Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Anatomy of a Free Short Story

Last week I released Oz Bites, a free short story. Thanks to everyone who voted in my title poll!

After publishing three novels, one novella and two freebie short stories, I have to say this one presented some brand-new challenges.

This is the first time I've been responsible for the cover. I tried a few pictures on my own (like the one on the left) but thankfully eventually ended up with this from Valerie Tibbs (the one on the right).

This is the first time I've been responsible for posting and format. Originally I thought I'd make my own pdf and prc copies and load them onto my website, adding other formats as I learned how to make them. A couple, ahem, hiccups getting the beta copy to Mrs. Missive (it wouldn't even copy in properly) showed me I needed help. I needed a well-tested, inexpensive system to give me robust well-formatted ebooks in a variety of formats. Thanks to some self-pubbed friends including Edie Ramer (Self-Publishing Basics by Edie Ramer) I knew about Smashwords.

After reading the information at Smashwords, I knew I needed to preformat my story properly to have a clean conversion. I used a combination of the article How to Format an Ebook by Lori Devoti and the Smashwords Style Guide.

That's my self-publishing story. Hope you found it informative. Thank you to everyone who downloaded Oz Bites!


  1. LOL...Love your stories Mary, but I gotta say, the cover you got help with puts the other to shame! Thanks for sharing the info on self publishing too. I bookmarked a couple of things.

  2. Hey Mrs! Yes, I think I'll stick to the writing part of publishing :) Glad you found the links useful! Does this mean we'll be seeing some of your writing soon?

  3. HA! You'll see it as soon as I grow a set and finish editing enough to submit. :P