Slimming Down The eBook File Size For Publication

As I finished preparing my newest ebook, “Once Upon An Albatross… Volume 1 (1999-2005),” I looked forward to being done. I wrote this batch of blog posts from my personal blog long before I became serious as a writer, when the concept of blogging didn’t quite exist, and my grammar usage was horrible.

In short, this wasn’t my best writing.

The process of cleaning up individual posts for the ebook became a laborious task as I had to update the website with the revised content (a little side project that I put off for the last four years). Many early posts got deleted as irrelevant or nonsensical, broken links updated or eliminated, pictures re-sized and moved to the portfolio section. For a website that started off as a dial-up Wildcat! BBS in 1995 before something called the Internet became popular, I still have seven years of content to go through.

When I uploaded the completed ebook file into Amazon and Smashwords, they both presented me with a different technical issue because the ebook file size was too big. I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or cry for being dinged from opposing sides.

Amazon refused to allow me to set a minimum price of $0.99 USD. The price was meaningless as my blog postings ebook was FREE. (Amazon will price match to FREE when my Smashword titles are available on Barnes & Noble and iTunes for FREE.) Clicking through the various info links that Amazon provided, I had to set the minimum price to $1.99 USD because the ebook file size was greater than 3MB. That I couldn’t change without removing all the pictures from the ebook.

Smashwords refused to upload the ebook file because it exceeded the 5MB file size by a half-megabyte. Using Microsoft Word to compress all the pictures in the ebook file didn’t work because I made all the adjustments in Adobe Photoshop. I ended up deleting eight pictures that were visually redundant to get the ebook file size under 5MB.

The file size is something to keep in consideration when incorporating pictures into an ebook. If this becomes an issue again, I might select a handful of pictures for each blog post and provide a link back to the corresponding portfolio page.