The last week or so has seen my first steps to publishing an e-book and its been quite an eye-opening process, even after my glancing experience in typesetting from way back when.

A probably very confusing teaser for the (hopefully) forthcoming “Unorthodox Eater” e-book.

The e-book itself is a compilation of my Phileas McNeil pieces, two of which are available on this site (http://ps-ana.com/writing/) and a third, along with an appropriate forward, cover artwork and perhaps even an annotation or two. A simple project, so I can progress through the stages. Assembling the materials into an electronic document was not a problem, but finessing into a presentable e-book was something else. I had hoped for something a bit more streamlined in Adobe InDesign in terms of the e-pub conversion, but I think support for it was kludged in.  During the course of one day, I re-did the book about in about three arcs: #1 being the “it looks nice as a PDF” run, including headers/footers, the whole nine yards; #2 being the “reality check” as an e-book doesn’t use those fancy doobries and doodahs, which led to #3, the “Start from scratch and create a hyperlink stack”, which is vaguely how an e-book is stuck together.

At the end of the day I was pretty chuffed by the whole deal (one small step for publishing, one ginormous one for Ken…). I had an e-book that worked on the readers I have and didn’t look too shabby, save for the unfinished cover painting. Now for the submitting of ISBN numbers and copyright info, and…

Say what? Yeah, you read that. It makes sense in the grand scheme of things, but I guess with the ubiquity of e-books, at some level I thought that ISBN might not apply to them. Having learned that they are required, and even that the Canada archives require a copy, I’ve gone through the application process. So then, “GRNDL’s Grub and Grog” was created to act as a publisher for this content and thus get an ISBN assigned.  I can see the pros amongst you rolling your eyes at this, but to me it was a revelation. I’d be lying if I didn’t grin from ear-to-ear at the idea of it. I was most tempted to choose “Leather Bound: Real” (the idea being Anthropodermic_bibliopegy! Heheh!) as a product description as any true HP Lovecraft/Cthulhu fan might be.

So, tonight I submitted the details, got my auto-assigned ISBN number for “The Unorthodox Eater” and from here on, its  going to be a slog to get the e-book ready for final publication (finish the cover art, the annotations, some business like the bank account for all those doubloons, quatloos and ningis pouring in on day one! LoL)  and presumably some red-tape for iBooks, Kobo, Amazon and wherever else.

Even if it gets no further than a doc on my local hard drives, its been an educational experience.

Image: Some clippings of the Work In Progress cover of the e-book, “The Unorthodox Eater.”