56 posts

Coding Files and Uploading Them

Coding files for your book so you can upload them to their respective platforms may be a task you farm out. It has to be done but you don’t have to do it. Coding Files Starts with Smashwords I start with Smashwords when coding files for my ebooks. I like Smashwords. Founder Mark Coker is a writer who has created a writer-friendly platform to distribute ebooks. He regularly posts blogs and offers website promotions to help Smashwords authors sell more ebooks. His free ebook, The Smashwords Book Marketing Guide, suggests more ways to promote books than I will ever absorb. I also like that he pays royalties monthly even if the amount owed is as low as a penny. Let me put that into perspective. Traditional publishers often  withhold royalties […]

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Manuscript Submission — Because Your Book Doesn’t Publish Itself

You finished your book manuscript. Congratulations. What a major accomplishment! But only your best friends and your advanced reviewers will read your unpublished manuscript. How do you handle manuscript submission? It depends. Will you publish through a traditional publisher or independently? First Contact with Traditional Publishing World When you first approach a traditional publisher, it won’t be with a complete manuscript. Every publisher will have its own submission criteria, which you can read off their website. Most will involve some variation of a table of contents, an overview of the complete book,  two or three sample chapters, all sent as Microsoft Word doc file attachments, and a cover letter of one or two pages that explains what the book is about, why you are qualified to write it, and how […]

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Own Your Own ISBN and Barcode

The ISBN, or International Standard Book Number, is the number that identifies your book or audiobook from among all the others. Libraries order books by ISBN. So do grocery stores and bookstores, which get discounts so they can resell them and make a profit for their service. Some platforms, including Kindle Direct Publishing, offer free ISBNs as a convenience. Remember that not all conveniences are free. ISBNs are assigned by publisher. When you allow your platform to assign their own ISBN, you are in effect allowing your book to appear in Books in Print as if they are the publisher, not you. Kindle Direct Publishing now offers a slight nuance. As their customer service representative told me, “We will register your book’s imprint name as ‘Independently published’ with Bowker (the […]

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Does Your Book Cover Look Homemade?

Does your homemade book cover look homemade? You may be losing sales. Readers will judge your book by its cover. Do It Yourself I showed you in “Ordering Your Book’s Front Matter and Back Matter” that you can’t use the same inside text files for both softcover print on demands (PODs) and ebooks because the front matter and back matter items appear in different order. You can’t use the same cover file for both formats either but for a different reason. Your ebook and POD front covers can be the same, but ebooks don’t have a back cover. Also, like butterflies, they don’t have a spine. If you have artistic skills or desire, you can design your own cover by uploading photos and images from your personal collection or that […]

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Ordering Your Book’s Front Matter and Back Matter

No one ever got into book publishing for the love of designing a copyright page. But the front matter and back matter have to get done. Fortunately, it’s easy. Publishing with Another Company When you publish your book through another company you don’t think about designing the copyright page or assigning an ISBN. Those tasks fall to the publisher, who also arranges for the book to be copyrighted, whether in the publisher’s name or yours. You’ll write your own author’s introduction (also called preface); the dedication, to whomever or whatever inspired you during the writing of your book; and the acknowledgments page, where you thank everybody who gave you support and encouragement along the way. You’ll format the table of contents. And you’ll track down and invite someone with credibility […]

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