How to Use Kindle Direct Publishing

Book Cover

Slick book cover.
Slick book cover. | Source

I really like Kindle Direct Publishing. It takes all the hassle out of self-publishing, and most importantly, it costs nothing. It is FREE! But there are some things to know before jumping in.

The manuscript must be perfectly edited.

Because any mistakes, any typos, anything like that, will be put right out there for the reading public to see. I uploaded a novel, and pleased with myself, I put the free sample on my Kindle, and read happily along and then there it was: the number ‘1’ in place of what was supposed to be an ‘l.’ And then later, end quotes missing from a line of dialogue, and later, a wrong word. Spell checker doesn’t care if you write ‘form’ or ‘from.’ I was horrified. I went back through the entire manuscript again and fixed every error. Fortunately, Kindle Direct Publishing allowed me to upload the cleaned-up manuscript, so now I can sleep better at night. When I put a novel out there for sale, I owe it to the buying public to give them the best novel I can.

Have a good book cover.

The picture that is the book cover is very important. But unlike physical books, the picture is very small so a lot of tiny detail won’t be visible to the readers shopping on Amazon. I chose to use a picture I had taken, used Paint to change the dimensions (pixel width and what-not) to suit the book cover, put it on a PowerPoint slide, and then used PowerPoint text boxes to put the title nice and big on the front with my name, just large enough to read. Then the hard part, copy and paste the PowerPoint slide onto Paint, save as a jpeg, and then… Then the easy part: uploading the cover image to Kindle Direct Publishing.

Know the format that works.

I used Rich Text Format. Originally I wrote the novel with an Amiga 500 using Word Perfect. Then recently I scanned it as text to a Word 2007 document, but then saved it as a Rich Text Format document. And the formatting and the typos were a nightmare. I then copynpasted the entire thing to Notepad, to get rid of all the formatting. Then a very close editing as a Rich Text Format word document. Also on the settings: for Paragraph, I used Alignment, justified. Indentation, first line, 0.5” Spacing, before and after, 0.0. Line spacing, 1.5

At the end of the title page and at the end of every chapter, I inserted a page break. The page breaks are very important, to make sure each new chapter starts on a fresh page. Then I saved a copy of it as "web page, filtered" and uploaded that copy to Kindle direct Publishing. I’ve seen how it looks on the Kindle and I’m satisfied.

Be patient.

I got carried away. I immediately wanted to log on and look at my Bookshelf page and kept missing the password, or maybe I kept misspelling 'gmail,' I'm still not sure. Frustrated and impatient, I must have accidentally clicked to make a new account rather than log on, and in so doing, created a new account, and freaked out when my book had disappeared. I put the book back up there, (dang it!) and then had two separate editions awash in the ether of the WWW. But not to fear, Amazon author support helped immensely and the problem was resolved. With only a couple of e-mails, things were taken care of.

Market the book.

It’s a narrow audience, people willing to pay for electrons, people tech-savvy enough to read novel-length works on electronic devices. I put my book on Face Book by simply copy and pasting the web address of the Amazon listing into my status. But that way, it's only visible to my e-friends. So far, so good. Another tactic is I used to advertise at the end of all my Hubs with an Amazon ad capsule, but the prices were wrong so I stopped doing that. Digital ad campaings are hardly worth the effort or money and the 'advice' from marketeers about authors going about the Internet making asses of themselves with blogs and tweets and F-book pages and discussion baords and what-not, that's just a bad idea. I did all that and my sales fell and have yet to recover. Readers who like my novels may not like me personally. Why risk it?

Just write a good story and give it a good cover and a good title and readers will find it.

Paper book publishing remains an option.

Even though I’ve published as an e-book, the option to put the book into print still remains. Right there on my Author page is a handy link I can press any time to get that process started, through CreateSpace. That option, for me, looks like I’d have to spend about a grand to get what I want, and to make it profitable for me, I’d have to set the per-book price at over twelve dollars and then sell over a thousand hard-copy books. We’ll see. Waiting to see what results I get from the e-book.

Also wondering, who wants paper books?

And one last thing…

The rights. I wrote the book myself. As far as I know, I got the rights. Certainly didn’t sign away anything to anybody. I got an inch-thick stack of rejection letters from traditional publishers to prove it. When I e-published, I checked the box that declared that this book is mine, that I alone have worldwide rights. I suppose that’s good enough.

Recently Added

Changes at Kindle Direct publishing have made it possible to upload a Word document, with pictures included, and the results are fantastic. I recently went back and updated my ebooks by uploading them to KDP as Word documents and they do look better than before.

Book Promotion

Marketing. | Source

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Comments 75 comments

Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 5 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

My Kindle nook Born to be Rich is up on Kindle and I went through the same process as you with the "Know the format that works" Did this two weeks ago. I'll have my first novel up in three weeks after all the rejections slips are in.( like you) Don't give the paperback concept any thought right now. Plenty of time later for that. ( or never). I want to keep in touch with you so we can compare notes and experiences. Too much to write about. Let's not worry today, but we can eventually exchange phone numbers and I can call you for the inside scoop. PROMOTION that's the big problem and the reason not to rush around printing books. RJ

Jed Fisher profile image

Jed Fisher 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Sir, thank you very much for the sage advice. With maufactured book sales falling by more than 40% last year, print books may be going the way of print news. And thanks again, for your advice.

amillar profile image

amillar 5 years ago from Scotland, UK

Good luck to you both.

Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 5 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

Yes, the author owns ALL the rights. No copyright registration is required. If you had any jpgs artwork on the inside pages please post how you did it here. I watched one of their tutitorials on it where they did it and then I could not find it when I went back. RJ

nighthag profile image

nighthag 5 years ago from Australia

thanks for the advice, have considered this option and its nice to read of other peoples experince

Docmo profile image

Docmo 5 years ago from UK

Thisi s really useful and sensible advice- thanks for this. There was a recent article on how even traditional paper authors have made a good success of e-publishing as they can upload novels of a certain length and charge appropriately away from the confines of traditional rules of print publishing. The future looks healthy for e-readers currently as it is a growing market. voted up!

Jed Fisher profile image

Jed Fisher 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Thank you. The best writers with the best stories now have a way to deliver their stories without having to jump down a bunch of rabbit holes.

Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 5 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

You can view my behind the scenes writing in horrifing detail now when you view "The Carrot and the Kindel" Hub. And Hi Jed!!! Reynold Jay

craftdrawer profile image

craftdrawer 5 years ago

I publish on Kindle KDP also. I use to publish print book and really like the Kindle format since I can correct any errors much better than the printed version. Your tips and information is a good reminder for those who want to publish but sometimes forget to read and re-edit books before uploading anything.

lilyfly profile image

lilyfly 5 years ago from Wasilla, Alaska

Sir, I'm a Babe in the woods, but I have a novel, please... advise, lilyfly on hubpages... lily

Jed Fisher profile image

Jed Fisher 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author


I have nothing but good things to say about Kindle Direct Publishing. I'm very happy with the results. Something I have done differently with my second novel is I first listed it at 99 cents and 'gifted' free copies to a few friends, then did a final edit and revision based on their feeback, and then raised the price to $2.99; that has worked out well.

Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 5 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

Hi Jed, thanks for the 99 cent 2.99 cent scoop that is working out for you. If lilyfly is hanging in there let's send her to

where she read my tormented tale!

Silver Poet profile image

Silver Poet 5 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

I am toying with the idea of publishing for Kindle. Your hub gave me more insight into what it's like and how simple it is to use. Thanks.

Jed Fisher profile image

Jed Fisher 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Silver Poet,

I certainly do hope you publish something soon, and feel free to put the link to your work here. I'll check it out.

beemused profile image

beemused 5 years ago from Oxford, England

Thank you, Jed. I'm hoping to publish using Kindle and your advice is much appreciated.

Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 5 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

Al right--seven months have past. I drew a line in the sand and on February 1, I became my own publisher and love the sales end of it. I printed up my books with Create a Space( Print company for Kindle)and in one month's time have found thousands of readers who are eager to read my novels. Kindle has a borrow and give-away program that draws in readers beyond my wildest expectations. Lily fly can correspond with me if she sees the need. The templates at Create a Space that transfers 8 1'2" X 11" manuscript into 6" X 9" books is a marvel! They also have a way to design a professional cover that I love! I'm making Kindle, Amazon, and Create a Space my publishing home base. Best part of all of it , is that they don't hit you with fees. Free free free! RJ

Jed Fisher profile image

Jed Fisher 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Congratualtions RJ! Great news, and the real winners here are the readers, who can now get what they want.

wiserworld profile image

wiserworld 4 years ago

Thanks, this was really informative. I hope to use my Kindle more this year. This is the type of article I am looking for contributors to write about on my newly launched "how to" website that outlines how to do certain tasks in 10-steps. Check it out if you're interested:

FaithDream profile image

FaithDream 4 years ago from (Midwest) USA

This is very informative with easy to follow advice. Thank you for sharing your experience. We can all learn from one another. I'm inspired to get my ebook finished now. Thanks.

Demetry profile image

Demetry 4 years ago from Australia

Thanks Jed, this is something I'm looking at doing at some point in the future.

Lori 4 years ago

I was looking at your steps for creating a book cover and it looks like you can take one less step. Did you know that you can save the book cover page as a jpg without copying it back to Paint. Just do a save as in Powerpoint, select Other Format, when you get to the screen, where it says "save as type" select jpg and save the slide as a jpg. Sounds complicated but do it once and it is easy as pie after that.

Jed Fisher profile image

Jed Fisher 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Thanks for the tip, Lori! Ima do that.

A K Turner profile image

A K Turner 4 years ago from West Yorkshire

Jed have to say awesome article, can't wait to kindle mine! although I have some of my own strategies for advertising. Hope the book is selling well! Blessings Joe

Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 4 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

Hi Jed, I work with Createaspace regularly experimenting with my covers. I read over your artcle (for the millionth time) and wonder if you have used it yet to put your novel into print? You can order ONE proof book for around $4 + ship fee if you wish and that's the only expense. Then you have print books advertisied all over the world by the internet book stores.

Smashwords has a terrific free book ( that outlines the entire ebook promotional aspects. In a nutshell:

1 Write a great book.

2. Use Smashwords and Amazon to give away free copies in order to create a READER Base.

3. You are done. Word of mouth will soon have your book selling in a big way.

I'd bet you have already read this. If not write me and I'll forward the email they sent me so you can read some of the great author stories of how they used this system and did well.

I'm doing well with this system to date: ( 6 weeks into being my own publisher) Somewhere around 500-1,000 ebooks are given away weekly and sales are just starting to take off. I work with a series, so I am using a number of sales strategies to turn free books into sold books. ...Give away the first book, but not the others etc.

baygirl33 profile image

baygirl33 4 years ago from Hamilton On.

Jed,what a wonderful,helpful hub! I will have to read it ten times to get it into my thick skull.But I would love to put an e-book on kindle,I'm just too intimadated by the procedure. I have been advised to let someone else do my cover and my format,so I've been procrastinating. Your hub makes it look so simple. I am going to try again. It is encouraging to see that you went to creative writing classes and still made mindless mistakes like the rest of us.LOL. It makes us less afraid to try.

Thanks again for being so giving.

Eric Calderwood profile image

Eric Calderwood 4 years ago from USA

Much needed information. I'm glad I came across your hub. I have just started to admit to myself that electronic publication may be an option over standard print publication. Reading about your experience in this field has provided me with more food for thought. Good luck with your book!

profile image

ksinll 4 years ago

Interesting hub, Jed, did you have anyone else edit the book, or did you just do it all yourself? Anyone critique?

Jed Fisher profile image

Jed Fisher 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

I did it all myself. Editing, cover art, everything. I have a degree in Enlgish, so...

amithak50 profile image

amithak50 4 years ago from India

Any sales..I have some books there but not much sales ..writing some more if I can increase ..Let's see ..Thannks for the nice information

jasmith1 profile image

jasmith1 4 years ago from UK

Thanks for sharing this information. This is something I am interested in doing in future, so it will be useful to get started.

pandula77 profile image

pandula77 4 years ago from Norway

Just when I was thinking how this can be done, you became a savior! Thanks for sharing this. Voted up!

Practical Paws profile image

Practical Paws 4 years ago from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

This is a GREAT hub, the comments are as worthwhile to read as the hub itself. I'm inching toward self-publishing an e-book so will follow all comments with interest.

Lisas-thoughts101 profile image

Lisas-thoughts101 4 years ago from Northeast Texas

jed and r.j both of you are really helpful. Jed, thanks for the hub and being so detailed in your information. I too have numerous rejection slips so I am giving serious thought to editing my book and then giving kindle a shot. Why not, right? The cover sounds intimidating though. I am definitely not a techy. I guess I will have to check that out and see if it is a possibility for me. Even the print version seems doable with R.j.'s tips.

I voted up and useful. Good luck with your books, guys!!

Take care,


factsknowing profile image

factsknowing 4 years ago from Jos

I like this news, and i will start my journey toward publication now. thanks

Jefsaid profile image

Jefsaid 4 years ago from London, UK

Great hub and thanks for sharing advice that any Hubber would be interested in. I have a son who is a budding author and looking for an avenue to get his numerous stories published. I will point him this way. Good luck with the book.

Naseem 4 years ago

I have almost completed writing my book on ms word and have used indentation, spacing etc but i am not familiar with Rich Text, Amiga 500, Web page Filter or power point slide.

I am not a techie. i am not sure as to how to prepare it for publication on kdp. can anybody help me telling by step implementation or should i take the help of a technical man?

PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Good information here on direct publishing. Many of my hubber friends have gone the route of publishing paper copy books. It looks like this will soon be a lost art. Thanks for the tips and how you overcame obstacles. Nice looking book cover too.

Dee aka Nonna profile image

Dee aka Nonna 4 years ago

I am thrilled for you and thrilled that you shared this valuable information with us. Good luck to you...I hope you keep us posted. I, too, like the book cover. Voted up, useful and awesome.

TToombs08 profile image

TToombs08 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

Way to go, Jed! Have you checked out the GoodReads Author Program? It's totally free and helps new authors market their books. If you want to check it out:

Good luck!

noenhulk profile image

noenhulk 4 years ago

Good luck too! you are teaching writers of what and where to go to publish. That's great!

slcockerham profile image

slcockerham 4 years ago from Tallahassee, Florida

Thanks Jed for all the great info in your hub. Hope you sell millions!

iwriteforyou profile image

iwriteforyou 4 years ago from United Kingdom

I will be writing my book soon, so this hub has proved very helpful. Thank you and good luck

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ennfii 4 years ago

Table of content: every chapter takes one page, is it o k?

Ash The Love Guru profile image

Ash The Love Guru 4 years ago from Columbia, MO

Wait so....anyone can publish a book onto kindle for FREE? Do you have to have a Kindle to do it?

kittyjj profile image

kittyjj 4 years ago from San Jose, California

Thank you for sharing such a useful hub. I am going to give Kindle a try too. Hopefully by the end of this year. Voted up and useful.

drsohel profile image

drsohel 4 years ago from Dhaka, BD

Thanks for sharing. It's useful for me.

cammyshawn profile image

cammyshawn 4 years ago

I went the route of traditional self publishing, spending approximately $1700. I agree that hard copy book sells are not good. My publisher is now turning that book into an e-book. I will definitely go with e-books in the future. Thanks for the valuable information.

Anne Losch profile image

Anne Losch 4 years ago from Illinois

Thank you for the information. I often wondered how authors published books for the Kindle.

michememe profile image

michememe 4 years ago

Thanks for the advice, as I have paid to have my work published. If I knew this, I would have saved my dollars for something else. I had no clue of Kindle Direct Publishing.

vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

Thanks for the advice on self-publishing. This may just be the inspiration I need to go ahead and take the plunge!

afriqnet profile image

afriqnet 4 years ago from Nairobi Kenya

I have never published anything on Kindle and would wish to publish one or two tips about Pet Care. Thank you for your informative hub hope I will publish a kindle soon.

Keith Ham profile image

Keith Ham 4 years ago from Niagara Falls, Ontario

A cool way to do it too is through Lulu. They helped with my wife's novel and offer free PDF to kindle format transfers and let you put it on Amazon for free. Other stuff, I believe, costs money.

Vegas Elias profile image

Vegas Elias 4 years ago from Mumbai

Very good advice here. As far as copyright is concerned I feel one can also separately apply for a copyright from the government department in their own country. In India it is not that costly.

Good hub. I will try using kindle to publish something.

reagu profile image

reagu 4 years ago from Los Angeles

I love reading great tips on self-publishing. I have a manuscript I'm working and currently inclined to go with self-publish.

Darkproxy profile image

Darkproxy 4 years ago from Ohio

How long should a story be?

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girltalksshop 4 years ago

All good to know information here! I like what you shared with us, to help us on our path in the right direction. Thanks for sharing it with us and your great advice to those wanting to find a way to get published. : ) Voted up!

Angela Brummer profile image

Angela Brummer 4 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

I hope I am fortune enough to apply your advice one day! What an accomplishment!! yeah!

Sturgeonl profile image

Sturgeonl 4 years ago

Congratulations on your books and thank you for sharing your knowledge on how to create an! Voted up and awesome!

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chloelozano 4 years ago

Thank you for these tips! I am working on my first novel right now and once it is finished and edited I am hoping to self-publish it using KDP. It's always helpful to get reviews and tips like this who have used the program with success.

JimMiles profile image

JimMiles 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Like Darkproxy 39 hrs ago, I'd like advice on story/book length. Would a short story or novella be appropriate? How short would too short be?

Thanks for a great idea on publishing, and everyone else for your good comments and questions.


tannya 4 years ago

You are my hero, and I admire your bravery. After reading your essay, I worry my book is a bit amateurish, and I am not tech savvy. I just wrote a few short stories, and I got carried away. Now, I am thinking: I will keep the book for my own consumption, but in me, you have sparked a bit of backbone; I might publish the thing after all. As I write this, the thought is terrifying.

Mona Germain profile image

Mona Germain 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Thanks for this valueable piece of wisdom. It is very helpful and good to know!

Chase 4 years ago

I really want to do this, but sadly im only 13 i've got about 3,000 words typed and probably another 2,000 more to type out, oh well maybe my dad will let me you his TIN thing any advise

Nat 4 years ago

I had an eBook published by Amazon KDP but I was not able to check

whether the formatting was in order. How can this be done?

I have written another book ans should be able to upload it as an eBook in a few weeks' time. However, I would like to review the formatting before publication. Any suggestion!

Jed Fisher profile image

Jed Fisher 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author


The previewer on KDP is okay but kind of slow. Another way is to use Mobiepocket Creator to convert it to a Kindle file, then move it onto your Kindle with its USB connector, and then read it that way. That's what I've been doing lately.

AuthorStorm 4 years ago

You should also discuss Kindle Singles as they offer authors to publish short stories, essays and articles that would otherwise never have a market. Also watch the how to video on the kindle direct publishing on how to upload your book and publish on kindle when I say easy I mean it is friggin easy!!! Like super easy.

Book covers are not really that hard either. Find a picture you like, preferably one you took or created and slap a title on it through paint or even and walla. As for length. A wise and successful author once said a book should be as long as it takes to convey the story or get the information across. Ebooks have been from 5 pages to 500 pages. Remember books on kindle only have about 200 to 300 wprds per page so a print book length is not the same as a kindle book. Best advice, dl kindle for pc or if you have a smartphone kindle app and you can read books for free or even download a sample to see what it looks like, page setups and how the pages flow.

Also look for books simular to yours but remember, just because theirs was 300 pages does not mean yours has to be. If you wrote a good book the length isn't going to matter unless you written a how to manual and sold it for 20 bucks and there is only 5 pages, people might get mad, however it has been done before. A best seller on kindle right now is only something like 10 pages: go the f*ck to sleep, really,like 10 pages. people were mad but it is still selling. So it really does not matter as long as you provide a full story, and deliver.

One thing I do know if you do not spell correctly the public eats you alive so spellcheck, spellcheck and spellcheck some more and edit again. But do not let that fear you into doing it. Take the darn plunge what do you have to lose? It is now or never because right now is the perfecttime and right time you have been waiting for! Its an independent writers moment, take the leap! Sell well my fellow writers. Sell well!

I probably misspelled words,I know this, please do not bash me! lol

onefineham profile image

onefineham 4 years ago from NH, USA

I couldn't even get my Kindle book to show up on Hubpages because of the pricing issue (Hub module said it couldn't find the price). Appreciate all the time you took to wrote about your experiences as well.

clucy 4 years ago

Let us see what Manu Sporny and others will present in the next few days or weeks.

bayoulady profile image

bayoulady 4 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

Great hub! My big deal is the way they want you to do the paragraphs. No indenting,but instead you have to" go all the way to China" just to start a new paragraph. I'm working on my novel. It is slow going because of so much research for the time period and setting. I hope by the time I get it done(months away,I'm sure) that it will still be free to publish. I also did my own cover,and I hope it looks as good when I zip it and put it on kindle. I gained a lot of insight by downloading the free kindle book by kdp

There is a good tutorial on you-tube about making the book cover,but I forgot who did it. I just searched you-tube. There were several,but one in particular walks you through ,step by step. GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR BOOK!

beemused profile image

beemused 4 years ago from Oxford, England

With the encouragement I got from this, Jay's thread, I now have two published books on Kindle.

The first, "Write your Life Story and Publish it." may help some of the posters to this thread even if they are not writing their life stories. It covers simple, accepted, text formatting, and photo editing (using Picasa) for insertion into your text. It was written for complete novices.

I am writing a hub page to share my experience of easily creating an e-book (Kindle) book cover design using Google's Picasa. Some contributors to this thread have asked how - bare with me. I'll comment here when the hub page is ready.

Jan Burgess (I can't change my hub-name!)

beemused profile image

beemused 4 years ago from Oxford, England

Here is the e-book cover information which I promised. All you hopefuls can now produce an exciting picture for your Kindle books and it won't cost a thing. Look for the Hub Page ...

"Use Google's Picasa for a Kindle, e-book, cover picture."

I've just written my first Hub Page - title above. I think that working out how to produce a Hub Page was harder than publishing on Kindle!

Good Luck, everybody, and thank you, again, Jay, for starting this thread.

Jan Burgess

"Write your Life Story and Publish it""

"Longdon Green, Farewell"

Jayne 4 years ago

Thanks for this really interesting blog. My first book 'Space Hoppers-Dance of the Guinea Pigs' went live on Amazon on Monday and I seem to be obsessed with checking my ranking! Argh! Could you do another blog on how to cope with the anxiety of having complete strangers judging you?

Ilya 4 years ago

So you are saying, the book will be found by the readers. Without any social media efforts from your side. Yeah, right. Haw many downloads do you have of the book mentioned in the post? This is just laughable.

Malkie Wersba profile image

Malkie Wersba 4 years ago from Modesto, CA

Love this story!!! I just have one question. How much money are you making off your novel? Please add. Also, you mentioned that publishers turned down your novel, but did you try agents? I heard you need an agent and that's the trick! Best of luck!!!

lilyfly profile image

lilyfly 4 years ago from Wasilla, Alaska

So, I am hanging in there. I'm so happy to see someone that knows his stuff. I'm also glad that you are following umm, that means something to a person wallowing in fluffy clouds and cut roses on this site, ummm (hallmark sentiments)

I'm basically a coward, putting one foot in front of the other, have enough for about three chapbooks, wanted them to be hardcopy... but am willing to do otherwise. Thank you again for following me. Let's see if I can raise the poetic bar a little. Moonfroth is worth a peek too.

Very best wishes in the coming year to you and yours! lily

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