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MARKETING INDIE BOOKS (Part 2 of 4)
Yesterday I talked about how hard and time-consuming creating covers can be. Today I will share my discoveries about – FORMATTING EBOOKS.
Do you remember the first part I posted on this subject two days ago? We reflected on how frustrating it sometimes is to see that your beautifully written book looks ugly on somebody’s eReader. Have you felt that frustration as well?
I get it, my friend! You spent countless hours searching for your book. After all, it doesn’t matter if you write fiction or non-fiction – you research information before putting pen to paper. Or cursor to screen, nowadays. You poured your heart and soul into the story. You made sure it was the best story you could have written. You uploaded it to the online stores and crossed your fingers. Readers liked it. They posted positive reviews about it. One day, somebody pointed out the story was great but they couldn’t give your book five starts because there were too many blank spaces in it. The next reviewer stated that they wouldn’t have mentioned problems with the formatting if no one else had done so, because they valued the story; but, since another customer had mentioned it, they would like to say they agreed on that. All of a sudden, you started getting one-star reviews based solely on the formatting issues. Before you knew it, the online store froze sales of your book and sent you a friendly email asking you to fix said issues before they could put your book back on sale at their store. *PANIC*.
Do you think I exaggerated? Do you reckon the story is unlikely to happen? Well, I cannot gauge the frequency of cases like the one I described above, but I know at least one. It didn’t happen to me. A dear friend and fellow author went through this ordeal over Christmas and New Year. He ended up missing a good period of sales for his brilliant, non-fiction book because the major online store where he had published it froze the book’s sales until he fixed the formatting issues. Namely – a few words that weren’t properly separated on the final ebook file and extra spaces between paragraphs that ‘hindered the readers optimum reading experience’. Bottom line is – we never know when an apparently small issue will amount to a huge one.
Furthermore, I believe delivering the best quality product possible is the minimum a supplier should do. In the business of publishing books, writers are the suppliers. Ergo (don’t you love this word – ‘ergo’? I do!) we must do our best to offer our readers a good-looking, easy-to-navigate eBook for their enjoyment. The important question is – is formatting eBooks a difficult task?
Well… yes and no.
It took me a while to figure out how to do it. I wasted a lot of time downloading apps, reading their instructions, and proceeding to create eBooks that looked awful. You see, it turned out I was doing things the other way around. I wrote my texts on Word® documents first and used apps to convert them into eBooks before uploading them to the online stores. Or I uploaded the .doc files directly to the stores automated converters. In both cases, I would set up the fonts, margins, headings on those Word® documents as I pleased. I didn’t know I needed to set the files in a specific way before converting them.
Almost by accident I stumbled on a comprehensive guide on formatting Ebooks called ‘Building Your Book for Kindle’. I downloaded it free of charge at the ‘Help’ section on my KDP Account Dashboard. It is a step-by-step text with screenshots to guide you through the whole process – from setting up your .doc file to uploading it to the automated converter on Amazon KDP. Once I created a compatible file, I used it as template for the following ones.
Although most of my titles are published exclusively on Amazon, I have a handful of books published elsewhere. Smashwords also offer good guides to formatting and publishing on their store. If you want to sell your books on Barnes & Noble and Apple, I recommend Draft2Digital. They offer excellent service for free, and attractive royalties plans.
To quote Bugs Bunny: ‘That’s all, folks!’ Come back tomorrow when I’ll talk about the ancient question – ‘to turn or not to turn’ your eBook into a printed book.
Please, leave your thoughts below before you go!!
When Liz Gavin was in Second Grade - just a couple of years ago, really - her teacher told her mother the little girl should start a diary because she needed an outlet for her active and vivid imagination. She was a talkative child who would disrupt the class by engaging her colleagues in endless conversations. She loved telling them the stories her grandfather used to tell her.
Apparently, the teacher wasn’t a big fan of those stories, and Liz’s mother bought her a diary. She happily wrote on it for a couple of months. Unable to see the appeal of writing for her own enjoyment only, she gave up on it. She missed the audience her friends provided her in class. She went back to disturbing her dear teacher’s class.
Since then, she has become a hungry reader. She will read anything and everything she can get her hands on – from the classics to erotica. That’s how she has become a writer of erotica and romance, as well.
As a young adult, she participated in a student exchange program and lived in New Orleans for six months. She fell in love with the city and its wonderful inhabitants. NOLA will always hold a special spot in Liz Gavin’s heart. Nowadays, living in Brazil, Liz’s creativity has improved many times because it’s such a vibrant, gorgeous and sexy country.
Welcome to her world of hot Alpha males and naughty, independent women. Add a touch of the paranormal in the presence of some wicked souls and you’ll get the picture.
My blog = https://lizgavin.wordpress.com
Twitter handle = @LizGavin_author
Facebook = www.facebook.com/liz.gavin.54
Email = firstname.lastname@example.org
Carol Anne Sullivan is a tough New York stock broker. She's suffered enough in order to learn a hard lesson - never let love spoil her relationships. Her boyfriends know that rule from the start. She's domineering and assertive but also faithful and fair while the relationship lasts.
Mark Aikens is Carol's boyfriend. He's been in love with her for a while but his submissive side hasn't allowed him to rebel against her golden rule and to tell her how he feels. Fear of losing her forever might spur him into action.
Cindy O'Rourke has admired Carol from afar. So, she jumps at the opportunity to work for her idol. Little does she know, things will never be the same for her after that job interview
Carol has been going through a rough patch: world economical crisis, dysfunctional parents, demanding clients, faulty equipment. Without much time for herself, her love life is suffering. So what is the big deal if she fantasizes about a new employee when her boyfriend, Mark, can't give her what she needs? The big deal is - the new receptionist, Cindy, is a woman who threatens to turn her world upside down
This is the steamy tale of an unconventional love triangle which should be read with an open mind and an open heart. Sometimes, love comes to our lives in unexpected ways but with such overwhelming power that the best course of action might be to surrender to it.
Book link on Amazon US = http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IFMMJY0
Book link on Amazon UK = http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00IFMMJY0