Tag Archive | smashwords

Working With Beta Readers

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Episode 5 of Mark Coker’s Apple Podcasts is about working with beta readers – A very important part of every writer’s process. Or it should be.

In this episode you’ll learn how to recruit beta readers, how to craft your questionnaire to collect the right feedback, and you’ll learn time-saving strategies to complete the round with minimal hassle.

Here are links to access the podcast:

Happy writing and editing!

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Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

Everything You Wanted to Know about Self-Publishing But Were Afraid to Ask

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Mark Coker of Smashwords fame has come out with FREE, yes, FREE apple podcasts on self-publishing. I’ve had a sneak peek at the first 5 (he’s going to have new ones each month) and they are helpful to all authors, whether  you have yet to publish or you already have a few books out there.

And who can’t argue with FREE education!

Mark has been working in the ebook publishing world for many years and he sincerely has the author’s interest in mind. This is just such an example of what he’s done to promote indie publishing. So click on this link: Apple Podcast, or the image above and take a listen. It is well worth your time.

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Were Publishing Dreams Become Reality

 

Book Distribution For Self-Published Authors Beyond Createspace & Kindle 

I agree with Steven Spatz in this post – putting books (ebook or print) is a must for Amazon, but don’t stop there. The other company that has made it very doable is IngramSpark. They are not as user friendly or free (as compared to Amazon), but their distribution options, known name and quality of product make it worth the small investment and time needed to set your book(s) there as well. Though I would not use IngramS. for your ebook – there are many more and less expensive options – my favorite being Smashwords, since they put you ebook on ibooks, B&N, Kobo, library distributors and more.

The #1 mistake made by self-published authors! Here is a list of book distributors for worldwide book sales in addition to Amazon and Amazon Kindle.

Source: Book Distribution For Self-Published Authors Beyond Amazon & Kindle | BookBaby Blog

Cuban Book Embargo

Didn’t know if you were aware but there is a petition to convince our government to end the book embargo with Cuba.  This would be good for us as writers and readers.

Mark Coker has given you all the details  in the link below and the petition link is here as well. Please share!

Source: Smashwords

Disturbing Changes to Kindle Unlimited

Wow! This post by Mark Coker of Smashwords lets all us indie authors on some very disturbing news – basically the devaluation of an already inexpensive way to read your book.

Amazon is decreasing the fee needed for readers to get into their book subscription service: Kindle Unlimited. Now in India, it has cut the cost of this service from $9.99 to $3! with hints of doing the same in other countries.

Read Marks post and see how some readers are responding. It is sad but not to surprising. And Mark gives us all a way to change this. Please read on!

Source: Smashwords

How To Publish A Book Bundle

Nancy booksShelley Hitz explains how to publish a book bundle on Kindle – though it would be the same for any site you sell on. Basically, it’s putting all the books in one file and making a new image (like a box set) for it. Pretty simple, I guess. But unfortunately, she doesn’t say how to make the new box set image and I’m not so good with photo shop. I guess I have to ask some friends to help me. There are lots of people that are good with photo shop.

While you’re waiting for help with your new cover, make sure your series ebooks are connected. I know Amazon has a specific line that you put the same series name in for each book in the series (mine is “Rose series”) then the volume #. They are supposed to be displayed together when someone pulls up one book in the series. I know you can do that on Goodreads, too.

How To Publish A Book Bundle On Kindle.

E-book Formatting Explained

from spaceplace.nasa.gove

from spaceplace.nasa.gov

So you have finished your book, your beta readers have had their say and you’ve paid to have it edited. Now what? 

Well, the easiest place to start is to e-publish, not that print publishing is hard, but e-publishing is even easier. It only requires two things: 1. A front cover that is at least 1600 pixels wide by 2500 pixels tall. This will fit the requirements of kdp.amazon.com and smashwords.com (two of the sites I recommend you publish on, though there are others). 2. A properly formatted book. Item two is what I am going to focus on today.

There are two ways to upload your book on both Amazon and Smashwords: A formatted word doc or a mobi doc. I’ve done both and I’m not sure which is easier. I think perhaps creating the mobi file is a touch easier, but both require a bit of work on your part. Lets start with the word doc option.

Word Document:

For this option the best way to get it right is to follow Mark Coker’s formatting guide that he created for his Smashwords clientele. It’s free and if you follow that guide, your word doc will easily upload to Smashwords and Amazon. Sounds easy, but it does take a bit of time to do all the recommended steps.

Mobi Document:

amanzon logoI am aware of two programs that allow you to create a fairly quick mobi or epub file: Jutoh and Scrivener. Mobi is used for kindle and epubs are used for everyone else (nook, kobo, ipad or any other android reader). I have viewed a webinar for Scrivener and it looks like a fine program – has a few more bells and whistles and probably works better for non-fiction authors since it’s a lot easier to move chapters around and you can load websites very easily. But I purchased Jutoh and have been happy with the results. Both programs cost approximately $40, by the way. Very reasonable! Jutoh banner01

Jutoh: Jutoh is pretty easy to use. There is a small learning curve (as their would be with Scrivener) and Jutoh has a very good user’s guide/help section to the program if you need it. The nice thing about both of these programs is that you can upload you book and create the links to each chapter without all the putzing needed when working with a word doc. You can also easily put in hyperlinks to your book’s website or sites to buy your other books – if you have more than one. **Be aware that Amazon and Smashwords don’t accept documents that have links to other people’s websites, so don’t put them in. They will make you take them out.

One other caution for Jutoh specifically – I recommend you use Jutoh’s styles when formatting your book (centering, special formatting), it will look better in the end product. One time-saver for you is if you put in page breaks in the word doc that you download to Jutoh, it will automatically make these the chapters breaks. You can do it within the program, but doing it in word first will save you time. Just pick the “chapters by page break” option when setting it up in Jutoh.

Once it’s uploaded and formatted the way you want (remember no fonts bigger than 16 point or unusual fonts – ereaders aren’t sophisticated enough to handle these things) you pick the format you want. As mentioned, for kdp.amazon you want the mobi format. Smashwords will also accept mobi files, so you might as well start there. When you’ve selected mobi you hit “compile” and the program will create a folder in your computer’s “document” file titled “Jutoh Documents.” It will put the mobi and Jutoh file there. The nice thing about Jutoh is that if you hit the “error” tab at the bottom of the Jutoh screen, it will show you all the mistakes you make and tell you what the error is. If you click on a error message, it will take you to that error in your document. How cool is that!

The next step is to check the document. For kindle, download the free kindle reading app for PC or Mac. Look through the whole document for formatting issues and make sure the chapter and web links work.

adobeI always create a epub file because not everyone has a kindle and when giving away free copies of the book, it’s nice to have that option. Obviously, ebooks are a lot cheaper to give away than paper books. To  create a epub file, pick the epub option then compile again. Correct any errors, then download Adobe’s Digital Editions. Digital Editions reads epubs. This link will give you the program for either PC or Mac formats. Now it’s time to visit Smashwords and kdp.amazon and set up your accounts. Both sites make it very easy to upload your cover and interior files. Then let everyone know it’s there! If you have any trouble with this process, don’t hesitate to contact me.

my imageChristine Keleny CKBooks Publishing
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality