Home > Books > Lessons in Life (and Self-Publishing an E-Book)

Lessons in Life (and Self-Publishing an E-Book)

Not everything in life is fraught with difficulty, and littered with obstacles, like the garbage can I had to hurdle this morning while walking the kids to school. For instance, did you know any idiot can string a few sentences together and self-publish an e-book?

I’ve tested it. It’s true, and fairly easy. If you have all of your ducks in order, it takes about five minutes. By ducks, I mean a written manuscript, cover artwork, and a marketing description.

I thought it would be fun and fancy to put together a book of essays on motherhood in time for Mother’s Day. I found a graphic artist on Craigslist, Ed, who deftly assembled a cover for a miniscule amount of money. While Ed was creating his masterpiece, I cut and pasted essays I have written over the years into a Word document, and voilá, my main ducks were assembled. I planned on winging the marketing description duck. (In fact, I more than winged it, I wrote it in one minute when I heard my children coming up the driveway from school. In a bid to get something accomplished that day, I panicked and hit ‘publish’. I’m not sure what I said, but am hoping it can be changed if it’s as cheesy as the hamburger I’m about to eat.)

Since I have a Kindle, Amazon seemed the like the most natural recipient for my prose. They offer their own publishing service, Kindle Direct Publishing, and it’s simple to navigate the process. There were a few things I had to investigate further: ISBN numbers, Digital Rights Management, and the issue of dealing with an American company as a Canadian citizen, but nothing critical. It wasn’t brain surgery, or as difficult as getting my kids to eat vegetables.

I was hoping to publish it as a Kindle Single, but it turns out you have to apply for that special status. I am waiting for the Gods of Kindle Singles to get back to me on that one, fingers crossed.

But in the meantime, my status has changed from in review to publishing, so that has to be a good sign. I’m not trying to sell myself short here, but if I can do this, anyone can. Getting my children to eat vegetables, on the other hand, takes true genius.

A Mother’s Tonic: Tales from a Real Housewife of Vancouver, is available for $2.99 in the Kindle Store on Amazon, I think.

  1. Ellie
    May 4, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    awesome Dee!! congratulations!!

    • May 4, 2012 at 7:22 pm

      Thanks Ellie! A fun experiment, if nothing else.

  2. May 4, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    So great! What do you mean by a Kindle Single exactly?

    • May 4, 2012 at 7:33 pm

      Kindle singles are generally books that are shorter than the typically published books, and fall into a wider array of categories. I discovered them when I bought my Kindle, and was downloading them every night! They are more like a snippet, than book, and have their own place in the Kindle store.

      • May 4, 2012 at 7:35 pm

        Oh, see that’s what I would want to do with my little ebook (more of a pamphlet really) but if you have to apply for that status, I guess that makes things a bit more difficult. Still, I suppose it could be worth it… Thanks for the info. I’m new to all of this myself…

  3. May 4, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    I’m such a loser, I don’t even have a kindle! But I bet I can get it on my iPhone. So impressed that you’ve done this! Also love the title!

    • May 4, 2012 at 8:30 pm

      Well speaking of losers, I’m not sure you can buy it on the iPhone since I don’t have one of THOSE! Let me know either way, but it’s not available quite yet, probably by tomorrow (since I know you are waiting with bated breath).

  4. May 4, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Congrats. Writing a book is not small accomplishment you must feel wonderful to see the work Published pop up.

    • May 4, 2012 at 9:06 pm

      Yes, wonderful but at the same time sick to my stomach!

      • May 4, 2012 at 9:09 pm

        That goes away, be proud of yourself.

  5. May 5, 2012 at 12:46 am

    Wow, Dee, this is totally cool! Congratulations.

    • May 5, 2012 at 5:41 am

      Thanks – and by the way, you should do this with your memoir.

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