In case you have not been following up with me (Chris) in Facebook, I have been converting the print books for Morrigan’s Brood and Morrigan’s Brood: Crone of War into eBooks. My goals are to publish primarily in PubIT (Nook), Kindle, iTunes, and Sony directly, though I am also hunting out other sites, such as Goodreads and Smashwords to host the eBooks. As of this morning, I had received an email from Barnes & Noble that the Nook version of Morrigan’s Brood would go on sale within 24 hours for $1.99 USD to a world audience. The Kindle version should not be far off.
I haven’t done the iTunes or Sony versions yet, since, frankly, I got bored. So, to keep myself entertained, I decided to get Morrigan’s Brood: Crone of War ready to be converted into an eBook. While I do have a subscription to inDesign (much cheaper for short runs of work subscribing than buying outright), much work still needs to be done in Word to prepare the book for conversion.
For instance, I had to remove footers, standardize styles (I have graphical ellipses between scenes, and I had to create a separate style so those centered and otherwise behaved properly), add section titles, convert chapter and section titles to headings (so the automated table of contents generator would pick them out), remove alternating even/odd pages, and other things. Now, I am in inDesign creating multiple documents for copying over sections of text and graphics from the Word document. For instance, I created an indd (inDesign Document) for the About the Author text, and then I copied and pasted in only the title and text from that page. When I am done, every chapter and every section (title, copyright, acknowledgement, etc. pages) will have its own indd.
Once I have all of these indds, I will create a book (indb) file and associate the indd files in the desired order. This way, my eBook will be divided with pagebreaks for each section; in addition, this will create a PDF-style table of contents. My error before was to first start by copying the entire book from Word into one inDesign document, but that process eliminated page breaks and the TOC. To remedy, I copied and pasted in Windows Explorer the single indd into multiple indds, and then I went into each indd and removed everything but the intended content for that section (about, acknowledgements, etc.). Unfortunately, as I recently discovered, the file sizes of those documents are roughtly the same… despite deleting the unwanted content, the data still remains part of the file. I know this because when I created the indd files for Crone of War, I only pulled what I needed for each indd, and the file sizes are much smaller.
My goal by the end of this week is to have both Morrigan’s Brood and Morrigan’s Brood: Crone of War published in at least four device formats each. I could probably have created the eBooks without inDesign (Smashwords, Nook, and Kindle allow uploads as Word documents and then they convert it for you), but this way, I am reasonably sure of the outcome and that I have some control over what that outcome looks like. I am no expert in inDesign, but this has been a wonderful learning experience.
If you have questions about inDesign or anything else related to writing, publishing, or to the Morrigan’s Brood Series, please comment, and I will try to respond.