Instead of publishing my first full-length poetry book in the traditional way, I decided I would go all-digital, no paper unless a reader decides to print a hard copy. Factors contributing to my decision include my wish for as many people as possible to read my poems, my geek longing to learn how to create an electronic book, my unwillingness to pay contest fees, my unwillingness to wait a year (or forever) for a publisher to select the manuscript and release the book; and my wish not burden the economy with cost and the planet with pollution caused by paper, ink, printing, inventory, and shipping.
When I began to convert my manuscript from Microsoft Word to PDF, webpage, and Kindle formats, I assumed it would be difficult and it might have been had the text been prose and not poetry. The key problems I encountered were inter-line and intra-line spacing, indents, special characters like em dashes and diacritical marks, and the table of contents. Microsoft Word is a horror, but there is not a replacement yet.
Converting to Kindle format was the most difficult because their converter does not give detailed error reports, and their Kindle previewer is not a full function previewer. Hyperlinks, for example, do not work. Nonetheless, I've done it, although I won't know for sure how well I've done it until I submit the book to Amazon and read it on my Kindle.
I will publish a how-to-guide when I'm finished.