Tag Archives: publishing

Guest Post Nishoni Harvey #2 — a very special course!

🌟 Your instructor, Nishoni Harvey, has authored eight books and now develops aspiring writers into published authors through Authors Aflame.

🌟 She has been teaching English for 13 years with a Bachelors degree in education.

🌟 Now, she wants to teach you how to become an Authority Author to influence and impact the world through your story.

🌟 Her course will teach you how to get published!

🌟 Author Organizing will teach you how to market your book!

🌟 Everyone gets $500 off today!

🌟 The first person from this blog to email me will receive 30% off!

🌟 My email is nishoni@authorsaflame.com.

🌟 Tell me your name, what blog referred you, why you enjoy writing, what you write, and your email address! I’ll get back to you!

🌟 Good luck!

For more information on Authors Aflame, please visit www.authorsaflame.com.

Nishoni Harvey Authors Aflame
Nishoni Harvey Authors Aflame

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This Is How to Get Your Book Written and Published! — Guest Post by Nishoni Harvey

Are you ready to write your book? Are you ready to get published? Are you ready to receive the recognition you deserve? Are you ready to get your story out there so you can influence and impact lives?

Are you ready to help others in your niche? Are you ready to promote your business by getting the credentials under your belt that will lift you as an authority in your field?

Are you ready to start how for $500 off PLUS an additional 30% off?

Authors Aflame is here to help.

Logo of Authors Aflame: Creating Authority Authors
Logo of Authors Aflame Creating Authority Authors

The Author Organizing Course starts June 10th and runs the 11th, and then the 13th through the 15th from 8:00 PM to 9:30 PM each night.

It covers:

✏️ Organizing Your Story

✏️ Organizing You, the Author

✏️ Organizing Your Tools

✏️ Organizing Your Plan

✏️ Organizing Your Book

✏️ Organizing for Publication

✏️ Organizing for Marketing

We are doing a giveaway! The first person from this blog to email me at nishoni@authorsaflame.com will receive 30% off their ticket to the Author Organizing Course! Everyone will receive $500 off until June 10th! In your email, tell me your name, which blog referred you, your email, and tell me why you enjoy writing, what you like to write, and what you have written! I’ll get back to you! 😊

For more information about Authors Aflame, visit us at www.authorsaflame.com.

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Pronoun, Smashwords, and Draft 2 Digital — The “Other” ebook sales sites

where to sell your ebooks

Many authors have uploaded their ebooks onto Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing site to reach readers. Amazon is a great place, and some authors even choose to be exclusive there, in the Kindle Unlimited program, through KDP Select. However, if you choose to distribute your books widely, here are three options for getting them into many sales avenues at once. Each one has a slightly different distribution range, and the requirements and procedures vary somewhat too, so here we go.

Pronoun is the site I most recently began to work with. It is one of few (or maybe no others do yet) that distributes to Amazon. It also gets you into Apple iBooks, B&N, Kobo, and Google Play, as well as library distributors Overdrive and Bibliotheca. It does not allow you to use their distribution for sites your books already appears on (unlike Smashwords and D2D) so I am just using it for Google Play, Overdrive, and Bibliotheca. The last two are means of getting your books into libraries, so that is a good thing. I was a little conflicted about Google Play, since I have heard Google doesn’t always respect author copyrights, but since I just began putting our books there in June and already have three sales, I am hoping it is worth the risk.

Here is the link to the Pronoun site https://books.pronoun.com. Take a look at the author agreement, which seems very simple and straightforward. If you allow Pronoun to post your titles that are already for sale on Amazon, it will send you rankings and other information that you may find useful. It will email you when you get sales or let you know about any distribution problems you may encounter. When you are choosing the categories and keywords it makes suggestions and gives rankings for past use in searches, so you know better, perhaps, if you have chosen good ones.

An image inside a file can’t be over a certain total pixel count, so don’t put your full size cover into the file, and you must have a TOC in the front, linked or not, and a working ebook NCX (the digital table of contents that automatically displays in an ebook reader), even if your chapters aren’t named, and even if it’s a short story. Yes, if you have just Chapter One, Chapter Two, etc., you still have to list them in the front. I make my own epubs to upload, and if you do that, be sure the title in that metadata file matches your book title.

It is my understanding that they take less revenue than some other sites. They take you through everything step by step and the process is pretty easy. If you are just starting to publish this may be a good site, since it does get you on Amazon along with other well-known retailers, and potentially into libraries.

Draft 2 Digital is a very easy site to upload to, and distributes to

  • iBooks
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Kobo (including Kobo Plus)
  • Inktera (formally Page Foundry)
  • Scribd
  • 24Symbols
  • Tolino
  • Playster

There is no style guide or special requirements. You can just upload a Word document and they say it will become a beautifully formatted ebook. I have not done it this way, but may authors are happy with their results and love how easy it is. You can also get a book formatted for print in PDF format from this site. Here is the link to the site: https://www.draft2digital.com. It does not matter if you already have your books on sites they distribute to. They don’t demand exclusivity.

Smashwords is a more difficult site to upload books to. You can give them Word docs but they have strict requirements for formatting and if you don’t follow them the book will be rejected. Many authors have given up trying to submit to them. I persevered and got our books on there. They do have file size limits — 10 megs for a Word doc and 20 for an epub. Here is a post I wrote simplifying formatting requirements for your book.

https://elkjerkyforthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/05/10/smashwords-formatting-its-not-no-sweat-but-its-also-can-do/

It’s a little harder to pin down where your books are actually distributed by Smashwords, since they list sites they don’t yet distribute to, even on the author dashboard for tracking sales. Some I am fairly sure about are Baker & Taylor’s Blio.com, Library Direct, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Scribd, Kobo, /Inkterra, and txtr. Tracking your sales is much more difficult, also.

Both D2D and Smashwords recently changed their policies so they now pay each month instead of quarterly, no matter the balance owed. Pronoun also pays through Paypal. That goes into the Paypal account you set up with them.

 

 

 

 

 

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Step by Step and — Published!

I recently made a list of the steps involved for publishing on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing site. This was for a new author whose cover I designed and whose book I edited. I thought it might be helpful to others who don’t know it’s actually not that hard to publish your own book.

Pictured above is Send a White Rose, the one I think is my first book published. (It’s a tossup between this and Benny and the Bank Robber.) Helping this new author made me think back to my first time setting up our KDP account. If we can do it, you can too!

Remember, this author had her book professionally edited and formatted, and a professionally-designed cover. So don’t skip the outsourcing to make your baby the best, if you’re not a very good do-it-yourselfer. But to keep track of your sales and make updates to your book, you need your own Amazon KDP account. So here’s how to do that.

List of steps to upload your book to Kindle Direct Publishing

1. Copy and paste this link into your internet browser window and hit enter to go to the site:
https://kdp.amazon.com/
2. If you already have an account at Amazon, you use the same user name and password to set up your author account. If not, set up an account by choosing a user name and a password. Be sure to write them down somewhere so you don’t lose access.
3. Once you are in the KDP account, you will see your “dashboard.” This is a screenshot of what the top looks like. Yours may be slightly different, since it will be a first-time publishing, and we have over 50 titles.
kdp dashboard screenshot 1
4. Click on the box that says, “Create New Title.”
5. Look at the screenshot below to see the beginning steps for uploading your book.

kdp select screenshot 2
The blue shaded box describes the KDP Select program. There are also lots of helps every step of the way and answers to most questions. If you wish, click the little box that says, “Enroll this Book in KDP Select.” There’s lots of information to be found about using KDP select during the 90 days a book is in the program so take advantage of as many of the features as you can!

6. Now you can start entering your book information and getting ready to upload it.
The first section tells you how to enter your title, author, and so on. If something does not apply, just skip it. (like the “series” part). If the publisher is the same as the author – just put in your name. The description is just that – about 300 words that will make people want to read your book, sort of a sales pitch that doesn’t give away too much but helps “sell” the book. If your book is a short work or novella, be sure to include that fact. People are sometimes disappointed by shorter works and you want to make it as clear as you can if it is not a full-length novel.

 

7. It’s okay if you have no ISBN for a Kindle book. You don’t really need one. Just skip that.
8. Here’s a screenshot of the next part of the form:
screenshot 3 kindle publish options
9. Click “this is not a public domain work” – because you wrote it.
10. “Add categories” will give you choices about how to tell people what kind of story it is. You’ll want to choose “fiction,” or “nonfiction” and then you will see a menu of sub-choices. Then you can add a second category.  You can skip the age range and grade range parts unless it applies.
11. “Search keywords” are words that computers read and store about your book, and that people can use to look up books by subject. Separate each search keyword with a comma. These can be more than one word, and there is a limit on total number of characters, but be as detailed as you can to help your book get found.
12. Next you’ll select “I am ready to release my book now.” Pre-order is something where people can buy the book before publication, usually at a discount. If you had other books that might be a good idea but since this is your first, I’d say wait for the future to do a pre-order.
13. Upload your full-sized cover. I give quarter-sized samples for approval before the final purchase, and some new authors get confused and try the small version. Amazon won’t take anything under 1000 pixels on the smallest side. Click “browse for image” find the cover file, click “open” and the cover will appear in the box that currently says “No Cover Available.”
14. Upload the book file – it can be word doc, mobi version, or even epub.
15. I suggest you choose “Do not enable digital rights management” because DRM can make it hard for some people to open or read your book, and they can’t move it from computer to kindle to phone – they can only have it on one device.
kdp screenshot next
16. Click “Save and continue” at the bottom of the first page to go on to the second page.
17. On page 2, select “Worldwide rights.”
18. I suggest you price very short works at 99 cents. That’s the lowest price KDP allows. As a first-time author, it can help you get noticed to price low. You may also get Amazon promotion in short stories and hot new release categories. Enter the price as 0.99. If it’s full-length, $2.99 or $3.99 still seem to be the best prices. You might even entroduce it at a sale price and raise it later.
19. The royalty for 99 cents is 35%. A book has to be at least $2.99 to qualify for 70% royalties. Check the little boxes beside each country in the blue shaded box area to be sure your book goes to all countries Amazon publishes in.

screenshot KDP publishing page 2
20. “Kindle Match Book” refers to having both a print and ebook version. You only have the kindle version, so ignore that one.
21. Allow lending means once people buy your book, they can let a friend “borrow” it for free. You want to check the box to allow it. Word of mouth is good publicity and letting people share your book means more people will read it. The borrow only lasts for 2 weeks and then the person who got it for free no longer has it on his/her kindle and the owner gets it back.
22. Click the little checkbox in the “save and publish” section first, so they know you understand all the KDP info, and then click the yellow “Save and publish” box to the right, also.

23. It can take 12 to 24 hours for your book to appear but usually it’s sooner. They will send you an email to the address you gave them when you set up your KDP account. IT will have a link where you can find your book.

24. To set up your account to get paid when people buy your book, click on the top right of the screen, in the blue band, where it will say, in your case, “Joan’s Account.” You will have to log in again, and it will take you to a page like this:

account screenshot

Yours will be blank, of course. Fill out your information. There are lots of helps along the right side to answer questions all through this process.
25. Next enter your bank account information. KDP pays royalties, no matter how small, about 60 days after the month in which you earned them.

bank account snip
This may seem difficult, but take your time and follow the steps and you’ll figure it out. Wherever you are in the publishing process, you can look for other posts here on our blog for suggestions about writing, editing, formatting, cover design, and promoting to get help making your book sell.

I wish you all the best! — Post by Mary C. Findley

 

 

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Decision time Is Here! — Post by Mary C. Findley

decision time is here

We at the Christian Indie Author Network want to help you make a very important decision. We want you to decide to join us at our first ever Indie Author Conference. It will be held July 30-August 2, 2015, at the Radisson Quad City Plaza Hotel and Convention Center, 111 East Second Street, Davenport, Iowa, 52801.

We have come up with three reasons why you may still be undecided and we’d like to deal with them one by one to relieve your mind of some of the decision-making responsibility.

questions

I still have questions
Please ask. If we don’t have an answer right now, we’ll get one. Our conference pages do have lots of answers already, though. We hope you’ll stop by the site and take a look around. We’re only an email away if you don’t find what you’re looking for. Check out our sessions or our full conference schedule. Look at the facilities, accommodations, and vendor possibilities. Don’t just keep saying “I don’t know,” or “I’m not sure.”

money

I don’t think I’ll have the money
Many CIAN members are struggling with finances right now, as are many Christian indie authors. We are believing God for finances, praying for each other, and seeking all the financial help we can get, to find vendors and supporters. We look at this as a need. God’s writer people have to help each other learn, grow, and have an impact in publishing. We declare 2015 to be the Year of the Indie. Come meet us, pray with us, and become inspired and informed.

fun

Not sure what our plans for the summer will be
Make sure. Set aside this date and this place and come join us. If you are concerned about Davenport, Iowa being a boring or pointless place to spend precious down time, family time, or vacation time, please keep in mind that the Quad Cities area is a major cultural center not that far from Chicago and other cities. The host hotel has a major jazz festival at the same time as our conference and the hotel is already fully booked beyond our specially discounted and reserved block of rooms. Check around for yourself and see that we’re not asking you to drop into the middle of a cornfield.

vendors title

This post applies to vendors as well. We need swag and swag bags. We need cover designers, on-demand publishers, small presses, editors, writer software providers, marketing experts – Indie authors make their own choices about what services and products they buy. Help them choose you by being there where they can see you.

readers

We haven’t forgotten readers, either. You are welcome, and more than welcome. We need you! Come and see our costumed story characters. Meet authors you know and authors you’ll be glad you discovered. Find nonfiction, children’s and young reader selections, romance, historicals, YA, scifi, fantasy – yes indeed, we write it all! Learn about the diversity that is the Christian Indie Author Network!

CIAN Website/Conference section
http://www.christianindieauthors.com/cia-conference.html

Facebook group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/818894711513293/

YouTube Video (made by Debby De Quilettes-Alten of Alten Ink)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLdzIkr5jR0&feature=youtu.be

who or what wait

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Cover Samples and other graphics I Can Do — by Mary C. Findley

I can make you a pretty nice book cover using the large number of stock images, textures, and fonts that I own. I can apply metallics, leathers, fabrics, stone — some very cool backgrounds, text, and objects. If you wish to use an image I don’t have or can’t find for free, you can purchase it and send it to me, so that you own it, not me.

did we win 10

I made this sample with free images I found at various online sites. The background is flames, and the title is a photo of a broken window I applied as a texture. I have quite a few “free” people I can use.

I can provide an ebook cover that meets the larger file size requirements of iTunes and Amazon, in jpg and tiff formats. The one shown above and the others on this blog are 10% of their actual size, and all my covers are 300 DPI so that they look their best and translate into print covers without a problem.

I can also make full print covers to CreateSpace specifications and give you a jpg to show off and a pdf to upload to CreateSpace.

chasing print 10

This print cover also uses free images, and the font is a metallic texture using several different fonts to achieve the best effect and fitting the words together. This print cover is also 10% of the full size.

My cover package includes ebook, print book, bookmark, and a facebook cover (an image you can upload to facebook on your author or regular page) that includes your book(s) and a small amount of text with a complementary background.

latest mike author fb cover 50

This is a sample facebook cover at 50% actual size, incorporating a 2-D book image, an appropriate background for the book’s subject, and a quote from the text. Facebook does not permit links at this time.

various graphics for authors

You can also request a Twitter cover, 3D images of your books included in your graphics, and ad graphics to promote your books for an additional charge.

ebook covers for others

Here are some of the ebook covers I’ve done for clients.

print covers for others

Here are some of the print covers I’ve made for other authors.

Check out my pinterest board of cover designs for others. http://pinterest.com/marycfindley/cover-commissions-i-have-done-or-pitched-for-other/

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Author or Character Interviews, Anyone?

Microscope

Put yourself under the microscope!

If you write books for a G, PG, or PG-13 audience, you may submit a request for an author interview. Not all interviews will be featured, but I will try to spotlight authors often. Thank you!

Author Interview Questions

Answer whatever questions you wish, and you can modify the first one to fit what you write. Send them back to me at findleymcmj@gmail.com. I will let you know if/when your interview goes live.

1. Many people say that authors can’t or don’t do well with more than one genre. You have contemporary mystery, some romance, and now a western/scifi series. What do you think prepared you or qualifies you to write these different types of books?

2. What do you say to the charge that men can’t write romances that women will like, and how will you tempt guys to read your books?

3. Tell us a little about your “real” (Non-writing) life — family, job, church life. Does it give you inspiration for your writing? Does it get in the way of your writing, or are there times when you get help, from people or circumstances?

4. Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction.

5. Tell us about working with any people who help you create your books — Do you use Beta readers? Hire an editor or proofreader? How do you get your covers?

6. Since you have several books out, tell us what you think works for promotion. What are your thoughts on ebooks versus print books and different ways to let people know about you and your books?

7. Have you done anything writing-related, but besides your books, that seemed to get a lot of positive response? Something that encouraged you?

8. Tell us about your newest book. Make us want to read it.

9. What is the “message” of your writing? (For example, is your purpose to encourage old-fashioned values, encourage romance, or do you have different purposes in different books?)

10. Tell us one place you visited or person you met, that made a big impression on you, and why.

11. Tell us one place you want to visit, or person you want to meet, and why.

12. Share something that makes you laugh, with just plain humor, or happiness, or because it’s so stupid.

13. Share something that’s amazing, touching, or that makes you angry.

14. What’s the worst trouble you ever had with getting a book written (plots, finding needed information, getting a cover done)?

15. What’s your next project? Tell us so we can’t wait for it to come out!

Please send images and links, including any good reviews or news you want to share about your books.

OR, perhaps you’d rather do a character interview. If so, follow the example below.

Character Interview Example

Hi, we’re interviewing Leah Masters from Mary C. Findley’s book Send a White Rose. Leah is here to tell us how a lovely young society lady from Boston ended up in territorial New Mexico, in the middle of an assassination plot against the man who sent for you to discuss marriage.

1. What do you do for a living, and how’s business?

I’ve been blessed to be provided for by my father, Senator Masters, but I do keep our household running smoothly, do his accounts, and play hostess at his dinner parties since the death of my mother some years ago.

2. You’ve been seen with some ––––––––––––––– (people, animals, illness, interesting tools, vehicles, weapons, or other things related to your story). What’s your secret to (attracting them, fighting them off, working with them, making them, whichever applies)

Yes, I’m afraid my health is not the best, and I do seem to catch everything that goes around. I can’t believe I was sick right when it was time to visit Judge Durant in New Mexico.

3. When you (took that trip, bought that object, met that person, accepted that job, fired that weapon, whatever applies), that certainly was a life-changing decision, wasn’t it?

It certainly was the most difficult thing I have ever done, but my brother Randall insisted we couldn’t put off the trip until I was over my illness. Of course, neither of us realized how hard the trip was, or how sick I really was. And how humiliating, to faint at Judge Durant’s feet and not even be able to say a word.

4. Did it shock you when you learned (something about another person or an important place or event in the story)?

I had two big shocks one right after the other. First, I learned that my brother had been arrested on suspicion of having tried to assassinate Judge Durant. The second was being told that that Judge Durant had left town, when I came all this way to meet him and discuss the possibility of marriage.

5. Some of us like to exercise the “ask a friend” option at odd times in our lives, but it seems especially odd that you brought ––––––– in to help you solve the problem of ______. What’s special about him/her?

It didn’t seem strange at all to me that Alethia and I would become friends. I didn’t learn until later that many people thought of her as the natural choice to be Judge Durant’s wife. She was the only one who could really tell me the truth about what had happened to Judge Durant.

6. What did you think when _________ (complicating event in the story) happened, and how did you handle it?

Governor Markham insisted he could persuade Judge Durant to see me and help work out this terribly confusing and embarrassing situation between us. I went with him to the hospital, but the judge got angry at all his friends and banished everyone. It was only by pretending to be lost looking for another patient that I found the courage to actually talk to him again. He didn’t even recognize me, for which I was grateful.

7. What was one thing another person did that surprised/angered/delighted/saddened/frightened you, and turned out to be extremely important to how things turned out?

I couldn’t believe, after all the changes for the better that my brother had gone through, that he would revert to his old ways and accuse Alethia of such a terrible thing. But there were so many things I still didn’t understand about my own brother, and what he was capable of.

8. Did you do anything you really regretted/enjoyed/ struggled to accomplish That made a big difference?

It certainly was foolish of me to just run off in the pouring rain trying to find the judge when I had so little information. I just knew that he was in danger, and I couldn’t find anyone else in time. I suppose I didn’t think about how dangerous for me, too.

9. Was there a time when you were certain things just were not going to turn out right?

More than once, certainly. There were so many complications. Even when everything else seemed to be working out, that only made it harder to try to believe that things would work out between the judge and myself.

10. Why would you refuse the marriage proposal you’d crossed the country and gone through so much hardship just to hear?

A combination of anger, humiliation, and honestly, happiness that he’d made a decision, even if it wasn’t for me. I didn’t even understand why he would ask me, when Alethia has loved him all her life.

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