Exploring the Amazon and Kindling

I’ve started the preparation for uploading Flight Into Darkness to Amazon Direct Publishing for the Kindle.  The link here tells you all you need to know: https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/help.

The first step, however, is to get an ISBN for the eBook.  FID has an ISBN for the hard copy on Lulu but I have decided not to use this as the ISBN is intended to be a unique identifier and should be different from the POD book.  I went to http://www.isbnagency.com/; the cost is $39.99 for one ISBN, $34.99 each for 2 or more.  It arrives within 24 hours as an email attachment with barcode.  I’m sure there are better deals out there but the cost is low enough.  Unlike Lulu, Amazon do not give you free ISBNs.

Next comes the formatting of the book.  I decided to upload as a Word document (.DOC or DOCX) because I’ve heard that PDFs do not always convert well to the Kindle format.  You need to choose your font (Times New Roman which I always use, though Garamond is a good alternative) and remove page numbering.  Font size does not matter because the reader can select what they want on their Kindle.  Choose single line spacing and justified left and right.  Make sure that there are page breaks at the end of each chapter but there is no need for guttering or blank pages.  Add some contact details, address, email, plus a mention of the cover designer and any dedication.

Next, start publishing.  Amazon require a bank account to which they will send the royalties.  Then you are taken step-by-step through the Amazon process which involves adding back cover blurb, cover artwork and ebook content.  It’s really straight-forward, just like Lulu, in fact.  I uploaded a draft of the book content (which Amazon converts into Kindle format for you) because I’m still waiting for the ISBN.  You have to decide on a price as well, and I’ve gone for £2.99.  I wanted it to be cheap but not too cheap.  £0.99 (the lowest you can choose) sounds a little bargain-basement to me.  Once I have the ISBN, I’ll add it to the book, re-upload and add to the Amazon KDP page.  Then we’re A for away.  The whole process (which I had never done before) took about two hours.

I had been planning to launch the ebook at the end of the month, but don’t see why I should wait.  I get the ISBN and I’m away.  What I need to do first, though is to get some advice on how best to market the launch.  Are Twitter, Facebook and my blog enough?

Changing the subject completely, this afternoon, I have my interview for the next ‘Teaching English as a Foreign Language’ course at International House, Lisbon (http://ihworld.com/school/profile/ih_lisbon). I am going for the first qualification, CELTA, the Cambridge Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults.  It’s a four-week intensive course.   They don’t just take anyone, it seems.  I haven’t been interviewed for eight years…normally it was me doing the interviewing!  How roles have changed.  Still, this is a whole new challenge and I’m rather excited about it all.

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