Category Archives: Publishing

When Moving Day Comes: CreateSpace to KDP

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Among my indie author friends, I am seeing a good deal of excitement and concern over the fact that CreateSpace, the go-to print book destination for many of us, is closing down. Our books will now be merged with Kindle Direct Publishing. I am going through this conversion now, and, with 50 titles in print, you can imagine it made me a bit nervous. For the most part the transition has been pretty smooth. I will share the steps in my process in order, and hope to help with what is easy and what is a bit tricky.

Most of us have gotten an email announcing the changeover. Some were able to go straight to CreateSpace and follow three easy steps to transfer books. Some of us, however, were a bit bewildered when we didn’t find any way to activate the process. I was able to take the first step, to verify and link up the two accounts. but that was as far as it went. I waited very impatiently, followed other author comments as they got the nod and did the switch. Nothing for me.

Then one day I had to send a question to KDP. That’s when I saw that one of the things you could ask them about was the changeover. When I clicked on that option, the ability to make the transfer blossomed before my eyes. So I took the plunge and made the transfer. Almost all the books came over very easily. Time will tell if there are problems with the books themselves, but so far it went very easily.

I saw that other people were still talking about the transfer. Some mentioned that there were a few things to be aware of. I wanted to share those here to try to get everything in one place.

  1. You may need to link some print and ebook files manually. Just run through your bookshelf list and see if they all appear to be linked up on your KDP dashboard. If not, follow the instructions. It does a search for the same/similar title and links them up.
  2. You will have access to two more keyword slots. Be sure to take advantage of those.
  3. You can choose one more BISAC category. This helps with discoverability.
  4. You will want to check worldwide rights to potentially reach readers in more countries.
  5. Check your prices and royalties. KDP print figures them differently, especially on shorter works. Adjust as needed.

Here are a couple more items that won’t affect everyone, it seems, but they have affected me.

  1. After changing my books over to KDP print, I got an email saying I would need to change my Benny and the Bank Robber study guides. They implied I wasn’t the author of the original works (I am), or that the original work isn’t included (it is). Happily, when I explained, they published the student and teacher editions without changes.
  2. The first time I tried to publish a print book directly through KDP print, I couldn’t get it to accept my cover. I’ve been designing print covers for myself and others for years with basically very few problems. But the print preview for this kept showing that the cover was sized and positioned wrong, no matter how much I adjusted. I finally gave up and went back to CreateSpace. But now, there’s no going back. So, yesterday I wanted to redo a book already published on CreateSpace and ported over to to KDP. I had no real problem with the interior. The cover, however, kept coming out too high, text at the top outside the dotted line. But, after a few adjustments, I got it to work, I think. Still waiting for final approval, but it looks good. I am hopeful. I think KDP Print is improving its customer experience and they will get it right.

So take the plunge! Please comment about issues you have had with the changeover. We can all help each other get through this. That’s what the indie author community does best. I’d love to hear how the process went (or is going) for you.

Post by Mary C. Findley image from Pixabay User Fabianne1

 

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The Write Stuff with Parker J. Cole: Interview Time!

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Parker J. Cole has a radio show called The Write Stuff. It exists specifically to encourage and showcase writers of all kinds. Earlier this year she asked many authors to join a group to help her line up guests for her show. I had wanted to do this for some time, but when we lived in the truck bandwidth and minutes were scarce. Also, I was scared of doing a live interview, even just a voice one. So I took my courage in both hands and signed up for the list. Today was the day, and it was a great experience. I’m going to share the link here so you can listen for yourself.

The subject of my interview was mostly my newest series, His Sign. The first book is called The Wait Is Over.  A few of the themes we talked about included people waiting for a sign to serve God. Drew Goddard got a sign nobody could ignore. We also talked about people who have left the church, especially if they believe it has hurt them. Some have left because they only got milk, never meat to help them get stronger and grow up in God. Another topic we covered was avoiding people we think may hurt us. We lose the ability to trust, and we run from those who, if we just took the time to listen to them, we might see mean to do us good.

God is in all these themes. He will tell us how to serve Him, in His way and His time, not ours. He is not responsible for the failures and hurt caused by sinful people in the church. He is perfect love, grace, and mercy.

Whether you are a reader or a writer, you need to become a fan of Parker’s show. She gives insight into so many kinds of books. There’s encouragement, faith, and great advice of all kinds on the show.  Readers are going to hear about books they’ll want to read. Writers are going to hear that someone shares their struggles, their dreams, and their desire to get words out about God’s truth. Be sure to tune in, for more interviews than just mine.

http://tobtr.com/10972971

 

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Writer Alert! Here’s your chance to win a free book!

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One of my goals for this year was to revise my writing and publishing advice book, Write for the King of Glory. I’ve learned a few things since the first edition of this book, and you are the ones to benefit if you want to learn how to make your writing distinctively Christian plus get an inside look at one indie writer’s publishing journey from start to finish.

If you didn’t know there was a first edition, here’s what it looked like:

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I’ve learned a few things about publishing (and cover design) since the first edition, and I’d love to share them with you. I’d also like to get more reviews. But most of all I’d like to give away some ebook copies of this book. So just respond to this post with your email or send your request to my email (mjmcfindley@gmail.com). I’m happy to send you a copy in whatever format you like!

Here are the links so you can check it out on your favorite site. But remember, you can have one for free! Just ask!

myBook.to/Write-King-Glory

books2read.com/Write-for-king-of-glory

http://bit.ly/2EPDCGX

 

 

 

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Filed under Excerpts from our Nonfiction Books, Publishing, Writing

Good-bye and Hello

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Aloha can mean both good-bye and hello in Hawaiian, or so I’m told. So it seems fitting as we try to plan for the new year, to say good-bye to some old friends, and hello to new plans for Findley Family Video Publications.

First, a sad farewell to Smashwords as our upload site for all the “other” ebook sites. When we started indie publishing Smashwords was the only simple way to get our books up on sites like Barnes&Noble (Nook), iTunes, Kobo, and the rest of the non-Amazon sites. It was a blessing to have it, but it was often a struggle to format books just so and please the “meatgrinder.”

When I recently tried to upload a revised version of a book there, I got an automated message saying it was rejected due to “text inside tables.” There weren’t any tables in the book, so I scratched my head over it a few minutes. Then I realized how many times I’d scratched my head over what Smashwords had found wrong with our 72 books and umpteen revisions over the years, and I said, enough.

We chose to go with Draft2Digital from now on. Possibly we will miss one or two different sites that Smashwords distributes to, but we have to make choices, and this seems to be the right choice. Draft2Digital even has a site, Books2Read, where customers can link to all the other ebook sites and choose how to get their books with a single link. That was really the deciding factor, a universal link to compete with, if not match, Amazon’s world links to all their stores.

Draft2Digital formats ebooks and even print layouts, and is a great timesaver. I’ll still remember fondly learning to format the Smashwords way and I know it will help in preparing to upload clean ebooks. So thank you, Smashwords, for the good times and the learning experiences, but it’s time to say Aloha. you may see some stray Smashwords links on older parts of the site. Think of them as tributes to a mostly great relationship. Remember you can always find our current links to books by clicking the colored genre images on the right and left sides of the blog.

Good-bye also to Atlantis Word Processor. It’s a good program, but it doesn’t do some of the things we need, like track changes for editors and, though it still does epub conversions, converting to mobi format for Kindle readers no longer happens since the Windows 10 operating system arrived. Since we need professional editing services, and don’t need conversion (see above, regarding Draft2Digital conversion), it seems like a good time to say Aloha to Atlantis.

Now on to what we want to embrace and welcome. The blog has been extensively updated, with some shiny new images, layouts, and links. Enjoy browsing among the posts and pages. Many book pages have new free snippets from the stories. Get a taste of our writing and our purpose.

We also have begun publishing a newsletter. The first issue went out a few weeks ago and we’ll be trying to keep subscribers informed about our plans, new releases, our progress toward returning to video creation, and, of course, special gifts and other disclosures just for our subscribers. You can find the link to subscribe just under the search box at the top of the left sidebar. Please join us as we try to keep you more informed, and give you a chance to inform us. If there is anything you want to see or receive, an email to mjmcfindley@gmail.com will definitely get our attention. We take praise or complaints with grace and want to hear from you.

Now, on to the planned releases for this year. It may be too late for New Year’s Resolutions, but, since Spring Cleaning just happened on the blog, we hope you realize our schedule is not quite normal. These are listed in no particular order of release. Just a plan for now, with hope and prayer.

  1. The Captain’s Blade (Sequel to The Baron’s Ring, and book 2 in the Men of the Realmlands Historical Romance series)
  2. Beware the Bustle (Book 4 in the Alexander Legacy Steampunk series, featuring Fun See as narrator)
  3. As the Sparks Fly Upward (Book 5 in the Benny and the Bank Robber YA Historical Adventure series)
  4. I Just Can’t See It (A contemporary romantic suspense)
  5. Amber and the Preacher (Book 2 in the Marshals of New Mexico series)
  6. His Sign 2: The Ezra Solution (episode 2 in the Paranormal Urban fantasy serial)
  7. The Hawk and the Kite (sequel to YA Historical Adventure Hope and the Knight of the Black Lion)
  8. An expansion of Carrie’s Hired Hand (a Civil War romantic suspense novella) into a novel-length story
  9. Guilty Stains, a Resurrection-themed sequel to Fall On Your Knees (Christmas Romantic Suspense Novella)
  10. Who Cares? (Book Three in the Fifty Shades of Faithful contemporary short story series)
  11. A revision and re-release of The Acolyte’s Education (an allegorical retelling of Little Red Riding Hood.)
  12. Updating Write for the King of Glory (nonfiction advice for Christian indie authors)

Newsletter subscribers are going to get samples of all these books, so if you want to know more, please sign up. There will, of course, be a special bonus to those who do. What is it? That would be telling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Valentine’s Day Link-up to Great Reading!

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A Christmas Eve romance for Valentine’s Day? Really? Well, why not? There’s no bad time to read about Murali Nanda, a spy who comes in from the cold for reference librarian Karin Arthur. They’ve talked to online for years but never met in person. Will this be a blind date to die for when a mysterious hacker tries to steal valuable agency intel? You get all this, plus a visit from Bruno, a very big dog who only wants to help Karin make the right choice about whether to trust that this romance is real.
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This Romantic suspense novella is normally 99 cents, but it  is just one of many great ebooks you might get free at our Valentine’s Day blowout. Here are the links for this book for all online retailers, anywhere in the world. Take a look, but don’t click “buy” yet, because I’ll be giving away copies to lucky commenters at the event:
myBook.to/Fall_on_your_knees
books2read.com/Fall-on-your-knees
And for a book that’s already always free, here’s the first in my Serial Archaeological Mystery:
myBook.to/Great-Thirst-1-Prepared books2read.com/Great-Thirst-1-Prepared 
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One lucky winner will receive the complete boxed set with all seven books in the series.
myBook.to/Great_Thirst_Boxed_Set
books2read.com/Great-thirst-boxed
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Now hop on to the blog where it’s all happening and see all the Valentine’s Day specials you can enjoy!
http://cwwriters.com/readers/valentines-day-mega-giveaway/
valentine's day promo 2018 CIAN

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I Never Win Anything — by Mary C. Findley

“I’ve never won anything!” You know you’ve said it yourself. So have I. But yesterday I won something. My newly-published novella, His Sign: The Wait Is Over, won an award from Radiqx Press’s Reality Calling: Christian Fiction. Peter Younghusband and David Bergsland both read and review Christian fiction, especially in the Speculative genre, for redemptive qualities. I am honored and humbled to have received this award.

radix press award

award certificate for his sign

Here is an excerpt from Peter’s review:

“I love the other message Findley included in that as Christians we should also be concerned about our fellow Christians who have lost their way and not just those people who do not know Jesus yet. I can relate to the former. I have seen so many of my fellow Christians stop going to church or abandon their relationship with Christ for many and varied reasons then are left alone by the Church. Is this because Christians/the Church find it easier to witness to the unsaved rather than to those who are saved but have fallen away? It was very refreshing having the character of Jonas have as his mandate from God to minister and harvest those who have fallen away from Christ. Findley makes the point here that we as Christians interpret seeking after lost sheep as described in the Word as those who do not know Him yet but as she illustrates in this novel, the lost sheep includes those who have had a relationship with Jesus but have lost their way for many reasons. These like the unsaved still need reconciliation to God. I almost cried out, ‘Preach it, Sister!’

“Mentioning issues like this and having Findley address them in her novels, shows the extent of her knowledge and understanding of the Word, its application and power when applied to the Christian life. There are many examples in this novel with the Christian characters herein, where she shows her expertise here. For the discerning and receptive Christian reader, this is such a joy to read and be ministered to. Findley includes this as part of the developing plot and characterisation without it coming across as preaching to the choir or the unsaved. To achieve that is a talent and a very effective outcome.”

Here is the full review on Peter’s blog:

https://christianfictionreviewguru.blogspot.com.au/2018/01/his-sign-wait-is-over-paranormal-urban.html

He has many great reviews. If you are looking for God-honoring fiction please become a follower. Considering his long reading list, you can appreciate how blessed I feel to have been chosen for a read and review.

Here’s a video about the writing process, with a snippet:

Here is an excerpt:

“Yep. Sure enough, God had something different in mind,” Jonas said. He kept his eyes on the road but his grip tightened on the wheel. “I feel like now I went the wrong way, becoming a minister ahead of schedule, and tried to drag Anna with me, though. I feel like I failed, and I’m afraid … I’m afraid to fail again.

“When you all showed up at the church, ready to move, I knew I was supposed to go with you, but now … farm work – it’s so comfortable, so easy, compared to all the work of trying to build that church. And I got my Anna back. I feel like maybe this is what I am supposed to do, and I should just stay here, start a little gathering for worship. We could set up that refuge or storage or whatever you need, Drew, you and Hass and her people, but … I still don’t know the next step. Maybe there isn’t any next step, for me, except to be here, to make this place into your refuge – a refuge for anybody who wants to come home to Christ.”

“How do you think I feel?” Drew said. “I was a successful guy, doing work I loved, and doing good, besides. You know, saving the world, or at least little bits of it. A success, in every imaginable sense of the word. Now I’m a bankrupt, paranoid, homeless guy with a death sentence from lots more people than Nomie Harker. And I owe for repairs to an apartment that spirit-world monsters blew apart.”

If you would like to read the book for yourself, here it is on Amazon:

myBook.to/His_Sign

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Filed under Current Issues, Excerpts from our Fiction Books, Publishing, Reviewing, Writing, Reviewing, Publishing, and about Blogging

Waiting for a Sign? — Post by Mary C. Findley

 

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Many people know that I’ve spent the last two years not writing much of anything. A few blog posts, some editing work, but the only publications in those two years have been volume 5 of our homeschool curriculum, Conflict of the Ages V: The Ancient World, Student and Teacher Editions and the summary version, Under the Sun: A Traditional View of Ancient History. That’s not much production for two years. I plinked away at some works in progress, but accomplished very little.

In October, however, I received as a gift some great images from a stock image site called Neostock, and got inspired to create an urban fantasy cover, possibly to sell as a premade, since I’m also a designer. Three Neostock images appear on this cover. The more I talked about the idea behind it with author friends, the more inspired I got to write the story myself.

So I began to work on that story, with the working title, His Sign, and by the end of October I had over 10,000 words. I was very excited to be writing again. How many believers are “waiting for a sign” about how to serve God? This is the story, partly allegory, partly urban fantasy, of one man’s journey after getting a sign he couldn’t ignore. You’ll find a pinch of C.S. Lewis, a sprinkling of Frank Peretti, a dash of Pilgrim’s Progress, and a lot of intent to be faithful to the Scriptures rolled into an offering to readers looking for something different in Christian books.

I was encouraged enough to believe the dam of my writer’s block had broken. Here I am, almost at the end of December, and I have over 30,000 words in His Sign after taking a break for NaNoWriMo and getting in over 30,000 words for that, too. I wanted to finish something to publish by year’s end, and I may still do that. In the meantime, here is a snippet. I’d love to know what you think of this, since it’s sort of a departure from what I normally write, but, I hope, a product of God’s grace and for His glory.

At the moment when Drew Goddard disengaged the gun’s clip, the window and a fair portion of the wall exploded inward. It seemed to his sleep-deprived mind that it didn’t so much explode as liquefy, like a melding but inwardly-expanding bubble containing colors and shapes he recognized as bricklike, woodlike, and even wallpaper and glasslike.

Drew fell backwards off the chair as a … thing … hurled itself at him. A bizarre memory of electron microscope images of dust mites or some such creature became reality, but in gigantic size, a translucent bluish entity with clawed limbs, more like something composed of energy than matter.

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But it never reached him. His apartment door smashed open and he had a vision of black tactical gear and a waterfall of golden brown hair lunging between Drew and the creature. As the woman spun and unstrapped a handgun Drew couldn’t shake the impression that something like four tattered wasp wings sprouted from her back.

A shriek that seemed to span dimensions ripped its way out of the bluish energy beast. The “gun” the woman held spurted golden beams and the creature responded much as Drew’s apartment wall and window had — bubbling and melding and, after a moment, bursting. A blue hazy glowing cloud settled over the room and Drew frantically brushed at himself to get the reside off in case it was — What? Radioactive? Poisonous? Magic charm cursed? He felt justified when the woman seemed to be madly doing the same thing before turning to face Drew.

And the book is now live! Print edition also available!

Amazon worldlink:  myBook.to/His_Sign
All other ebook sites: books2read.com/His-sign1-wait-is-over

 

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Filed under Excerpts from our Fiction Books, Publishing, Writing