Well, I'm not sure if it will be an adventure or a tortuous journey, but I've set out upon whichever! Actually, after getting started with the Smashwords Style Guide by Mark Coker, free right now at Amazon.com, I am sort of like the 'little engine who could': I think I can, I think I can, I think I can! Here is what I find most interesting and encouraging:
Smashwords takes your original Microsoft Word source file, usually in .doc format, and converts
it into multiple ebook formats such as .EPUB, PDF. .RTF, .PDB, .MOBI, LRF and TXT, as well
your book will be readable on any e-reading device, including personal computers, the iPhone
(via the popular Stanza e-reader app), Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader, Android smart phones, etc (This quote taken directly from the book which can be shared as long as no one is charged for the info!)
Two more ebooks by Mark Coker, also currently free at Amazon.com, are Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success and Smashwords Book Marketing Guide--How to Market Any Book for Free
Kindle Formatting, The Essential Visual Guide by Everything Indie is $2.99 at Amazon.com. Reviewers give it good recommendations except for the fact that it doesn't cover how to insert a cover into the upload. It does sound worth the price, however.
I'm going the Smashwords route first. Once I get everything formatted and uploaded, hopefully well enough for inclusion in their Premium Catalogue. Here's more about that, also a direct quote from the style guide:
Premium Catalog (NEW! ): This new catalog is distributed to major online retailers and other
distribution outlets. There’s no cost for consideration, but your book must satisfy higher
mechanical standards required by the retailers such as having a quality book cover image, good
formatting, a proper copyright page, and other requirements clearly outlined in this Style Guide
and on our Distribution page at http://www.smashwords.com/distribution. If you're a serious
author or publisher, you want your books included in Smashwords Premium Catalog because it
offers your book unprecedented exposure at no cost.
I'd be interested in hearing from any of you who have gone this indie route!
And a quick off-topic note: for anyone who thinks her blog is an abysmal failure based on the comments/lack of same, take a look at 'stats' in the new Blogger program. I may get zero comments and have almost 20 views in one day! Last month, The Word Place racked up 450 views (and mine aren't counted)! Perhaps not as great as others, but not too shabby either, so I press on!