Note, I am not a cook, so not only did I face the task of researching, writing, and formatting the cookbook, I also had to select and re-test my own recipes, not as easy it sounds since I had not used many of the recipes in the last two years and my kitchen appliances were different.
The whole experience has almost disappeared in a fog of terminology, multiple software programs and publishing platforms as well countless revisions and versions.
All I remember is gathering up my old cookbook and some articles on menu development I had written for non-cooks and creating the first draft of Recipes from the Kitchen of a Frugal Non-Cook. That draft went through many revisions as I wrote personal insights into cooking from a non-cook perspective and added, subtracted and revised recipes.
Because this was going to be a free cookbook, I included a page here and there about Gina's Dream with a cover image and links to the book and website.
At first, I thought I would create an .epub and submit it to SW, that was why I was working in iWork Pages not MSWord because Pages offered an epub conversion.
Meanwhile, a fellow writer "beta read" the cookbook and offered several helpful suggestions which I incorporated and created a new version.
But, when I submited the .epub to SW, it was rejected for: lack of a TOC, tabs, and links to other book retailers.
It was the tabs error that threw me. I had chosen the .epub format in order to preserve the "format." Long story short:
- Converted the Pages document to a Word .doc
- Learned belatedly into the process that my Pages "Times New Roman" had converted to "Times" in Word, had to reformat styles;
- Created an NCX TOC that needed a few corrections including removing hidden bookmarks;
- Changed the tabs to "fixed spaces" which solved my problem because the tabs in question were important to create ingredient lists;
- Removed all other tabs and reformatted the text;
- Removed all links to other book retailers;
- Highlighted words that had lost italic and bold typefaces and reformatted;
- Renamed images with names without spaces; and
- Finally, something I should have done from the start -- I verified the formatting using the Styles toolbox that included showing Styles Guides and Direct Formatting Guides
Somewhere in this mix, Styles and I were bumping heads, I was trying too many changes and Styles was doing unexpected things like changing alignment. In the end, there was one problem I could not solve but had not existed in all the past revisions, now my Kindle (mobi) version had block indents.
During the revision process, I was downloading various eBook epub readers like Calibre, Adobe Document Edition, AZARDI and more trying to preview my final product before I resubmitted it again to SW. While the eCookbook looked nice not sure the final product resembled what I saw in those epub readers. Not sure about this part yet.
Then there was my eBook cover. This was a free book; so I stubbornly refused to purchase the services of a professional graphic artist to make an eBook cover. Come heck or high water, I was going to make a nice cover myself. I tried various software manipulation packages like: photoscape, GiMP and others but in the end I found an article by Michael Canfield, How to Create a Quick EBook Cover Using Pages that allowed me to create a nice eBook cover. In addition, I am thankful to Wikipedia for offering great public domain artwork. I created an eBook cover I liked and SW liked. Do not ask me why this cover worked and all my others did not, I have no idea. Also, I did provide attribution on my copyright page for the source of the artwork.
Ok, a little breather. I did try one more time to fix the problems with the SW book by making one more resubmission but no change, so I have accept to the final product as is.
So, now, you can find my FREE eCookbook, Recipes from the Kitchen of a Frugal Non-Cook on Smashwords.
While I enjoyed re-testing some of my recipes, the downside is I gained 10 pounds ;=>