One of the biggest challenges I faced when I decided to republish Falling for You as an ebook, was getting a digital file to match the printed book. Since the final stages of the publishing process — copy edits and page proofs — were done by hand, my computer file doesn’t have the final changes.
My options were:
- Pay to have it scanned. (SB Services on my Author Resource List does this at a very reasonable price.)
- Publish the ebook through Belgrave House, in which case they handle everything with no upfront expenses, then split the royalty with the author 50/50.
- Compare my file to the printed book page by page. Free but hugely time consuming!
- Or, the choice I picked, find a pirated copy online.
Normally, running across a pirated copy of one of my novels is enough to send me into a rant about ignorant people who are destroying the careers of the very authors whose books they love by stealing those books rather than buying them. This time, though, I downloaded the file first, then I fired off the “Take Down” e-mail to the file sharing site. (Funny side not: since I was in a furor over book pirates when I sent the e-mail, I accidentally reported myself as a copyright infringer. I had to e-mail them back and say, “No, no, no, I’m the copyright holder.”)
Problem #1) I may have been better off paying SB Services because the pirated copy was a LIT file. I spent days Googling “How to convert a LIT file to a Word .doc.” My husband finally found a tech support guy on a PC (I’m on a Mac) to convert it using the converter that I’ve now added to the Author Resource List.
Problem #2) The scanned document had all kinds of mistakes, mostly missing paragraph breaks. I had to read the whole thing very carefully. The good news is, hey, I got to spend the weekend reading what I happen to think is a pretty dang good romance novel. And since I hadn’t read it in so long, it was almost like reading someone else’s book.
My next step in making this ebook happen. Now that I’ve fixed all the mistakes, I have to do the actual formatting. I’m currently pouring over the instructions at Smashwords.com (To follow me on this journey click on the orange RSS feed icon in the upper right corner of my blog banner.)
Have you converted any of your print books to ebook? How did you get a digital file? Was the formatting easy, or am I facing more challenges?