Getting ebooks ready for POD

I religiously follow Dean Wesley Smith, reading everything he suggests, because he is an expert in the field of publishing. I then work out if I can do what he suggests, or keep his suggestions in mind for when I am more confident in producing stories.

His blog is well worth the time it takes away from writing or other activities. I believe it is better than a university education in publishing, both Indie and traditional, and, of course, it is free. I wish I was selling more stories, so I could slip some money into his Tip Jar. I understand I need patience while I wait for my list of stories to find readers, but after that I intend to tip him, just to show my appreciation for all he does for Indie authors.

I followed his advice to get my stories on Amazon, and they are selling, if very slowly. Hopefully, the sales will grow and catch up to iBooks, B&N and other sites soon.

In the meantime I will learn as much as I can to improve my style of story telling, which will find more readers.

When Dean talked about getting stories onto every site so more readers can find them, I listened. Check out his blog “Reasons for a Trade Paper Edition”.  If you want to make your writing into a business, understand the process, and practice the steps he suggests.

When he talked about the changes in pricing of Indie stories, I also listened. Check out his blog “Pricing Indie Books . . . Some 2012 Thoughts” and “New Survey That includes Pricing”. All interesting information that backs up his reasons.

I have now repriced my stories on length as Dean suggested, and at the start of April, I will change the prices in Smashwords, then wait until they are rolled out to all sites, before adjusting the prices on Amazon.

I saved a copy of an article on Self-Publishing Review, “Formatting your book with OpenOffice – Part 1” and “Part 2”.  Well worth printing out as a reference list, even if you use other software.

Another site, Self-Published Author’s Lounge has a good article on creating the cover page for a Paperback.

Of course, learning all the processes made me take another look at my stories. I have 3 novels in the “Broken” series that can be formatted for Createspace now. I also have one YA story that can be formatted for Createspace now. I need to write more Galaxy Freight novelettes before I can sell a paperback that includes the first 5 or 6 of them.

However, for most of them, I need to redo the covers in a larger graphic suitable for print books, so, I followed the links of a few artists I like, and found a tutorial on creating a photorealistic face using Photoshop here.

It led to another site, 2DTuts  for more wonderful tutorials that I can practice when I need a break from writing or editing.

Needless to say, I emailed Karin (aka niraky) with suggestions for what I was thinking would work on the first Broken cover, and got a quote. Now I have to save up the money required for her talented work, and get the first book POD ready.

Then, hopefully, it will sell enough to pay her for the second Broken cover, and I can repeat the process for the third Broken cover.

Thankfully, I can use the same cover for Jazz’s Asteroid as the ebook version, however, I will recreate it in a larger size, to include the spine and back cover area.

The amount of work required, editing to remove any remaining typos, checking the blurbs are active, not passive, creating the front matter pages, rewriting the back matter pages for print to include the start of the next story in the series, then formatting and creating the PDF file, then calculating the size of the spine and front and back cover graphics and text, and then actually uploading to Createspace, is daunting just thinking about it.

But, I can follow Dean’s suggestion of how to start building a book list, one step at a time.

Which all leads me to feeling guilty that I will now be spending the money saved from selling my stories on cover graphics instead of tipping Dean, so, in the meantime, I will keep telling everyone that visits my blog about Dean Wesley Smith and how he is earning an income on his writing and telling others. Hopefully, my linking to his site will help raise his profile in Google to lead others to his site, at least until I can send him a tip or two.

Have you already formatted your novels for Createspace?  Do you know where to start? What about covers? And blurbs for the back cover?

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6 comments so far

  1. Texanne on

    Hey, Diane. Very useful post. You’re a peach to share this. Have you seen Holly’s new lessons on self-publishing? I say, the more you can learn, specially in this New World of Publishing, the better. I like your covers. They look like the story would be exciting. 🙂

    • D J Mills on

      Hi, Tex. Yes, I downloaded and read the self-publishing lessons. However, Holly teaches from USA citizen perspective, not writers outside USA. We have more to learn and understand, including IRS tax forms, distribution on USA web sites, the type of fonts USA likes vs. the type of fonts and graphics Commonwealth likes, etc. Still, all fun and games. I am busy editing two more stories at the moment, then need covers designed, and formatting, etc. I love it!

  2. Angela/Curiocat on

    Hey, Diane. I don’t think you should feel guilty about not tipping DWS. He shares the information freely and understands not everyone is going to be able to tip. In fact I’m sure he would encourage you to put your money where it’s needed the most. By promoting his work to others you are doing more than compensating him, you’re validating him and his work and that’s everything.

    I love your covers, too. They’re awesome and so are you.

    Thanks for the links.

    • D J Mills on

      Thanks for the vote of confidence on my covers. 🙂 I still don’t understand the USA attraction to certain fonts! 🙂
      I have learnt so much about the publishing business from reading DWS site, and hope the rest of the HtTS crowd find his information as useful as I have when they reach the publishing stage in their writing career.

  3. E.K. Carmel on

    Thanks for all the links. I use Open Office for my writing and those links are particularly helpful, though not quite yet.

    So, everyone does something different as far as font styles, etc. goes? I guess I’m not too surprised. Kind of the same thing with electricity. From what I understand, if someone from the US travels to Europe, they better bring adapters for all their electronics. Personally, I think it would make life easier if there was more universality to these things.

    • D J Mills on

      I think the ebook cover that stands out in any list is vastly different to all the rest, no matter if it is font, layout, graphic, placement of text, colour of text on similar/different coloured background, etc.

      Main thing I have figured out so far, tell a good story, make cover attractive enough to get some readers, let word of mouth on how good the story is be carried from reader to reader, while writing the next good story. 🙂


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