1. Kirby Tails
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    Kirby Tails Member

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    Looking to Publish on Kindle - What Should I Know?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Kirby Tails, Dec 2, 2011.

    Things to keep on mind...

    a) I'm not going to publish this book traditionally, for a variety of reasons (namely that it's too long).
    b) ...so as a consequence of a, this is basically just "gathering dust" in my hard drive...
    c) So I might as well put it out somewhere, right?

    What should I know? What should I do to try and "promote" the book?

    I started a blog yesterday as well, mostly in an attempt to try and put my name somewhere. I have two entries. Hooray!
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I won't speak to promotion, but one thing you should know is how to get the best formatting on the Kindle book. The easiest thing to do is to use MSWord, for example, and set the indents (don't use tab), and also to use page breaks where you want them instead of just hitting return to get to a new page. You should save the resulting file as a filtered HTML document, then go in and modify the HTML directly to strip away what you don't need or change things that aren't showing up the way you want.
     
  3. Jefferson27
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    Jefferson27 Member

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    Or you could skip all the work that you most likely will spend countless hours at only to not produce it as well as some companies can do it for you for various reasons. Some companies charge a fair sum for the fee of conversion, while others do not. However, there is one company that I believe grades out far above the rest when it comes to quality and price($149 for everything) in checking your work, converting it to both EPUB an MOBI and then distributing it to for all intents and purposes every distributor in the world(They reach sites that result in 98% of the ebook sales in the world). They also offer promotional services if you're interested.

    As I have not read the rules and regulations against possible advertising for companies on this forum I will not name them directly, but I believe once you reach the point in the process with your book where you are perfectly happy with it and wish to publish in the mode of an ebook, there is one option you should no doubt go with for price and quality.

    If you wish to learn more and go with them, let me know via email or profile and I can tell you there.
     
  4. Kirby Tails
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    Kirby Tails Member

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    Eh...I don't really like the idea of getting involved with third-party companies. I mean, having to learn HTML stuff scares me, but I feel like, in the end, it'd be more valuable to just do it, rather than having to go through somebody else and spend money I might not make back.
     
  5. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Kirby:

    It doesn't take very long to do, particularly if you are using an editor with a find and replace feature. You won't need to learn much HTML at all - it is very minimal in terms of code, and in fact the less you use the better. Once you get started, feel free to PM me if you want some help. I can help you with the code and how to package it all into a zip file that will look right if you email it to your Kindle. Then, once you are satisfied, you just upload the file through Amazon's KDP platform.

    I'd even be happy to send you a copy of the HTML file for my children's book for you to look at and see what code goes where (particularly with respect to the cover image).
     
  6. Jefferson27
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    Jefferson27 Member

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    I am just about 100% sure that through Kindle Direct Publishing you need to pay them as well. It's really about the quality of your product as well as reaching more than just a portion of your potential customers. Remember while Kindle deals with MOBI conversions, many other readers deal with EPUB. I understand uncertainty about having someone else do the conversion and distributing for you, but you can check them out, and there are a few(especially the one I was referring to) that list in the triple A grading as far as reputation and credibility. In other words, no worries at all as far as trusting them.
     
  7. Jefferson27
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    Jefferson27 Member

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    Oh and what about your cover, are you an artist as well?
     
  8. Jefferson27
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    Jefferson27 Member

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    Do what you like, but there is much more than just converting it to ONE version, to getting your Ebook out there to a wide variety of distributors. And once you learn that they can be trusted, it's really a no brainer.
     
  9. Kirby Tails
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    Kirby Tails Member

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    Whoa! Yeah, a sample would be fantastic, that way I know what to look for. I mean, if you're comfortable with it, that would be fantastic.

    To Jefferson27: I have a few ideas for covers. I'm nowhere near a graphic artist or anything; however, I think that, with a little knowhow, I could churn out a cover that's halfway decent. :)
     
  10. Blue Night
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    Blue Night Active Member

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    Okay, this is the longest response to a forum question in my history. If you’re up to it, here it is…

    I had a website up for about a year. On the site, you clicked on the link for the appropriate chapter you wanted to read.

    Each chapter was in pdf format. I’m not going to swear to it, since things always seem to change, but pdf seems to be universally compatible for all eBook readers.

    The formatting for an eBook is quite similar to a standard book. In Word, you simply set all margins to .75 (that is top, bottom, left and right). You set the page size to 5.5 x 8.5. Set font to 10.5 with 1.5 line spacing, and justify text. In the header, I chose alternating pages (odd and even) and put my name on one side and the title of the book on the other. And of course, I inserted page numbers at the bottom. Begin each chapter half way down. Modify all this as you will.

    All my writing was in Word 2002. Just for info’s sake, in 2002, you will need a third party program to convert your writing to pdf. In this case, I used Open Office (which personally, is only good for this particular application because it really does suck, but it punches out great pdf).

    In 2007, there is a pdf plugin. In 2010, it is in the program. I had to master Open Office in order to get each page to line exactly at the bottom so every page had perfectly aligned text (vertically). With horizontal alignment, I had to play with kerning to make each line look full. When you justify text, it can do some whacky things, so learn to tweak it. Also, I put a watermark on my pages (my name obscurely in the background) and secured the pdf files. This was simply for all the free chapters to read.

    Now for promotion. That’s the tricky part. You will hear pro’s and con’s for both traditional publishing and self-publishing. But I’m not getting into that.

    I started out with facebook. I simply posted ‘read my book’. Sure my friends and family checked it out. But in the end, I had a nice little audience, around 20 people. According to my statistics, filtering out meta crawlers, I had about 40-60 hits per day. Okay, not much. But I knew what chapters were being opened and how much ‘comeback’ they had. Let me say, I had posted 18 chapters.

    A time came when I was urged to remove them if I wanted any chance at making money. I did. And I still feel the guilt to this day. People wanted the next chapter but I couldn’t oblige. I removed all files from my site (even though I still have the sites).

    During that time, I was number one in search ranking for the book, without any paid assistance from search engines. Yes, number one. But of course my title was unique, but the viewership pushed it to the top. So this is a form of promotion. And this gets your name out there. My name and my book title were at the top of the rankings.

    Having said that, let’s talk about the present of publishing and not the past. If you charge $3.99 per eBook, would you like to make $3.99 per book? If you go paperback and charge $9.99 per book, wouldn’t you like to make $4 per book. Yes you would. There is production and shipping involved but I think you get the idea.

    In these days, you can submit your book to Google Books.
    In these days, you can make a trailer for your book and put in on YouTube.
    Go for it.

    YouTube is a powerful force. There have been several overnight sensations to come from there. Yes, broke today and a millionaire tomorrow. Just look at Justin Bieber…straight from YouTube.

    Do you really want to promote your work?

    I used great graphics for my cover and people loved it. Okay, so I’m great with Photoshop and I am great at Photography. The two go together. No, I didn’t get to the top but it didn’t hurt.

    I don’t care what anybody says, you do judge a book by its cover (and some blurb).

    So how do you promote yourself? Start with social networks, Google Books, YouTube, blogs and websites. You might even consider posting your first whole story for free on a website. Let people read it on their computer or eReader. But if you get 20,000 people hooked, what happens when you release the next installment for $9.95. That’s nearly a $200,000 profit.

    There are many more ways to promote yourself, but I’m trying to avoid a super-duper long post.
    I hope I gave you some ideas on how to get yourself out there.
     
  11. Kirby Tails
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    Kirby Tails Member

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    @BlueNight: Your post wasn't really even that long.

    Let's see...I've started a blog already, and I've got one or two things posted. I've got one person reading it daily (yay!) (don't judge, I started it three days ago :p).

    I hadn't really thought about Youtube...what did you do? I can see orally reading one of the better chapters and uploading that, but I'm a horrific oral reader and I feel like that could possibly destroy me (Hey look! This girl with a lisp wrote a crappy book!). Ha ha, okay, maybe not that extreme, but you get the idea.

    My plan was to start out putting it on the eReaders...I'll probably just price both items at $2.99, because you know, maybe the cheap people will be more likely to buy. But after all that's done, I'll probably upload to CreateSpace, just because I definetly like the idea of physical copies of the book.

    I'm also somewhat handy with photoshop - I'm no graphic designer by any means, but I actually got overexcited last night and started toying with things. I've got a great start at a cover for Part I, Part II I'm going to just take a picture (though I need to wait until the snow melts around here, since the scene I want to take pictures of actually takes place in a heat wave, ha ha).

    So...yeah. That's what I've got.

    By the way, have you made much off of your book?
     
  12. Jefferson27
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    Jefferson27 Member

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    "Halfway decent" is kind of the problem, with the cover, and most likely trying to format everything yourself, although I must admit I am unsure about everything that needs to go into that. Except for the fact that many people who try to do it all themselves turn out one with errors, or funny spacing, etc.

    Personally, I spent way too much time and effort into writing my last book to muck up the final yet crucial stage. So I spent considerable time researching and talking to a couple very successful authors that I know about what they thought. In the end I went the ebook method, least with this book at this time, and then after researching who to go with, I went with ebookit.com. Although not until I asked around about there credibility. They are very credible. But that is not the only reason I went with them. They grade out above the other companies(many that I have now forgotten their names) who do similarly and they reach many more as well, while producing both in MOBI and EPUB files that will look good on all the kinds of ereaders. They will also give you a professional looking cover.

    Beyond just ensuring that your book (which I imagine you have spent countless hours working on and feel strongly toward) will be professionally done and no doubt better than a DIY, the biggest advantage I see with going with them over KDP, is that a Kindle file is a MOBI and that's really it. You reach a much more limited pool of buyers for your halfway decently converted and covered book, since Sony, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iBookstore, and the majority of retailers require a EPUB file to fit their readers and not the MOBI of Kindle.

    With them providing a professional cover image for your book, it comes to $199, and without knowing your financial situation, I do not know what that means to you. However, even if your sales are going to be very limited with your Ebook, the fact it will most likely be of higher quality and reach a more than double amount of buyers should at least offset that or negate most of it. Maybe even bring you more of a profit, but regardless in the end I did my best to make sure there would be no screw-ups in the conversion and formatting and also have it reach the highest amount of distributers possible.

    Oh and I almost forgot the best thing I found about it is that the customer service, either on the phone or through emails with Ryan Levesque and the boss Bo Bennett, was quick, personal, and helpful in learning what to do and not do, and also with learning about the process. Much better than I would have expected.

    In the end, I would not want you to go with anybody solely from my opinion/research, but I would advise looking at them and forming your own.

    You can read about them through this address http://www.eBookIt.com/jeffors25


    And in the end if you do decide to go with them and got the idea from here, please use this same referral URL of mine when you register your account with them. Thank you.
     

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