Newbies: All Good Questions Do Fine

I tell every writer I meet they can ask me all the questions they want. A handful ask a couple questions, and I always learn something new from the answers I have to come up with.

Cheryl Campbell
Cheryl Campbell

Once in a while I meet someone with the childlike sponge of curiosity, and it makes my day. Er, week. Perhaps month, depending on how long Cheryl Campbell keeps coming up with these questions.

Cheryl introduced herself on Linked In a few weeks ago, and we’ve chatted so often that I have over 10,000 words of Q&A stored up. And the questions are so universal to neophytes in modern publishing that I’ll be spending all week sharing her questions and my answers with you. And in an uncharacteristic twist, rather than burning hours reformatting everything, I’m going to just paste the emails in her, raw and essentially unedited.
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I know nothing about creating an ebook. Where do I start?

This is still a common question. Any time we’re embracing something completely new to us, the steepness of the learning curve is overwhelming. Sometimes we don’t even know what questions to ask. Sometimes taking a stab at an answer helps draw out more refined questions.

photo http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1008267 by gerard97 http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1008267If you’re totally completely helplessly lost about this “ebook” thing, I’ll try to answer the question “Where do I start?” as long as we agree that it’s akin to asking “I’d like to learn to play music; where do I start?” Far too vague to have a real answer, but enough to start hacking through the underbrush to some better questions.

Not necessarily in any kind of order:
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