This is part 3 in a series where I give step-by-step instructions on how to convert your novel into multiple eBook formats. Here are the other parts to the series:
In the previous post, we covered how to prepare your novel to be converted into a PRC file. Below are the step-by-steps instructions on how to use Mobipocket eBook Creator. If you don't have this FREE program, be sure to visit the previous post for a link on where you can download it. On to the tutorial!
Step 3: Using Mobipocket eBook Creator
- Open Mobipocket Creator
- In the window that appears, go to the “Import From Existing File” section and click on “MS Word document”
- Click the “Browse…” button for “Choose a file:” and navigate to the folder where you placed your final MS Word document for your novel (mentioned in Step 2: #1)
- Then click the “Browse…” button for “Create publication in folder:“. This is where you want to save your final eBook files, which should be in the same folder as pictured above in Figure 1.
- Just leave the defaults for “Language” and “Encoding” (unless you have your own preferences to change this) and then click “Import” (see Figure 3).
- In the left-hand navigation that appears in the new window, it should already be selected on “Publication Files” and you'll notice in the right-hand area of the window, the MS Word document you've imported has been converted to an HTML file (Figure 4).
- Now we'll add your cover art. Click on “Cover Image” in the left-hand navigation area, and then click on the “Add a cover image” button and navigate to your cover image. If you did the prep work above, it should be in the same folder where your MS Word document was located. It should import your book cover once you've selected it. (Figure 5) At this point, you may need to maximize the program window since the “Update” button we're looking for won't be visible. (Remember, if your book cover image is too small, you will receive an error when you finally build your eBook. See Step 2: #2 above for details).
- Now click “Update” (Figure 5) and it should take you back to the Publication Files view.
- Tagging your file is important for proper indexing on eReaders, so click on “Metadata” in the left-hand navigation area to do this tagging.
- Remember that optional information I mentioned above? This is where you'll be using it. The fields are explained below. Mandatory fields are marked with a red asterisk, but like they are in the program. Though some fields are optional (like the author name) you'll probably want to complete as much as you can (see Figures 6 & 7).
- eBook Title*: Type in the title how you want it to appear in an eReader. If you have a series, you might want to include the number of the book in the series (e.g., MIDNIGHT HUNT: Book 3 of the Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles).
- Author: Your pen name or whatever name you're using for writing.
- Publisher: I personally have created my own publishing cover for my self-published novels. Doing so prevents your book from screaming “I'm self-published!” Or you could leave it blank.
- ISBN: For the eBook version of your book. Do not use the print ISBN. There is a difference.
- Language*: The default is Enlgish (United States), so change as applicable for your novel.
- Main subject*: Pretty self-explanatory, but keep in mind this list is pretty limited. I cannot, for instance, specify that my novel is a paranormal romance. Choose the genre that BEST represents your book. Technically, my novel is fantasy fiction, so I could choose “Fantasy”. But Midnight Hunt (and my series) has very strong romantic elements and romance novels sell more than fantasy novels do…so I choose “Romance” as my main subject. Think about how you want readers to find you.
- Description: This is your back of the book blurb.
- Review: This is where you'll paste those snippets of reviews you're proud of (if you have any at this point).
- Publishing Date: Must be in the mm/dd/yyyy format
- Adult Only checkbox: Be sure to check this if you have content that isn't suitable for readers under age 18.
- Demo PRC file: Scroll down past your book cover and you'll see this and the rest of the fields to complete (Figure 7). This isn't really necessary since most websites already provide a way to give readers a sneak peak or sample of your book, so just leave this blank.
- Suggested Retail Price*: You only have two currencies available – US Dollars and Euros. Just enter the number of your book price (e.g., 5.99) in the text box and select the appropriate currency (US Dollars is the default).
- Territory Restriction: Complete this field only if you cannot distribute your book worldwide. You'll type in the country/countries your book is restricted. I usually leave this blank.
- Click the “Update“ button and you should return to the Publication Files view.
- Woot!! You've prepped your file. Now to create your PRC. Click the “Build” button at the top of the screen (Figure 8).
- You will come to the Build Publication page. Choose your “Compression Options” (I usually select “No Compression“) and I recommend “No encryption” under “Encryption options” (Figure 9). Please keep in mind that any encryption you do limits your readers. I, personally, have several eReaders on various devices. If I want to switch from one reader to another, encryption prevents that from happening. Just food for thought.
- Click the “Build” button. (See Figure 9). This should take you to a screen that says, “Your eBook is now ready. What do you want to do with it?” I usually like to “Open folder containing eBook” by clicking the OK button. It will do exactly what it indicates and you'll get to see your eBook files you've just created. CONGRATULATIONS!!!
Whew! Now that we have an eBook file we can work with, we'll need to use Calibre to convert it. If you already have Calibre, then you probably already know how to convert an eBook and can take it from here. However, for those who have no idea what Calibre is, go on to the next article – How to Convert Your Novel into Multiple eBook Formats – Part 4. (Sorry this is so long, but as you can see…it's not easy to self-publish.)