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.