The interior of the book is finished! I received my virtual copy from the designer on Thursday, ready to be shipped off to a printer. So, next on the hit list is the exterior design. Katie has created the front cover for me, and it needs a little tweaking. But the spine and back cover still need to be done. Obviously it would make sense to have her do those as well. Unfortunately she is down to her last 19 days of college, so no way can she look at it before the end of the semester. And then she will have exactly 4 days in St. Louis before she heads off to Prague for a 5 week marketing session for school. I need to decide if I want to wait until July to have her complete the cover, or just turn it over to a different designer at this point.
In the meantime I have been working on my e-book. I decided to take my house history research book and strip out all references to St. Louis County, and then turn the remainder into an e-book. I think there is a market for the book as no other e-books exist yet on this topic. Plus I am very curious to see how all this e-book stuff works. I am going to go with Smashwords to produce the book. First of all I heard Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords, speak at Publishing University last year and I was impressed with him and what he is doing. Second, he will format the book for all of the different reading devices, and will put the book into distribution. There is no charge to have him set up the book, and he just gets a percentage (I believe 15%) of each sale. That beats the heck out of the 40% or more that bookstores get on a printed book.
I have downloaded the Smashwords instructions (of course it is an e-book!) on how to properly set up your book in Microsoft Word prior to uploading it to Smashwords. I think I will be able to handle this myself, but if not Mark offers a list of reasonable contractors who will get your Word document into the proper format. I also contacted one of the e-book cover designers that Mark has worked with to see if she is interested in doing a cover for Keys to Unlocking House History. I just sent an email on Friday, so I haven't received a reply yet. I really did not expect to with it being Easter weekend.
The times, they are a changing!