Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What is an ASIN number on Amazon.com Kindle Direct Publishing?

If you’d like to promote your book on your website or blog, you’ll definitely want to insert some links to your book on the Amazon.com store if that’s where it’s published.
Amazon.com won’t allow you to put their trademarks on your website or blog, but you can link to the Amazon.com page that gives the details of your book.
Use the following URLS, but replace “ASIN” with the 10-digit ASIN or Amazon Standard Identification Number that’s listed on your book’s detail page on Amazon.com.  You’ll see it near the publisher and ISBN number area.
For example, here’s how the link to my book on Amazon looks:
See the number at the end?  That’s my ASIN number.  You’ll see it on the page when you go there.


Don't use tabs for Smashwords.com ebook

I uploaded my book Death by Clogging recently on Smashwords.com and I received a message from Smashwords.com that I needed to get rid of the tab formatting in my document.  By the way, I should have read their Smashwords free style guide before doing anything.
I've learned that Smashwords.com doesn't allow tabs to be used in ebooks.  Don't panic if your novel is full of tabs created by hitting the "tab" key in Microsoft Word.  This is how you fix it in a few easy steps.
In MS Word:
Hit the "Ctrl" and "h" keys.  This will bring up the Find & Replace box.  You can also do this by going to the "Edit" dropdown menu and clicking "Replace"
Now in the find box type "^t" without the quotatation marks.
In the replace box type nothing.  Just leave it blank.
Click "Ok"
Voila!  Your .doc is rid of tab formatting and is ready to be uploaded.

Death by Clogging can be found on Smashwords.com at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/91641
Death by Clogging can be found on Kindle at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005MJG0KI

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Conversion complete!

Okay, finally I figured it out.  I didn't have to use Mobipocket Creator to do it either.  I pasted my short story collection into a brand new Microsoft Word document.  I made sure the font was 12 Times & Romans, and I placed page breaks after each section that I wanted separated.  If you're doing this for a novel, you would Insert Page Break after each chapter of your book.  That wasy it makes it easy for readers to differentiate between chapters as they read your novel on Kindle. 
If you have any questions, go ahead and send it to me in the comments section.

I might try Mobipocket Creator anyway just to see if it works better.
Remember when you upload your Microsoft Word document to Kindle Direct Publishing, make sure you do NOT save it as .DOCX.  Use .DOC instead.  The .DOC is for Word 97 and .DOCX is Word 2007. 

Remember .DOCX and .PDF files do not transfer well to Kindle at all.  I've already tried both. 
Right now, .DOC is best.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Rid your ebook of page numbers in Microsoft Word 2007

Get Rid of Page Numbers
First thing I needed to do was get rid of my page numbers from the document.  I couldn't do it by simply clicking on the Headers & Footers tab's "Page Break" button and then selecting "Remove Page Numbers."  The reason this didn't work is because the document was originally created in Word 97. 
The only way to get rid of the page numbers is the click on the document's Headers & Footers section at the top of one of the pages and delete the page number.  It deletes them all.  Thank goodness.
Insert Page Breaks
Then you need to insert page breaks at the end of each chapter.  That's easy.  If you have trouble with this in MS Word 2007, feel free to send me a note on twitter LisaLogan9  and I'll be glad to tell you how I did it.
Save document in Word 97 .DOC format
Next thing to do is save this buster in Word 97 format; NOT Word 2007's .DOCX format.  For some reason .docx does not convert well to Kindle.
I'll be back with more of my misadventures in e-publishing.

Kindle formats--Use Microsoft Word; not .PDF

Okay, I made the mistake of converting a .PDF draft of Death By Clogging to Amazon's Kindle.  The result is still readable, but not the way I'd like it to be.  I'm going to try what everyone on the forums suggests--convert from MS Word to Mobipocket Creator and then to Kindle.  This week I'm hoping to also learn how to create a usable table of contents (TOC) and activate the "Go to" guides within the document.
I'll let you know what I learn.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Format problems when converting novel to Kindle ebook

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) allows for various formatted documents; however, some formats convert better than others.  According to KDP's page on Amazon, the best formats to use are DOC (.doc) and PRC (.prc). 
MOBI or PRC is created using the free Mobipocket Creator.  Here's the link to this software:
http://www.mobipocket.com/en/downloadsoft/productdetailscreator.asp
I'll give it a try with my short story collectin "Death By Clogging" which I uploaded the other day to Amazon.com.  It's actually easy to upload your book to KDP, but the resulting look is what needs tweaking.
I used Portable Document Format (.PDF) and the result was irregular page breaks and inconsistent text flow.  Perhaps Mobicreator will resolve this.  I'll let you know soon!
-Lisa Logan

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Getting Started with Kindle Direct Publishing

Here's the first step:  Create an Amazon.com account for Kindle Direct Publishing.
https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/signin

Next, make sure that your novel is in a format that will conver to Amazon Kindle.  Here is a list of acceptable formats:
https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/help?topicId=A2GF0UFHIYG9VQ

Next, format your book for Kindle.  Here are the instructions from Kindle Direct Publishing:
https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/help?topicId=A2RYO17TIRUIVI

I'll go into more detail about how to format your book for Kindle once I figure it out myself.  I'm in the process of doing just that.  I'll post an update as soon as I figure it out, then we can go onto the next stage of actually publishing your book on Kindle.

More articles about Amanda Hocking's online success

Here are a few more links to articles about Amanda Hocking's success. 
Authors Catch Fire with Self-published Ebooks--USA Today

Amanda Hocking's blog

Storyseller--NY Times article

Meet Mega Bestselling Indie Heroine Amanda Hocking -- Huffington Post--Tonya Plank

Business Insider article

Amanda Hocking turns millionaire via Kindle sales!

If a 26-year-old writer in Minnesota can become a millionaire in ten months by selling young adult paranormal romance novels on Kindle, so can the rest of us writers, right?  Easily said than done.  First of all we've got to have stories worth reading.  Second of all we need some writing talent.  Let's hope we have some of both before we start. 
Then we've got to learn the marketing know-how to navigate our way through the online publishing industry.  I'm going to attempt to find out how to do all of this.  I'll post my findings on this blog in an effort to help all of us Amanda Hocking wannabes.  By the way, congratulations Amanda!  You're an inspiration to all of us.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/01/self-published-author-amada-hocking_n_829906.html