Over the last couple of days, I've been busy with family medical issues; but I feel ready now to tackle my rantings again! Yay!
I contacted, on a whim, a company that will format your novel into an ebook for you--in every format you could possibly desire--and asked them for a price quote. Nothing major.
They get back to me: $299. And if I want an ISBN-13 number to go with it, that's an extra $100.
Are you kidding me?
Look, for those of you who do not know, an ePUB file is nothing more than...ready for this?...a zip file with html and a couple of documents that define layout, and a jpg for a cover.
Really. Grab one of your ePUB docs. Change the extension from .epub to .zip, and open it up.
The HTML page is just plan ol' text, nothing more fancy than bold or italics in use. And the supporting documents are, frankly, pretty plain and simple too.
So...why the big cost?
Simple: they know most people do not have the time or energy to do it themselves. It's a pain in the butt, to be frank, but it CAN be done. Pretty easily, in fact. Here's how.
Save your novel as a text file, RTF (Rich Text Format) or a Microsoft Word document. Then, from within Microsoft Word, or any of the competitive similar products (like Libreoffice), open the novel and then resave it as HTML.
Poof. Formatted. Not all the formatting is done for you to perfection, but you can reopen the HTML and tweak it a bit to get it just right.
And that, my friends, is apparently worth upwards of $200. Seriously.
If your novel is in PDF format, there's a program you can DOWNLOAD FOR FREE called Calibre, and here's the link for it, that will do a lot of the work for you...for free.
DOn't be suckered into these people's work-flow--and I really tried to avoid mean words like "scam," because it's not a scam, they actually do what you need--they're just overpricing things, in my opinion. Learn a little technobabble and you can do it all yourself.
"No way?" You say?