Committing to the Kindle

March 24, 2013

Hi again….yes, I’m still alive!  Sorry for no posts recently but I now find myself running our guesthouse (www.casaluiz.com) while Luis spends more time looking after his ancient mother.  The bottom line is that I ain’t been writing a lot.  However, over Christmas I managed to acquire two Kindles (!) and I have to admit to being completely addicted to the whole concept;  the ability to carry thousands of books with you, to read in the dark (mine is a Kindle Paperwhite), to download new books with a single click…the whole thing is seductive and guaranteed to empty your wallet.

Anyway, having committed to Amazon and the Kindle I decided to upload all five of my novels to Amazon KDP.  Until now, there was only Flight Into Darkness.  To those of you who are thinking of doing the same thing, I must reiterate that the process is really easy.  You need your MS in Word format, get rid of headers and footers and any other formatting (borders and gutters, etc, and get rid of page numbers.  Choose a serif font such as TNR or Garamond and you’re almost ready.

Next is to get an ISBN number.  Normally you need to pay for them but if you upload to Lulu ( http://www.lulu.com/) as a dummy book, you can get them for free, then delete the project.  Then put the ISBN in the title pages of the book.  The ISBN needs to be different for hard copy and ebooks, of course, as it’s a unique identifier.  Next, you need cover artwork.  I decided to do my own using Photoshop as I didn’t want to fork out the 500€ that four new covers would cost me.  They can be changed at any time, of course, if I decide to get more professional, but I’m pleased with my results.  Then you need to go onto Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/signin) and get started.  I managed to do all four books in about 4 hours and they were ready for me to download onto my Kindle that evening, making me my first customer!

That’s it, really.  I then updated my website (I use IPower) with the new links and deleted the free PDF downloads in accordance with Amazon’s rules.  Have a look at http://rogerhardynovels.info/index.html/ and click on the links;   I won’t add all the links here as there are different ones for Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.  If you are not in the UK, you cannot select Amazon.co.uk and have to redirect to Amazon.com.  The old problem of prices is still there; you set your prices and Amazon changes them without telling you.  I set a price of $2.99 for all books but when I connect to Amazon.com from Portugal the price for each  is $6.14.  In the US, the price is still $2.99, I think.  Id be interested in knowing what the UK price is (it should be about £2) because I cannot get it from Portugal!

As for hard copy, there is always Lulu or CreateSpace (Amazon, again) but I have to say that I think that’s a dying business.  EBooks is where it’s at.

Coming back to marketing, that’s the next step.  I was waiting for reviews but have got rather frustrated.  One problem is that any reviews you get for Amazon.co.uk do not transfer to to Amazon.com, so waiting for, say, ten reviews on each is going to take a long time.  One advantage of the Kindle is that customers are urged to leave reviews.  Next, I think I’ll simply go to the local English-language press and get them to give me a plug.  After that, I’m not sure  but you will be the first to know!

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