Tag Archives: free

New Book Page

Just a quick post to let you know that I’ve changed my book page. Instead of listing links to my books on non-Amazon sites, I’ve simply provided links to those books which are free for download as epubs [suitable for Kobo etc].

As before, the free books are available via the sync.com site and no registration or sign-in is required. Click the ‘Free Books by acflory’ tab at the top of this page to access the links.

I currently have two ebooks available for free download:

  • Miira, book 1 of Innerscape
  • The Vintage Egg

Please feel free to download both of them.

Okay, that’s it. I’ve done my admin., vacuumed and mopped all the floors, washed and disinfected surfaces, soothes disgruntled cats and generally been very productive…now it’s time for play!

cheers
Meeks


Faces, then and now

My how time flies…

Back in May, 2015, I wrote a post about faces which included photos of real people who reminded me of Miira Tahn and Kenneth Wu, two of the main characters of the story I was writing. Then, late last year [2019] I discovered Plotagon and learned how to create animated cartoon characters for a different kind of storytelling.

These are some of the faces from Innerscape, then and now:

At the top, Miira as she might have been in real life. Below, Miira in Innerscape.
On the left, Kenneth Wu as he would have appeared in the real world. On the right, his avatar in Innerscape.

I haven’t found photos for the rest of the characters in the trilogy, but here are some Plotagon versions:

Emily Watson and her son, Jaimie.
Alex Tang and the Woman in Red

And last, but not least, Charles McGragh and Peter McAlister, both of whom work for the Innerscape corporation:

If any of you come across a real face that you think might suit one of these Plotagon cartoons, please let me know!

And now a reminder – the Innerscape Omnibus is still free and will remain so until midnight April 24, in the northern hemisphere.

If you’re as timezone challenged as me, you can look up the time conversion here: https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html?iso=20200425T065900&p1=234&p2=152

To start, type in the name of the first city. I chose Seattle because that’s where Amazon is located.

Next, choose your own city. For me that was Melbourne, Australia.

The converter will now show you the current time in both cities. To work out what the time will be when the free period ends, click on the date in Seattle and change it to April 24. Next, click on the time and change that to 23:59 – i.e. one minute to midnight.

The timezone converter will now show you precisely when the promotion will end in your part of the world. For Australians along the east coast it will be at… :

…4.59 pm, Saturday April the 25th, 2020.

lol – you’re welcome. 🙂

Meeks


The Omnibus is FREE!

I’m pleased to announce that the Innerscape Omnibus is now live on Amazon and free for the next five days. The last free day will be the 24th of April, 2020.

To download your free copy of the Omnibus, click the link below:

Or click ‘Amazon’, on the sidebar to the right ….>>>>>
Both links will take you to the Omnibus page on Amazon.com.

I hope you enjoy the story and escape the real world for a while. 🙂

Stay well,

Meeks


Innerscape Omnibus for Kobo

As I explained in the post ‘The Omnibus hits a pot hole‘, I can’t make Innerscape directly available on the Kobo ereader because Rakuten won’t allow me to use ‘acflory’ as my name. -rolls eyes- But where there’s a will, and a lot of help from a friend… ta dah, a workaround!

The friend in question is Dawn from DawnGillDesigns. You may also know her as the Silversmith. Anyway, I knew Dawn used the Kobo ereader so I contacted her and asked her to see if she could download the epub version of the Omnibus from sync.com, and read it on her Kobo. These are the pics she sent me:

This was straight out of the box, so to speak. The next one is after she adjusted both the font and the margins:

Proof positive that the epub can be sideloaded onto the Kobo! But how did Dawn do it? And was it hard to do?

When I quizzed Dawn about her method, this is what she wrote back:

‘It was super basic. I clicked on the link you sent me. My virus scanner scanned it, and then I plugged in my kobo. This automatically brought up a pane within file explorer, so I was able to drag the download icon at the footer of my browser window across. Then I ejected my kobo, by right clicking on the USB icon, and let it do it’s thing. Even easier than a library book, because all I had to do was drag and drop.’

So me lovelies, you too can download the Innerscape Omnibus onto your Kobo ereaders, and here’s the link to do it:

https://ln2.sync.com/dl/0dcbc6560/gbe6mitp-g88uxh6b-mxu4rt4g-6yuib2je

The ‘for Kobo’ link on the sidebar to the right will also take you to the same download link.

The Omnibus is free for everyone stuck at home during this global lockdown, and you won’t need to sign up or register or do anything at all. As with the PDF version, simply click the link and follow the onscreen instructions. Then follow Dawn’s instructions to sideload the epub file onto your Kobo ereader.

All I ask is that you don’t try to get some kind of commercial gain out of it. This is my gift to you. Read, share, enjoy, and #StayHome .

-hugs-

Meeks


The Omnibus hits a pot hole

I uploaded the epub file of the Innerscape Omnibus to Draft-2-Digital last night and expected to be able to provide links to the various e-readers today. Not going to happen, at least not the way I thought it would. 😦

This is the email I received this morning:

The metadata problem is this:

‘Current vendor formatting guidelines require standard author name spelling (First Last name format). Please supply author name in First Last name format in the metadata Contributor field, within book manuscript file, and on cover image to proceed with publication at the stores you selected.’

My author name is ‘acflory’ – all smooshed together and in lower case. It’s been my author name since 2013. It’s my brand. It’s how I, as an author, am known on social media…

This was my reply:

I have been aware that Apple would not accept my books because of how I write my pseudonym, but having ALL ebook distributors playing this game is ridiculous. ‘acflory’ is my /brand/. I cannot just ‘change’ it without losing years worth of work, not to mention marketing.

I was going to publish my omnibus with D2D before Amazon because I wanted non-Kindle readers to get a free copy before Amazon’s exclusive 90 day period could begin. Now I won’t bother. I’ll simply make the epub available to readers directly.

Please advise how or if I have to withdraw my books from D2D.

acflory

By ‘make the epub available to readers directly’ I mean like the PDF version, via sync.com. Unlike Kindle ebooks, epubs are the same regardless of which e-reader – e.g. Kobo, Nook etc – is used. But…people wanting to read the epub on their e-readers will have to download the Omnibus file to their computers and sideload onto the e-reader from there.

As sideloading is not as easy or convenient as downloading the book directly to the e-reader, I’m hoping D2D will find a better solution. If they don’t, I’ll have to ask those of you with different e-readers to test the process, and perhaps write a how-to for others? I’d do it myself but I only have the Kindle and Kindle Fire e-readers.

Anyway, that’s it for today. I’ll keep you all posted on the outcome.

-hugs-

Meeks

 


Unpublishing a book

I’ve just unpublished ‘How to Print your Novel with Kindle Direct Publishing’.

It’s not the first book I’ve unpublished – I had to unpublish the two CreateSpace versions after CreateSpace ceased to exist. Nevertheless, hitting that ‘Unpublish’ button on KDP felt very odd, especially as I’m not sure whether I’ll ever republish in the same way again.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. I unpublished the KDP how-to book because it was first published in 2018, and parts of it were now quite out-of-date. KDP only made a few changes, but Thorpe-Bowker [the agent for ISBNs in Australia], and the National Library of Australia, had both completely changed their websites. I would have to update much of the second and third parts of the how-to, and basically create a ‘second edition’ of the book.

Unfortunately, when you create a second edition of a book, you have to publish it with a new ISBN, and that costs money. Given that I haven’t earned a single cent from the how-to, it didn’t make sense to invest yet more money into a project that no body seemed to want.

Around about this point, I sat down and did some hard thinking.

Was the how-to bad? Was the Kindle Fire version too restrictive? Was the paperback too expensive?

Or could it be that people have grown used to finding information online? For free?

Given how much research I do online, for free, I could hardly fault others for doing the same thing. So I had to decide whether to keep flogging that poor dead horse, or move with the times. I chose to move with the times and publish the entire how-to, online, for free on my blog.

Was this a completely altruistic decision? Hah… -cough-

The truth is, self-publishing is hard. Making yourself visible on Amazon is hard. Selling your books and making money is next to impossible unless you’re:

  • very lucky,
  • very good at marketing,
  • have oodles of cash for advertising, or
  • have some way of enticing people to your blog

I suck at the first three, but I am good at teaching people how to do things. At least half of all the people who visit my blog are there for one of my how-to posts. So if that’s my strength, how do I translate it into increased visibility for the rest of my work?

Honestly, by the time I got to that question, the answer was pretty obvious – the smart thing would be to self-publish the how-to on the blog and hope that increased exposure would lead to…something. -shrug-

I’m realistic enough to know that very few of the people who come for my how-to posts stay to chat, or buy my science fiction. But you have to work with what you have. Besides, I’ve put so much work into my how-to books I’m damned if I’ll let them sink into complete obscurity.

So, allow me to introduce you to the new, updated, 2020 edition of ‘How to print your novel with Kindle Direct Publishing. -points to sidebar on the right-

Clicking that image should take you to a Table of Contents which contains all the links to all the sections/chapters of the how-to. Alternatively, you can click the link below:

Click here to display the Table of Contents

Enjoy,
Meeks


TABLE OF CONTENTS

How to Print your Novel with Kindle Direct Publishing

Introduction – is this guide right for you?

Frequently Asked Questions

Part I – How to Prepare your Novel

Trim Size, Bleed, and Page Specification

Designing the interior format of your book

Front Matter, Back Matter & ISBNs

Creating a Table of Contents [TOC]

Section Breaks

Page Numbers

Exporting your document to PDF

Preparing the Cover of your Book

Part II – How to Setup your Novel

Getting Started with KDP

Paperback Details

Paperback Content

Using Cover Creator [optional]

Reviewing your Book and Cover

Paperback Rights & Pricing

Part III – for Australian Self-Publishers

30% Withholding Tax

ISBN in Australia

Legal Deposit, Australia

Miscellaneous

Creating a free barcode

Extra help for graphics heavy books like memoirs and cookbooks, etc

Word 16 image compression, image resolution and Wrap Text settings

Editing images in Word 16

Adding captions to images in Word 16

How to generate a Table of Figures with Word 16


I finally went and did it!

This one’s for Frank Prem who’s been hounding strenuously encouraging me to try and interest a bookshop in my books. Well, today I walked into the independent bookshop in Eltham and asked if I could leave a free sample of my work. 🙂

The sample is my tiny book of sci-fi short stories:

The paperback of The Egg is so thin, there’s no room on the spine for the title! But when I realised how cheaply I could print it on IngramSpark, I decided to use it as my ‘calling card’.

Getting back to that bookshop, I’ve been carrying a copy of The Egg around with me for weeks, but the moment was never right. It was too hot, too cold, I wasn’t dressed ‘appropriately’, I was too busy with other things…in short, I was a coward. I’m still a coward, but something clicked in my brain today, and I did the deed. I was dressed to do supermarket shopping so probably looked like a deranged bag lady, but I did it!

The owner of the shop was very nice and said she’d have to look at the book before offering it to her customers, even as a free sample. I reassured her that I expected nothing less. In reality, however, I don’t expect her to read it at all, and I don’t expect her to get in contact with me for another sample. Why? Because looking around the shop, I realised that sci-fi, even from big, traditional authors, is only a very small part of the books offered for sale. So the Egg is not exactly a good ‘fit’.

I also realised that dealing with a self-published author would inevitably cause a disruption to the normal processes of the shop. Why go to so much bother for a genre that probably doesn’t sell very well? Realistically, that is the truth, and I suspect I’d probably feel the same if the roles were reversed.

Nevertheless, I’m not disappointed. I overcame my nerves and gave it a shot, and that was the real purpose of the exercise. To prove to myself that I could. Next stop will be a second hand bookshop in Warrandyte and a cafe that leaves books lying around on the tables for customers to read.

If you guys have any suggestions for real world ‘marketing’, I’m all ears!

cheers

Meeks

 

 

 

 


Celebrate Nanowrimo 2018 with a free how-to ebook

Here in Australia it’s December 1 already, so Nanowrimo is over for another year. I didn’t even come close to winning Nano this year, but my heartfelt congratulations to all those who did. 50,000 words in 30 days is a great accomplishment, so well done. 🙂

For those of you in the Northern Hemisphere, Nano is still in its final hours, and I imagine a lot of you will be furiously writing to catch that November 30 deadline. I congratulate all of you as well. No one can ever take this achievement away from you, but memories fade, so I suggest that you print the page that contains your 50,000th word and frame it. I did that with my first Nano; the word was ‘gut’. Not exactly poetic but hey…-shrug-

And finally, a word for those who didn’t make it. I know you’re probably feeling pretty disappointed at the moment, but you have to remember that winning Nano is not the end, it’s just the beginning. Your writing doesn’t have to end on November 30. Use what you started as the jumping off point for the story you’ll write all through 2019.

Win or lose, this next bit is for everyone. When your Nano story is polished to perfection, you will probably want to publish it. If you decide to self-publish your work, you will have a number of options:

  1. publish as an ebook
  2. publish as a paperback
  3. publish as both an ebook and a paperback

If you decide to go with options 2 and 3, then I can help. ‘How to Print your Novel with Kindle Direct Publishing‘ is my step-by-step guide to publishing a paperback with KDP. In it you will find information about trim sizes, bleed, PDFs, formatting, Amazon distribution, royalties and heaps more. Each step is illustrated with screenshots and examples, close to 150 of them so even complete beginners can follow the instructions.

To celebrate the end of Nano 2018, I’ve made the ebook version of ‘How to Print your Novel with Kindle Direct Publishing’ free for one day on December 1, 2018. [Click the link to be taken to the Amazon page or click the image of the book on the sidebar].

Due to timezone differences, the guide will become free on Amazon at about 6:00 pm, Australian Eastern time. For Northern Hemisphere writers, it will be free from midnight.

This is what the guide looks like on the Kindle Fire 6:

 

Because the ebook is in colour, and fixed format [so the layout of each page is controlled], you will only be able to use it on the following devices:

If you need the free Kindle Reading app., you can get it from here:

Clicking that link will open the following popup:

From this popup, you can select the device on which you want to use the app. I’ve only done it for the PC, but I think it should be fairly easy for all devices.

So there you have it, my free guide to printing your finished Nano Novel. Even if you don’t intend to publish for some time, download the guide now and save yourself some money. 🙂

cheers

Meeks

 

 

 

 

 

 


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