This announcement is somewhat amazing. For one thing, I am not exactly a techie, and for another, it was only a few short weeks ago when we started the ebook project.
The story really began just over a year ago. When my parents, Clarence and Olga Boudreau, left Prince George to return to their home in Penny on December 27, 2011, they couldn’t have known how radically a head-on motor vehicle collision would change their lives. This true story is a compilation of communications that reveals how miracles arise when individual resolve is matched with love and support from family and friends.
For Christmas 2012, we compiled our email communications and a few photos, and bound them into a spiral-bound booklet as a gift for my parents. Though they were the stars of the story, it was like they had been absent for the journey due to the fact that they were a bit preoccupied with survival. On receiving an absolute avalanche of accolades (well, Mom and Dad and one other person said they liked the book), we decided to make it available as a free ebook to those who were so supportive of our family during the long, challenging months of 2012.
As some of you may not be familiar with ebooks, it seems appropriate to share a few points here. I’ve been dabbling in ebook production since 2006 and the publishing of my first ebook, Business Plan or BUST. Back then, ebooks were just emerging and those that existed were sometimes awkward to use and usually devoid of meaningful content or value.
Since then, ebooks have become more popular; there are a number of ebook reader devices on the market (Kindle, Kobo, Nook, etc.) and ebook production has surged forward. The number of options is growing—for authors, publishers and readers. Of course, many readers resist the ebook boom, vowing never to give up good old printed books. While I enjoy the feel and experience of reading printed books, it’s impossible to ignore the comparative cost and immediacy of ebooks. I can literally buy, download and be reading a book in less than 2 minutes (actually, Amazon claims you can do it in less than 1 minute). Lovers of printed books can relax though; printed books are likely to be around as long as we love to read and own them.
The world of ebook publishing is a bewildering mess of shifting sands. With the introduction of the Kindle, Amazon probably did more than any other single entity to raise the profile of ebooks. Today, several heavyweights (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple) are vying for market share and the ebook industry is expanding wildly as more and more authors publish ebooks, and increasing numbers of customers buy and read them. While ebook buyers enjoy the benefits of convenience, instantaneousness, and low cost – publishing can be a boondoggle for authors because each ebook reader device uses a different platform.
I’ve chosen to use Smashwords to publish the book because it appears to me to be the most intelligently positioned ebook publisher. Smashwords makes it easy to publish ebooks by enabling the author/publisher to upload manuscripts in just 2 file formats (a simple word .doc and a .mobi file for Amazon’s Kindle version) and publish to several different platforms. This is important because it means the reader will be able to download a format that works for you no matter what type of device you have. So, when you click on the link to The Journey page at Smashwords, you’ll find the following list of options, each with its own download link.
- Online Reading (HTML, good for sampling in web browser)
- Kindle (.mobi for Kindle devices and Kindle apps)
- Epub (Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, others)
- PDF (good for reading on PC, or for home printing)
- RTF (readable on most word processors)
- LRF (Use only for older model Sony Readers that don’t support .epub)
- Palm Doc (PDB) (for Palm reading devices)
- Plain Text (download) (flexible, but lacks much formatting)
- Plain Text (view) (viewable as web page)
I haven’t mentioned the best point of all for author/publishers – Smashwords publishes your ebooks at no cost; they earn their revenues by keeping a portion of the monies earned from books sold.
I guess I should close this off before this begins to sound more like a Smashwords ad than a simple invitation to download your free copy of The Journey of Love and Healing ebook.
Publishing this ebook has been a bit of an education for us.
- We’ve learned that Amazon is the best market for Kindle ebooks (no surprise there).
- We are on a learning curve with pricing. Amazon doesn’t allow us to offer ebooks for free. Smashwords does, but I’m not sure for how long.
- Smashwords and Amazon are working to iron out the wrinkles, but so far they aren’t able to play nice.
- Smashwords publishes a Kindle version, which we can offer free.
- Amazon Kindle version of The Journey is set at the lowest possible price – $0.99 US.
So, the upshot is, if you want a free copy of The Journey of Love and Healing, go here:
If you’d rather get your Kindle version through Amazon at a cost of $0.99, go here:
On behalf of those who helped to make this ebook possible, we hope you enjoy reading it and send the above links to anyone you think might be interested.