Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘eBook’

Welcome to Toolbox Saturday where you’ll find tools for various things from writing to whatever.

I’ve blogged about using a training budget before, but sometimes you may find your budget is hovering around $0. What do you do then? Spend time trolling through other author’s blogs, especially those who offer eBooks (and other types of media) covering topics you’re interested in, and prowling over social media networks. There are three things to be gained from this.

Read the rest of 3 Ways to Get Free (Or Almost Free) Training.

This blog, The Road to Writing, will be discontinued Dec. 31, 2011. If you would like to continue receiving great tips and inspirational posts please remember to subscribe to my new blog by RSS or email for LOL Mondays, Spirit Wednesdays and Toolbox Saturdays.

Read Full Post »

If you don’t already know how important having an ebook is, then perhaps you want to check out this post: Ebook Buyers: Can You Afford To Lose Them?

For the rest of you, I’d like to make a quick suggestion: don’t stop with ebooks.

On the Enneagram my husband is a 7 and I am a 9. We like to joke that he’s the idea man, but I’m the one who makes those ideas come to life. So, when my idea man suggested I put my latest book, Simply Prayer (also on Nook and Kindle), out as an audio book, I jumped on it. (It didn’t hurt that I know at least one person who prefers audio books because she’s so busy.)

A little research helped me find not only how to produce my own audio book for free, but also who I could list it with (distribution is still a major factor in making money!).

Here’s what I learned so far:

  1. Author Tim Hampton suggested in an interview on Self Publishing Coach using CDbaby.com because “CDbaby also makes my work avaliable at itunes, emusic and more…”

  2. There is free software available to create your audio book called Audacity.

  3. There are tutorials like Create An Audio Book With Audacity & Audiobook Cutter and Create and Sell an Audio Book Using These 5 Simple Steps by Shelley Hitz.

  4. Don’t expect the print version of your book to make sense to a listener. You may need to script your book, especially if it contains long web site addresses or footnotes.

I’ve only just begun working on putting together a Simply Prayer audio book, so I’ll be adding more information as I go. In the meantime, I would love to hear from anyone who has thought about doing an audio book or has already made that journey. What tips or questions do you have?

Read Full Post »

The proof of my second book, Simply Prayer, finally arrived in the mail this week and I’m happy with it overall. I admit, though, that I had to beg my husband to read through it just to make sure the errors I found needed to be fixed or if I was just being a perfectionist. Usually I would have simply buckled down, fixed the errors and, as I want it available by Ash Wednesday, ordered an expressed shipped proof. However, I ran into a snag with the digital files — which is the point of this post.

If you use InDesign CS4 you probably know about the book feature where several separate files can be compiled into a single book. It’s a great tool that keeps file size down and makes it simpler to print a single chapter.

The downside, as I discovered after sending my .pdf to CreateSpace, is transferring all those files into an ebook. You can’t simply re-save the book with a new name and expect the chapter files to save themselves as new files too. You’ll have a newly named book using the original chapter files instead.

What that means is that any re-formatting you do to your chapters will be saved over the original files. For instance, I wanted to include the pictures from the print edition in the ebook edition, but I wanted them to be seen just before the section titles. To do that I followed Elizabeth Castro’s instructions from EPUB Straight to the Point and pasted them directly into the text box. It looks great in the epub, but when I went back to check something in the original book file (after making those changes to two entire chapters!) I discovered that change was there as well. Not good.

If I had already approved the print edition and had no plans to ever release a second edition similar to the first, then it wouldn’t be a problem. Now, if I wanted to make any changes to the print edition, it will be a major headache. I’ll have to re-format the print files, getting them back to the original as close as I can, before I can correct those little things I didn’t like.

The good news, at least, is that I’ve learned a valuable lesson I can pass on to all of you.

  1. Save the original files in a single folder, including images and anything else contained in your print edition.

  2. Copy everything from that folder into a second folder strictly for epublishing and web content.

  3. Re-name everything in the second folder. I chose putting an “e” in front of each file name to make it easily identifiable.

  4. Open the new “eBook” in IDCS4, select all the old chapter files, click the remove button, then add the new “eChapters.”
  5.  

It’s a little bit of work to create a second set of files in a new folder, but believe me when I say a little work now will save a lot of work later. What other tips and tricks have you learned while putting your book together?

Read Full Post »

It’s amazing, being a mother of a toddler, how much this little girl has taught me in just the 1 1/2 years she’s been with us. What’s even more amazing is that many of those lessons can be applied to self-publishing.

Lesson #1: Anything worth doing takes time. My daughter has been a little slow in using “big people” words, until recently. In fact, up until a few days ago, she would refuse to say words we knew she knew how to say. I can only guess the reason behind it was she wanted to be sure she could say it right before putting it out there for everyone to hear. In self-publishing,  throwing your work out to the general public before you’ve refined it to its best is a very bad decision. It’s bad for sales, bad for your reputation and bad for other self-publishers’ reputations. If you think it’s worth publishing, then take the time to do it well.

Lesson #2: Learn to have patience, with yourself and those around you. Tiny Tot, as we affectionately call her, can throw some of the best tantrums when she loses patience with a toy that isn’t doing exactly what she wants. She’s actually lost patience with herself, not the toy. Thankfully, Grandma has helped her cope with those moments by teaching her to tell herself that it’s okay, with a little patience she’ll be able to do what she is trying to do. (We now hear her repeating “okay” to herself on those occasions.) As a self-publisher, you want to make it all happen right now, but that’s not the way it works. It takes time to build a fan base, time to build your email list. Everything takes time and that’s okay.

Lesson #3: Sometimes it helps to explain what you’re doing. Refilling a sippy cup of milk used to cause a melt-down. She was getting what she wanted, more milk, but she didn’t understand what had to happen to get it. Since we began explaining each step as we do it we’ve managed to avoid those tantrums. I’ve found gathering support for my self-publishing venture easier to gain when I explain exactly what it is I’m doing along the way.

Lesson #4: If you’re having a hard time making anything do what you want, take a nap (or at least a break). When my little girl starts throwing tantrums over the smallest things, a piece of paper she can’t fit into a bottle or the opening of the freezer instead of the refrigerator (she’s still working on how to make her wants known), I know it’s time for some downtime, be it a nap or just a drink and some quiet rocking time with Mama. I understand where she’s coming from because when I get tired and/or frustrated with a project I know it’s time for a break — or to go to bed when I’m burning the midnight oil. Coming back to a project refreshed means being able to look at it from other angles and maybe finding a solution I didn’t see before.

Lesson #5: You can do anything you set your mind to so long as you believe in yourself. Tiny Tot has done some things I didn’t think she’d be able to. For example, at eleven months old she said her first (and only to date) complete sentence. She asked her Grandma, “Can I do that?”, meaning she wanted to help Grandma re-load the dishwasher. If her Grandma and one of her aunt’s hadn’t also heard her say it, I would have believed my mind was playing tricks on me. She didn’t know she wasn’t supposed to be able to do that, but she did it. Self-publishing can be like that. There are a lot of experts who say you can’t do better than break even by self-publishing; however there are people doing just that. In fact, it’s said that self-published fiction books (especially in eBook form) are the least likely to be purchased and yet Independent Authors like Joe Konrath are doing quite well. These people have been told they “can’t” do what they’re doing. They just don’t accept that they “can’t.”

I’m glad I’ve taken the time to get to know my little girl because she’s given me some wonderful tips. Listening to what my toddler teaches has made my life, and my self-publishing career, a richer experience on The Road to Writing.

Read Full Post »

We have the flu at our house, so this will be just a short post (and probably a bit scattered in its organization, so I apologize).  I hope to write more on the subject at a later date.  Perhaps by then I’ll have tried all the techniques suggested in the following links and will be able to give you a heads up on what’s worked best for me.

To begin, a lot of first time Independent Authors may think using a print ad will help sell their book.  Not so, says Morris Rosenthal.  Think about when you last purchased a book.  Did you buy it because you saw a great print ad that convinced you to buy it?  Not too likely.  You probably bought it either because you got a peek at what was inside or you heard a great review either by someone you know or another online customer (assuming you bought it somewhere like Amazon).

Going along with that is an article by Sam Henrie that gives tips on how to best market your book.  He says that authors shouldn’t focus on brick-and-mortar stores, but rather on online stores like Amazon and on online marketing.  At the very end of his article he states that every author should have a web site, which will help sell the books.  Some suggest publishing completely online.

On that, Morris Rosenthal says in his article “Book Marketing — Reasearch Competing Title Sales And How To Market Books Online”, “You can’t give the whole book away for free and not expect it to affect sales.”  I’ve been considering putting a chapter or two for potential readers on my web site (which I have yet to build :P).   We’ll see how that works for me.  According to Rosenthal, his sales jumped 200% when he put only the first three chapters of his book Start Your Own Computer Business: The Unembellished Guide on his site.

As for actual strategies on how to market a book online, I’ve discovered a wonderful free eBook called Plug Your Book by Steve Weber.  Weber says, “A single strategy won’t work, but a combined effort will produce results, and the effect will be cumulative.”  I plan on doing as he suggests and reading through the book entirely, then attacking each strategy in turn.  I’ll be keeping track of my progress on a calendar, as he also suggests, and plan on updating all of you as well.

Well, my “short post” wasn’t as short as I had planned, but sometimes that’s the way it goes on The (long) Road to Writing.

Read Full Post »