Monday, February 27, 2012

Blog Number Twenty-one

          I have come to realize that I would make a very poor school teacher.  When I run out of patience, I tend to get a wee bit testy.  I have trouble with the idea that a student can read instructions and then ignore them completely.
         Today's blog is titled: HOW TO PUBLISH WITH KINDLE (Nook has the same rules).  If you read the "submission guidelines" for either Kindle or Nook, you will become so confused that you'll be tempted to run out and spend several hundred dollars on software that supposedly makes the process simple.  Don't waste your money.
         A very kind lady from British Columbia I met through my Facebook Fiction Writers Group simplified the entire process.
         If you do all of your writing in the proper format to begin with, then the process of uploading will be hassle-free.  I am a Mac-user and have been since 1989.  I do all of my writing on an Apple program called "Pages."  I have purchased "Microsoft Office for Mac" that I only use for the publishing process.  First is your title page--Title of your book and author.  Second page is "copyright by (your name) Month 2012.  Next line: Kindle edition.  You can add your personalized notation.  For my Smoky Mtn Murder Series, mine says  "Although Gatlinburg is a real city nestled in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, Old Towne and all the characters therein are fictional."  On the last page of your novel insert a page break and add "About the Author."  I give my website, Facebook and a gmail account that I've set up for this purpose.  Once I've finished my novel, I cut and paste the entire manuscript from Pages to Word.  Make certain that all your formatting has come through.
        If you write on MS Word, here's what you should do: go into draft view, turn on view invisibles, set the margins (one inch all around), set automatic indent at five spaces, remove headers, footers and page numbers.  Use Times New Roman (no fancy fonts), size at 10 (you can make title a little bigger), single space.  At the end of each chapter, insert page break, go down two lines and type in "Chapter Heading".  If you hit the "enter" key MORE than three times, it will result in a blank page in Kindle.  Do not use underline.  You can use BOLD, italics and you are allowed to use the "center" function.  Do not hit the space bar multiple times, or the tab key.  Unless you are writing non-fiction, do not use a table of contents.  Once on Kindle, the page numbers will be all wrong.
           Once all that is accomplished, go back into "layout" view and "Save as" html or web page.
If you do not have a Kindle (and it's free on my iPad), let me explain that the reader has the option to make the print large for the visually impaired, thus a 200 page novel will be 400 pages.  The reader can also set the font size to their liking, also increasing or decreasing the number of pages.  That's why you remove the headers, footers and page numbers.
          Okay!  Now you are ready for the uploading procedure.  I create a file folder which I've titled "Ready for Kindle".  You will need the following:  Your html manuscript, your cover art in .jpeg (Use a thumbnail version.  They will reject large files), your bio, your back-cover blurb, your photo (Kindle helps you create an author page for free).
            One of the most important features is to select seven key words to help the readers find your book through a search engine.  Readers know what they want to read:  mystery, love story, ghost, paranormal, historical, Civil War, etc., etc.  Help them find you with a wise choice of words.  Don't try to be clever. 
            If you want to get paid, you'll have to give them your Social Security Number.  You can also give them your bank routing number and every month they transfer earnings directly into your designated bank account.  (that's my favorite feature).
Once you have gathered all the necessary data in your special folder, go to Kindle's website.
            You need to have a prior account with Amazon.  (who doesn't have that?).  Go to the left, under "Publish your book" and follow their instructions regarding "Add Title."  They will assign you an ISBN number.
            They also request that you download the Kindle Previewer.  Don't argue.  Just do it.  You have the opportunity to glance through the finished product to make certain that all your formatting is correct.  Select "enable" and they will protect your digital rights.  One of my early books (back in the 1990's) is being sold in India and I don't get a penny in royalty.
           Please send me an email if you don't understand any portion of this guideline and I will do my best to clarify.

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