September 20, 2012

In the Language of E -- Brenda J Wood

Are you frustrated with the gurgle of ebook trivia buzzing around your head, demanding the use of some of your 'little gray cells"-(Agatha Christie's Hercules Poirot)? Before you jump into the fray and start the painful crawl toward an ebook, read this.

It is said that author Alexander Dumas loved melons so much that he donated hundreds of his works to the town of Cavaillons, the melon capitol of its day, in exchange for twelve melons a year for life. Writing time wasted? Only the author can say for sure. Think of 'eBooking' as 'energy into book' and decide how you want to spend yours.

Ask yourself these questions:

1. Do I have a major writing work in progress?
2. Am I basically computer illiterate?
3. Can I in all conscience take the time and effort required to cultivate this new skill?
4. Will ebooking frustrate me beyond measure?
5. Is this something I will use on a regular basis?
6. Is ebooking a waste of my writing time?
7. Do I struggle to find enough writing time already?
8. Can someone else do it for me at a reasonable price?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, do not waste your time eBooking.

I currently have three books in E form (Meeting Myself, Snippets from a Binging and Bulging Mind, The Big Red Chair, and Heartfelt-366 devotions for Common Sense Living). God Gluttony and You will soon follow. I took the easy way out because I am not a computer techie and I don't care to be. I do not care to spend my time in droll, dull (at least to me!) cutting, pasting or whatever. Still, I confess that I felt somewhat guilty until I read Lorilyn Roberts recent interview with James Scott Bell.

LORILYN:"The single most challenging issue for writers is technology - how to set up and manage Twitter and Facebook, how to create a landing page for book launches, how to resize jpegs and format files into eBooks, just to name a few. Writers quickly get discouraged, daunted by the amount of time it takes to learn it all, not counting the actual process once you master the basics. Do you have any practical ideas on how to tackle the seemingly endless changing landscape of I.T. and balancing that with the creative side of writing?"

JAMES SCOTT BELL: "The nice thing is that these functions can be farmed out at a reasonable price. Simply pay for those things you are not comfortable doing. Especially when it comes to editing, cover design and formatting. You can find an almost unlimited number of freelancers in each area. Get recommendations, check portfolios and client comments. Do a little homework.)"

Aha! Vindicated! And I said a grateful little prayer of thanks for my ebook go-to-guy, Rik Hall.

Still determined to eBook your self?

Rik offers some common sense advice:  "The most important thing to remember when preparing a work for publishing as an ebook is that ebooks are not print books. If you try to make your ebook look like a paper book you will only frustrate yourself. With print books, you control everything. The font type, the font size, the justification, the page count, but with ebooks the ebook readers all of that is gone. The person using the eReader has full control of that. There are no page numbers per se because each screen is a different size and while one person might like a tiny font size, another might like it big. As well, the reader may be reading your work on a computer, one of many Kindles, a Kobo, a Nook, a Blackberry, an iPad or even an iPhone. Keep it simple. Simple is good." Rik Hall

I don't eBook for the same reasons I do not cut my own lawn. I'm simply not good at it. I don't have the equipment, the time or the inclination to do it. I do what I do well and I hire the rest.

In Exodus 31:1-11 (MSG), God says things like this:

"See what I've done; I've personally chosen Bezalel, I've filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him skill and know-how and expertise in every kind of craft he's an all-around craftsman. And to all who have an aptitude for crafts I've given the skills to make all the things I've commanded you. They'll make everything just the way I've commanded you."

My skill is writing. Rik's (and others like him) do technical stuff. It is a fine partnership.

Brenda J Wood, author & speaker

Meeting Myself, Snippets from a Binging and Bulging Mind
The Big Red Chair-storybook for grieving children
Heartfelt-366 Devotions for Common Sense Living
God, Gluttony & You, the Bible Study


  1. Very practical! All of my books are in ebook format as well as print but in each case, this was done by the publisher, not me. I've been considering trying my hand at a smaller project and doing it myself... I will definitely weigh the pros and cons. I like your idea of hiring out some of the more mundane formatting issues etc. I could still publish it myself using KDP or whatever, but it might eliminate some of the time needed to learn how to do it...Thanks for the wise words.

  2. Thanks so much for this posting, Brenda, about eBooks.

    I'm really taking note of your comment about not doing those things you aren't good at. (Let someone else do it)

    Good reminder for me. I've been working on an article that is so not 'me' that it's been a struggle for the get-go!

  3. I Answered yes to most questions, but setting up my own ebook fascinates me.
    Any handy website that gives some directions?
    Thanks for the insights,


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