Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A man, a boy and an eBook

For months I spent whatever free time I had working on what everyone knew only as “my book project”.  I should have named it Project Cupcake, because it was that secretive and that quirky - a collection of short stories that had nothing in common, and a cover design with a homemade robot attacking a country town.
Anyone that knows me knows that I have a quirky sense of humour, and I march to the beat of a different drum-person.
I never could seem to find enough time to satisfy my desire to sit down and finish the project all at once, so the project lasted much longer than expected.  As winter turned in to spring, and spring turned in to summer, I grew tired of telling people about it because it seemed that I had worked on it for so long that I felt people might think I was either lying or a crummy writer.  Daily I checked the mirror to see if my nose had grew.
Finally I looked on my calendar one day and noticed that the next week I was off work for my vacation.  And then it hit me - finally I had the time to complete my project.  I would get up early, stay up late, and do what it took to finish it, as when my vacation was over I was determined to have finished my project.  
My little boy was very encouraging, and on each day of my vacation he would ask how I was progressing and when I was going to finish.  One day I nervously let him read my short short story, The Hypnotist.  He did not get it.  I explained the story to him, but he still did not understand.  That was not the encouragement I was seeking, but I just chalked it up to experience, and his lack of knowledge on geopolitics and hypnotism.  
Friday night he came in to my office to tell me he was ready for me to tuck him in bed.  I told him to come over and sit on my lap.  With him on my lap, I told him to look at the computer, my beloved iMac, as I pressed the return key.  I explained that I had just finished my book project a few moments earlier and I was now uploading my first ebook to a site called Smashwords.com.  Smashwords would take my Mac Pages document, do ju-jitsu on it, and convert it into an electronic language that could be read by any ebook reader, such as the iPad, Kindle, and all the other little gadgets in which you could read an electronic version of a book.  It was new to him and it was new to me.
He asked how long it would take and I told him that the instructions said that once you upload your book to Smashwords, it will either take 5 minutes or 5 hours to upload and convert my book, so I was going to go to bed and check my computer first thing in the morning to see if everything went through okay.  As we finished talking and turning off the lights in my office my computer screen changed - in less than 3 minutes I had uploaded my first ebook to Smashwords.  We high-fived each other and then I told him in the morning we could see what the next step was.
That was about three weeks ago.  Since then I have told all my friends how I published an ebook of short stories, A Collection of Short Stories - written by robots, and at least once a day I will check all the sites, such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Kobobooks and Dieselbooks, just to see how it is doing.
It is incredibly exhilarating and satisfying to work so hard at writing a book, and in just a few days, see it online and available for purchase by anyone in the world.  Someone in Australia can read it while riding their pet wallaby, and someone in Alaska can download it while hiding from polar bears in their igloo - it is available to anyone who is interested in reading some really creative short stories.  It is exciting to see my now familiar book cover online, or see the stats of how my book is doing each day.
So the purpose of my blog is simple - to show that if I can do it, you can too.  In my upcoming blogs I will show you how I did it, what useful information I have found, and hopefully inspire you to finish writing that book and epublish it.
Thanks for reading my blog - I hope you will come back to see what I write next - it will be a mystery to the both of us.

No comments:

Post a Comment