Well, I have a fourth book almost ready. It's been printed in Blurb and frankly, that makes it impractical to purchase for most - it's a 12 inch square book, 154 pages, 71 images, hard cover and by the time you ship, you're looking at $140 - ridiculous.
So, I'm exploring self publishing but distribution is a nightmare, with discounts and returns and shipping costs it's probably not going to fly.
Therefore, I have to look at ebooks. Well, that's a pain. So far I have explored iBooks Author but not only does it tie you to Apple and iBooks and them taking 30%, but design isn't as simple as I'd thought. So I looked at InDesign. I probably wouldn't have paid for it but it comes with my Photoshop CC subscription so I tried that - both with scratch design and templates - but what I get looks nothing like what I design - clearly I have some learning to do. So I read that Pages can export to epub - and you know what - it ain't bad. Not at all what I wanted, but quite functional - pictures are surrounded by text, but when you double click on them they go to full screen, minus the closure bar at the top that hides the last half inch of image, and you can make that go away with a single click - now the images look great on my iPad retina, and this could be workable, but I don't like that the closure bar hides part of the image - it's rather like having to remind you guys that to see the images in this blog properly, you have to click on them, then they come up full size - and I add a reminder in the text every so often - too often for some and probably not often enough for others.
So I signed up to Lynda.com and am about half way through some 13 hours of tutorials on using InDesign - I've learned all manner of things, except so far, not how to make an epub look like what I want - hopefully that comes soon. I understand the secret is in character and paragraph styles and how they are applied, and we haven't got to that yet.
I hope to have a small test epub in the next few weeks for you to download. I'm also exploring ways to sell the full and final epub - on iBooks or more likely on another site. That too is complicated - believe it or not, to use iBooks, I have to register with the U.S. government so they can track any money made by me, a Canadian, which puts me right off to begin with.
I wonder if I can find a Canadian based site that will handle e-commerce and file downloading for me. I wonder if Apple would allow a free iBook that shows part of the book and refers people to my website, which would then let them purchase the full book. All very complicated.
In a a way, I'm not surprised it's this hard - I know that several ebooks that I have purchased or downloaded for free really don't work seamlessly with my iPad - I have to move text around to see it because it was not set up for the iPad specifically.
If this InDesign thing works out, I'll eventually arrange for ebooks for not only the iPad but other devices as well.
I'm going to get this if it kills me!