There are a wide variety of tools available on the market that put more power in authors’ hands, letting them do everything from market their work to create new formats for their content. Unfortunately, there are an even wider variety of products that don’t do much at all.
One of the tools that does stand to support indie authors’ by making their ebook development process even easier is a WordPress plug-in called MyPublishingAssistant. These feature streamlines the process of the increasingly popular blog-to-book, which lets authors take their already publishing WordPress content and assemble it into a publishable print or ebook title. Developer Alex Anders spoke to Good e-Reader about this tool and its features.
“I’m a big believer in maximizing every possible sale. As authors, we know that the person who is most likely to buy your newest book is someone who has purchased your older books. They’re return customers. If you can find readers to purchase your back catalog, you’ll sell more books. This software has a page devoted to your previous titles and you can create direct links to where you sell your different ebooks and your paperbacks.”
The plug-in, which is not strictly applicable to blog-based books but is compatible, lets authors enter all of their information once, such as name, backmatter, and more, then apply it to any future titles through an easy to use drag-and-drop process. One added feature of this plug-in is the ability to store a previous version and simply add to or swap out the content, which is especially helpful for authors with more than one title on the market. As it is always a good idea to advertise previous books in a new title, this makes it easy to store reviews, mentions, awards, excerpts, and more.
“You can design exactly what you want your layout to be, but then six months down the road you can change it easily. Or you can use it to create different versions of your book, such as to meet the requirements for Smashwords. You can use the exact same file in your Kindle layout, and then in your Smashwords layout, then choose to put it out in doc, PDF, MOBI, ePUB, or HTML.”
The plug-in and a number of tutorial videos can be found on the website, but this feature is currently only available for self-hosted WordPress sites that accept plug-ins through wordpress.org.
“It’s just made the entire process exceptionally easy. Before, you had to go to your Word document and copy and paste the contents into your template. I found a coder and I was just initially going to do this for myself, but then I spoke to another author and was telling her about it, and she suggested this could improve the process.”