It turns out that the U.S. Copyright office has automated the process of registering a copyright for your work and there's a similar online process for purchasing and assigning ISBNs to each published version (each eBook format or physical book format) of your work. I'm using Bowkers Identifier Services.
My assumption that someone would have created a good product to automatically translate a properly formatted PDF or Microsoft Word® file into various eBook formats didn't prove to be true.
At least not as far as I could determine at the beginning of 2012. However, for the most popular format, I found two useful books, Kindle Formatting The Complete Guide by Joshua Tallent who also owns and runs eBook Architects and Formatting of Kindle Books A Brief Tutorial (Kindle .99) by Charles Spender which looked like they could help me learn how to create eBooks for the Kindle. I liked the idea that I would not have to waste time learning by trial and error.
Note, when I first discovered his books, Charles Spender listed himself as Nikolai Shevchuk; you can still find his books using either name. He also posts on the Amazon community thread, for example these links to an HTML template, HTML table of contents, and other Kindle related file examples in the Kindle KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) forum.
What's underneath the Kindle format is Amazon's flavor of HTML and CSS styles. Those are things I'm comfortable with and Joshua's books explained simple ways I could have each of my poems formatted to look exactly the way I wanted it to look.
As I progressed and learned more about creating and publishing eBooks, I decided I'd also like to help other authors and artists do what I was doing. I created wcePublishing for my own eBooks and to offer information, education, and services to others.
Publishing your work is now possible, very affordable, and, if you have the time, it's possible to do it yourself. I think we're pretty lucky!
I will be adding more information which outlines how I'm creating eBooks in the eBook section of this website. Or you can also continue reading this story to learn more about what I encountered and how I actually managed to get my first three electronic books of poetry converted from Word® to the Mobi (Amazon Kindle) and ePUB formats.
I want to help
writing, publishing and creating . . . for fun