Rookie Fears: Little Computer Details (pt 1)

“I’m afraid something vital to the process is going to be too complicated for me, and that one over-my-head step will derail the entire dream.”

I didn’t know what I was doing.  As of this post, I still don’t fully know.  As I said in my first post, as well as my home screen, I am admittedly new at this (hence the purpose of the site).  But I’m here to share with you the ins and outs and whys and wherefores of everything I’ve encountered on the short distance up the path I’ve already traveled. . . so here’s a little tale of fear and revelation.

I knew the story I was trying to tell.  And I may not be a Nobel Prize winner for literary fiction, but I’m arrogant enough to think that my writing isn’t all that bad, so it wasn’t the technique I was concerned about.  I was also fully aware that thousands of indie authors post their works on the Amazon Kindle Store each and every month, so it wasn’t a matter of an impossible task that had me worried, either.

To be honest, what scared me the most was the technology of it all.  You see, I’m not very gifted when it comes to things like computer code, HTML, formatting and the like.  It’s all like a foreign language to me.  And then there’s my laziness when it comes to having to learn something new, which is itself a form of fear:  I’m afraid something vital to the process is going to be too complicated for me, and that one over-my-head step will derail the entire dream.  So what would I do in that near future when I finally got ready to approach the front gates of the Big A?  How on earth does one traverse those gates?

If you’re a first-time ebook author, still in the early phases of the writing, and the preceding paragraph sounds all too familiar to you, then I want you to relax.  Take a deep breath.  If it was nearly as hard as I built it up in my mind to be, then I wouldn’t be hard at work on Blue Daunia Issue #2.  Heck, if you really want to get down to it, if this stuff was actually technically difficult, I certainly wouldn’t be maintaining a blog site all by myself!  Nope, breathe easy. . . the writing discipline and the marketing and the patience really are the hardest parts, and you are more than capable of tackling those (I believe in you. . . but more on these points in future posts).

So, what, then?  How is it done?  Assuming a writer masters his or her self-discipline and gets an ebook written and assembled, then how on earth does it become part of the Amazon Kindle Store?  Well, before I was even at that point, when I was just starting out on my first draft, these questions were plaguing my mind fairly heavily.  As I said earlier, if any one aspect of the process could creep up to cripple me, then a lifelong dream could very well be rendered pointless.  So, I did what I always do when I’m in doubt about something:  I turned to YouTube.  I sifted through a few dozen tons of videos, so that you don’t have to.  Okay, the second part of that sentence wasn’t really true at the time, but it might as well be for the purposes of this blog.

If you want to know the very best of the best of the YouTube videos on the subject. . . the clear-cut #1 that will guide you step-by-step and walk you by hand through the process, then here it is:  Rob Cubbon’s “How To Self Publish a Kindle E-book on Amazon’s KDP Select — Join the Self-Publishing Revolution.”  Nothing else I have seen before or since is as clear and concise.  Nothing else really even comes close.  I could go into detail, recounting step by step exactly what Mr. Cubbon has already displayed, but what would be the point?  If you want to know how to storm the gates of The Kindle Store, then that’s it. . . that’s click-by-click how it’s done, and although he may never see this, I’d just like to tell Mr. Cubbon “Thank you!”  So, yes. . . watch that video, and then, when you’re ready, click here.

“But wait,” you might be saying.  “That’s pretty cool that I can upload a file to Kindle far easier than I ever dreamed, but how do I get my work into a form that Amazon will play nice with?”

I’m glad you asked, because that gives me the perfect thing to talk about in Part 2 of this post.

Author: Benjamin Brunson

Benjamin Brunson (born 1975) started writing at the age of 7, when his father encouraged his pounding out of stories about a certain movie archaeologist on a family typewriter. He grew up in an era when action movies were iconic, and comic books were a mere 75 cents and available at every grocery store and corner gas station. His imagination was further fueled by a mother who introduced him to books and reading at an early age, eventually gifting him with copies of Treasure Island and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. That same mother would also bestow upon him a deep love and respect for the ocean and a good storm. Brunson would go on to participate in a creative writing magnet school program in his high school years in Montgomery, Alabama, where he became co-editor of the program’s literary magazine under the tutelage of Jerry Lawrence. At Auburn University, he majored in English and Literature, and quickly landed a spot as the film critic for the campus newspaper. The professors he would encounter in his collegiate career, namely Dr. Oliver Billingslea and Dr. Suzie Paul, would inspire him and help shape and steer his lifelong dream of creating fiction. In 2003, a major television network would cancel Brunson’s favorite sci-fi show about a group of ragtag misfits who, aboard a cargo spacecraft, took on various odd jobs in order to cull out a living and keep on flying. Feeling as if a deep void had been created in his life from the loss of the show, Brunson channeled his love for the ocean and began scribbling the notes for a handful of newly created characters and locations. These notes would, fourteen years later, form the basis for his monthly oceanic adventure saga, Blue Daunia.

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