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You are here: Home > Forum > A Place of Safety > Literary Merit > Publishing, Kindle, E-readers and Paper
Publishing, Kindle, E-readers and Paper  [message #75457] Tue, 29 January 2019 22:27 Go to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13108



Like many of us, I have received an offer of publication from an organisation, one which seems to scatter gun broadcast offers of publication to anyone appearing in any literary site. And the offer made me look at an unpublished work and hone it for potential publication. I polished it, I designed a cover, and then I used my brain and read their contract and did a search for them by name.

I do not wish to mention them by name here. The site I link to can do that, so please, in any replues, do not mention theor name either.

Their print quality is good. One of our authors, Andrew Foote has Boy on the Towpath printed with them, and has been truly generous and sent me a signed copy. It is obviously vanity publishing, pretty much like this web site when all is said and done.  I am in the vanity publishing business myself, after all. But no matter.

I am in the process of using Kindle Direct Publishing from Amazon, now. For me the benefits are better than the other lot. I can actually receive royalties in my hot and sticky hand, whereas for them I must average a lot of € per month or I will receive a voucher to redeem against another book in their stable.

Horses for courses, I think. I have not yet pressed the "publish now" button, because I am still digging my way though the remaining errors, but I will.

[Updated on: Wed, 30 January 2019 19:56]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Publishing, Kindle, E-readers and Paper  [message #75458 is a reply to message #75457] Wed, 30 January 2019 00:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13108



Well, that was an interesting task.  I downloaded Kindle Create from Amazon, without which this would have been arduous in the extreme. The Beta version allows an eBook and the same book as a paperback. Since it was developed for the Kindle first the paperback format is lacking, but, when it comes out of beta I can always reformat, assuming I care enough.

I like the idea of appearing in paperback, even though I know it is Vanity Publishing and will cost me real money to buy a copy.

I had what I thought was production grade copy ready this morning. Running it through Kindle Create meant I had to do another pass through the manuscript to sort some issues out before importing it. After import I had to go through and check, page by page. A couple of things had not inhaled correctly. I found I needed a bit of nerdery to solve some issues.

After exhaling from Kindle Create the Kindle Direct Publishing site let me set up the paperback and the Kindle, sharing details between the two. Interestingly each version requires a separate file import. Each requires the cover choices to be made separately.

I've chosen a stock photo that is not perfect, but is far better than anything I have in my own pictures, but I could have uploaded one of my own at no cost. The other organisation charges €150 to load your own picture.

After six or seven hours of fairly repetitive close work I've submitted both the paperback and the Kindle edition to Amazon. One has been accepted already, but will take some elapsed time to propagate to their servers, the other awaits some quality control. It's Print on Demand, naturally.

The title is Queer Me! - Halfway Between Flying and Crying. It's a text I've shared with some close online friends. It had a poem in it that I have had to remove. It is still in copyright, and would cost me $200 for a worldwide licence to use even 11 lines of it. You can find W H Auden's Johnny online, and probably work out the theme of the story from the poem. It's actually a dramatised and fictionalised autobiography of my teenage years.

Two points here. I am not asking you to buy the book! I am asking you to read the poem.  Yup, that was two points

Amazon has let me set a fair price, though.  The other org, as Andrew can attest, sets the retail price at a stratospheric level.

[Updated on: Wed, 30 January 2019 00:46]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Publishing, Kindle, E-readers and Paper  [message #75459 is a reply to message #75458] Wed, 30 January 2019 19:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13108



I have achieved it all.  Or I think I have. It's a bit of a process. To help others following this route, here is what I did.

  • In my WP program I made sure the manuscript was a single, multi-chapter file. I made sure I used the styles available, so Chapter Headings were 'Heading 1', text was 'text', other things had their own labels
  • I adjusted the layout so that it was correctly indented (for my taste) and correctly spaced and font sized.
  • I proofread the manuscript for the 92nd time to try to get all the typos out.
  • I set up my account at Kindle Direct Publishing. This was a breeze, because it uses my existing login. And I made sure I had the latest download of Kindle Create, the Beta version, because that allows a linked paperback to be created easily
  • In Kindle Create I discovered it does not take Open Office files, so I saved as a M$ Word document from OO, and then inhaled the .doc file to create the Kindle book first.
  • I waited for a while!
  • Kindle Create has three recommended styles, 'Themes'. I chose the easiest to spot errors in first, and started to edit the story file. KC is a bit awkward, but a little practice let me master it. I was able to correct remaining errors on the fly. At this point my .doc file was no longer relevant. I'd gone way past it. KC reminds you to save at intervals you set. There is no auto save.
  • Once satisfied, I chose the theme I wanted, saved the file, then 'published' it. This exports a publishable file. It does not, of itself, publish it.
  • Back at KDP I set the Kindle book up. There are some simple fields to fill in
  • I followed the process there to select a cover design and to choose a cover picture, and edit the colours to my liking.
  • Happy with the cover I continued to importing the KC output file.
  • I previewed it, and found I could not correct any errors there. I went back to my KC 'project' and made changes there, re-publishing and reimporting. There were several iterations. I was doing this for five or six hours with breaks
  • Happy at last I set the pricing and chose low. No point in a high price. I chose worldwide distribution, made sure the book blurb was in place, and pressed publish. Amazon creates the ASIN. Mine is B07N7SVVL7
  • I them moved directly on to the paperback. I was surprised that I had to import the file again, and that I had to design the cover again, but this is the Beta version of stuff. Amazon created the ISBN. I could have written it down, but it will tell me when it's ready.
  • The rest of the process was simpler because the errors were all corrected. Pricing is based on the cost of printing, which is where Amazon makes its money, pus the royalty level chosen. My price is not high in any market.
  • I pressed publish


Now, in each case Amazon suggested 72 hours before it would go live. The Kindle version is live already. The paperback is not. I spent today investigating Kindle X-Ray, and applying it to the book. It created a mixture of Wikipedia expansions plus your own descriptions. I used it for fun, pure and simple.

Once the paperback is ready I can order copies at print cost, which makes good sense.

I don't have a Kindle, nor do I have Amazon Prime, but loads of people do, so I am choosing to restrict the eBook to Kindle for now. But there are other platforms, generic tablets and phones, that the format supports. If I take that exclusion off then it will be available on other devices too

It is not a hard process at all, nor, really, is it a long one. There are a few awkwardnesses with the Beta paperback version, but it is a beta version

[/list]

[Updated on: Mon, 04 February 2019 22:44]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Publishing, Kindle, E-readers and Paper  [message #75460 is a reply to message #75459] Wed, 30 January 2019 21:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13108



I may have spoken too soon!  I just got this email:
"Quote:"
When we checked your files, we found issues that you'll need to fix before you can publish. We've listed them below, along with links to Help pages that explain how to make updates. To finish preparing your book before publishing, you will need to fix these issues and resubmit the files. We're sorry we can't publish your book yet.You can review the KDP Print Publishing Guidelines for more information on publishing requirements.Interior

We thank you for taking the time to fix these errors, and we look forward to publishing your work.The Kindle Direct Publishing team



The problem is that their guide doesn't resemble Kindle Create's editing interface. The second problem is that the page numbers are not out of order.

I think I see a couple of layout problems:
  • The 'Front Matter', the stuff before the first chapter, so the TOC, the Intro, the Foreword, etc have no numbers. KC seems to have no facility to give them even Roman numerals. So those are unnumbered
  • A number of new chapters start on the left hand page, an even numbered page. So I am asking them for help
    I do have a problem. I have made some minor text edits within KC, so, if I have to go back to OO I will have to read both files side by side.  I've asked them how to solve that, too.  Bugger.

[Updated on: Wed, 30 January 2019 22:38]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Publishing, Kindle, E-readers and Paper  [message #75462 is a reply to message #75460] Thu, 31 January 2019 09:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13108



I'm working with Amazon on the paperback. They expect to reply in detail by close of play US time on 4 Feb, becvause they can't quite spot a pagination issue either. The Kindle book has already one actual sale!! I mean for money!

At present, if you go down this route using Kindle Create, mirror any edits you make inside that in your source file that you imported into it as well. THat means you have all the changes to uopkoad separately as a paperback. I didn't and it may bite me in the bum. I've sent a set of feedback to them for the beta version, so the product may move quite quickky, too.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Publishing, Kindle, E-readers and Paper  [message #75483 is a reply to message #75462] Sun, 03 February 2019 17:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
American_Alex   United States

Toe is in the water
Location: New York, upstate
Registered: October 2017
Messages: 48



Well, Tim, I've bought your Kindle book. I seem to prefer bying obscure British authors on Kindle whom are otherwise unavailable over on this side of the Atlantic (the last Kindle I bought was Stuart Maconie's book on the Jarrow march, and he asks a full $10 for his works!). I figure that for a measley $2.99, it's worth a look. Your editing really shows, although after the first chapter, I found a couple small errors; one an incorrect tense error, and another where a possesive of a name ending in "s" (although I'm not certain if the American English standard of just leaving it as an "s" followed by an apostrophe and nothing else is correct in British Standard...). My mother was a magazine editor in her younger days, so I'm quite competent as an editor, even though I'm not terribly good as a writer...

I'm not terribly impressed with the entire genre of books written as diaries. It kind of reminds me of Portnoy's Complaint, a book which so many people commend as being great literature, but which I really despised. It also seems to be a British thing, adding more bits of minutae into the story than most Americans do. I guess I'm just a minimalist at heart, so that's more a personal preference. Also, since it is more or less autobiographical, it proabably was a bit dull at times, I guess. But, then, boys at that age tend to worry al lot about things. I'm only 1/3rd of the way through, anyway.

Two things I should suggest you consider about self-publishing, though. Firstly, I believe that Open Office is free only so long as you don't use it professionally. Admitting to doing otherwise might result in a licensing bill. And secondly, there have been issues of online paid authors running afoul of very restrictive local obscenity laws in other locales. One author was in the news a few years back having run afoul of Alabama's laws, even though he lived in California, and was actually extradited to stand trial. Treading into young gay male sexuality is fraught with peril, as I'm sure you know.

[Updated on: Sun, 03 February 2019 17:05]




"Able was I ere I saw Elba"
Re: Publishing, Kindle, E-readers and Paper  [message #75484 is a reply to message #75483] Sun, 03 February 2019 19:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
joecasey is currently offline  joecasey   United States

Getting started
Location: American Midwest
Registered: December 2017
Messages: 13



Kudos to anyone who has taken the big step of publishing their written work; good luck with it!

LibreOffice, which seems to be similar to Open Office, appears to have no limitations on how their software is used.  They ask for voluntary donations, but I couldn't find any language about being required to pay for it if one is using it to produce work intended to sell.  Also, if you have access to a Macintosh, their free Apple Pages software (which I use and think does a pretty good job) also seems not to have any limitations.  Apple also publishes an app called iBooks Author, which is designed specifically for page layout, although I've never used it.

When I send a work for publication on this site, I write it in Pages and convert it to a .doc format in LibreOffice; as far as I know, it has not been a problem.
Re: Publishing, Kindle, E-readers and Paper  [message #75485 is a reply to message #75484] Sun, 03 February 2019 19:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Teddy is currently offline  Teddy   United States

Likes it here
Location: USA
Registered: October 2006
Messages: 151



"joecasey wrote on Sun, 03 February 2019 11:40"
When I send a work for publication on this site, I write it in Pages and convert it to a .doc format in LibreOffice; as far as I know, it has not been a problem.

--I also use Pages. I'm wondering if you're using an older version of it however, because my version of Pages allows a me to convert directly to .doc or format or .docx format, which as far as I can tell from my rare use of MS Office is the most recent extension name for their .doc format. At any rate, there's no need to export my document to another word processor for conversion prior to sending off to Tim or whomever I submit it to.



“There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.” - Terry Pratchett
Re: Publishing, Kindle, E-readers and Paper  [message #75486 is a reply to message #75483] Sun, 03 February 2019 23:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13108



"American_Alex wrote on Sun, 03 February 2019 17:04"
Well, Tim, I've bought your Kindle book. I seem to prefer bying obscure British authors on Kindle whom are otherwise unavailable over on this side of the Atlantic (the last Kindle I bought was Stuart Maconie's book on the Jarrow march, and he asks a full $10 for his works!). I figure that for a measley $2.99, it's worth a look. Your editing really shows, although after the first chapter, I found a couple small errors; one an incorrect tense error, and another where a possesive of a name ending in "s" (although I'm not certain if the American English standard of just leaving it as an "s" followed by an apostrophe and nothing else is correct in British Standard...). My mother was a magazine editor in her younger days, so I'm quite competent as an editor, even though I'm not terribly good as a writer...

I'm not terribly impressed with the entire genre of books written as diaries. It kind of reminds me of Portnoy's Complaint, a book which so many people commend as being great literature, but which I really despised. It also seems to be a British thing, adding more bits of minutae into the story than most Americans do. I guess I'm just a minimalist at heart, so that's more a personal preference. Also, since it is more or less autobiographical, it proabably was a bit dull at times, I guess. But, then, boys at that age tend to worry al lot about things. I'm only 1/3rd of the way through, anyway.

Two things I should suggest you consider about self-publishing, though. Firstly, I believe that Open Office is free only so long as you don't use it professionally. Admitting to doing otherwise might result in a licensing bill. And secondly, there have been issues of online paid authors running afoul of very restrictive local obscenity laws in other locales. One author was in the news a few years back having run afoul of Alabama's laws, even though he lived in California, and was actually extradited to stand trial. Treading into young gay male sexuality is fraught with peril, as I'm sure you know.

--
I find that however hard I try and however well I proofread, there is always something that is left.  I shall enhance the manuscript for the printed version.

Possessives for names ending in s, unless the  person is Jesus, should finish with 's. So  it would be Jesus' goat, but Mr Peters's dog. "Prefects" is more complex. The possessive is "Prefects'" not "Prefects's" and I am certain there are rules.  I found the possessive you mention. I will try to hunt the tense down

Thank you for buying it. I agree that diaries are not to all tastes. I simply was unable to write ths particular tale any other way

I shall look at the other items you mention with interest and caution

[Updated on: Mon, 04 February 2019 00:13]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Publishing, Kindle, E-readers and Paper  [message #75487 is a reply to message #75486] Mon, 04 February 2019 00:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13108



From my Open Office licence:
"Quote:"
Is OpenOffice really free for any user? 

----------------------------------------------------- -----------------

OpenOffice is free for use by everybody. You may take this copy of OpenOffice and install it on as many computers as you like, and use it for any purpose you like (including commercial, government, public administration and educational use). For further details see the licence text delivered together with OpenOffice or http://www.openoffice.org/license.html

Why is OpenOffice free for any user?

------------------------------------------------------- ---------------

You can use this copy of OpenOffice today free of charge because individual contributors and corporate sponsors have designed, developed, tested, translated, documented, supported, marketed, and helped in many other ways to make OpenOffice what it is today - the world's leading open-source office software.If you appreciate their efforts, and would like to ensure Apache OpenOffice continues into the future, please consider contributing to the project - see http://openoffice.apache.org/get-involved.html for details on contributing time and http://www.apache.org/foundation/contributing.html for details on donations. Everyone has a contribution to make.


So that seems to be clear, though might have changed over the years. This is the readme that accompanies the software. My eyes crossed when I attempted the licence

[Updated on: Mon, 04 February 2019 00:15]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Publishing, Kindle, E-readers and Paper  [message #75488 is a reply to message #75486] Mon, 04 February 2019 00:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13108



Apostrophes. I found an authoritative document

It seems there are others that all work. "James's elephant" and "James' elephant" are both allowed. I prefer "James's" and have probably also been inconsistent.

[Updated on: Mon, 04 February 2019 00:39]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Publishing, Kindle, E-readers and Paper  [message #75490 is a reply to message #75488] Mon, 04 February 2019 01:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Teddy is currently offline  Teddy   United States

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Location: USA
Registered: October 2006
Messages: 151



I've got a work in progress with a protagonist by the name of Travis. I did a lot of research on apostrophe use before settling on spelling the possessive as Travis's. I've had a couple of folks beta read what I've got done so far and one of them objected to my choice, but I stand by what I've done. Nearly all the supporting documentation I can find says I made the correct decision.



“There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.” - Terry Pratchett
Re: Publishing, Kindle, E-readers and Paper  [message #75491 is a reply to message #75490] Mon, 04 February 2019 22:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13108



I am now very close to the deadline when Amazon will respond about pagination. It is clear to me that Kindle Create does not yet work for paperbacks, but it is a Beta version. IN full expectation of being told that I have prepared a carefully paginated pdf.

Tasks to remember:
  • Different page headers, odd and even. Author name goes on the left hand page, book name goes on the right. Consider whether or not to put chapter names, numbers, in the header. I have not.
  • Different footers on odd and even pages.
  • Different style page numbering after the contents page: Front Matter gets no numbers. Some folk consider forewords, intros as front matter, but it is useful to give them Roman numerals. This then gets included in the Contents page, because it is after it
  • Decide if a Contents Page is useful, if not then lose it. If useful it must be on a right hand page
  • New chapters start on a right hand page. Learn about insertion of page breaks. A blank left hand page does not matter at all
  • The meat of the book has ordinary numbers. Even pages left aligned, odd pages right aligned
  • End Matter has alpha 'numbers'. It should be short

Once checked and checked again (two up page display in your WP system is very useful) create a pdf. Inspect the pdf in two page display.

There is a fair bit of work to do in all that. And I have been doing it. I shall let today expire in Amazon Time, and then upload the pdf. There is no need for haste here. After upload I expect 72 hours to elapse before I hear back form them either with problems or that it has gone live



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Publishing, Kindle, E-readers and Paper  [message #75495 is a reply to message #75491] Tue, 05 February 2019 04:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Teddy is currently offline  Teddy   United States

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Registered: October 2006
Messages: 151



Best of luck! 



“There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.” - Terry Pratchett
Re: Publishing, Kindle, E-readers and Paper  [message #75497 is a reply to message #75495] Tue, 05 February 2019 12:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13108



And now, the end is near, and so I face...

There is one element missing in all of this, and I discovered it right at the end! I submitted a formatted pdf from my WP document, which was in A4. Us folks will be a US size. It inhaled it fine, but I had broken the margins. I have reformatted my document to the following specifications:

http://forum.iomfats.org/?t=getfile&id=5053&private=0

Obviously I have had to convert inches to metric. Your WP program will have a different formatting mechanism from mine.

Then I had to go through and do minor reformatting, making sure that new chapters were back on the right hand page. That would all have been easier if I had known this at the start. Now you do!



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Publishing, Kindle, E-readers and Paper  [message #75499 is a reply to message #75497] Tue, 05 February 2019 17:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Teddy is currently offline  Teddy   United States

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It's one of my pet peeves about some of these sites. Although I've not tried self publishing of books, I've used a variety of personal blog services in recent years. Often they don't tell you stuff up front, and it seems they allow you to do things that don't work without letting you know it didn't work after you've done it. Or conversely, they won't allow you to do something but offer no real explanation why as to why. Some of them host discussion boards that allow you to ask questions and the responses are either inane or so technical the layman has no hope of understanding them. You're basicly left on your own to discover how to do it with little or no guidance. Frustrating.

Maybe self-publishing with Amazon is a bit more usesr friendly, but it seems that, even though it may be, you're still fighting issues. Thanks for sharing the results of your efforts. I'm sure someone will benefit.




“There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.” - Terry Pratchett
Re: Publishing, Kindle, E-readers and Paper  [message #75500 is a reply to message #75499] Tue, 05 February 2019 17:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13108



It wasn't too bad, but I'm also pretty WP literate so I don't have to scratch around too long before the solution appears. Google is very useful in  this too. Back in 1979 I was selling A M Jacquard word processing machines, and we did a lot of our own sales demos. Later I was a WP trainer for a while for Pr1me Computer in the UK. Met M$ Word under Windows 3.1 when it was brand new. I still think 3.1 is the best version of Windows!

Once you learn about headers and footers and page layout then all else becomes straightforward. It just isn't always easy!

Oh, a key MUST DO is to use styles. When things change then you can change the entire document by editing a style

[Updated on: Tue, 05 February 2019 18:39]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Publishing, Kindle, E-readers and Paper  [message #75514 is a reply to message #75500] Sun, 10 February 2019 15:18 Go to previous message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13108



I've just distilled this into a new site page Publishing on Amazon because I know people will wish to achieve it. It's not hugely hard, but it can get annoying

Do point errors out to me, please.

[Updated on: Sun, 10 February 2019 16:52]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
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