What not to do when uploading your book to Amazon (Kindle)
1. Don’t assume that the formatting will resemble anything that you have worked long & hard to achieve.
2. Don’t assume that when your friend has downloaded the very first copy of your new book that they will be able to click on all your hyperlinks (indeed any of them with really great references to all your research) that you painstakingly put into your word document and checked on your pdf before uploading to Kindle.
3. Do not re-write your entire book and make it into several distinct ones (as I did) AFTER you have paid a professional editor to edit your book.
4. Be warned that, if your friend, who downloaded your book first, is also an editor, but you had to go elsewhere as she was trying to cut her ties with all that journalism stuff and become a full-time musician, well she will of course see all the missing words and other grammatical issues that you filled in, in your mind as you were writing and reviewing. And you could have sworn that the missing words weren’t missing and those grammatical errors were not there when you reviewed the work over and over again. And you think to yourself: OK, I’ll make enough money on the book to get it properly edited or work on my friend to try and show her the ERRORS of her ways – not just my own.
5. But, then you realize that you may not actually earn enough from the book to even take your (editing) friend out for a meal as a thank you; if she conceded to look it over of course. Because, it’s like this: Amazon (Kindle) withhold tax at 30% if you are outside the USA, which I am. I’m in Ireland. And by the time they take that off your book retailing at a few dollars, along with the 30% cut if you are tied into their exclusive to Amazon (Kindle Direct Publishing KDP select for 3 months, otherwise they take 70% for many countries), and finally, regarding the money bit, they charge your account for transferring and converting American dollars into your own currency, don’t be surprised if there isn’t enough to cover even your smallest expenses in writing the book in the first place.
6. Then there was the uploading of the cover and there certainly wasn’t money in the coffers for outsourcing that little job! You see, I cheated and tried to use a thumbnail image. It was perfect; it was free (creative commons and a request from the site to just mention them if anyone used their images).
SOLUTION: Well, the good news is that I did upload the image I wanted to Kindle after taking a screen shot of the larger good quality image on my blog; cutting the unwanted screen area in Picasso (which had to be open at the time to take the screen image as a file) and finally, I came up with the idea of putting the edited screen shot image into paint and stretched it by 300 % and I had my acceptable images – I hadn’t a clue what I was doing – but it worked. Oh and Kindle wanted Tiff or JPEG only if I recall and I had to save the image in that format. Reasons to keep doing what we’re doing I learned great things from other people and of course I still am learning and have a long way to go. There was one video from YouTube that showed you how to create a slide of your image/front cover book and then go into a site and view it as a 3D book. Amazing it worked too. All in 10 mins. (I’ll dig out this video in the next while – It was by an Irish guy if anyone knows it).
The moral of all of this is that: I’m just a researcher with a passion to share what I have found. I love and need to write, so that is what I do. So how come I spend so much of my time struggling and trying to fathom social media skills and tools? Well the answer I suppose is that as they say: the market is saturated with new releases and lots of people are trying to make a quick buck, so I have to learn to use these tools to communicate about my work. Yes, my journey has been very interesting and convoluted to say the least (starting with ZERO experience in social media about nine months ago). I remember thinking: wouldn’t it be strange if anyone actually read anything I was writing?
And I remember my first tweets: I felt like a very excited little birdie hopping on my own skinny branch of a far-away tree and nobody was listening. Anyway, things are improving and at least I get to share my little birdie song on occasions. It is all about the community at the end of the day and the willingness to share ideas that matters. It is difficult to put a price on creativity and ideas and the sharing of information is what is really important. So let’s just keep the information flowing as FREELY as possible and our voices will find those who want to hear – EVENTUALLY.
Thoughts from the Unruly Pen… …that’s me – Maria Brigit author of the Darwin Delusion just released on Amazon (Kindle) last week. My author profile at Amazon