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Erick Mertz

Open Discussion  - 
 
QUESTION: I'm self-publishing a #poetry  chapbook this summer in eBook format and I'm curious about software recommendations.

With poetry, of course, line breaks matter and there is a strong need to control the visual layout of the work. This is one of my obsessions.

Has anyone here self-published their poetry collection and is willing to brave a recommendation for a (relatively) cheap (or better, free) suite of software that will allow me to publish on eBook and then in print?

Also, here is a link to one of my early #blog #poetry promos featuring the poem "Charles Bukowski".
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Erick Mertz's profile photoCherry Jeffs's profile photo
10 comments
 
Good luck with your project Erick!
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Alex Tsak

Open Discussion  - 
 
Hey everyone, does anyone of you read a book he really likes over and over again, or is it just me?
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Alex Tsak's profile photoMichael A Koontz's profile photo
18 comments
 
like with movies, there´s a few really good books i´ve journeyed through more then twice. And happily so.

But 99% is once and done. Unless i forget i´ve read it :P.
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Robert Slater

Open Discussion  - 
 
BOOKMATE!!!! Who is Bookmate really? Why do they have my book? Why do they not answer e-mails? They seem like a legitimate business, but the are not listed in either of the e-book distributors I use. You might check to see if they are selling your book as part of their subscription service. Also, please let me know if you have been able to find out more about them. They have a U.S. address in Portland, OR, but half of their site is in Russian! Help.
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Fredie Bateman's profile photoPatricia P. Harrington (Author)'s profile photo
7 comments
 
It is so kind of you to take the time to help us. I look forward to your expertise. And the next SP novel ;)
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Mark David

Open Discussion  - 
 
eBook - audio co-release

I'm in the middle of recording my first audio book, before the eBook has even been published, but with the sort of effects I want I can see it's going to be a lot of work/ take time.

Does anyone have any experiences re. the benefits of launching eBook and audio concurrently? Is it a good idea? 

I kind of figured it was a good idea, offering some potential for a synergy in sales. There's also another upside - reading it aloud is the final defacto edit and I still find stuff, though I think after audio I'll be able to count them on one hand... 
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Patricia P. Harrington (Author)'s profile photoMark David's profile photokamaroway günther's profile photo
16 comments
 
Anecdote: Prioritizing. This post was written 21 days ago. In that time I have done no audio at all... shelving the idea of a co-release.

I've finished a book for future release - sent to beta.

I've taken time on homepage update and theme change, realigning call content to suit the theme. Done.

I've gone through 500K of notes and organized. Done.

I'm in the middle of clarifying backplot and end game, listing critical events. WIP.

To that end I've just bought some new timeline software called Aeon which syncs with Scrivener.

This has now started to be used to provide a fantastic tool for not only developing the timeline, events and people of the series, but link into external resources such as Wiki.

This is going to save me a lot of time note-taking, since notes can be left on timeline, linking to Wiki or anything I want, so it's all located in one place.

Finally, with the above exercise in place, I'll make a final examination of book 1 for releasing, to see how it fits. If the fit is good - formatting. If not - some minor tweaking.

The point I'm making is all these things are based on an appraisal of 'what is the most productive thing for me to do today.'

Then I'll come back to audio and finish recording for later editing but not at the expense of releasing book first.
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Thomas Petersen

Open Discussion  - 
 
Whats the most "Out there" book you have read?

Mine is The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral
by Julian Jaynes 

http://www.amazon.com/Origin-Consciousness-Breakdown-Bicameral-Mind/dp/0618057072
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Valerie Spanswick's profile photoLucie Le Blanc's profile photo
2 comments
 
Les fourmis (Empire of the Ants) by Bernard Werber
 ·  Translate
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Evo Terra
owner

Open Discussion  - 
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T17aCX2iBBY

This beautiful video shows lost art of book creation. Not the writing and editing, but creating the container we know of as a book. This is a true craft that was once instrumental in the publishing process but is now, for all intents and purposes, completely irrelevant in the modern publishing world of today.

Soon, someone will produce a a similar video, where we see a skilled craftsperson editing CSS, hunting down orphans and windows, and performing other antiquated "ebook design & production" tasks. And we'll all reminisce over a lost art that is, for all intents and purposes, completely irrelevant in the modern publishing world of tomorrow.

Choose carefully what skills you want to master, indie authors.
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Sharon Lippincott's profile photoL.J. McLean's profile photoScott Nelson's profile photoKeepCalling's profile photo
4 comments
 
Wow, a book typset and printed that way today would cost at least hundreds!
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Robert Hirsch

Open Discussion  - 
 
 
My experience with Ibooks Author

I write using the Storyist software. I like it a lot in that it helps to keep me organized, gives me places to stick character, plot point and setting ideas.

But its not really useful for creating the final document either for print or for ebook, although it does create an ePub file or a .mobi file.

For the final output, I tried lots of software to get something right. I ended up having to use Open Office since Pages can do left and right gutter (a feature it used to have! Whyyyyy apple??)

And this worked well enough. I still can't get the ePub output from Storyist to put a page break where I want it. And I do find it a bit annoying that the Storyist software keys functionality around the # symbol (section breaks), but won't output a version with the # changed to * or something without having to duplicate the project and doing a search and replace.

But I am releasing an ibooks version of the story, so I thought I'd format it in Ibook Author. Its great ! I was easily able to move from a boring layout, to one with pictures, a decent glossary (I have a number of made up words and concepts in the book), and when I ported it to my iPad, it looked great. 

Alas, the very famous Apple position of "We don't play with anyone else" makes me sad. I get it, the ibooks version of this story will look vastly superior to the look on the kindle version. The ease of publishing is insane (once you get past the iTunes Connect verification process)

I can output a PDF, but Createspace doesn't like PDF as an input. If I use that it will degrade the version that is already on Kindle. Ibooks Author does not seem to have a ePub output despite the fact that the ibook file itself is ePub underneath. 

I'm trying to figure out how I can make the kindle one look like the ibooks one without buying yet another piece of software. I tried to simply concert using Calibre, but got nowhere.

Any helpful hints on how to make a kindle version of a book look a little more shiny, I'm all ears.
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Nathan Lowell's profile photoRobert Hirsch's profile photoAllison Hershey's profile photo
5 comments
 
Lol. It's not that it sucks in ePub, as I said, it could be my lack of knowledge of html. It's just the difference between writing something a text editor and layout it out with publishing software. That's all. It vastly Improved my kindle file, just not to the extent that was so easy and code free with IBA. That's all.
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Which genres or categories do you all find detrimental to a book database for filtering? For example, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Fantasy, and Nonfiction. How would you group the categories if it were up to you? Is it more about specifics, or do you prefer a broad selection of say, Science Fiction & Fantasy rather than getting them separately?

I really want to hear your ideas because I see wherever I search for books, if it's Wattpad or Barnes & Noble, I never see the same group of genres or categories for books.
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LucifeKings RKLogan (RK)'s profile photo
13 comments
 
Thanks for all the responses! I'm going to remember them when I make the perfect book-selling website. :) +Lucie Le Blanc +Mike Cooley  +Dave Skinner 
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Doug Schwartz

Open Discussion  - 
 
On the way to my day job, I was thinking about public distribution of an indie book vs. personal distribution. What I mean by this, in your opinion,  which is better: posting your book to Amazon or on a personal website?

For Amazon, the site has a lot of traffic, but the publication can get buried under the glut of other submissions. On a personal website, it's more difficult to lure more people to the website, but the books and other related content are right there. There is minimal digging involved.
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Evelyn Chartres's profile photoMarjorie Jones's profile photoMary S. Sentoza's profile photo
10 comments
 
I agree with Lisa - do both. Now, if you're in Select over on Amazon, you can't offer your book in any other ebook format anywhere, including your own website, but you can link to it on Amazon. 

If you aren't in Select, you can certainly offer all formats for directly sale from your website, including mobi/kindle. 

I tend to just do links from my website, because I don't want to mess with digital downloading and such. Although, I think/have a feeling that Paypal is going to start offering a digital delivery system in the near future. That might change things. 
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Alex Tsak

Open Discussion  - 
 
Do you think audio books are the future? They are not popular here in Greece but I find english audio books online and I quite enjoy them. Sometimes even more than a paperback copy!
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Brenda Trott's profile photoAlex Tsak's profile photo
6 comments
 
+Brenda Trott That's nice to hear. I hope you get to visit Greece soon and I hope you enjoy it. Do you know what's your grandma's Greek hometown?
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I also need some advice on copyright issues. I have a India Jones story waiting for me to get into it. The idea is that she will be the granddaughter of the legendary Indiana Jones, an archeologist herself, doing a dig in Arizona. He will not be in the story, but the relationship will be revealed as well as her father, his son. Do I need to get permission from Disney? Thanks one and all.
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Fredie Bateman's profile photoPatricia P. Harrington (Author)'s profile photo
15 comments
 
Hi Janet. Thank you for your response. I will definitely seek permission if, and when, I get to the story. Or, as was suggested, I will change the premise of the story line without connection.
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Rob Meijer

Open Discussion  - 
 
I could really use some advice regarding the copyright notice for my upcoming eBooks.  I would basically want the copyright to say something like: "You can share this eBook with your friends and family as long as that sharing, kinda, sorta, vaguely resembles the type of sharing you would do if you would be lending a real book to him/her.".

I find the 'only for your personal enjoyment' notices on eBooks rather hostile to the people purchasing eBooks, but I don't want a licence that effectively makes my work public domain either. I simply want the owner to not have less rights regarding lending/sharing his property than (s)he would have if it was a regular book and I don't want to overshoot that goal by to much.

Any ideas? Anyone else struggling with this same idea? If so, maybe we can come up with a reusable real-book-alike copyright notice that would be suitable for many indie authors who don't want to overly restrict the rights of their readers.
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Evo Terra's profile photoDave Higgins's profile photoMary S. Sentoza's profile photo
6 comments
 
I agree with +Evo Terra.

I suggest not having the request to buy your own copy: people who have downloaded a pirate copy won't be influenced by you asking.

I also suggest moving the review request to the end of the book, on the page after the body text. Then you hit them with the call to action before they do anything else, rather than relying on people to read the copyright notice (many ebooks open after the front matter, so readers won't see it unless they choose to seek it out) and remember for the length of the book.
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Paul Ikin

Open Discussion  - 
 
Hi all, I just wanted to say thankyou for your help and advice along the digital self publishing route, I really appreciated it. And after five years I'm happy to announce I have launched my debut novel, The Other Side of Eve, as a pre-order for release on March 23rd. (iBooks-Amazon)

As a note for others I also put in the long hours learning and watched a lot of Lynda.com tutorials. I formatted a dedicated Kindle and eReader/iPad version myself, (including drawing 80 chapter illustrations, it's a fantasy) I also created a website + animations, pre-order trailer on youtube and now putting together soft & hardcover versions for release in April. I'm so happy it's at this stage and that I have created & will publish the novel exactly how I envisioned.
Thanks again, Paul.
www.theothersideofeve.com
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Mark Tilbury's profile photoPaul Ikin's profile photoFrancois Vanasse's profile photo
2 comments
 
+Mark Tilbury Thanks Mark! I know what you mean. I was supposed to launch last year, early last year, but there was so much to do and I didn't want to have my book launch and nothing to promote it with other than a cover. Well done on writing your book, it's been such a journey for me and I look forward to some time to start writing again...and not reading/editing/marketing/illustrating/formatting lol.
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Damien Walter

Open Discussion  - 
 
Interesting fact, in less than a week, my weirder tales has "earned out" the advance I was offered by a small press. That's no judgement on the press, they made a reasonable offer. Just not possible to match potential of self pub. And I'm in the position of being able to talk directly to people who are interested in my writing. I know that's not the case for many.
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Dave Skinner's profile photoYael Shahar's profile photo
3 comments
 
Cool! I quite enjoy your blog, so not surprised the book is doing well. (Yeah, I know...good writing doesn't automatically translate into success.... Don't burst my bubble!)
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Rob Meijer

Open Discussion  - 
 
I'm currently working on my third short story in what I hope will become a series of (about) 7 stories of what the first two are currently being edited. Given that I only seem to be able to write about 3 short stories a year, I don't want to sit on my first two stories until my 7th story is finished and I'm ready to self-publish a single author anthology.

What I really would like to do is publish the first two stories at a suitable price as an e-pub, and each time I finish a story and get it back from the editor, create an updated version of the e-pub, update the price for new buyers, and provide a free upgrade to early buyers who bought the two story version. Than repeat this process until I have my 7(ish) story anthology complete. 

Is something like this possible? And if it is, what self-publishing channels support such a setup? Has anyone gotten some experience with a setup like this?
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Rob Meijer's profile photoLucie Le Blanc's profile photo
13 comments
 
Pricing is all very subjective. People will pay 99c for a short if they enjoyed a free read. But some authors won't get that much if the cover looks bad. It's kind of a gamble. You play with it, test it, and eventually you'll find your sweet spot.
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Tamer El Sayed

Open Discussion  - 
 
My Amazon countdown deal just ended and I sold about 55 books -- in conjunction with using other promotion services to push the Amazon promotion. I sold about 75 copies in December (including 10 paperback copies). Is that good, average, or bad? How can I maintain the momentum now that the book is back at pre-promotion regular price? Sales are already plummeting...
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James T Kelly's profile photoTamer El Sayed's profile photo
3 comments
 
Thanks everyone for your input. The book is now selling well at $4.99 due to several miraculous breaks! My life story and memoir have been featured in two articles in the world-famous Science Magazine. The book also received a great review by Kirkus Reviews and has just won the Indie Book of the Day award! 
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Damien Walter

Open Discussion  - 
 
This is a humorous condemnation of big publishers from a successful indie writer.

"I never liked the idea of a publishing house selling a book for ten bucks and giving the author one measly dollar."

I guess that's the bottom line...money. And what are the publishers doing to earn that money? For the very biggest writers they're a full service marketing engine to the limited outlets of bookstores. But of course, digital changes all that.

One thing I know for certain, there's no reason to sign with a digital only publisher. If a publisher isn't giving you the print markets that as indie we can't get for ourselves, then its adding no value IMO.
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Lucie Le Blanc's profile photo
 
My favorite line is this one: "A publisher just told me to come back after I’ve sold 5,000 to 10,000 books. Once I build that big an audience, why should I be giving the publishing house most of the money?"

That's the hardest part of publishing. Everything else is just logistics and mechanics. But selling the books? That's the reason authors want to contract with publishing houses: the instant market.
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