I want to publicly thank Marisa today because she has been kind enough, once again, to help me with a very important project: my first ebook on Kindle. She has spent countless hours with me emailing back and forth, (she lives in Australia, I live in the US) helping me to correct the zillions of mistakes I made when formatting this book and also giving me terrific resources and ideas about the book as well as marketing it. There are no words to express how wonderful she has been to me.
The net result is a book that looks perfect on Kindle, and is something both she and I can be very proud of!
For those of you struggling as I was, here are some of the tips she gave me that, had I known them ahead of time, would have saved me endless hours of work. My situation was a bit tricky because I had to scan the print copy of my book, save the pdf files, convert them to MS Works and then copy and paste the results into Open Office Word.
I didn't know enough to get rid of all the paragraph breaks and space returns before uploading the file, so this caused the initial problems.
I also did not know enough NOT to use the Enter key anywhere except to end paragraphs and then only to hit it once. As a result, my first upload had white space EVERYWHERE and looked horrible!
At first I used enter multiple times for everything, but soon learned to use paragraph formatting instead. Marisa suggested that I use 14 following paragraphs, and zeros every place else, and it worked beautifully.
I also learned to use character formatting instead of just using the toolbar, and I discovered that the Headings come pre-formatted with fonts and sizes and it does not matter if they do not match.
What DOES matter is that the text fonts all match, however.
I used Heading for the title and by line, and Heading 1 for the chapter titles. Everything else was set up in regular text, and I bolded those page titles that were not going to be used in the TOC.
Marisa directed me to a video by Bill Myers that taught me how to create a clickable table of contents. It worked...kind of...but readers must use a few extra steps to get the chapter titles to link. Since my book is an autobiographical novel, I don't think the TOC matters that much, but I put it in anyhow.
Use the Default setting
Use any font or font size you like, just make sure all text font matches
Use Heading and Heading 1 for Title and Chapter Titles
Use Paragraph and Character formatting to create document
Use Manual Page Breaks
Use Nonprinting Characters view (backwards P) when you are writing to make sure you are spacing correctly.
Many of you may already know this stuff, and now, thanks to Marisa, I do, too. If you don't, you might want to print this info out and save it for future use if you plan to publish on Amazon for Kindle. It will save you days, and days of work.
Love you, Marisa. Thank you!
You must be so pleased to see all of your hard work finally pay off! It is a major achievement. I am so happy for you, TT.
Now, as further encouragement, can you do it again? *Wink*
Quill: Really? You're not even going to give me a few days to catch my breath? I agree, the day I hit that publish button, I felt like I had just given birth...WHAT a relief! Yes, at some point I will try again! Just published a hub about what I went through and what I learned ... that, in itself, was a major event! Anyhow, thanks for your kind words.
Congrats on completing your first eBook. Not to be a buzzkill or anything but publishing the eBook is the easy part. Marketing it will be a nightmare at first but only if you let it be. Be proud of what you have accomplished but also know that self publishing success requires nearly the same effort as content writing success with the 2 major contributing factors being quality and quantity.
You are probably a little anxious to submit it for publication just to see how it does in the rankings but
I would suggest sending out ARC's to get as many reviews as possible and set it for a pre-release of at least 60 days... you can set it for as much as 90 days. This gives people plenty of time to read and review and for you to set up a proper book launch campaign.
You'll want to contact as many book bloggers as possible to see if they would be willing to feature your book on it's launch date. The goal I set is for at least 100 bloggers but usually only end up with about half of that confirming and then half of that following through. It's rough out there unless you set up relationships so you would offer a guest post.
The 90 days also gives you time to set up (if you haven't already) an account at Goodreads and Kboards.com and any place on this list
That is a huge list of sites you can promote your book to but also sites where you can form the relationships you need for success. Also, here is My List of FB fanpages and groups, G+ Communities, Twitter accounts, and other places that are extremely helpful with promotion. If the link gets cut then you can find it through my profile page/website or Google "Self Publishing Social Promotion Master List" to find it.
It is a lot of work at first but when you get into the quantity part of this business, having these lists are essential, plus it makes it real easy to outsource these tasks.
The book is already online as a Kindle in Amazon, so it is what it is. Thanks for the info, though. When time permits, I'll try to take advantage of it. Marketing has never been one of my strong points, but I do want to get this book out to as many readers as possible because I feel it will give a great deal of hope to women who have become widowed or even those who have been divorced or just like reading a good old autobiolgraphical novel filled with pathos, hope and romance.
This is great that you would take the time out to say thank you. There are so many people who don't appreciate the help they get from others, especially for free.
How could I not show appreciation for a woman who took her own personal time to teach me the basics of doing something so important a writing an ebook? I can't imagine not saying thank you for this kind of thoughtful and kindhearted effort.
How nice to see such a positive post at the end of 2014. I wish you lots of success with your e-book and thank you for sharing what you have learned.
Happy New Year.
In my experience most of the effort should be put into making the best possible ebook, the best marketing in the world cannot cure issues with quality and packaging. And I am sure TT would never put out anything but a top quality product.
TT, congratulations on getting the book ready and published. That was awesome of Marisa to help you out like she did. - Cheers!
TT2, good luck with your book! What is the name of it?
I'm not sure Marisa will see your post on this section of the forums, but it's great to give others helpful advice. She is always willing to help. Thanks to Richard also for such a resourceful post.
Happy New Year!
The best of success on your book. May you have so many sales it will make you smile for no reason during the day.
It is great for you to have a friend who is there to help you.
Happy New Year Dear Lady,
Thanks, Bobby. This has been a lot of work, but boy have I learned stuff! Glad its finally online though. Now I have to learn how to market it...not my strong point,by any means. Nonetheless, I'm proud of this accomplishment and hope your wishes for me come true!
Congratulations! Wonderful! Are you going to write a Hub including the information you gave us here?
I don't think I have to...there are many others that already cover this subject, and since I'm still new at this, I think, if anything, Marisa should be the one to write this hub if she wants to. She's the real guru here, not me!
The hub is online as we speak. Also, January 10 and 11 you can download the book for free from Amazon. Second Chance by Sondra Biggart. If you read it and like it, please leave a positive review on the Amazon site where you downloaded the book. Hope you all enjoy it.
Just bought the book for free on Amazon.com. Not sure how fast I can finish reading since I'm so busy but will leave a review when I'm done.
Thanks so much. You will find it a fast read. One woman told me she was unable to put it down and read the whole thing in one night! I hope you enjoy it and would love to hear your thoughts about it after you read it. Tell your friends!!
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