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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Formatting for kindle

Do you find the task of formatting for kindle daunting. I did.

My easy to use guide will allow you trouble free formatting.

  1. Firstly, open your document in Word and make a copy of your manuscript on a zip drive (pen drive) or email it to yourself.
  2. Now select Control 'A' to select your entire document.
  3. Copy and paste this into a new document.
  4. Go to 'Proofing' (I won't go into where to look for this as different versions of Word have it in different places. In the dialogue box click on 'Auto Correct Options'. This will bring a new box up and click on 'Auto Correct' tab and uncheck all the ticks. Do this with 'Auto format as you type.'
  5. Note; if you need to type curly punctuation quotes after you have unchecked everything. Go back to 'Autoformat as you type' and re-check the 'Straight quotes' with 'Smart quotes' box. You can easily uncheck it before saving your document.
  6. I assume that you have page numbers and headers and footers. Remove these.
  7. Do not try to change font size or re-align anything.
  8. Select 'Control' + 'A'. This will select your entire document. Now go to 'Paragraph'  'Indents and spacing' and select single spacing and 'special first line'. 'By' 0.6 cm. 
  9. Select 'Ctrl' + 'F'. Type in 'chapter' and realign the first line of each chapter by clicking on the top arrow and moving it in line with the bottom arrow.
  10. Do the same with any scene breaks.
  11. Now check that you haven't lost any italics or bold lettering. You'll need to fix those either by looking at your original copy of your manuscript.
  12. Now click on the reverse 'P'. This will show up extra spaces between letters in your document and and arrows if you have used the tab key in error.
  13. You now need to go through your entire document and remove these extra spaces, tab arrows and anything else that shouldn't be there. Sounds like a horrible job. Take care not to back space too far and delete text or punctuation.
  14. Now to do this the easier way: Select find by using 'Ctrl' and 'F' keys at the same time. Select 'Special' below. Click on 'white space' twice to go to any double white spaces that shouldn't be there. When you're done select 'Special', 'White Space' and 'Claret Character'. That helps you find every white space that shouldn't be there. Just keep going until you go through all the 'Special' options.

  1. When you're done. Go to the beginning of your manuscript and press 'Control' + 'Enter'. That will give you a new page break. You can insert your title page and your name here with a copyright symbol.
  2. Press 'Control' 'Enter' again. On this page you can put any contributors or acknowledgements.
  3. Press 'Control' + 'Enter' and here you can enter your copyright paragraph. 
  4. If you want a 'Table of Contents' you will need to ensure all your headings are headings by checking them. Go to Outline view or Document map and see if any are not there. If they are missing you'll need to fix this before you can build a TOC. 
  5. Click on 'References' in Word 2013. Select 'Custom TOC as you will need to untick 'Page numbers' and 'Right align page numbers'. Ensure you have ticked the 'hyperlink' box.
  6. Insert a page break after your TOC by using 'Control' + 'Enter'.
  7. If you are missing some page breaks at the end of some chapters, now is the time to do them. Firstly, go to the end of the chapter where you need a page break. Select 'Ctrl' + 'Enter'. Or you can do this by another method. Go to the end of the chapter and select 'Insert' and select 'Page Break.' Again - this will depend on your version of Word.
  8. There must be no more than 4 paragraph spaces anywhere in your document.
  9. If you have section breaks or page breaks where you don't want them, remove them now.
  10. Do not try to start a new chapter with a blank page on the left as it doesn't matter with Kindle and doesn't look good to have blank pages everywhere.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Perma free on Kindle and other sites.

I was of the opinion that giving away your book wasn't never going to get you anywhere. 💁

Wrong and right.👀

If you have one title, then offering this for free isn't going to get you anywhere.

If you have a series, it offers the reader a chance to see if they like what you write. 

Offer them an incentive to read book 2 by giving them a preview via Instafreebie or Book funnel or a similar company. They have to subscribe to your email list to get it. Don't offer this at the front of the book but at the end. If they don't finish the book, they don't get the offer.

Subscriber's are they way forward. 

You can let them know when you're launching a new title. 

Offer them incentives and more.🙌

Happy writing.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Marketing your books - BookBot


There are exciting things happening with Facebook. Recently, they've launched a new product called a Chatbot. It's eary days yet, but the results people are getting are very positive.

What Is a Bot?
"Bot" is a generalized term used to describe any software that automates a task. Chatbots, which anyone can now build into Facebook Messenger, automate conversation -- at least the beginning stages of it."

Authors are getting great results from BookBot Bob.

How does it work?

Bob is a new promo tool with a difference. It does not ask subscribers for an email address. Bob sends readers info about free blurbs + links, and Bookbot Bill sends info about discounted book blurbs + links, both right in Facebook Messenger. Readers decide which genres they want and the boys send them a book in each category. As simple as that. To sign up and check out Bob and Bill’s titles, go to the Bookbot Bob home page and click on the red rectangle that says “Hi Bob!”
FYI, Bob just added an email function for readers who wish to receive discounted pre-order books.
You fill in the form and pay the small amount to book your slot or alternatively, you can support the crowdfunding campaign and get free promos forever.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

What works on Facebook and what doesn't


I recently went to a Facebook meetup in Sydney. 

Things that I learnt from this meetup and other places.

  1. Don't keep posting 'buy my book'. It will turn potential customers off.
  2. Start a conversation. Let people connect with you. Don't expect that your book sales will suddenly go crazy. It's more an organic approach.
  3. Try Facebook Message Bot. It's fairly new and not too crowded yet. You can set this up to funnel your prospective customers to your product.
  4. Post videos which hint at what you do.  
  5. Post offers of free stuff or a competition.
  6. Always remember Facebook is like the old fashioned town square. People meet people and have coffee and discuss the things that interest them.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Smashwords 2017 analysis on book sales

I've just read the Mark Coker annual report on what's happening in the book sales world....

What categories are selling best, what you can do to get those sales happening and what price points work best. 

Surprise, surprise... it's not always the $0.99c price point that drags readers in to become buyers. He has the figures to back up the $4.99, $3.99 and $2.99 price points.

Monday, January 23, 2017

how to self publish your book and sell it


I'm not going to rewrite this article because I think it's that good. Take heed. Too many writers think their book is great after the first draft. Most books need loads of editing to make them great. 

Study the best selling writers in your genre. Take note of when they introduce the first conflict, introduce the players, how they introduce them, is there a mix of long and short chapters, how much dialogue there is on each page, and so forth. 

Also, take note of how many people they acknowledge as having helped in their journey to getting published. Some authors have dozens. Being an author is a group effort from yourself writing the book, to the editor/s, copy editors, proofreaders, beta readers, cover designers and the many social media sites where you advertise your book.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Saying goodbye to permafree or 70% royalty.

Hi All

I've just read this blog and though some of you may be interested in this post.

Saying goodbye to permafree. Or the 70% royalty. Or both.

Sometimes I feel like Sisyphus
Promoting and marketing
Only to see my sales tumble
The watched pot may never boil, but whenever I take my eyes off the sales charts for a few weeks, the algorithms bury my books in the bottomless pit of the millions of unknown titles. Even worse, when I run back to the kitchen and fan the flames with marketing, the download peaks last only a day or two. Just look at the Exhibit A:
Fyi, the companies responsible for the peaks you’re seeing are as follows:
5 October – I don’t know whom to thank for the 367 downloads as I’d applied for a number of free services and apparently got picked up by somebody without confirmation.
24 October – BookHippo featured author, 102 downloads for FREE.
25 October – BKNights with 226 downloads for $11.
29 October – My Book Cave with 117 downloads for FREE.
As you can see, the “normal” downloads between promotions are just 3-5 books per day. What makes this even more frustrating is that I’m trying to give the first book away FOR FREE. Not only that, the permafree strategy has been in place since May, and yet instead of the snowball effect, what I have is that proverbial boulder, freefalling back to zero the moment I stop pushing. Wait, it gets worse. I jumped into permafree hoping for 2% “buy-through” of the second book, but so far it’s been less than 1% with the second book priced at $2.99. And for whatever reason, my KENP pages for Indiot have completely disappeared. Here is the Exhibit B for the same time period:
This sucks big time, which means that I need to do something about it. Considering that I don’t want to “write to the market” or go on yet another cover redesign go-round, I’ve decided to change my pricing strategy. Radically. Like, smash it into pieces. Here are the two strategies I’m considering:
  1. Make both books $0.99 and available only through Kindle Select. Promote both with paid ads.
  2. Keep Shizzle, Inc as permafree and make Indiot $0.99 and promote only Shizzle, Inc as a freebie.
  3. Make both books free. Well, not really, but what the hell, how do I get Isa to go viral? She is destined for the big screen. I’m even more convinced of that having just suffered through “No Stranger Than Love.”
I’m thinking of trying both strategies 1&2 in stages. For starters, I am about to run a Countdown Deal on Indiot, before I make it perma-$0.99. Then after a month or so, make Shizzle, Inc $0.99 as well. Wait another month. Finish the third book. Send it to a hundred literary agents. Give up on Isa and write something along the lines of “How To Sell A Ton Of Books Without Really Trying.” That has worked for some.
If anyone has any better ideas, I’m all ears. Thank you in advance.

I don't feel making your book free on Zon Select really does anything for your overall sales. Sure you get a surge in downloads but afterwards your book goes back to "normal" - you plummet to where your were before.
I'm trying Instafreebie and seeing some results in subscribers. I'll let you know if it makes any long term difference in sales when I launch my next thriller.
What are your thoughts on this?