Tag Archives: FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is Kindle Direct Publishing?

Kindle Direct Publishing, or KDP for short, is part of Amazon.com and provides a one-stop-shop for both ebooks and paperbacks. KDP uses ‘Print On Demand’ [POD] technology to produce trade paperbacks that are automatically listed for sale on Amazon.

What is POD?

POD is a relatively new technology that makes it possible to print just one book at a time.

Before the development of POD, all books were printed using offset technology. This involves etching the book onto metal plates, an expensive process. To be economically viable, large quantities of books have to be printed at one time. This is called a ‘run’. 1000 units [books] is often quoted as the realistic minimum per offset print ‘run’.

At such quantities, the cost per book is very low, but the total cost of the ‘run’ can be prohibitive for self-publishers. A POD book is more expensive, per unit, than a book printed the traditional way, but it has other advantages that make it ideal for self-publishers.

How does POD work?

On Amazon, POD works like this:

  • A customer sees your book and buys it,
  • Amazon sends the order to KDP,
  • KDP receives the order and produces a single copy of your book,
  • Amazon then posts your newly printed book to the customer,
  • The customer receives your book in the mail and the order process is complete.

Why use POD?

The most compelling reason to use POD is that it costs the author nothing up front. The cost of printing and selling the book is subtracted from the sale price of the book…after a customer buys it. The difference between the sale price and the total cost of printing and distributing the book is the author’s royalty.

What if I want to sell my book through bookshops?

At the present time, large bookstore chains do not sell self-published books. These chains are geared towards the traditional publishing houses which allow retailers to return unsold books. These books are then pulped.

Local, independent bookshops, however, may agree to stock self-published books.

Which version of Word does the guide use?

Most of the screenshots and examples used in this guide were developed using Microsoft Word 2016. For certain critical steps, however, information is also provided for Word 2003, 2007, 2010, and 2013.

More generally, anyone familiar with the Word Ribbon should have little trouble following the instructions, and the section on KDP does not require Word at all.

Requirements

To use this guide, you will need:

  1. your manuscript [in Word],
  2. the ability to save and retrieve files [in Windows],
  3. a connection to the internet [to access KDP],
  4. an email address.

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Innerscape FAQ

I messed up yesterday’s post because of toothache, so here’s all the stuff I should have explained before showing the covers:

What is Innerscape?

Innerscape is one very long story serialised in 5 episodes. Hence the numbers on the covers:

innerscape-episodes-1-to-5

What is the total Innerscape wordcount?

Total wordcount for all five episodes comes to 212,000 plus change. Divided by three, that would be 3 books of roughly 70,000 words each.

Why not just publish a trilogy?

Two reasons:

  1. Science fiction is traditionally about 90,000 words in length so I’d feel as if I were short-changing readers,
  2. The story simply refuses to fall into 3 neat piles. Instead, it evolved in 10 ‘parts’, 2 per episode.

How long is each episode?

The following shows the approximate wordcount for each episode:

Episode 1      48,000

Episode 2      35,000

Episode 3      40,000

Episode 4      30,000

Episode 5      57,000

Why publish Innerscape as a serial?

Each episode ends at a natural point in the story and is a novella in length; just right for a serial, just wrong for everything else.

[Note: According to Wiki, a novel is anything over 40,000 words, so technically episodes 1 and 5 are novels, but I’m not comfortable with that so I’m classifying them all as novellas]

How quickly will each episode be published?

I’d really like to publish episode 5 in time for Christmas, so that’s roughly one episode per week starting next Monday, 14th of November. The extra week is my margin for errors, emergencies and disasters.

During the week between episodes, I’ll be giving the next episode a final edit-and-polish as well as running the music competition for the previous episode.

What music competition?

I suck at promotion, especially promotion that promotes me or mine. I have tried, but this leopard is too old to change her spots now. So what was I to do?

In a light-bulb moment of truly epic proportions, I realised that while I couldn’t promote Innerscape per se, I could promote the music behind Innerscape. All the musicians and composers who inspired me while I was writing are Indies, like me, and I can sing their praises all day without feeling embarrassed at all.

Then I had another light-bulb moment: instead of wasting my money on paid advertising, why not spend my limited budget on giving the music away? All the music is available in digital format so there would be no extra postage costs and delivery could be almost instantaneous. Brilliant!

From there, the idea of giving the music away via a competition was a no-brainer. And if there were five episodes, it made sense to run five competitions… -face palm-

So, there will be five competitions. Each competition will start when the relevant episode goes live on Amazon. Each competition will then run for 5 days and the winner will be drawn before the next episode is published. That’s the plan.

What music will be given away?

The following is a list of composers and music to be given away:

Jo Blankenburg

  • Elysium
  • Vendetta
  • Levitation
  • Feather Dance

Two Steps from Hell

  • Colin Frake
  • Illusions
  • Sun
  • Miracles

Audio Machine

  • Tree of Life

Roger Subirana

  • XII

Ten albums, one for each Part of the story. That works out to be 2 albums given away for each episode.

And that means there will be two winners for each episode.:)

Will people have to buy the relevant episode to take part in the competition?

NO!!!! No need to buy anything at all.

So what will people have to do?

I want this to be a fun experience for everyone, including me, so each competition will be very simple:

  • I will publish an article for each episode.
  • In that article will be a question with multiple choice answers.
  • In that article, I will also post a link to the relevant ‘Look Inside’ feature on Amazon.
  • The correct answer to the competition question will be in the ‘Look Inside’ pages.
  • Simply type the answer in the comments section of the article and that’s it.

How many times can people compete?

Please! Only enter once per Episode. While I’d love to have a million entries, the thought of handwriting each correct entry and folding it fills me with horror. I do have to sleep, you know.

That said, please do enter each competition. And Regulars? That means you too. Please don’t feel as if you shouldn’t enter just because we’re friends. This is going to be a party and I want my friends there, sharing it with me. Okay?

How will winners be chosen?

Every correct answer [for that episode] will be:

  • written on a piece of paper
  • folded
  • thrown into a big mixing bowl
  • and TWO pieces of paper will be drawn from the bowl. The names on those pieces of paper will be published in a post and tweeted.

How will winners receive their prizes?

I can only afford digital albums so each winner will have a choice of downloading the album via:

  • iTunes, or
  • Amazon

That means they will have to provide me with an email address that iTunes and/or Amazon can use to deliver the music. I promise not to misuse the email address with spam.

Will people have to sign up for a newsletter?

NO!!!! I never read newsletters myself so I won’t ask anyone to sign up for mine. Besides, I don’t have one. If by some chance you are interested in knowing what I’m publishing, I would love it if you ‘followed’ me on Amazon.

By following me, or any other author on Amazon, you authorize Amazon to send you information about any upcoming events from that author. It’s like a really to-the-point, mini newsletter that you only receive when an author has a new book to promote.

How does the Amazon ‘Follow’ option work?

The Amazon follow option is shown as a big yellow button beneath the name/picture on my author ‘page’. This is what it looks like:

acf-amazone-author-page

 

 

You can reach my author page by clicking on the link below:

https://www.amazon.com/A.C.-Flory/e/B00B1M04JI/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1478817747&sr=8-1

…or by finding one of my books and clicking on my name as the author [blue link]:

acf-amazone-author-page-2

You will need to be signed in to your Amazon account to use the ‘follow’ feature.

Will Innerscape be given away for free?

YES!!! -cough-

Obviously, I would like as many people to read the story as possible, so each episode will be given away for free during the week in which it’s published [and promoted].

After the free period, each episode will revert to its launch price of $0.99.

Once all five episodes have been launched, the price per episode will rise to its normal price of $1.99.

I would love to keep Episode 1 free permanently, but Amazon only allows ‘permafree’ under certain circumstances, none of which I meet at the moment.

Okay, I think I’ve covered everything this time. It’s amazing how much better the brain works when it isn’t distracted by toothache!

cheers

Meeks

 

 

 

 

 

 


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