Saturday, April 16, 2011
Guest Blogger Pam Crooks--Kindles and Nooks, oh my!
For years, I’ve been an e-book snob. From the day Romance Writers of America first broke the news (and I remember that day well) that one of our own had sold a book for a strange contraption called an e-reader, I’ve turned up my nose at the very idea.
I wasn’t alone. Legions of readers (and writers) declared they would never buy one. We were convinced the idea was too radical, too trendy and would never take off. We refused to give up that feel of holding a book in our hands, of smelling the ink on the paper and filling our shelves with scores (even hundreds!) of titles by well-loved authors. We believed those darn things were cold, impersonal, way too expensive and never, ever would we buy one.
Well, my friends, times are a-changin’.
In the past year, I’ve found myself growing more and more intrigued with them. Sales were picking up. Prices were going down. People were talking about them. Authors were selling for them. And then, lo and behold, it was Christmastime and hmmm, what could Santa bring me?
Yep, I found a Kindle under my tree, and I’m so hooked, it ain’t even funny.
The Kindle, the Nook, and all the other e-readers out there have literally changed the publishing world, and so fast, (once the notion took hold) our heads are spinning. We were shocked by the recent news that e-books have outsold print books - who could’ve known that would ever happen? - and brick and mortar stores are suffering.
But the news has translated into generous sales for authors, and it’s about time. Many of us who have been fortunate enough to have rights reverted on previous titles have made the savvy decision to publish our own books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and other sites. We’re breathing new life into work that once languished in that black void of out-of-print books.
Now, if you have a manuscript or two out there that you haven’t been able to sell, (and we all do!) you’re probably asking yourself - should I self-publish my book and try to sell it on my own? Can I make as much money as the others who are converting their backlists into ebooks?
Well, that’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? My take is, you won’t know until you try. It’s not difficult, it’s not expensive, and if you have a dream to see your book in a sell-able format, go for it. You deserve it. Just keep your expectations reasonable. Maybe you’ll make some decent money, and maybe you won’t, but you have to be willing to let readers know your book(s) are out there. In other words, promote, promote, promote.
If you’ve already made the decision to self-publish, here’s a few tips:
Before you do anything, go to www.smashwords.com and download their Style Guide for formatting guidelines. I printed out my own copy and it was my bible in the formatting process. Once you get the formatting down, the rest is a piece of cake.
For example, they’ll give you guides on phrasing the front matter and suggestions on what information to include at the end of your book. They’ll show you keyboarding tricks, too. Be sure to steer away from quirky fonts and symbols, because they might not show up in the finished product. Stick with the basics, ie, Times New Roman.
If you still need help formatting, don’t have an electronic file anymore, only the physical book, or whatever, check out: http://www.ebookprep.com/
You can’t use the ISBN on your original book. You weren’t the original publisher. But never fear . . ..
If you publish on Kindle, you don’t need an ISBN. Amazon assigns you an ASIN for free. But it’s only for Amazon.
If you publish on Smashwords, they will assign you an ISBN for $9.95 (taken out of your royalties) IF your book makes it to their Premium Catalog. (If it doesn’t make it into the Premium Catalog, Smashwords will have their own number for you.) But if your book is done properly, it should make into their Premium Catalog for distribution with no problem.
If you publish on B & N’s PubIt! for Nook, you don’t need an ISBN for that, either. They’ll have their own set-up to keep track of your sales.
Note: Some authors will use the Smashwords ISBN for Kindle and B & N.
Some authors will go to www.bowker.com and buy one or more, but it’s very expensive.
You can’t use your old print book cover. You won’t have the rights to it. So you’ll have to get a new cover designed for you. In my case, my daughter did mine for me.
A popular site for cover design is: www.hotdamndesigns.com. Smashwords can help you, too. Just check out their formatting guidelines.
Once your ebook is properly formatted and you have your new cover, you can start publishing. This is the fun and easy part. These are the sites I used:
http://www.amazon.com/ and their Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)
That’s it in a nutshell. Believe me, there’s a TON of information out there, and I’ve only touched on the tip of the iceberg. Do your homework.
And that brings me to why I’m visiting you all at Seekerville today. (Thank you, Mary!) Here are my new ebooks:
She grew up on the wrong side of the law, daughter of a master thief and student to his trade. But when he dies at the hands of an angry mob, she flees to a monastery to escape the world and her sins.
He is betrayed by his brother and sentenced to a life in prison. Only the thirst for revenge keeps him alive. He will do anything to escape . . .
Together . . .
They must run for their lives to survive their pasts. And in the journey, they find truth . . . and an unlikely love in their hearts.
She belonged to no world of her own.
Not the world of the Gypsy . . .
Liza was born to roam the land with her mother’s people, but she is shamed by the sin that made her forever different.
And not the world of the Gaje, the non-Gypsy . . .
Reese has set down roots deep in the Nebraska prairie. His dreams are sure to come true with a new railroad and a proper wife and child.
Until their worlds collide . . .
But Liza is accused unfairly by Reese’s people, and she is forced to flee the security of her world to see safety in his. When Reese’s careful plans for success are threatened, he must fight to save all he’s ever worked for.
Will it cost him the love he’s found with the beautiful, black-eyed woman with red-gold hair? His Lady Gypsy?
Carleigh wants only to escape her father’s lies and find the mother she never knew.
Trig is determined to bring her back again.
When she flees her San Francisco home in a frantic flight through the California wilderness, Trig is blackmailed by her unscrupulous father to chase after her. Though the blossoms of her innocence are crushed forever, revenge for the death of Trig’s younger brother leaves him no choice but to outwit her escape attempts time and time again.
Carleigh must untangle the web of deceit in her past. Trig knows the truth can destroy her. But as a special agent for the United States government, he is drawn into an opium smuggling ring only Carleigh and her mother can help expose, and he is forced to choose between two loves–Carleigh or his country.
Will it cost him the only family he has left in the world? Or will he find new life with the beautiful woman whose very blood marked her his enemy?
One of her father’s daughters . . .
All Sonnie Mancuso wants is to be needed by her father. Unfortunately, he already has a daughter--six, to be exact--and all he needs is a son.
One of her father’s men . . .
Orphaned in the slums of New York, fifteen-year-old Lance Harmon needs a home. Sonnie’s father gives him one, on the cattle-rich Rocking M ranch. Through the years, Lance learns to love the land, the work . . . and Sonnie.
And their legacy . . .
But Vince Mancuso’s health is failing, and there’s trouble on the Wyoming range. Sonnie returns home to claim the legacy that’s rightfully hers . . . but learns Lance has already claimed it.
Do you have a Kindle, Nook or another e-reader? Do you like it? Tell us why. And if you hate it, tell us that, too!
Join in the discussion, and be eligible to win your choice of one of my newest e-books above!
For more information about my books: http://www.pamcrooks.com/