Self-Publishing with Smashwords

Self-Publishing with SmashwordsSelf-Publishing with Smashwords has just been released as my latest video course at Udemy. New to the formatting game or having trouble with your NCX file? No more worries, never fear Meatgrinder again. And the best part–for a limited time the course is available at 100% off with

coupon code: June2015

Hope you enjoy it and please leave a review ūüôā

Smashwords is the world’s largest distributor of self-published ebooks, making it fast, free and easy for authors to sell at major retailers around the globe. 350,000 authors have published with Smashwords and enjoy total control over the sampling, pricing and marketing of their books.

Smashwords has many unique features that set it apart from other major retailers:

1. Pays you 85% royalties on direct sales.

2. Converts your ebook into every file type for any possible e-reading device.

3. Distributes your ebook for sale to other retailers like Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Page Foundry, Baker & Taylor, Library Direct, Oyster, Scribd, Flipkart and OverDrive while handling the finances.

4. Allows you to generate ebook coupons for any amount and time frame.

5. Create an author profile with photos, videos, links to your print books and sites, interview and more.

You can always publish at Smashwords even if you publish at other retailers like Amazon. However, if you are enrolled in KDP Select then you’ll need to wait for the 90-day exclusive period to be over. Then you can opt-out of KDP Select and continue to sell at Amazon plus Smashwords, Apple, Google, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and many more!

Hurry while this coupon offer lasts. And it will be good karma if you leave a review.


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Calibre Course for Your Epub Needs

Calibre Convert to Epub File‚ÄčCalibre is an open source¬†program for making Epubs, the standard file type for ebooks at¬†most retailers. It’s important for authors to have Epub versions of their books, and you can easily convert MS Word and other files to Epub with Calibre. Plus you can edit and do so much more.

For a limited time, this new course will be free at Udemy: https://www.udemy.com/calibre-convert-to-epub-file/

Please leave a review if you enjoy the course. Thank you!

See the video below for more information.


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Multinational Amazon Book Reviews

You read it. Now you’re leaving an Amazon book review that will show in the nation where you post it. The US or UK perhaps, but probably not both.

Save 92% Sell Ebooks on Amazon and Major Retailers

Why not? Presently, Amazon reviews are not automatically linked among the 13 nations represented by the online bookseller. (True, you can scroll down for reviews from Amazon.com, but they don’t get counted on any product description pages.)

If leaving a review is important, why not go the extra distance and post the review at all 13 Amazon nations? It only takes about two minutes, not much longer than it takes to leave one review.

What are the benefits? It’s good for readers and even the book and author if you liked the book. Beyond that you benefit from the inter-connectivity of all things online plus having your link to a website for browsers to click.¬† Definitely worth investing a few minutes of effort.

Just watch the video to keep it as short and sweet as possible. Share any thoughts or comments?


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Spice Up Your Author Page with Icons

social media icons for authorsIndie authors know the importance of connecting with readers. It’s about building community, using the gifts of the internet to network with people all over the world and ultimately help with book sales. How can you facilitate this within your ebook?

If a reader enjoyed it, there’s a good chance she/he will click on your author page especially if it’s easy to find in the Table of Contents. Somewhere in that author bio should be links to places like Facebook, Twitter, your website or blog, whatever you prefer for connecting. Most authors do it with text links. The problem is the growing number of links many of us want to share with potential readers. I have a half dozen or more, and suddenly the page looks a lot less appealing with so many hyperlinks blaring at the reader. Icons are more effective, and it doesn’t matter how many you have. The more the merrier.

On a minimal scale, notice which example below gets the job done better. Text links…

https://www.facebook.com/author.name

https://twitter.com/authorname

http://www.amazon.com/authorname/e/B004A8W4BG/

or icon links…¬†Facebook logo¬†¬†Twitter logo amazon_kindle_icon large

The answer is clear especially when you get into higher numbers. Images quickly tell readers where you and your other books can be found. List the sites you want and hopefully enough of them so that the readers can choose the social media connection they prefer. Others may include G+, Pinterest, Goodreads, YouTube or maybe your blog feed. Bottom line, make it easy for readers.

If you format in MS Word, just use the Insert tab to add a Picture for each icon image and size it accordingly, around .5 inches or 100 pixels square. Then use the Insert tab and add a Hyperlink to the URL of the destination. Choosing the Open in a New Window option is wise too.

Only include Amazon icons for Amazon books. If you upload directly to vendors like Kobo or Apple, use their icon or none at all. For Smashwords, Draft2Digital or other distributors, just use social media icons and not book vendors.

What about copyright and legal issues? It’s true that each company has its own specifics on what you can and can’t do with their logo. You can check each website’s branding guidelines, which I’m just going to list a few because there are dozens of possibilities. Unfortunately the approved icons are rather boring, and the creative ones you find online with an image search are typically not allowed. Boo-hoo, I know. My assumption is this rule gets broken like the old 55 mph speed limit and you’re probably just risking a notice to make a change, but I’m no lawyer and sense the idiot emails coming soon. Here are the places to go for the company approved icons:

https://www.facebookbrand.com/

https://about.twitter.com/press/brand-assets

https://developers.google.com/+/branding-guidelines

http://www.youtube.com/yt/brand/downloads.html

https://brand.linkedin.com/

Questions or comments? Leave a reply below.


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My Babelcube Experience (part 3) Translated Paperbacks with CreateSpace

Babelcube CreateSpace paperbackThe plan for part 3 on Babelcube was scheduled for sales, but translated paperbacks just¬†became an option deserving¬†a look. It’s a logical step since Draft2Digital is their main distributor. D2D has included the choice of a CreateSpace paperback on top of ebooks to retailers. It also makes sense because ebooks aren’t mainstream in many nations, so having a translated print version might be wise. Sales will be pushed to part 4 while we talk paper now. (also see Part 1 and Part 2¬†on Babelcube experience)

Using the automated system, making a paperback with CreateSpace via Babelcube is an absolutely bare bones experience, nothing like making one directly through CreateSpace yourself. The current system has a long way to go if it wants to produce quality looking paperbacks, but there is some good news which we’ll get to.

(Save 92% Format MS Word for CreateSpace)

The problem with the automated system is because Babelcube and D2D simply upload the ebook version formatted for print with a program that is below reasonable expectations, so the opening page of the print book is likely to be a Table of Contents and it continues downhill from there. Page 2 of my TOC was numbered with the author name in the header as you can see in the photo below.

Babelube CreateSpace translations

Their system makes choices for trim size, font, layout, you name it, not allowing for personal preferences. Here’s another example below where the conversion process oddly assigned a page break after a first line that translates to Part 2, then was followed by a couple paragraph returns, then the chapter title and then the chapter text, which are obviously missing.

Babelube CreateSpace translations 2

That page should have looked like the one below, which is from my formatting.

Babelube CreateSpace translations 3

However, the good news is you can supply and upload your own PDF interior and cover files, which is clearly the way to do this. You will need to be familiar with formatting interiors and covers with CreateSpace beforehand because you won’t have access to the CS digital previewer through Babelcube.

My advice is to first create the book yourself at CreateSpace, even as a mock draft, so you can use the digital previewer and order a physical proof if you want. You won’t be legally allowed to publish it that way since it would be against Babelcube’s terms of service. But at least you’ll feel confident once you do submit those interior and cover files to Babelcube, which will hand them off to D2D which will hand them off to CreateSpace which will publish them into paperbacks and place them on Amazon. As soon as it’s available, order a copy and double-check it matches your original.

What do you think, is this worth the effort especially without being able to use the CS previewer? For the right author and the right book, perhaps. Please share any comments.


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