It's been a few weeks since I've written anything and I apologize! Summer has gotten the better of me!
Between general summertime fun and an increasing number of formatting and design projects, I haven't had a whole lot of time to write about ebooks. But I can tell you that in the past few weeks it's been confirmed for me in multiple ways that e-publishing may look easy to some, but it can be incredibly tedious and time-consuming. Especially when publishing to e-readers like the Kindle, iPad, Nook, or Sony eReader. It is not as easy as you'd think!
Despite what all the e-publishing sites may say, publishing to e-readers takes some time and know-how. "Free" e-publishing tools certainly don't mean easy e-publishing.
The first thing I've found that helps in getting your book closer to being published for e-readers is being truly interested in the technology and the task. The first "how-to" ebook that I ever read for Kindle formatting was tedious to read through, to say the least. But at some point during the reading, I found myself excited about the process. Now I've read some technical manuals before and unfortunately (or fortunately?), I don't often find myself getting excited over them. This was different because I like what I'm doing!
If you don't tend to like this stuff, then take your time and do your best. The process is going to be one of trial and error to a certain extent, even once you're an expert - at some point it just becomes less error! There are a lot of nuances that those how-to books can help you navigate. Take them seriously!! Some may seem silly (even counter-intuitive) to you, but they can save you a significant amount of time.
Above all, be patient! As mentioned, it is a trial and error process for every book you format for e-readers. There are quite a few steps involved in formatting, then creating the appropriate file, then testing it out on an appropriate application (Kindle for PC, Kindle Previewer, Adobe Digital Editions, etc.). And you'll need to go through these steps each and every time (sometimes dozens of times) until you get your book looking exactly how you want it. Because of all the nuances involved, it is inevitable that even when you think you've formatted everything perfectly, you'll miss something. So just be prepared, and again, be patient!
Good luck with your book! And don't forget to use some of the great resources available out there to find your way in epublishing. You can find some of those here.