Tag Archives: Kindle

Self-Publishing: 3 Things I’ve Learned Using Createspace and Kindle Direct Publishing

Now that the paperback and Kindle versions of All the Different Ways Love Can Feel are available for purchase, I thought I’d make a quick list of tips for potential self-publishers out there. These are based on my experiences using Createspace for my paperback and Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) for my eBook.

  1. Make sure to set up your paperback and eBook for pre-order. Doing this allows you to set-up a comprehensive marketing plan before your book’s official release. To set up your paperback for pre-order on Createspace, something I failed to do, you will need to use Amazon Advantage; from there, it is a fairly long and drawn out process. Click on this link for step-by-step instructions on how to utilize Amazon Advantage.  Setting up your eBook for pre-orders on KDP is a much simpler process, and, fortunately for me, I did manage to make All the Different Ways Love Can Feel available for pre-orders (click here). On KDP, there is a “Make my book available for pre-order” option. Click here for the step-by-step instructions. 
  2. Making your manuscript Kindle-ready IS A PAIN! In Microsoft Word, you will need to set up your book according to very specific formatting guidelines. I did that. I took my time to do it, carefully following KDP’s instructions on the subject. My manuscript still didn’t look right on the digital proof. So I got a recommendation from Shamus Award winner M. Ruth Myers, who self-publishes the excellent Maggie Sullivan series.  She suggested I use Karen Perkins, an author and editor who works in publishing, to do my Kindle conversion, which I did. It cost me $70 and was totally worth it. Karen was friendly, professional, and quick. Based out of England, Karen emailed  me a little worksheet about my book, I filled it out, and two days later she sent back my book, Kindle-ready.  If you’re interested, here is her contact information. I give her my highest recommendation.
  3. Edit carefully. Yes, this is an obvious one, but so necessary. Just before I published my book, I went back and proofread/edited it one more time. And I’m glad I did. I found about three typos per story, which I was able to correct before sending my book out into the world.

Please leave me comment. Let me know what self-publishing tips (or thoughts) you have.

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Max Everhart’s latest book is a collection of short stories called All the Different Ways Love Can Feel.  It is available on his Createspace store and Amazon. Find him on Facebook and twitter.

Using Createspace to Self-Publish, Step 1: Formatting your manuscript

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Over the past few weeks, I’ve been working on self-publishing a collection of my stories on Createspace, and I wanted to write a bit about the process. But first, a little context.

Overview of Createspace

Createspace is a publishing platform for books, CDs, and videos.  Owned by Amazon, Createspace is a fairly user-friendly platform where you can create an entire book (paperback and/or Kindle) for free, and then sell that book on Amazon for a price of your choosing with Createspace taking a percentage of the sales.  Two quick notes here.  One, there is an option on Createspace called Expanded Distribution, and that service will allow you to widen your book’s distribution, but the service is not free. Two, Createspace does take a percentage of every book you sell; however, I’ve had two different small publishers for my previous books, and the royalty rate on Createspace is much better than either of those publishers. Plus, with Createspace, you have the added benefit of setting the price. There is a royalty calculator you use when determining what you want to sell your book for. Click here for a better explanation on royalty calculations.

Formatting your Manuscript

The first step in the process is writing a great book. I just wanted to lead with that, even though it makes the title of this post false. So, to correct myself, formatting your manuscript is actually step two in the process. And, like most things on Createspace, it’s pretty easy. Basically, you have two options:

  • Option #1: Set up your manuscript according to very precise but not difficult specifications. You can click here and follow these step-by-step instructions on how to make sure Createspace will accept the Microsoft Word or PDF file that you upload. (Note: Word docs and PDFs are the only files Createspace will take.) I read through this article, and it looks simple enough. You just have to set the margins and insert page numbers in a specific way. . .stuff like that.  Definitely helpful information. Too bad I didn’t find it until after I’d already chosen. . .
  • Option #2: Just upload your manuscript as is, and let Createspace reject it. When they do, they give you a numbered list of corrections to make, you download the new file, make the corrections, and then resubmit.  Only problem with this option: you will need to make the corrections and visually inspect every page of the manuscript. Tedious, but again, not difficult. All told, it took me about thirty minutes to make the necessary corrections.

After your manuscript is formatted, you just need to submit a file for official review. Createspace will then review it, approve it, and then you move on to the next step in the publishing process, which, for me anyway, was creating a book cover. More on that later. . .

Tips for Formatting your Manuscript

  1. If your manuscript is double-spaced (2 on the spacing tab), change it to 1.5. I submitted a double-spaced manuscript, and this ran the page count up to 310. When I changed it to 1.5, the page count dropped to 237. Why does this matter? I think (don’t quote me on this), but I think the more pages your book has the more you have to sell it for to make more royalties. Me, I just didn’t like how few words were on each page in the double-spaced format. Looked like a Large Print book.
  2. Make sure each chapter starts on a new page. Not only does it look cleaner and help readers distinguish between one section of the book from another, it also helps avoid formatting issues, which can be a nightmare.

Next time, I’ll write about creating a book cover. Spoiler alert: it’s not as difficult as you might think.

Read Excerpt of ALPHABET LAND

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Attention fans of noir/hardboiled fiction: click here to read the first chapter of my forthcoming crime thriller Alphabet Land.  If you like it, pre-order the paperback ($14.95) or Kindle ($3.99) here. Or head over to Barnes & Noble and get it here.

Advanced praise for Alphabet Land: 

“Alphabet Land is as coarse and gritty as Carolina noir can get. Max Everhart has a new big fan.”
—JOHN VORHAUS, author of The California Roll 

“Everhart has skillfully put together a fresh, tight tale that juggles the story of multiple damaged goods characters that collide face-first on a chunk of dirt called Alphabet Land. Crime story goodness that’s gritty, pulpy, tragic, even funny at times and rips through pages like lightning.”
—MIKE McCRARY, author of Remo Went Rogue and Getting Ugly

“Alphabet Land, decrepit neighborhood on the wrong side of the bridge in Clyde, South Carolina. A bridge separating “haves” from “have nots,” opulence from squalor, justice from injustice. Meet the Rook, product of Alphabet Land, casket-maker and “problem-solver” by trade. Call him vigilante, or Robin Hood—the Rook lives by his own code and his word is his bond. Max Everhart’s mystifying hero is determined to stop the lustful power mongers from both sides of the bridge before greed destroys all hope for the hood’s people. Hang onto your hat, because you’re in for one hell of a non-stop ride through the dark and violent streets of Alphabet Land!”
—E. MICHAEL HELMS, author of the  Mac McClellan Mystery series

“Alphabet Land is a crooked little concoction of hard luck, urban decay, and vigilante style justice. In this fast-paced urban noir, Everhart introduces the Rook, a chess playing, coffin-building, monosyllabic badass, who’s hellbent on pushing back the rising tide of corruption in his city no matter what it takes. Highly recommended!”

–John Mantooth, author of The Year of the Storm and Shoebox Train Wreck

Book Giveaway for ED, NOT EDDIE (Eli Sharpe #3)…bribe offered!

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Ed, Not Eddie (Eli Sharpe #3) is now available for pre-order (click here to do so).  So in an effort to get you to order a book several months before it will be shipped to you, I’d like to offer a bribe.  The first (10) people to email me at maxeverhart30@yahoo.com with a proof of purchase for Ed, Not Eddie can choose (1) prize from below. This bribe is good until October 31st, so act now.

Keep in mind that if you’ve already purchased all of the above titles, I can still give them away to a person of your choosing. All I would need is an email address where the recipient can redeem the eBook.

Brass tax time, people. I need to sell a few dozen more copies of my books in order to receive my very first royalty check (fingers crossed). So if you’ve read my books and enjoyed them, pick up Ed, Not Eddie as well, and then give your prize to another lucky reader.

Best,

Max (struggling novelist/frustrated English instructor/misanthrope/

“Pink Elephant”. . new Eli Sharpe story only .99 cents!

Pink Elephant,” an action-packed short story featuring the always resourceful and quick-witted Eli Sharpe, is available now for only .99 cents on Kindle! Buy it here, and as always, if you like it, write a quick review on Amazon and/or share it on social media.

Description: Former pitcher Darren “Duck” Williams hires ex-ball player/present private detective Eli Sharpe to make a delivery—a stuffed pink elephant to Duck’s daughter. Stuffed with what? Drugs, that’s what, unbeknownst to Eli, and the girl isn’t related to Duck at all. Eli owes Duck bigtime for bailing him out once, or he’d never try to save his ass after being played—taken for a drug mule. The bad guy he’s up against, Mr. Spoon, is one stone cold killer. But Eli always has a card or two up his sleeve. Introducing Eli Sharpe, PI extraordinaire of the Eli Sharpe Mysteries, set in Asheville, NC. Full-length novel adventures include Go Go Gato, Split to Splinters, and the upcoming Ed, Not Eddie. 

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Publication Day: PORTABLE MAGIC: THE AUTHORS FIRST ANTHOLOGY

Very excited to announce that today The Story Plant is publishing Portable Magic, an engaging and versatile collection of short stories, and it includes my story “Virginia is a Different Country.” Click here to purchase it, only $4.99 on Kindle, or $16.95 for a paperback. Nearly one thousand stories were submitted, and I am grateful that mine was one of only seventeen selected for publication.

http://www.amazon.com/Portable-Magic-AuthorsFirst-Lou-Aronica/dp/1611882133/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1436201864&sr=8-2&keywords=portable+magic