Writing Wednesday: Publishing a Collection

**The following is about “The Business”; what I do and why I do it. We are all different – what works for me may not work for you (or ANYBODY ELSE.) But we can all learn from each other – often in ways that you cannot predict. So, in the spirit of sharing…

So – last week I decided (through my own complicated algorithms) that it was time to publish another collection. I decided on a reasonable mix of my already ePublished stories (balancing the need to use the oldest first against the desire to have a decent total word count.) Then I got started.

Since this is a collection, I do both an eBook and a paperback. I could do paperbacks for my individual stories if I chose to, but I don’t. It doesn’t seem cost effective for my readers (paper books are necessarily more expensive), plus it’s a lot of work for me to format a single story in that model. Some writers do this, but for me it’s not worth it.

First, I start with my ePublications. I have two distributors I have to format my work for – Amazon (which distributes to its various sites in the U.S. and abroad) and Smashwords, which distributes to everyone else. I have to make a variety of formatting changes from Shunn’s Standard Manuscript Format (which is what you’re expected to use when submitting stories to publishers) to the format appropriate for my two distributors. This is all done in MS Word.

When I publish a collection, I have the advantage of my stories already being in the proper format (because each of them has already been ePublished. However, I now need a table of contents (with active links to each of the stories), which is something I didn’t do when I created the individual shorts. I also add links after each story to return to the table of contents.

After the last story I have an afterword section caller ORIGINS, in which I explain how each of the stories came to be. This is followed by a brief biography, and then a bibliography of all my current publications. The Amazon version actually includes live links to those stories on Amazon, but since Smashwords distributes to multiple markets, there is no one market I can link to (Sony would not be happy I was linking to Kobo), so it’s just a list.

Creating a cover for each collection is simple – I position the covers for six stories around the collection title and my bi-line. Once the cover is done, I can use Smashwords’ publication tool to submit on their site. If you want them to distribute to other markets, you need an ISBN number for your book (but they provide it for free.)
Amazon’s process requires another step – I have to save the document as an HTML, then import the cover and the HTML file into Mobipocket Creator to create a .PRC file for the Amazon Kindle. Once I have that file, I can complete submission in Kindle Direct Publishing.

To create the paperback, I use CreateSpace (an Amazon company.) Formatting of a printed book is different from an eBook – they have templates depending on what size you want your book to be (mine are 5×8 inches.) I also have to modify the front cover I use for the eBook version so there isn’t anything significant along the edges (due to slight variations in printing and cutting.)

CreateSpace gives you a variety of cover styles (back & front) to use. There’s an online previewer that lets you see approximately what your book looks like, and you should always check it this way first; but the only way to really know is to order a proof and examine the physical book when you receive it.

There are other topics around publishing that I haven’t gone into (pricing, blurbs, categories, etc.), but I’ve blathered on quite enough for today – those will have to wait for another time. I have some SERIOUS writing to do, now.
Just saying…


TheRightIdeaCoverThis week’s Smashwords coupon is for “The Right Idea”:

When Jimmy left the force and started his “Delaney’s Investigation Company”, he expected to be living the life of Riley. A few months later, and the dust still hasn’t had time to settle from the Preiss and Simms murders, but Jimmy’s ongoing divorce has swallowed his imagined riches. What would Jimmy do without the city’s thriving blackmail industry? That may go away, as candidate Mathews is promising to clean up Barnstow; but Jimmy isn’t sure Mathews has the right idea.

“The Right Idea” is a detective story with sci-fi elements, and follows “In a Flash” and “Mixed Signals” as my third Detective Jimmy Delaney story. Use coupon code BZ29W to get 72% off the cover price at Smashwords (that’s only 99-cents – such a deal!) – it’s good until May 28th. Here’s the link:
“The Right Idea” is also available in the collection – Broken Down: Detective Jimmy Delaney Collection #1.


Collection7eBookCoverThe preorder campaign continues (11 more days) for More, And Yet Still Even More Things I Could Get OUT OF MY MIND (short story collection #7.) It contains the stories:

Finding Sanctuary
Dredging Things Up
Behind the 8-Ball
Saturday He Fed the Cat

Release date is June 3rd, but you can preorder now at a REDUCED PROMOTIONAL PRICE at all the usual places, including (but not limited to):


The collection will also be available in paperback form on CreateSpace.


William Mangieri’s writing, including his latest ePub “Solid People”, can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords:
• His Amazon Author page:
• Barnes & Noble:
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books):
• His site on WordPress:
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:
• His Goodreads author page:
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri


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