Blogchatter Ebook Carnival- Dip Your Feet in the Water
Last year was the first time I took part in the Blogchatter Ebook Carnival. Although I’d always dreamed of publishing a book since I was a child, I never managed to progress beyond a few chapters. I’m a poet, so it’s difficult for me to write a novel, let alone self-publish an ebook.
The A-Z Challenge helped me work on a theme and write longer posts. Picking non-fiction also helped, as I had sufficient meat to write about. I chose the Bhagavad Gita, a subject I’d always wanted to delve deeper into. I summarized each chapter of the Gita and wrote a short poem at the end of each chapter, from Arjuna’s perspective. I was happy with the posts and they were well received, so making an ebook from them for the carnival seemed doable.
I thought of a name, designed a book cover in Canva, wrote an introduction, conclusion, bibliography.
I chose to design Insta Gita, my ebook in Canva, which was cumbersome although it looked colorful. It was appreciated by readers during the Carnival. I used extracts from their reviews for my ebook on Amazon. I would have liked some constructive criticism though. My father provided that, as he too is a poet.
Having put in so much effort, I wanted to keep my book going even after the Carnival. Blogchatter was encouraging, pointing out the next step, of putting our books on Amazon.
When I eventually put Insta Gita, on Amazon via Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), I discovered that my ebook designed in Canva as a PDF would run to many pages and the minimum price I would have to set would also be high.
I used Kindle Create. It’s easy to use and the result is professional. However, you can’t read your book in a MS Word format or any other common format.
I also wanted to bring out a print version for an older audience in my family. For the print version, I thought I’d have to hire a designer as I wanted blurbs as nowadays people prefer to skim rather than read. Luckily my designer friend was not free, naturally- as I was not planning to pay a princely amount.
I searched on Fiverr for cheap designer options. I didn’t find any suitable ones in my budget. Another designer friend suggested I design the book myself, in Microsoft Word.
MS Word for a book is easier to use on a PC than a Mac. Initially I had tried on a Mac and I didn’t get what I had in mind, that’s why I had shelved the option. Once I designed my book on the PC, it was easy. There are several attractive templates available.
I felt design tips and marketing tips would have made the Carnival even better. I did a lot of trial and error before I found a design I liked. I’m still struggling with marketing my book. Just a few family members have actually bought the ebook. Cheryl Sterling, a carnival mentor last year, suggested some Facebook groups for writers. I’ve joined those. They discuss book ads etc periodically.
The carnival helps you beta test your book so that you can see whether what you have in mind is getting across to your readers. The reviews too, help you get some social proof which makes your book look good when you put it on Amazon. The community of fellow writers encourages you and supports you in your goal.
Good luck! Am here if you have any questions. I’m going to put out a book of poems on famous women, my theme for this year’s A-Z Challenge. More on this year’s carnival here.