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Formatting e-Books for Writers Paperback – March 28, 2016
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About the Author
When she’s not tending chickens and peacocks, Susan K. Stewart teaches, writes, and edits non-fiction. Susan’s passion is to inspire readers with practical, real-world solutions. Susan brings her trademark realistic and encouraging messages to conferences, retreats, and small groups. Her books include Science in the Kitchen, Preschool: At What Cost? and the award-winning Formatting e-Books for Writers. You can read more of Susan’s practical solutions at www.practicalinspirations.com.
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Top customer reviews
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"There must be an app for that," I thought... but since my beloved Scrivener doesn't seem to be it, I gave up that hunt.
"There must be helpful blog posts and videos about that," I thought... and wasted dozens of hours rediscovering the meaning of "piecemeal."
"There must be an online class that can teach me this stuff in an organized, curated, concise, interactively helpful way," I thought... and discovered Susan K. Stewart's PEN class! I'm afraid I didn't turn in many assignments because I was applying everything immediately to my own clients' projects instead. Every question I asked was immediately (and monetarily) practical, not hypothetical in the least, and Susan steered me through the e-publishing shoals like a master pilot.
And now Susan has compiled all that amazing class material into a book! This one here! I purchased it as soon as I heard it was out, but had to go through it carefully before I wrote a review for the final product. (Yeah, we editors are a skeptical bunch)
It is indeed as good as the class, and would have saved me tons of time if I had found it two years ago when my professional need for it first arose. Time is money. Don't rob yourself blind by gleaning through blogs, tutorials, and videos for information and explanation you can find right here, in plain prose and properly organized. Use this as your recipe and cook up your own lovely e-book without having to hire a formatter to do it for you.
(What am I saying? Hire me, I'll do it for you... but now you know I'll be using this book as my primary resource!)
This is not a book to read, but an instruction manual to use, a cookbook for self-publishing if you like. Susan has been running courses on this topic, and the book is obviously a distillation of her notes to students.
All the same, it is readable, clear in most places, and concise. I found a few places too dense, but I took a breath, and re-read the passages. In a cookbook, this is acceptable.
I’ve “been there, done that, got the T-shirt” for the content of this book, but all the same, learned several tricks and techniques, so I am glad I decided to review it.
Susan K. Stewart’s Formatting e-Books for Writers is a study in simplicity. Susan has taken a complicated topic and made the steps of formatting books for electronic publication easy to understand. First, we are told the difference between e-Books and print books–very important for the person who hopes to self-publish (and should be better understood by many micro-publishers).
Obviously, you’re not going to have a sterling e-Book unless what you’ve written is excellent. Susan advises authors to make their books as good as possible and then to hire a professional editor to put the polish on the prose. The next step is a great cover. Readers spend an average of twenty seconds deciding whether to purchase a book–the spine text and the front cover must attract them or the book won’t come off the shelves. Cover design is both an art and a science–if you’re not skilled in graphic arts, hire a good cover designer.
Throughout the book, Susan discusses the areas you need to know to publish a good e-Book. Not only does she cover technical details in a manner a neophyte can understand, she touches on marketing and websites and promotion and setting up the necessary accounts. Once she gets into the technical aspects of creation, she shines. After reading Formatting e-Books for Writers, I felt I’d be able to do one myself. I also knew that if I decided to publish an e-Book, I’d hire someone skilled in the techniques to do it for me. Producing a quality product for an unskilled writer takes almost as much time as writing the book in the first place.
Well done, Susan! Four stars.
Susan K. Stewart is not only a fine author, she is an excellent editor as well. Formatting e-Books for Writers won the Silver Scroll Merit Award for Nonfiction from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) at the International Christian Retail Show. I asked her why the book. She replied she wanted to make the technology understandable to writers who use Microsoft Word. Her expertise was hard won. She couldn’t afford a formatter for her second e-Book, so she learned and did the publishing herself. She relates she took twelve tries to get the book up, but she learned from her mistakes. She teaches classes now on formatting to help other writers handle the process more easily. She feels if you understand the process, you can help others not to make the mistakes. Her sales are going well–a testimony to the quality of the book. Her beta readers got the buzz going and others who have purchased the book are enthusiastically endorsing her work. She touts the simplicity of the process and says writers should not be afraid–they can format their books BUT they should work with an editor and cover designer.
Susan provided me a copy of Formatting e-Books for Writers, but I was under no obligation to write a favorable review.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.