I might not have bothered converting my novel to an eBook had it not been listed on the SA and NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge Lists for Years 5 & 6 and selected readers in Years 7 to 9 in NSW. And, if the sequel was not well under way for release in 2013. Working and volunteering in Primary Schools as I do and witnessing the technical revolution happening there convinced me it was necessary, particularly as all Year 6 students at my local primary school were allocated an iPad early in 2012 (and, the children were trained by Apple trainers at the school! Lucky children.).
My starting point was to learn something about the process and mechanics of eBook conversion and publication. I attended the Australian Society of Authors’ E-Exchange Day for Writers & Illustrators and downloaded a copy of the ASA paper “Introduction to Digital Self-Publishing”. I recommend both.
The E-Exchange Day commenced with some personal publishing experiences and then moved on to rights issues, opportunities that digital publishing brings, pitfalls and emerging trends. Alarm bells rang when I learned that in order to sell an eBook on Amazon it was necessary for me to have a USA EIN (Employer Identification Number) for American Taxation purposes/exemption. After downloading and reading forms and instructions and talking to an Internal Revenue Service Officer at the Austin Service Centre, Texas, twice, I learned how complicated and slow the process was. I had to question what was the best use of my time. I decided to opt for an easier more time-efficient alternative i.e. to have my book converted in the States and who better to ask for advice than my dear friend, Karen Robertson of Treasure Kai App fame www.treasurekai.com
Karen “introduced” me to Dragonpencil www.dragonpencil.com They’re located in Georgia, Atlanta, and have an amazing project management software program for easy communication between everyone involved in a project.
Dragonpencil offer a complete service and already has established relationships with Apple (iPad), Amazon (Kindle) and Barnes & Noble (Nook) and they format properly for each of these devices. Everything is easy for Dragonpencil and they are a dream to work with. They will distribute the eBook through their associated company Big Tent Books who'll look after sales & IRS matters and provide me with a monthly report. The only thing I decided to do in Australia was to apply for the ISBN and Dragonpencil were cool about that.
Dragonpencil converted the text easily, but I wanted digital illustrations so as to have options for possible future plans and that meant a different illustrator for the eBook version of my book. Dragonpencil provided a talented digital illustrator, Cheryl Cruz, whose work has been brilliant. Below are two of the illustrations that will appear in the eBook - (1) the Entry Room of the Villa Borghese in Rome with its statue of Pauline Bonaparte, and (2) the characters DemiChat and Lord Flanney Beagle with their owners, Egyptologists, Melissa and John Jasper. (The sequel is DemiChat and the Lost Mummy).
My Dragonpencil Project Manager, Margaret Cogswell, and Book Designer, Kenny DeWitt, have developed a “mystery” look to the eBook while keeping the text very readable for my target audience. This week I'll sign off on the final phase before uploading and I'm so looking forward to releasing my DemiChat and the Kent Street eBook to readers around the world.