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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Indie-Publishing Tips re Amazon and Barnes & Noble e-Book Uploads

Having just uploaded my fourth nonfiction to Amazon, this process is fresher in my mind.  Here's some random tips to share with any newbie Indie-publishing authors reading my blog.

For the home page of the Kindle Boards, see:  http://www.kindleboards.com/index.php (cut and paste in your browser).

Or click on it within my Favorite Links on the right-hand sidebar. 

1.  When you upload your cover JPEG to Amazon, it is blurred.  Do not stress out.  The published thumbnail found on the Amazon website a day or so later is much better.  Except for my last one.  It could be because this is the lightest background cover I've ever used (a fleshy peach-colored tone) or it could be because my new printer/scanner has a default setting that is not dense enough with pictures to capture a really good, pixel-rich JPEG.  I've uploaded my new improved cover with a title utilizing bigger text that I hope fixes the readability factor once live on Amazon in a couple days.  Will let you know.

2.  My first three e-books were author-oriented so I posted them on Kindle Boards Book Bazaar where all the other authors toot their horns about their new e-releases.  Here's that process in a nutshell:  once you have your initial post up, you must wait for the Administrator's okay before you respond to anything (if I remember the rules correctly that I read half a year ago).  Then you are only allowed to hit Reply once a week (if initial post was on Thursday, then every Thursday thereafter) which moves your Post up to position #1 on page #1.  Unless you get a message from an interested viewer, then you get to Reply to each of those.  BUT ONLY AFTER THE MODERATOR GIVES YOU THE THUMBS-UP.

3.  You need to create your "signature" within the Kindle Boards.  My signature is one thumbnail cover of each of my e-books (which when you click it, leads you right into Amazon's page for that particular book), followed by my name, and then one quote that I dearly love.  To do your initial Signature, go to Profile tab, then locate the left-hand box entitled "Modify Profile" then click on "Forum Profile Information" where you will fill in your data, choose a picture to go beside your name (I chose one of my book covers), and other things.  Then you need to create your signature by going up top and click on Link-Maker among the blue-gray words.  Type in your name in the search box to retrieve your Amazon offerings, choose each book to add a cover link in your signature, one at a time, and click on one, then move over to the right and choose a cover picture instead of just text.  Choose the size that is pretty much the thumbnail you see on Amazon.  That seems to be the right size allowable within the Kindle Boards.  Once your picture is seen, click on Select to get all the computer jargon necessary to pull up this book cover, copy it (Ctrl + C) and then bring your cursor back down to the Create Signature part and paste it (Ctrl + V) into the signature-creating box awaiting that info.  While still in that info-needing box, put in a Return (Enter), type in your author name followed by another Return/Enter, and any pithy quote or life reflection or your tagline you wish to be associated with.  HIT SAVE.  Or Update or whatever seals the deal.  That's it!  Yeah, I know.  A lot to remember.  And believe me, I still have to jog my brain every couple months when I need to update my Profile signature.  Hope this helps you.  I know it will help me the next time around.

4.  My newest e-book is a quotations collection so geared to a wider audience than just authors.  If you are producing such books, then we should all visit the Kindle Boards Writers' Cafe to chat with other authors.  Plus check out the Book Corner for reader discussions.  NOTE:  the only self-promotion site is the Book Bazaar

5.  You should read all the KB rules and regulations but I hope to share a few shortcuts here.

6.  There is also an email to send to within the KB for a shout-out of each of your new releases.  They do two listings:  one alphabetical and one by genre.  Pretty cool.  But again, the moderator must have posted a Reply to your initial Post before you can do this step.  It is found under the KB Book Bazaar as one of the always-at-the-top postings entitled:  Official Master List of KB Authors, found at http://www.kindleboards.com/index.php/topic,27178.0.html (cut and paste into your browser) or see quick link on my sidebar under Favorite Links.

7.  Also go to Introductions & Welcomes within the KB especially if you are a first-timer to the KB area.

8.  BE SURE to preview your text upload to fix any glitches:  too many returns, not enough returns, odd indents, odd fonts, run-ins, odd page breaks, etc.

9.  ONE BIG THING within Amazon:  use the Insert, Breaks, Page function for any page breaks between sections or chapters within your Microsoft Word document.  VERY IMPORTANT.

10.  FOR BARNES & NOBLE PUBIT! UPLOADS:  you still need to preview the upload as it will appear differently than the one you saw within Amazon.  Different software, I guess, produces different page layouts.  Other than that, you need to upload a JPEG cover with very stringent specifications.  The covers I upload to Amazon are not acceptable to B&N.  Here's the specs: 

Web Results
It walks you through creating an account, uploading your eBook file, cover image,  ... The sides must be between 750 pixels and 2000 pixels in length. ...
~~  I do that pixel reduction within GIMP (free art software), even without an instruction manual.  So it is easy for a newbie to navigate.  If memory serves, click on the Size tab once in GIMP2 and just change the pixel count to fall below 2000 pixels in both directions.  Easy peasy.

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For now, that is all I've got.  Enough to curdle the old brain cells, but not as much info as there is within the KB website, so I hope I've saved you some time and cut through to the kernels you need most.

On to day three of NaNoWriMo . . .

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