Anybody can make an eBook, right? Wrong.Staff writer ▼ |
A number of typos, poorly formatted tables, pictures of poor quality, books of huge size, clumsy choosen fonts, text published as pictures... Those are all errors you can find in eBooks and they can be found more frequently than you'd like to. Those errors are visible in eBooks published by the big companies but they are more frequent at authors using self-publishing tools. Using those tools anyone can upload a text and start to sell an eBook but "everybody can do it" has one big flaw: it's wrong. It should read "everybody with enough time, experience and resources can do it".
OK, so you have your manuscript - what to do next? Should you trust your text to a professional service or should you publish it all by yourself? To answer that simple question you should honestly answer this: Do you have enough time (read: money) to spend it on learning? If your answer is not "Yes!" you should think about professional service.
Preparing a book for publication is a time-consuming and demanding task that requires graphic editing, design and other technical skills. That stands true for both printed and eBooks, just with some difference in technologies used. One of the most common misconceptions is that an eBook is a simple text file converted to an eBook file format. It is not. There are a lot of things to think about: How the text will be formatted, how the page will look like, what format to use, how to convert the text from one file format to another, how to prepare pictures and tables, which reading device will be used...
Yes, you can find some free software and conversion services but for any serious work that's not enough. To make a good-looking eBook, a lot of time is required to learn about different eBooks formats existing out there, not to mention how to use software and tools. During all that time your primary business, be it writing or something else, is on hold and that nullifies all your efforts: instead of earning money on your book, you are wasting time learning something that's outside your field.
So, if you have just a simple text you want to present to the world, go for it. But if you want to present yourself as a professional writer that pays attention to details - of if you have a more complex manuscript - hire a professional studio and let it do the job. Just as you spent years to learn how to write well, somebody else spent years learning technical and design stuff.
At the end of the day, if someone says "Appendix surgery is easy! Cut it and take it out!" would you try it yourself? Yes, there is a man who tried that on himself and lived to tell but there's a reson why nobody else is trying to do that again. ■