Month: March 2015

Maniacal laughter and book formatting issues on Amazon

Okay, here is some advice to all writers who publish or want to publish through Amazon.com, and can’t afford to pay a graphic designer for the book interior.

So, let’s say you are about to publish your book through Amazon’s kindle program. First of all, congratulations! It wasn’t an easy ride and believe me, I know it. Here is some advice I discovered through bitter experience, in the hope that you won’t have to go through the same. 

When you upload the book file to the Kindle Converter, download the converted file to your kindle and check it page by page BEFORE publishing it. Why? Because the online reviewer does not spot all issues. I did a very thorough checking of my book interior using the online converter and it seemed decent, so I published it. Yesterday that was the free promotion day I downloaded a copy out of curiosity. As soon as I started flipping through the pages I was horrified. All those pages the online reviewer had shown to be fine, weren’t so fine-looking on my kindle. The name was on one page, the title on another. The word ‘Dedication’ was changing place between the bottom of one page and the beginning of another one. The tabs in some of the stories had moved further inside the text. Those problems had been there all along and yet the online converter showed the text to be okay. Only after reviewing the text on my kindle page by page and re-uploading the corrected draft several times did I manage to get it right. There is nothing I can do about those copies with the wonky interior that have been downloaded already, and to be 100% honest, I am content with the fact there are no grammar mistakes or typos there (or at least I pray there aren’t). I hope readers can live with the fact there are some minor formatting issues, especially since we’re talking about something they downloaded for free. For those who are too picky with such matters, please cut me some slack and buy the paperback. They are no such problems there. 😉 (Nope, this isn’t shameless self-promotion, it’s an attempt to say something funny because I know some people WILL complain about it, so there.)

If you are a writer, here is what to do in order to download the converted interior of your book. After you have uploaded the book interior and it has been converted to kindle format, go to ‘Preview your Book’ section. Go to ‘Downloadable Previewer’ and choose ‘Download Book Preview File’. Then transfer it via USB to your device and read the file there just like you would do with any other ebook. If you spot any formatting mistakes, you need to make corrections to your original book interior file and re-upload it. Then download it and check it again. I’ve lost count of how many times I have done this. Good luck and patience. You’re going to need both.

If you are interested in self-publishing, here are some articles that can help you. They had helped me a lot when I started out. If you want my opinion, don’t feel sorry for money spent on an editor and a decent book cover. It makes a huge difference.

 


  
Mrs. KJ Charles also offers some VERY good and funny advice on writing:


I hope this helps! My (corrected) book is here: 

http://www.amazon.com/Lizbeth-Gabriel/e/B00HVCOFMY

Now that WAS shameless self-promotion. 😀 See the difference?

Free ebook for Saturday, 28/3

Okay, I am going to give my ebook free just for tomorrow Saturday, 28th of March. To download it please go there:

http://www.amazon.com/Lizbeth-Gabriel/e/B00HVCOFMY

If you like it, kindly rate and/ or review it. It really helps! And thank you.

Some thoughts on Amazon’s free ebooks

I recently checked Amazon’s list of free ebooks to see what’s available. I really enjoy reading, and having an e-reader of any kind means you can carry an infinite number of books with you without the bulk and weight. So I skimmed through the list to see what catches my fancy. Observations follow below.

One: every fourth book had a set of male abs as a cover. Not even a face. Just a set of abs. Pleasant as that may be, it gets old very soon. Usually the book indicated something wild going on, as in ‘cowboy’, ‘shifter’, ‘bad boy’, etc. Lots of strong words too, like ‘possessed’, ‘taking’, ‘owned’ ‘bitten’ etc. Imagine being bitten by a cowboy that shifts into a gorilla and owns you, but he loves you even though he’s a bad boy and dabbles in drug dealing in between riding horses and you. But golly, just one look at those smokin’ hot abs and you’re willing to forgive him everything, from stepping on discarded banana peels to finding his old friends from jail at your doorstep. (I think I skipped all the ab-covered ones. May have downloaded a couple for research purposes. Just to be sure, you know.)

Two: every tenth book had the word ‘billionaire’ in its title. Those ones had no visible abs. No, men of that category wear suits and ties. I mean, if you are a billionaire, abs come with billions just like malaria comes with specific mosquitoes. I wonder for how long bad copies of Fifty Shades of Grey will be floating around. Probably until the time their writers realise that the success of the Fifty Shades trilogy is a one time occurrence and they try to copy the next best seller. I think my next book should be about a billionaire who shifts into a broke guy with a flabby belly every full moon, disgracing the young lady he seduced and now owns. Or even worse, the young lady discovers that the billionaire she has been bitten by and now belongs to, exists only every full moon! In reality he’s an ordinary pizza delivery guy without THOSE ABS and THE BILLIONS and now she’s locked in the basement of an unimportant someone who wears the same pair of socks for a week. She was taken in by the suit, you see. She didn’t know he was (gasp!) a were-billion. (That sounds a lot like vermilion and what I had in mind was werewolf). Oh, the tragedy and human sorrow! Oh, the angst and the deep meaning of this unique literary work! I am going to go and prepare my Nobel acceptance speech immediately.  

Three: the summary of some books is so bad that it makes me wonder what the writer is hoping to achieve. The summary (also called blurb) at the back of the book serves as an advertisement and ‘bait’ to attract buyers. If you can’t describe what your book is about without making mistakes, I am sure the contents won’t be any better. And that discourages people from buying your work. In my case, I won’t download it even if it is free. (But I did download some of the ones with the abs. Now shush. You don’t understand. It is a sacrifice for the sake of knowledge.)

Four: some of the classics can be found on the list. I picked Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, Edgar Allan Poe, Guy de Maupassant, Oscar Wilde and other such old loves of mine, for free. Yep.

Five: there are SO MANY books (and so many writers) out there. There’s just so many of them. The fact I may spend the rest of my life reading and I won’t do more than scratch the surface never ceases to amaze me. It is just wonderful and scary at the same time. 

To be completely honest, one of the reasons I go through that list is to try and discover writers that exist outside my comfort zone. Bearing in mind that most free ebooks I have come across are terrible, this might not be such a good place to look, but hey. I too gave my book for free a few days ago and I honestly hope I am not terrible.

Now, back to editing. On the count of one, two, three: AAAARGHHHH!

Free ebook- just for this Sunday, 15/3

If you’d like to see what my writing is like, here is your chance to download my ebook for free. On Sunday, 15/3, I will run a one day free giveaway for the ebook. Please go to my amazon page, which is this one: 


and simply enough, download it for free! 🙂 Yay!

If you like what you’ve read, please take a few minutes to leave a positive review. And yes, those things do indeed help with sales and everything else. Help me to keep on writing! Or, as someone else put it:


Thanks a lot!

And I thought it was done!

I am referring to the SF book I’ve almost finished. I thought it was ready, and, you know, just needed an editor to correct those mistakes I had not seen. Right?

Yeah, right. 

I used an online software that spots repeated words etc. And much to my horror, discovered that the entire manuscript needs to be analysed and corrected again. There are so many adverbs in there. I thought I had avoided them and the entire manuscript is adverb-infested. And all those sentences that make no sense now that I reread them. And so many needless dialogue verbs. And so on, and so on. Come, let’s make a toast to the god Arghhhh. AAAARGGHHHH!

The best part? Oh, the fact that the free online software can’t take more than 1000 words of text every time, and I have to copy-paste-correct 107.000 words bit by bit. I can’t really describe my excitement.

Send me nutella, chocolate and protein. Do not cry for me. I will see this through and finish the third season of The Walking Dead after I am done as a reward.

With that said, there goes March.

Oh, and here is the software link, in case you need it and want to join me in depression:

http://prowritingaid.com/art/13/find-repeated-words-and-phrases.aspx#.VQM2A477NBH

The software, together with some hilarious and excellent writing advice, was found here:

https://kjcharleswriter.wordpress.com/ 

Mrs. Charles kick ass. Go there and you will see why.