For indie authors who sell ebooks, the finances don’t always cover a pro editor, which often results in typos. This is a gripe for many readers, especially when it’s not just a few but the typos number in the dozens. As most indies are forced to wear many hats, it’s fortunate that a convenient one can be the hat for ebook editor.
This is completely different from the old paradigm of traditional print publishing and a fantastic aspect of e-publishing: the ability to quickly and easily make edits, updates or additions. It happens to my books regularly, as readers will often email with a nice note saying they enjoyed the book and sometimes will even mention a typo that was found. Bingo. That’s really helpful to writers who typically want their books to be perfectly free of mistakes.
Sometimes it’s not even fixing typos but keeping up with a changing world. Take the example of one of my books, How to Make, Market and Sell Ebooks All for Free. The field of e-publishing is new yet constantly changing, and so this book gets updated regularly. In less than 5 months, Amazon made the following changes, which were all important to include in my book;
1. The self-publishing section of Amazon Kindle ebooks went from being called dtp.amazon to kdp.amazon.
2. They opened Amazon.de for German readers.
3. CreateSpace (Amazon’s POD paperback company) gave experienced, self-published authors the option to skip the proof process.
4. France and Japan hit the scene for Kindle readers.
5. Amazon cracked down on Indie self-promotion in the discussion forums and created the Meet Our Authors forum strictly for author promotion.
6. Amazon removed tags from US Kindle ebooks. Tags help browsers search books by subject like on this page.
7. Amazon replaced tags from US Kindle ebooks along with an announcement that indie author tagging parties are no longer acceptable.
Whew, that’s a lot of changes during 5 months for just one company, not to mention a few typos found by my readers over that time. Good thing every indie author is her/his own ebook pro editor and can make changes quickly and easily. So where should the changes get made?
Obviously the main document gets fixed with edits, updates or additions. Many authors use Microsoft Word, like I do. Then that document gets uploaded to kdp.amazon, Barnes&Noble’s Pubit and Smashwords where it replaces the older version. This e-publishing process typically takes between 1 to 3 days to go live but can take a few days longer at Smashwords depending on their queue. Then for selling ebooks direct from my blog and websites, an upload to 2epub.com is needed to convert formats from word doc to epub and mobi. Then the epub, mobi and pdf files of the newest version of the book gets uploaded to the websites for direct sales and is fixed immediately.
It’s really quite simple and usually takes less than an hour to upload a newly edited version to every major retailer, my own sites and even CreateSpace. (CreateSpace paperbacks can also be changed quickly, easily and for free with a new pdf sent in. That just requires a submission approval which usually takes a day or two.)
So Indie authors have no reason or excuses not to fix any problems found with their books. They can be their own instant ebook editor. That’s a good thing for a constantly changing world and for writers with plenty of typos.
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