Friday, June 28, 2013

Writing and Selling an eBook With Kindle Direct Publishing

By Michael S Mitchell
The traditional route to getting published was to create your book, and then find an agent to work with you, who will finally get a publisher interested enough to publish it. The problem with all this is that your chances of landing an agent these days are remote, and even if you do, they may not be able to get a publisher for you. Both agents and publishers are inundated with unsolicited proposals and manuscripts, and they therefore reject nearly everything. If you haven't put much effort into your book, then this is fair treatment, for example if it's full of spelling errors. But we'll assume that you have worked hard, and in your opinion, and maybe that of your friends, it's ready to publish.
EBooks have changed the publishing world, and now offer you new options to publish. Of course, you can still go the traditional route to get a book published as a hardback or paperback, as well as in electronic form. However, if you just want to get to market as fast as possible, you can publish electronically yourself, at no cost, and without an agent or publisher in sight.
There are several eBook readers, but Kindle is the reader we're focusing on here. It's the best selling product on Amazon, and it looks set to dominate the market. But the principles are the same for other readers.
Putting it all together for publication
Writing your book for electronic publication is no different than for paper form. For example, a novel needs an effective plot and characters that the reader can recognise. A non-fiction 'How-to' book needs to be laid out in a way that readers can easily follow, with images as appropriate.
The first 10% of your eBook will be viewable on the Amazon site, as a sample, so make sure this is especially good, and tempts the reader to want to read more. In a novel, it's good to have some mystery in here, which the reader will want to unravel. In non-fiction, make sure you have a good topic early on, and in the TOC indicate some other tempting topics later in the book.
If you have it, use Microsoft Word, as this is the easiest to convert later to Kindle's format. But you can certainly write with other software. If you don't have a good word processor already, you can download a superb free one from OpenOffice.org (and get a free spreadsheet and other software with it).
You'll need to design a cover page at some point. If you were going the traditional route, the publisher would do this, but now it is you who are the publisher! There are free images that you can use for this at publicdomainpictures.net or you can take your own photos. Use Paint or similar programs to create an overall image about 600 wide by 900 high, pasting in any pictures you have, and finally putting your title and author name on there.
You'll also need what Amazon calls the 'product description'. Amazon say: "Write a compelling description of the book. The description of your book gives customers an opportunity to learn about your book before they make a purchase, so this is an opportunity to convince readers to buy your book." This is yet another task usually done by the publisher, and is what goes on the back cover. The ideal length is about 100 to 140 words. Not too short, as the reader won't feel they know enough to make a purchase. And not too long to be boring!
Amazon also recommends that you include a Table of Contents at the front of the book, after the Title page and copyright wording. For non-fiction this is usually straightforward, but novels often only have chapter numbers without titles. So consider splitting your novel into 4 to 8 major parts or sections, with titles, to make the TOC look good. NOTE: use the built-in TOC facility in the word processor - don't type your own, as it won't work in Kindle.
If you have kept things straightforward in your Word document, than that can be uploaded directly as your manuscript, and Amazon will automatically convert it to Kindle format. However, if it is at all complicated, or you want to monitor the whole process, you can convert it yourself, step by step as follows:
  • In Word 2003 or later save the document as Web Page Filtered. (If you have Word 2000, you can download free the 'Office 2000 HTML Filter 2.0' from Microsoft's site, and install it. Then in Word you can use File-ExportTo-CompactHtml

  • Next you need to download free software called MobiPocket Creator from MobiPocket.com, and use this to convert the HTML file to the upload format 'PRC'.

  • Yet another free download (from Amazon) is the Kindle Previewer. This lets you view the PRC file exactly as a Kindle would.
So now you are ready to publish.
Becoming a Publisher on 'Kindle Direct Publishing'
You should have your cover image ready to upload, as well as your 'product description' ready to copy and paste, and your manuscript either in Word or PRC format.
Your first step in publishing is to get an account at Amazon.com, if you don't already have one. Then you need to register as a 'publisher' with Kindle Direct Publishing at kdp.amazon.com. You can use your own name as the publisher, unless you've set up a company for this purpose. You can choose to publish to the Amazon.com site of course, but also in the UK, Germany, Canada, India, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, and Brazil. You'll need to set up how you want to be paid your royalty, either by bank transfer or by check.
Now you are a publisher!
Publishing your eBook
Now it's time to actually publish your first book. So in your home page in KDP, you click the button 'add a new title'.
After that, you follow the guide to upload your manuscript, cover page and to past in the product description.
There are some other things they'll ask you, as follows:
  • What commission do you want? 35% or 70%? This sounds like a no-brainer, but if you go for 70%, your minimum selling price has to be $2.99. As a new author, you might want to sell at 99c, in which case you have to settle for 35% Of course, if suddenly you become very popular, you can raise the price later. But it has to be said that most of the best-selling 'Indie' books (from independent authors) are priced at 99c

  • So choose your price. You can set prices too for the UK and German sites if you wish to sell there.

  • Confirm that you own the copyright.

  • Digital Rights Management. Yes or no? Basically do you want to restrict people from copying your eBook or not. It's your choice.
Finally, you 'Save and Publish', and that's it. In about 24 hours, your book will be on sale on the Amazon site. And if you're lucky, it might get featured on their special section Amazon.com/kindleindiebooks.
Otherwise, any publicity is up to you. Tell friends, use Facebook or whatever you can.
And the best of luck as an author and publisher!
Copyright Michael S Mitchell

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Self Publishing With CreateSpace



By Claretta T Pam
Do you want to self-publish and distribute your books? Definitely, self publishing is the most alluring endeavor for every author. However, many authors just fail in their quests. There may be numerous reasons for their failure but choosing a correct platform for self publishing is one of the most essential aspects.
CreateSpace is one of the renowned companies that will help you out in your quest. Being a member of the Amazon group of companies, CreateSpace offers one of the most economical, easiest and fastest ways to get millions of potential customers. CreateSpace supports Media formats including Amazon MP3s, books, CDs, DVDs, video downloads, etc.
Do you know that you need not to make an up-front investment in inventory with the CreateSpace? This is so as CreateSpace features manufacturing-on-demand model. Therefore, your products will be produced as customers order. In addition, CreateSpace ensures the order fulfillment along with customer service. Thus, you can easily focus on promoting your titles.
Benefits of Choosing CreateSpace As Your Publishing Partner
  • No title set-up or membership fees.
  • A non-exclusive agreement - It helps keep your future distribution and publishing options open.
  • Opportunity to be a part of the growing community of passionate musicians, authors and filmmakers sharing tips and resources for success.
  • Flexible royalty model - Get royalties on the basis of the list price you set.
  • Free CreateSpace UPC or ISBN if you do not have one yet.
  • Topnotch Support: Get committed support from the CreateSpace team of experts all through the publishing process
  • Broad Distribution: Opportunity to make your book available for 'n' numbers of wholesale outlets and retail across the U.S.
  • Affordable Publishing Options: Select from a complete range of marketing, book design, and editing services that suit your budget and needs.
  • Low Member Book Pricing: Get low prices, when you order copies of your own book
Numerous self-publishers are choosing CreateSpace over all the other options available on the virtual world. With this online publishing platform, you can publish your work easily and within a short time span too. However, it also needs you to be internet-savvy to avoid the technical issues. If you want to avoid confusions, then here are some tips to make the process easy -
Edit your work before uploading- Editing is the most essential aspect of publishing your book. Many times, some misspelled or misused words remain unnoticed. It is better to get someone to do this job for you. If not, then forget about your work for a week or so and then edit the content. What it means is to read it with a fresh mind and you will notice errors quickly. Print your work on a paper and read it loudly to spot the flaws, spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. After making the necessary changes, correct the electronic copy too. Now, it is ready for uploading.
Get the file into an upload-ready formatCreateSpace needs particular formats for uploading a book to the system. You can do the conversion of Word documents to portable document format with free programs. However, you can hire the services of book-making professionals to ease your task of file conversion. 

Good cover designDefinitelyyou are a good writer with great creativity. But let your creativity be with words only. Never take the risk of creating your own cover design. Some writers do have the artistic talent, they can try it. But it is always a smart decision to have some professional aid to create cover page. Besides the texts and images, file formatting can be another important aspect of rejections. You can avoid all this stress, by hiring the professionals do the things. Keep in mind that budget will not be much of a problem as you can seek for those providers offering high quality services for less.
All in all, CreateSpace is comparatively easy to use. Many authors like this self publishing platform due to its multiple benefits. CreateSpace is a user-friendly option to ease your quest. Today, self-publishing has caught the interest of aspiring authors. You can join this trend easily with CreateSpace to get the job done.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cold Lonely Courage by Soren Petrek


Cold Lonely Courage is a Historical Thriller



Madeleine Toche races to the front only to find her brother mortally wounded during the German Blitzkrieg attack on France at the outset of World War II. His death and her rape at the hands of an SS Stormtrooper cast Madeleine down a path of death and violence as her desire for revenge reaches a crescendo. Joining the BritishSpecial Operations Executive and on Churchill's command she returns to France to "Set Europe ablaze."

CLC has 43 5 star reviews on Kindle US, more on Kindle Uk and a 3.92 for 97 ratings on goodreads.

"Cold Lonely Courage is a compelling tale of bravery and daring. Petrek creates powerful characters. The combination of fine storytelling and people you care about will suck you in from page one and glue you to the book through to its climactic ending."- James Thompson Penguin author- Inspector Vaara Series, multiple nominations for awards

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COLD LONELY COURAGE will be free on kindle Friday June 21 - Sunday June 23rd.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Indie Press, Small Press, Independent Publishing - What Does it All Mean?



There has never been a better time to be an author and seek publication of your latest novel. The internet has leveled the playing field and allows authors to sell books to fans with no geographical limitations. The challenge though is how does you publish your book. There are so many different publishing terms such as: traditional publishing, self-publishing, print-on-demand, independent publishing, small press, indie press, etc. What do they all mean?

This article is going to explain three of these terms: indie press, small press and independent publishing.

Indie Press - this type of company is independent of any of the major publishing conglomerates and generally focus on a particular niche. These companies take the financial risk in the publication of your book. They pay for all the production costs. These costs include the editing, proofing, interior layout and design, cover design and printing. They may also pay the author a small advance, up to about $2500. The author receives a royalty of about 8%. However, the author will not receive any royalty until the advance and all production costs have been repaid to the publisher. The author then assigns all the rights of the book to the publisher.

Small Press - these companies generally publish 10 or fewer titles per year and have annual revenue of less than $50 million. These companies offer traditional contracts to authors just like the major publishers. They also assume all the financial risk of publishing your book and take all the rights to your book as described above in the indie press description.

Independent Publishing - this is one of the most confusing terms. It is often confused with self-publishing as well as traditional publishing through an independent press. It is really a blending of self-publishing and traditional publishing. The author takes all financial risk but retains the books rights and also the bulk of the profits from selling the book. The publisher provides book production expertise which helps the author produce the best possible book. The publisher is responsible for choosing the printer and editing, proofing, interior design and layout and cover design if the author needs these services. As mentioned before, it is the author's responsibility to cover the costs of these services. The author uses the publisher's knowledge, expertise and connections to get these production services professionally done and reasonable prices.

If you choose to use an Indie Press or Small Press, make sure you have an attorney read through the contract to help you understand which rights you retain and which rights you are assigning to the publisher.

You have written a great book. It is now time to publish it and make it available to your fans all over the world.

by Bill Walker