Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Blog Number Twenty

Haven't posted a blog in over a month.  I've endured Thanksgiving, back surgery, a bad chest cold, and Christmas.  I'm starting the New Year 2012 feeling hale, hearty and mentally refreshed.

I've come across a technical software problem facing many authors trying to get their manuscripts published with Kindle, Nook and Smashwords.  Whereas will accept your manuscript in "save as" PDF format, the e-readers will not.  Createspace simply prints your document as you present it--even your mistakes.  The e-readers requirements are entirely different.

As a Mac-person, I'm not technically proficient in Microsoft Word.  I write in Mac's "Pages" and don't transfer to MS Word until I have finished a novel.  However, if you will pull down the view menu, "Show invisibles" will allow to see the formatting mistakes you have made.  "Hard tabs"  (that is physically hitting the tab key for each paragraph indent) at the beginning of each paragraph are not acceptable.  Unfortunately, you must remove each one individually.  If Microsoft has a "one-step" remedy, please let me know.  You must set the indent for the entire document and let it happen automatically.  You have to be in "draft" format to make changes to your entire document.  Formatting done to the entire document is reversible.

Also, you must insert a hard "page break" at the end of each chapter.  That is, pulling down the “Insert” menu and choosing “Page Break.”  Simply hitting the "enter" key multiple times to start a new chapter on a new page, will not be acceptable.  They will not accept any overly fancy fonts, but will accept bold and italics.

Another must is to remove page numbers for Kindle and Nook.  Because e-readers change from landscape to portrait and the print can be small or enlarged for the visually impaired, a 200-page novel can be squeezed to 100 pages or enlarged to 400 pages.  My Kindle (which I downloaded for free to my iPad)  has a bar at the bottom to let you know where you are.  Every time you open a Kindle book, it automatically goes back where you left off.

So, here we are.  Page one is your title and author name.  I recommend researching Amazon to make certain your title is as unique as possible.  You don't want to be number zillion on a common title.  Using "alignment" for centering is acceptable.  Page two is for your dedications, etc.  Both Nook and Kindle will give you their own new ISBN numbers.  Do not use any other numbers given by other publishers.  "Kindle Edition published in 2012".  On the last page of your novel, insert page break and add your bio, website address, Facebook address, and a list of your previous novels, if any.
I can't caution you enough about proof reading.  Any thing put out in cyberspace will be there FOREVER.  Once you have your error-free manuscript, open your document and pull down the file menu to "save as html."

This is what you will need organized before going to KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) website:
Manuscript in html.
Front page cover art in .jpeg
    my son the photographer can do websites and cover art for a fee
Your complete bio with photo (for prospective buyers on Kindle website)
Back cover blurb
Choosing 5 key words to direct Amazon/Kindle surfers to your book
        This is extremely important
Website address
         Suggestions:, wordpress, godaddy andGoogle
         will help you do this on your own.  Or call on a relative to do
         the job.

Just received this information from Paula Petty:
Microsoft word (at least my version) has a tool (usually at the top of the screen) that by default has "normal spacing" highlighted. However, you can highlight your  text and click "no spacing" and it takes away all line spacing, tabs, etc. I wonder if this would help--before you  save as html.

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