In an attempt to describe how I currently self publish my books I wrote this to help someone out and realized it might make a good page here. I self published first in hard copy using a local print shop to color copy my book double-sided and then spiral bind it. Yup, I have the copyright on both my books and 2 copies each are in the Library of Congress! Snail mailing it was a pain and my hunt for a way to self publish digitally began back in 2003 or 2004-ish. I found a way to do it using Corel Draw and because I had a LOT of diagrams that worked for me.
IF you’re going the PDF route I’d do it up in Word and save it as a PDF. OR if you have the $ get a full version of Adobe Acrobat and build it in there with all the features of protection etc. Personally I wrote my book for fun and to share what I know not for profit… that was a side benefit. 😉
There are more options out there to make a e-book secure and work on many platforms such as Kindles etc… in fact I think Amazon has a PDF to Kindle format converter even so you can sell on Amazon.
My other headache after I self published to PDF was delivery of the book. At first it was on CD with the headache still being snail mailing it. I then tried e-mail but back then e-mail accounts did not do large attachments. So I started to look for an automated system for delivery and by buying an MP3 album for my sweetie discovered Payloads. A little bit of research later and Paypal and Payloadz were on their way to shaking hands and running my site for me. That was in 2005 and I spent that summer putting up all my patterns and digital goods for sale. Good thing I did cause I went back to school, had knee surgery, yadda yadda. Basically life hit me like a freight train for 4 years.
It is now 2012 and once again I have converted my site to a simpler method of delivery. I now use WordPress for the website and a plugin called MarketPress Lite. I was able to create a simple spreadsheet, upload everything and *POOF* it runs like a top. I am now focused on moving some posts from the blog to the main site and once more contemplating drafting, sewing and creative technical writing for the site! I also plan to update the drafting books, Crash Course and possibly convert to Kindle & Nook formats soon!