function saying that there was an error in saving. What! Had I lost the entire manuscript? What I realized after a time of panic was that the movement of the manuscript from Google Drive to Kindle might take a bit and to not jump right from compiling the book on Drive to checking out what the book will look like on the preview section. The process was not instantaneous. That scare did lead me, though, to regularly making copies of the publishing draft and saving them under a new name, such as "Bear March 25," which provided the assurance that if all my compiling work did get lost or corrupted in the ether, that I'd have a copy of what I'd created.
My blog articles were in a very real way just drafts of an upcoming book that I've shared with readers. For my first blog-to-book adventure--I Write: Being and Writing--I didn't even have the idea of putting the articles together into a book until while talking to a friend about a series of articles I was writing he said, "Hey, you know, you could put those together into a book." That may seem pretty obvious, but it was a revelation to me at the time. The concept isn't new, that's for sure. During the 1800s, Dickens and others first serialized their novels for periodicals prior to publishing them as books.
|RTTC Bears in the Wild|
These are just my experiences, but most folks are like me, not wizards at all the ins and outs of whatever word process and publishing platforms are being utilized. It's like fixing something in our home. You fix or replace something, and then ten years later you have to do it again. "Now how did I do that?" you think, and then you have to go back and learn all over, at the same time realizing that in ten years things have changed. Oh, well! I've managed to produce a nice little book, RTTC Bears in the Wild, which I think provides some good reading and good color photos this last time around. It was a great experience to research this little camping book, to write the blog articles, and then to put everything together and make available both as a paperback and an ebook. Although not the only game in town (KDP only publishes on Amazon), I've found my Chromebook, Google Doc, and KDP combination to work fine for me. If you want to read the book, it's readily available, and I call that a successful venture into independent publishing.
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