Silver Screen Death

My latest project is Silver Screen Death, an ebook that is being released chapter-by-chapter, as it is written. To do this, a few different elements all have to come together. I and my writing partner, Barbara Stanzl, have to write the text, we need a cover, we need to combine the text and cover into an ebook, and that ebook file needs to be hosted somewhere and made available. Amazingly, this can all be done with free applications and services.

The text was written in Libreoffice, from notes taken in Google Docs.

Silver Screen Death is a modern, fun, exciting crime story that keeps you guessing to the very end, and there is plenty happening to keep you entertained in every single chapter. It’s all killer and no filler.

The cover was created with GIMP, from a photograph taken by my co-author, Barbara Stanzl.

Then, and this was the part that was new to me, the cover and text had to be combined into an ebook. Usually I just let the Smashwords Meatgrinder do this for me, but for this project I thought it would be better to create the ebook myself. Just like for every other step, there is a free app to make this possible, a piece of software called Sigil.

Like I said, Sigil was the only app I had not used before, so I had to do a little bit of learning on the job. It is a little light on tutorials, but there is information around the Interwebs on how to use it. The first choice, after firing up Sigil, is whether to create an epub2 or an epub3. Until I opened Sigil, I didn't know epubs came in different flavors. 

I researched this choice, and it seems epub3 is new and better but uptake of epub3 is slow. Apparently the majority of ebooks submitted to various retailers are still native epub2. In fact Ben Dugas of Kobo reports that epub2 makes up about 70% of incoming content. There are, however, reasons to ditch epub2 and use epub3. These include rich navigation, allowing an author to add lists of tables, figures, illustrations, and maps to the simple contents file of the past, implement accessibility best practices, simplify conversion, and much, much more.

I immediately navigated to Preferences -> General Settings and selected epub3. Then I started pasting in my text, according to this tutorial. It’s a little out of date because chapter breaks are now called split points. Otherwise, it still works, and I soon had a working ebook.

Sigil is so cool, it even saves the file you are working on as an epub directly. You don’t save it as a docx or a pdf or any other intermediate file that you export from, but an epub that you work on directly. That’s great.

The file is being hosted at Fetchapp, which is one of he few digital download platforms with a free tier to their services. Just hit the "Buy Now" button below, then Fetchapp takes you directly to Paypal, where Silver Screen Death (chapter 1) can be downloaded for just 99 cents.

Once you have downloaded the ebook to your phone, you’ll need an app to read it with. This article recommends a few. I like Lithium, (which is also free) but an ebook reader is very much a matter of taste.Use whatever reader you want, to enjoy the exciting crime thriller - Silver Screen Death.

Remember, click the button and you will be taken to Fetchapp, where you can download chapter one of Silver Screen Death for 99 cents.