Following are a few ebook publishing tips for the enterprising writer who’s ready to step into the world of virtuality and start writing for the screen--no, not as in “Hollywood,” but as in PCs, laptops, PDAs, reader devices and cell phones.

Ebook Types

The pdf Ebook. Today, Adobe Acrobat software can convert any MS Word document into what is known as an imaged or pdf file. You may choose to convert a book manuscript into a pdf file. You can then place this pdf file on your website to be downloaded as a promotional freebie or as a product you are either selling or giving away. Before letting the public see it however, make sure this work has been carefully edited, proofread and tastefully formatted.

Lightning Source creates its Glassbook ebook model from pdf files; these are distributed to a number of companies served by their parent company, Ingram Digital Services.

Beware#1! Pdf files converted back to MS Word documents are not the same as pdf files that are images of professionally designed and laid out manuscripts using publishing software such as InDesign or Quark Xpress. It’s important to note this to those who are unfamiliar with hard copy design and layout procedures. An MS Word document can be used for design and layout of manuscripts, but in most cases, it produces an inferior product.

Although software now exists for converting professionally designed book interiors to MS Word for the purpose of converting them to various ebook formats for which MS Word or Rich Text Format (a variation of MS Word) works well, usually you will have to make a few post-conversion adjustments.

Mobipocket. As its name suggests, Mobipocket format is used for mobile versions of books and articles, such as PDAs and smartfphones. Mobipocket also maintains its own bookstore of extensive titles and offers the conversion software free to anyone who wishes to do it themselves.

Beware#2! I tried this and although I’m not an IT newbie, it didn’t take long for me to pick up the phone and call one of my online professional publishing book designers to ask for help and a quote.

Amazon Kindle. If you have an MS Word document, convert it to Rich Text Format (RTF), remove the page numbers and other headers and footers, and you may have a document that will easily upload to the Amazon digital media center for Kindle book publishing.

Beware#3! Preview the upload; you may discover some glitches, such as text clumped together or places that did not convert properly. Contact a professional IT person and have them help you.

Why do we need ebook publishing conversions?

MS Word or professionally designed files converted to pdf do not transfer properly to most ebook reader devices, and certainly not to cell phones. Although some PDAs and reader devices can receive certain pdf files, most of them arrive in sad shape and have to be reconstructed.

Conversion companies for ebook publishing will quote a fee for making these ebook publishing conversions. Usually that fee is based on the number of pages that need to be converted and the amount of manual adjustment or tweaking that must still be done in order to make the pages look right and read well.

Ebook reading devices

Ebook reading devices are no longer just another toy for the rich and idle or a gift gadget for the guy or gal who has everything.

Many book lovers are discovering to their delight that they are both user friendly and practical.

Light up your day with an Amazon Kindle!

Following is a product overview for the Amazon Kindle, which in my opinion (I own several different ebook reading devices) is superior to all the rest:

  • Revolutionary electronic-paper display provides a sharp, high-resolution screen that looks and reads
  • like real paper.
  • Simple to use: no computer, no cables, no syncing.
  • Wireless connectivity enables you to shop the Kindle Store directly from your Kindle—whether you’re
  • in the back of a taxi, at the airport, or in bed.
  • Buy a book and it is auto-delivered wirelessly in less than one minute.
  • More than 190,000 books available, including more than 90 of 112 current New York Times® Best
  • Free book samples. Download and read first chapters for free before you decide to buy.
  • Top U.S. newspapers including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post; top
  • magazines including TIME, Atlantic Monthly, and Forbes—all auto-delivered wirelessly.
  • Top international newspapers from France, Germany, and Ireland; Le Monde, Frankfurter Allgemeine,
  • and the Irish Times—all auto-delivered wirelessly.
  • More than 250 top blogs from the worlds of business, technology, sports, entertainment, and politics,
    including BoingBoing, Slashdot, TechCrunch, ESPN's Bill Simmons, The Onion, Michelle Malkin, and
    The Huffington Post—all updated wirelessly throughout the day.
  • Lighter and thinner than a typical paperback; weighs only 10.3 ounces.
  • Holds over 200 titles.
  • Long battery life. Leave wireless on and recharge approximately every other day. Turn wireless off
  • and read for a week or more before recharging. Fully recharges in 2 hours. Unlike WiFi, Kindle
    utilizes the same high-speed data network (EVDO) as advanced cell phones—so you never have
    to locate a hotspot.
  • No monthly wireless bills, service plans, or commitments—Amazon takes care of the wireless delivery
  • so you can simply click, buy, and read.
  • Of all the ebook reading devices on the market, Amazon Kindle is the only one that includes free
  • wireless access to the planet's most exhaustive and up-to-date encyclopedia—
  • Email your Word documents and pictures (.JPG, .GIF, .BMP, .PNG) to Kindle for easy on-the-go
  • viewing.

    For more information about writing and publishing for ebook reading devices, contact Carol Adler.

  • Author's Bio: 

    Carol Adler, MFA’s first ghost-written book listing her name as co-editor, Why Am I Still Addicted? A Holistic Approach to Recovery, was endorsed by Deepak Chopra, M.D., and published by McGraw-Hill. Other publications include three novels, four books of poetry, and well over 200 poems in literary journals. She has ghostwritten over 40 non-fiction and fiction works for a number of professionals in the education, health care and human potential industries.

    Carol is President of Dandelion Books, LLC of Tempe, Arizona; a full service publishing company. She is also President and CEO of Dandelion Enterprises, Inc., Write to Publish for Profit and President of the International Arts & Media Foundation, a non-profit subsidiary of Dandelion Enterprises, Inc.

    Her business experience includes co-ownership of a Palm Beach, FL public relations company and executive management positions in two U.S. rejuvenation and mind/body wellness corporations, for which she founded publishing divisions.

    Carol has served as editor of several poetry and literary magazines. Her career experience includes extensive teaching of college-level creative and business writing, and conducting of writing workshops in prisons, libraries, elementary, junior and high schools, and senior citizen centers.

    Additional Resources on Publishing can be found at:

    Website Directory for Publishing
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    Discussion Board
    Carol Adler, The Official Guide to Publishing