Sharing with you my recent Learning Experience in Publishing an e-book

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A blogger friend Michael Lai in response to my last post My third e-book: An Unforgettable Trip: Angkor Wat, Cambodia on this Blog, asked if I could share my learning experience in writing an e-book.  I am thrilled with this request, as Michael’s traveled everywhere around the world and his blog is always filled with high quality professional photos shared with 3,600 plus readers.  And he is going to publish an e-book!  I couldn’t wait to share my learning experience, looking forward to reading his e- book in the near future.

First of all, I must thank another blogger friend Janet Williams whose post  When Janet met Tilly: an ebook , has stimulated my interesting in publishing my own e-book.  If you are interested, please read Janet’s post How many ways can you view Tilly? This post informed us that Janet found out that through Speaker Deck Slide show from WordPress, she could share with the world her e-book.

I was hooked by this creative idea.  So I started to follow her footsteps:

1. First step,  I need to decide what I wanted to publish first.  I decided to publish my earlier post named Istanbul Attractions  on my Blog Exploring Turkey and Greece, as it is short but the photos (of my friend Link) are very beautiful.

2. I copied all the photos and text of that post to a Word document and filed it on my computer. Create a book cover from Office.

3. Use a free pdf converter app to convert my Word document into a pdf file.

4. Create an account on Speaker Deck.

5. Upload my pdf file to Speaker Deck and here it is: Istanbul Attractions has become my first e-book, readable from Speaker Deck.

Problems:  i do have problems however in posting the e-book on WordPress except the link.  Anyway, it is not resolved so far, although it was successful on my fist e-book but not the other two.  Speaker Deck told me that WordPress does not support it.  I don’t think it is a big problem though, as readers can always use the link to access my e-book.

So, I continued to publish My second e-book: My South America Trip: Torres del Paine – Pantagonian Chile.  The process is the same as the first one.  As I have a you-tube video that I created on this post, I can only provide the link , and it worked.

It seemed so easy!  Wait…the real difficulties came as I embarked on my third e-book which is a complete account of my Cambodia trip:  My third e-book: An Unforgettable Trip: Angkor Wat, Cambodia.  Please read on..

As this latest “hot from the press” e-book includes 5 chapters, I put the text and photos in 5 Word documents.  When I tried to merge the five of them into one pdf document, it is not free.  I don’t want to pay since I am only experimenting.  So, I went ahead and see if I can merge the 5 word documents into one.  I never did that.  So, I found the Office instructions on-line, followed step by step, and I made it.  If you are already familiar with this type of task, you won’t have to learn like me.

I congratulated myself, and then found that I missed the Table of Contents, which I had never done before.  I wanted to create it automatically from Office.  I did, but the tool is not too smart.  It did not come out right.  So I gave up and just created my own.

Then I created a book cover from one of the designs in Office.  This is not too creative but it is easy.

Problems:  When the 5 documents merged into one, there are some ups and downs, omissions, etc.  Suddenly there were a number of blank pages.  I thought it is easy to delete…not at all.  I eventually had to go into Office to find the answer.  You may google anything and find very good answers.  So I did, and put everything together.

The last task is to convert into pdf.  Then I followed the other steps and converted the pdf into a slide show in Speaker Deck.

My problem is only with Office as I never dealt with  big documents like my third e-book.  If you are already familiar, it is only a piece of cake.

Next, I tried to open the e-books via different apps on my iPad.  My greatest discovery is to use Kindle to read my e-books.  They all came out even more beautiful than the original!  The best thing is that there is an icon on the top left corner like a list in bullet points.  When you click it, the Table of Contents (TOC) came out exactly how I wanted it to be!  In other words, Kindle is smart, but Office is not.  It would only be viewable and not be used to become a real written TOC on my e-book. And it has hyperlinks to jump to the page that I point to.

I also found that with most apps, you can only read the e-book by scrolling down. But with Kindle, you can scroll side by side like a real book.  .

One advantage of using our blog posts to be the base in writing our e-books is the use of hyperlinks.  They are automatically included.  However, not all the hyperlinks work.  Speaker Deck does not (in my case), pdf reader and Adobe reader, and Kindle , yes.   With Kindle, the TOC are all linked to the pages via hyperlinks.

That’s my recent learning experience so far. If I have learned of anything else, I would let you all know.

I look forward to reading yours soon!

 

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Clanmother says:

    This is an excellent post and one that I will keep to review. Well done! I love following Michael’s blog so will look for his e-books as well! 🙂

    1. friendlytm says:

      Thanks so much, Rebecca. You are so kind! I am doing this for fun. And also to satisfy my own curiosity. Michael actually deserves something better than this.

  2. seeker says:

    Where do you find time to write or read? You are so prolific with your computer knowledge.

    1. friendlytm says:

      Hi Seeker: You are right…i really don’t have time. I don’t sleep and I don’t eat….if i am engaged deeply in something like learning a new tool …

      i just heard about Prezi and started to play around a presentation on Prezi at work. It was all self-learning…and I felt good about my product.

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