Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Promotions block

We hear a lot about writes block, but what about promotions block - when thinking of ideas is no problem, writing them down is achieved despite cats, and life in general trying to distract me into doing anything but...

For a self publisher every hurdle has to be jumped/staggered over in order to get the books out there into the hands of customers. So editing and formatting have had to be  met head on, tackled to the ground and  and overcome.

Next came marketing - an early foray into bookshops had mixed success, with the added risk of books going down on the sinking ship if the shop goes under - and this has happened to big and small bookshops.

Direct selling at book signings and craft fairs gives a turnover of sales and an ego boost as people admire and buy the books. But how to get the books selling in greater numbers... ?

Well that is my next hurdle, but I know I have fun stories that people love, so I'll just keep trying everything, until something works, because my books deserve to be read. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


I'm not usually one to go about shouting, but maybe that's what's needed... it seems it's not enough to publish a book and offer it for sale. Going out to book signings is only going to catch sales from the people who are there on the day.

So what is the modern day equivalent of standing on a soap box and shouting out my message I wonder?

Books are the perfect product to buy and sell on-line: you can see the cover, read the blurb, or even an excerpt, then order the book and it will arrive in your home as if by magic - what could be better...?

...but how to gather all these shoppers into my on-line shop? Well that is the part that seems to be even harder than formatting for kindle... and believe me that is hard enough...

Monday, February 25, 2013

Book promotion on a zero budget...

There are lots of catchphrases out there relating to business and promotion, one of my favourites  is Speculate to accumulate. And with that in mind I have spent time and money on writing and producing beautiful books. But when it comes to advertising, I'd far rather spend money on a beautiful product than on advertising that may or may not pay dividend.

So is promotion on a zero budget really possible...? Well lets find out... On my website you'll find an excerpt to my latest kindle book: A face Full of Snow, and should you wish to purchase it you'll find it in the kindle store . Or if you want to buy a shiny new paperback you can go to my website and buy a signed copy.

If anyone would like to share their zero budget promotion ideas, I'd love to hear from you.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

New release on kindle

I had to smile as the launch of A Face Full of Snow on kindle, brought with it a flurry of snow after I hit the publish button yesterday, then more flurries as it went live today. Nothing on the scale of the big dump of snow that arrived to celebrate the launch of the paperback version, when we had snow on the ground for weeks, but it was still a nice gesture by the weather...

Friday, February 22, 2013

New on kindle...

Finally everything is ready, all the hurdles jumped/stumbled over, and despite the internet being sooo slow this morning, as if trying to thwart me to the end... I hit the publish button and  A Face full of Snow is now launching on kindle. and should be up there on amazon either today or tomorrow.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

How to format pictures for kindle

This is what worked for me, with my black and white line drawings:

Convert images to GIF image.
GIF images work better than JPEG for black and white images, when saved as JPEG a border line appeared on the bottom, and right side edges of my pictures.
Files can be converted in most photo editing software, where image size can be reduced to fit. Kindle supports image size up to 127KB. The best way is to get stuck in and have a go, and see what size works for your images and text. Save as 'GIF' file .

Insert image and format the image in line with text so that the image will flow along when the font size is set to different sizes, otherwise the images will shuffle around and end up stacked up like an untidy stack of cards.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Formatting for black and white line drawings in a kindle book.

I've finally cracked it... I've formatted my black and white line drawings into my ebook, and, subject to a final check through, it should be published on kindle this week. I never did manage to get rid of the lines around the pictures with JPEG files, so I went back to the GIF files, and once I'd played around with the image size in adobe, and formatted them to be in line with text, they all fell into place - the right place this time, not stacked up like a pack of cards...

I'll add some more organised info about my formatting another day - but right now, after a day with my head stuck in my laptop, I seem to have got nothing else done and now I'm hungry - off to find food...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

amazon knows me too well...

Why is it easier to buy a book than write one, and even harder, it seems to reformat one for kindle... and it doesn't help that amazon seem to know me far too well - I've just bought a book that they sent me a link to - to be fair they sent me a link to buy the kindle version, which would have been cheaper, but as that would mean having to read the book off the computer, I've ordered a paperback. And what could be better as the snow piles up outside, than having a new paperback winging its way to my door...

Friday, February 01, 2013

...still formatting

So much for the GIF theory... that made no difference, the pictures still heaped up into piles as if I'd thrown them there. So back to the JPEG pics, but this time formatted to be in line with text instead of centered, and the pictures are now where they're meant to be ... but... most, but not all now have a line down one or two sides of the picture. ARHHH I need a break... and tea...

Formatting for kindle

It seems that formatting for kindle, like many other things related to computers, is total witchcraft... I reformatted my black and white line drawings so that they all fell between the lines of text, and not with wrap around text as I have them in the paperback version of A Face Full of Snow but they still scattered around the page like a pack of cards when it went through the conversion process... I'm resizing and saving all images as GIF as that is supposed to be the preferred format for black and white drawings... we'll see how that goes. 

When I epublished Doodle Mayhem I used JPEG for images, but had to reformat the whole thing after it went through the kindle conversion process.