Like a lot of my writing colleagues I also have a ‘proper’ job which runs alongside my writing to pay the bills.
All joking aside, I’m probably not alone in having neglected writing projects sitting in word documents, unloved without a home to go to like an abandoned kitty!
On my ever-growing TO DO list was to put some of my work onto Kindle. As I have also dabbled in publishing I have various projects that I know are worth revisiting and discussing with associates/clients as what better platform exists than to re-publish on Kindle?
Having spent a great few days with my best friend and journalist Debbie Durbin rummaging through my various training manuals and business articles, she encouraged me to think seriously about utilising all my material into a Kindle book.
In my eagerness I thought perhaps I should quickly put something together as a publishing tester for my more serious project. I spent a day re-visiting a few previously published poetry books in one of my pen names Evelyn King, I added a few more and hey presto a little tester book was born. ‘Keep Scratching’ an anthology of cat poems.
The Kindle self-publishing service is really user-friendly with step by step processes. First off I visited their site https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/help? for guide lines on preparing your word document. It is important to avoid too much whitespace for reproducing on Kindle, and soon my document was ready to upload. In my excitement I hadn’t provided a cover, though Kindle will provide a temporary one.
It couldn’t be easier, you just have to set up an account, then add titles to the Bookshelf and provide relevant book details, distribution rights and royalties. Amazon allocates your book a reference, but I included my own publishing ISBN no too. Amazingly it only takes 36-72 hours but if you change anything you have to wait a day for those to be implemented. email@example.com offer great backup.
There is also their author page facility where you can write your bio and a bit about the book.
Designing a cover –use a professional
My book already on the system I returned my attention to getting a visual for my book cover. It is not often the case that writers are also designers or illustrators so don’t skimp employ the services of somebody who can do your book justice. As we all know the first thing that readers will see is the front cover and may well be an encouraging factor in buying your book…. this applies to Kindle readers too.
Choosing the right visual
Fortunately for me I have a talented graphic designer in the family and had already commissioned Paul Manning (my nephew) in advance to produce artwork for the serious business project. I asked if he fancied doing the honours for my Cat Poetry book too. Initially I sent across a black and white photo of one of my cats and he soon came back advising the quality was not good enough to use for him to produce something of a sufficient standard and he would source me an image of suitable quality and resolution to meet Kindle’s requirements.
Paul Manning Graphic Designer said:-
‘The saying goes “You should never judge a book by its cover” but a book’s cover is actually very important. Whether in a bookstore or online, it is the first thing that catches your eye and often engages your interest. Although an unappealing cover may not reflect a book’s content, it could be enough to repel the interest of perusing eyes.
Later that day I received a JPEG with a superb book cover which was ideal. Not only had he included all the information, it was in exactly the right style for cat lovers. He had even managed to have a visual of a cat scratching to go with the title. Within minutes I had uploaded this onto my Bookshelf on Kindle and only moments later the visual appeared on my Amazon page.
Acknowledgements –being careful
As an ex Trade Mark lass I take copyright very seriously and updated my Publisher’s page to include and acknowledge Paul’s work (why shouldn’t he receive credit?) and of course on his own bequest, his source for visual. This meant I had to re-upload the amended word document: Cover designed by www.p-manning.com Imagery courtesy of Shutterstock.com.
I stopped working for my client to have a quick coffee and read September’s issue of ‘Writing Magazine/Writers News’ which had just arrived. I read with interest the two articles written by famous writers about their experiences of Kindle publishing and quickly decided I needed to go back and reduce the price of my book taking on board their sound advice.
As a writer I have been reading and utilising advice from my ‘Writers News’ magazine for near-on twenty-five years. As our Editor Mary and I have discussed this morning this magazine always has the up to the minute advice for writers exploring different avenues to reach a new or larger audience.
I don’t think by any stretch of the imagination the cat poetry book will make me a millionaire but watch this space?
Update: We’ve since discovered Jutoh Ebook Publishing for Mac and PC, which makes the job of creating ebooks very simple. You can download a free trial version, but frankly, the cost at only £24.00 is very reasonable for the full version. Check out the website at www.jutoh.com/
Annie is a Marketing and Publishing Executive, and author of “Circle of Success – a 30 minute read on customer engagement” available on Amazon Kindle