So, here's the thing! I often get jokes, pictures, and videos sent to me as email attachments, and I just delete them, but sometimes one pops out and bites me in the ass, and the one below is just such a video. I've shared it on FB, but I thought I'd put it here as well. It's already been seen by 119M people, so you've probably already seen it, but it's so funny it's worth watching a dozen or more times.
Anyway, I got asked the other day about putting books up on Amazon for the Kindle. Okay, so I have a few books up there, but it doesn't make me an expert - a drip under pressure! I've made a ton of mistakes in terms of formatting, pricing, covers, images... Well, you name it, I've naffed it up. So, I'm probably an expert on how not to do it!
Just so there's nobody out there calling me a snob, or mean, or other such endearing names, I'm gonna tell ya what I know... but, here's the caveat - don't blame me if it all goes pear-shaped! 1) Write a book - yeah, people often forget that bit! Now, I write my books in Word - I prefer the old Word, but I'm using the 2010 version because you can save in PDF - but when you save your book, save as a Word 93 - 2003 Document (.doc) because that's what Smashwords want. Don't worry, I'll get to Smashwords later.
So, you've finished your magnus opium. Now, I have different folders on my memory stick for different formats, and in a sense, they also act as backups of your book - Well, they would do if they weren't all on the same memory stick, so make sure you have a back-up memory stick as I do. Anyway, as I was saying, I have a Kindle Folder, and in that folder I have two sub-folders entitled 'Word' and 'HTML'. Save your book in the 'Word' folder - you now have two copies, but you're going to modify the book you've just saved.
You need to read the Smashwords Style Guide, and follow it religiously. As a basic guide, I highlight the whole document, and give it a 'Normal' style - usually Times New Roman, Point 10 - which is as much use as a chocolate fireguard (except that it gets rid of eroneous formatting like headings and body text and other such rubbish, which don't work on the Kindle! Keep it highlighted, and then make it all Point 12, and put a .5cm indent at the start of all paragraphs (I'm not going to tell you how to do that in Word because the different versions do it differently - find out!). I then go through the whole book and manually format using only the things that Kindle will recognise - Centre/Bold Chapter Headings, two hard spaces between everything that needs a space between two things such as chapters, headings, etc., I don't use italic because sometimes Kindle doesn't know when to stop, so you end up with a chapter of italic instead of one word! Hey, the trick is to keep it simples!
At the beginning of the book I use the copyright information from the Smashwords Style Guide, provide a caveat about names, say how much I love my wife - well, you have to, don't you?, say thanks to the proofreader, the dogwalker, the windowcleaner... you know the thing, but make sure it's not too long, people don't want to skip through a load of rubbish when they download your sample - Keep it short and sweet then you're into Chapter One: The meat hook had been pushed through the woman's neck, and she swung in the breeze like a... At the end of the book you can put stuff like: About the Author, here's all my other books, this is where you can find me on the Internet, and please don't be harsh when you write a review - I have a weak disposition! Whatever you like, but again - keep it short because the Kindle reader won't skip through the pages like a dead tree book - they go off the percentage of the book read and what's left displayed on the Kindle. If you've put you're autobiography at the end as padding, the reader will be most aggreived because the percentage left won't be what they've got left of the book!
So, save it. Now, save it again as a 'Web-Filtered' or 'HTML' document in your second folder 'HTML' - You can call the folders anything you want, you know! Now, you could go direct to KDP and upload your book - I am, of course, assuming you've already signed up, but if not, join here: KDP. So, you've got an account, you're in the 'BookShelf', but... there are no books there! Wait... you need a blurb, you need a cover, you need to decide on pricing... Oh dear! Log out of KDP, you're not ready to upload your book just yet.
Here's the thing! 'Pointless' is on now, and then I have to have my tea (dinner to posh people), do a bit more writing, watch Corrie and... Well, I think you get the idea. So, we'll call this Part One, and I'll write Part Two tomorrow, if that's all right with you, Toady?
Hi, I'm Tim Ellis - I write a lot and I hope you enjoy what I write.