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Tips, tricks, and suggestions

Self Publishing - Tips & Resources

Posts: 621
on 04/29/2012

Following on from a suggestion made by Chef in another thread here is a new thread concerned with the notion of self-publishing. This is not for everyone, but there are those here on Wizzley that have a number of articles related to the same subject which could form the basis of a (or many) good Kindle or other eBook offerings.

As most of us are Amazon affiliates it is easy to add Kindle book production to our portfolio. 

The advantages are:

1. They can work side by side without any hint of duplicate content (from an SEO point of view).

2. Interlinking articles and ebook content helps each of them.

3. If you are aiming at a keyword the Amazon authority gives a major boost.

4. Being a published author, albeit self-published, can boost your authority in the genre or niche you target.

5. I'm gonna stop there - perhaps this intro is better placed in an article for all to see...........

Anyway, you get the drift.

As stated in the other discussion thread I am putting together a strategy to take the maximum advantage of the opportunity offered by self publishing. I have been less productive on Wizzley whilst starting this exercise. If you are interested in taking advantage of my research and future strategy concepts, then please indicate your possible interest in a reply below.

I had intended to keep all informed by e-mail, then thought of setting up a specific forum, but if Wizzley is conducive to me using this forum thread to achieve what is necessary in conveying how we could all work together for the benefit of us all, then I shall do so - and thank them for it. (Wizzley will benefit if my strategy works as they will have articles written that review the e-books).

It is early days yet on this but I shall endeavour to keep those interested abreast of what can be achieved and where to find the 'right' (no pun) information to make it a profitable venture and one that proves that the best (by being published) writers reside at Wizzley.

By the way, it does not matter if you have already published on Kindle, or through a pdf, nook etc.. Your experiences will be gladly incorporated into how the final strategy comes together.

Posts: 973
on 04/29/2012

I'm def interested!  

Katie McMurray
Posts: 274
on 04/30/2012

I'm interested, too. This is great! I have recently finished publishing a children's novel on and am putting the finishing touches on a study guide to go with it. That is why, though I am just a few articles away from 100 Wizzles, I am slow about accomplishing that.

I have really enjoyed designing and doing all the "publisher" part of creating a book. I have been thinking through how to promote the book now that the production is finished. Making ebooks has been part of my strategy. 

I think it's a great idea for several of us to work together on promoting each other's work. It would give us new subjects to write wizzles about. I am willing to help with proofreading and such if anyone wants another pair of eyes to review text before taking the plunge. It's the promotion side of things, though, that I think would be most helpful for all of us. 

Let's keep talking.

Read one of my books Sheila's Books
Posts: 621
on 04/30/2012

SheilaMarie has hit the nail on the head - it is the promotion side that can benefit us all.

There are several things I am working on at the moment in consideration of the self-publishing market (not in any particular order):

1. The best place(s) for different kinds of e-book.

2. The ground-work necessary to have the correct format for a particular writing platform.

3. Resources to assist and enhance the production; determine if there is a market for the subject; pricing; and, best keywords for titles and descriptions.

4. Methods to: increase visibility; promote; and, cross-fertilize.

The most important aspect though, and one which will help each and every one of us, is collaboration. My initial thoughts run like this:

Create a group of like-minded people who do, or wish to, create additional revenue from self-publishing. Include in that group people who review ebooks (and books).

Make available pre-issue copies (for free) for review (and proof-reading if they don't mind doing that). [Maybe ask for a foreword with links to author profile.]

In return for the free copy, and when the ebook is published [uploaded], an honest written review (appropriate for the production) is requested (and a star rating or like, if appropriate). One that the reviewer stands by and is not ashamed of if presented to a friend or family member - no gushing endorsement, just an honest opinion.

This scenario works best the more members of the group there are.

On considering the Kindle option (Amazon) they have gone to a lot of trouble and researched thoroughly, to enable reviews, star ratings etc. They place books in a list for categories according to number of reviews, star rating, likes etc., before quantity of sales and other criteria. Basically the more reviews the better - and then the rinse and replay cycle starts - which enhances the chances of sales. The sooner the reviews mount up the better. So having a large group reviewing each new offering from the group will pay dividends for all participants.

If you are wondering if this is ethical and / or whether it could generate a 'slap', fear not. Amazon does not care - in fact they want additional content (that given in a review). If you worry about Google - then don't, because the Amazon authority will override any negative aspect that might have ensued - and additionally Google likes the 'authority' of books - many are at number 1, 2 or 3 for a short keyword search - especially if it is a 'best seller'. And ours can become best-sellers on the back of the 'quantity of reviews'.

Be aware: I am not advocating 'false reviews'. By making a free copy available and asking for an honest review to be made on Amazon Kindle, for instance, it is just replicating the type of promotion that real world book publishers do when they make copies available to professional book reviewers in National papers and the like.

One thing I need from the group to start is ideas about how best to make new publications available for review to the widest audience. Ideas on a postcard please - on second thoughts just add the idea below.

If there are any volunteers to undertake some of the research needed to put together a solid strategy for each of us to follow, I would be grateful for any assistance. 

PS Remember that you could earn from your Amazon account by linking to Kindle ebooks published by members of the group - so an article review about a book (or books) can also be lucrative. Link an Amazon-based review to your writing account (for backlinks, also).

PPS Try to get as many of the people that you know, or are in contact with, that are article writers, to join with us on this adventure. The more heads, helpers, and eventual reviewers the better.

Here to future earnings . Group hug!!!!

Posts: 4
on 04/30/2012

Definitely interested - look forward to hearing more.

Posts: 175
on 04/30/2012

Sounds interesting. I've certainly been considering book publishing as an option. 

I'm just not sure what to write about ... there are lots of options. I'd like to tackle some more serious subjects including technical, business, finance, career.

And potentially stuff for kids too. Hmm that gives me an idea ...

I'm in. 

Posts: 621
on 04/30/2012

Some of my initial research:

Most used formats:

.epub - Kindle, Nook, some Sony, most others, including Apple
.html -  Kindle, Nook, 1 Sony, most others
.mp3 - Kindle, Nook, some Sony, most others
.pdf - most Kindle, Nook, some Sony, most others
.txt - most Kindle, Nook, some Sony, most others
.doc - some 


Kindle DTP - Amazon 
Pub-It - Barnes & Noble
iBooks author - new from Apple - this may be the best solution for those with a concept to produce what I can only describe as 'multimedia' books. Can incorporate video etc into the ebook offering. Just recently launched.
Lulu - apparently best for POD digitals (see below)
Kobo - may be good for international language books as they have established links with local country printed book sellers (to sell digital books) - in France, UK, Japan, and wanting to expand this business model. They are backed by a large corporation.

eBook production and publish s/w:

Kindle format ok for Kindle, iPod, iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Mac & PC.
Smashwords - Sony - publish to Kobo, Nook, iBooks, Sony Reader, Kindle, iPad, HTML, .pdf
BookTango - Author Solution - states all platforms - includes templates for book covers
Graphicly - iBook, Kindle, Android, Nook - this was originally for comic production but has been opened up - could be good for picture based childrens books.

POD - Publish on demand

CreateSpace - Amazon - use in combination or separately from Kindle production - gives second line of sales for the same content.
Lulu - have read that it is not so good for eBooks, although easy to use, as not many potential customers go there.

If you can expand on any of this it would help. If anyone has any experience with any of these then please let us know - could be that an article subject lurks in any of these.

PS this is just my first stab at getting the info together.

PPS My task for myself is to determine which platform is best for any particular type of digital book conceived.

PPPS Another task is to determine how many different forms of book can be produced with essentially the same content, to max the earning potential from any effort.

PPPPS I also want to determine the different forms of promotion that should be used for each type of 'book'

It would seem that this is the best time to get into digital book production (and sales). Big players are entering the market for themselves - like Apple. The whole market is available as no category is saturated. With the correct strategy plus collaboration this market can be 'taken'. If we can create once and upload to the max no: of platforms then we max our earning potential. With collaboration we can max our positioning in the book lists (and search engines for the keywords in the title and description).


Posts: 973
on 04/30/2012

This is great learning so much, thanks  

Katie McMurray
Posts: 232
on 04/30/2012

Yes I might be interested, Chaz.

I've written a number of short stories which could possibly be bundled together as a fiction collection but they're adult horror and don't fit at all with the mostly cutesy stuff I do write about under my own name - so I'd have to publish those under a pseudonym.

I like the idea of doing something in the arts and crafts or kids genre under my own name but not sure what as yet.

Lots of authors have had success with the Kindle platform via Amazon and that would be my personal preference seeing as I'm a big Kindle fan too. Plus you can read KIndle books on mobiles, PCs, iPads, iPods and iPhones via a Kindle app so has a very wide-reaching market.

The native Kindle formats are .azw and .azw1 which are proprietary Amazon Kindle files which are essentially Amazon's own version of .mobi files. A Kindle will also recognize a the .mobi and .prc file formats which are very similar. Amazon owns the Mobipocket company who devised the .mobi ebook format.

A Kindle will recognize these plus a few other formats but it will not recognize an .epub file unless you converted that to a Kindle friendly format first.


Posts: 621
on 04/30/2012

Kinworm - thanks for reminding me 

the most used formats are just what you write in

for it to be compatible for Kindle they need to be converted

One free program that can achieve this is Calibre

Another thing is that Kindle requires a file to have minimal formatting:

I have a .doc template that assists, but was purchased, so I cannot make this available.

Posts: 12
on 06/07/2012

I am certainly interested in being involved. I have invited another friend (a published writer on Amazon and Lulu) to join Wizzley, and I'm sure she'd be keen to join this group as well.

Don't understand most of what's said in your second long post, but I am known as a decent writer (on HubPages, though I'm just starting out here), and I have several short stories all ready to go.

Happy to be involved, and help in any way I can

Posts: 973
on 07/08/2012

Checking back to keep up to date on this project.  

Katie McMurray
Posts: 621
on 07/09/2012

Katie, this project has taken me on a magical mystery tour with many detours along side tracks. It has developed beyond just Amazon publishing. As soon as I have brought all the elements together I shall reveal all my findings. That will be a few weeks yet I'm afraid. But be assured you Wizzley guys will be the first to 'benefit'.

Posts: 769
on 07/10/2012

Humagaia, I am definitely interested in being part of this project.  I have had ebooks on my to do list since last year, but just published a fiction book by another author.  At this time, I am just working in the Amazon Kindle market but I will be expanding that later on.

In this case, I do not want to be publicly associated with this project, but if anyone would like a free copy to review, I would be happy to send it to you.  This is the beginning of a series.  I also plan to write some of my own ebooks.

Paula Atwell (aka lakeerieartists) is the owner of an online art gallery, Lake Erie Artists Gallery and a freelance writer
Posts: 621
on 07/10/2012

L.E.A. - one of the side-tracks has led me down the eBook path.

That path will be incorporated into an holistic approach to content creation and distribution - now the full scope of my project. Ultimately I will present how to get the maximum (hopefully) traction and income from the content we produce.

Sorry it will take so long, but I think you will see from the new scope that this is a major undertaking and taking all of my time at the moment.

It will all be with you at the soonest opportunity.

Posts: 16
on 01/24/2014

Years ago I wrote an article researching POD services, and linking to other people's research on the subject, including cross-comparison charts of POD services. I am not trying to use this forum to promote myself, so I have the same username on HubPages, where the article resides, and it's titled clearly enough that anyone capable of finding an Amazon product can find the article under my username. Before you sign up for Lulu, check out the other POD sources, including cutting out the middleman and going solo.

Posts: 687
on 01/24/2014

Another resource

Please read note in top right corner before posting ;-) SY

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