Saturday, December 8, 2012

Posting Responses to Book Reviews

I realized today that one can respond, or add comments to a book review on Amazon.com

As an author, I wanted to thank someone in Australia for a wonderful review of "Walk Forward," but
I could not find his email address. I read the reviewer was from Australia.

I clicked on his name in his review of my book, which lead me to more book reviews.

I finally saw the comments area and decided to try to thank the reviewer for his review and add something which I thought might be of interest to potential readers of "Walk Forward" and those who have read the book.

It was most simple to post the comments and I wonder if my comments might be picked up by Google in a few days as each book review is eventually included in Google?

Herein is the link to Walk Forward, click on the more reviews area to see all reviews and where one can add additional comments, http://www.amazon.com/Walk-Forward-ebook/dp/B009H6Y7AC

Or go directly to the comments area where I replied to the most current book review of  "Walk Forward" at http://www.amazon.com/review/R25SLXY2AMDY2F/ref=cm_cr_pr_cmt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B009H6Y7AC&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag=#wasThisHelpful

Monday, November 19, 2012

Walk Forward is #1

Walk Forward is #1 today and has been #1 in its category for a few days. Free downloads last Thursday and Friday moved the book to #1 and it has remained at #1 over the weekend.

Creating a paperback version has not significantly added readers when considering the book has been downloaded by more than 700 persons during its short life of almost two months as of this November 25, 2012, having been first published in ebook format on September 25, 2012.

The paperback version is available on two platforms, Amazon.com and CreateSpace a separate, but wholly owned subsidiary of Amazon.

Although CreateSpace is owned by Amazon, the web interfaces for an author or reader differ from that of Amazon.com.

It may be of interest to information professionals and readers, that book titles are not searchable in CreateSpace as they are on Amazon.com. If I find a way to search a title on CreateSpace, as one would have to if one did not have the CreateSpace identification number for a book, I will post herein.

CreateSpace has some nice features including the option of setting up discount codes for a book. Up to 3 discount codes may be set up for a book, but not being searchable and not being able to search for a discount code, makes the feature useless to anyone, but authors of the book who discount copies to family and friends. An author has to give a potential reader the discount code and the URL (address) of the book on the CreateSpace website.

It was actually easier to create a paperback copy of the book on CreateSpace than it was to create the ebook on Amazon Kindle Select, because CreateSpace requires a PDF of the book (which Open Office is great in creating)!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday, November 9, 2012

Walk Forward, Press Release

Herein in my Press Release about Walk Forward. 

When the Press Release was posted, the URL for the YouTube video on the book, embedded into the Release. 

I had read that placing the URL for the YouTube information at the end of a paragraph or by itself, in a paragraph, would enable the embedding process, the linking of the Press Release to the URL of the YouTube information within the actual text of the Press Release.

Here in is the Press Release of today on my book, Walk Forward. A link to the Release where one can see the embedded, live link to YouTube is included at the end of this post.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Rosa Raskin
Phone: 440.461.4125

New Book, WALK FORWARD, Uncovers Holocaust-Related Hidden Secrets

On the 74th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, German born Rosa Raskin describes her 50 year search for her lost sister. 


Cleveland, Ohio – November 9, 2012 – Fulfilling the promise made to her father, Rosa Raskin tells the story of her immigrant family and her father’s hope to find his lost child. The purpose of the book, WALK FORWARD, is to continue to uncover information about her older sister, Eugenia Chimowicz, a blond-haired, nine-year-old girl last documented alive in concentration camp Stutthof on September 3, 1944.

Using letters from a newly-found cousin verifying the stories young Rosie heard as a child, she details the history of the family, including events before, during, and after the Holocaust. Jewish family members are caught in a hellish spider's web as the "last 500." As pawns in the chess game between Hitler's assistants, they survive the Lodz Ghetto, Auschwitz, and Stutthof, the last place where two young mothers and their four children were seen alive. Born in Germany after the Holocaust, Rosie describes the courage of her mother, Louise, who enabled the family to continue forward in the complicated journey to the United States as displaced persons.

WALK FORWARD is available as an ebook ($0.99) and paperback ($8.99) on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Walk-Forward-ebook/dp/B009H6Y7AC and at Createspace.com ($8.99) at http://www.CreateSpace.com/4015278

Upcoming free days for the ebook include November 15-16 and December 13-14, 2012, on Amazon.com. 

The book’s video trailer is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zp7uQap6p2M.

About the Author 

Rosa Shine Raskin (nee Chimowicz) was born in Karlsruhe, Germany, and immigrated to the United States in 1951. She has a B.S. in Biology and an M.S. in Microbiology, from The Ohio State University. She also holds an M.L.S. from Kent State University. She is currently a freelance writer, researcher, and consultant, after having worked in hospitals, government, and the Fortune 100 for over 30 years. She founded Rosa S. Raskin & Associates, LLC, in 2007, and has three blogs on the web including "Precious Cooking," "Information Specialist Secrets," and "Most Precious Memories." She has published more than a dozen articles on paint and coatings in trade journals, having been taught by her father, at the age of eight, to paint the bricks on houses.

For more information on WALK FORWARD please check the book’s website at http://www.raskinfo.com/walkforward.html, which includes photographs.

###

Shortened link to the entire Press Release on the PRlog.org web site is: http://www.prlog.org/12019630.html

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Secrets to Creating a Press Release

It is time for me to write and publish a press release about my new book, WALK FORWARD. I have timed the release with a significant event, the 74th anniversary of Kristallnacht, also called the Night of Broken Glass, as the Temples and glass store fronts of Jewish shops were shattered on November 9-10, 1938. The writing was on the wall for the Jews in Europe.

I just came across an important item in regard to publishing a release. Since I have a book trailer in YouTube, the trailer can be embedded in the release, if and only if, the URL (address) for the trailer is in the last sentence of a paragraph or stands along in a paragraph. The URL must also be in the first 500 characters if there is no picture of the book included or the first 1000 characters if a picture of the book is included.

I guess I must move my URL for the book trailer from the last line in my release to higher up in the text

The text in my release is exactly one page in Microsoft Word, with the three hash marks ### centered on the very last line of the Press Release.

Whether the release should be faxed to newpapers as in years gone by, or only emailed, is my remaining question. There are many online free press release sites to which I can email the release, but wonder what their preferred format might be?

I will make an HTML version of my release for my own website and report back when I figure out the preferred formats on other sites.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Book Marketing Secrets

The first rule for book marketing is to get reviews. It sounds easy, but it is hard to have someone read a book and "volunteer" to write a review. It would seem to me that anyone who might receive a gifted book from a new author, might think of submitting a review, but this is not necessarily the case. Some family think that since family and friends are often the first to review a book, that they should wait. Unfortunately, at least five reviews are required to post on some popular ebook sites. If one does not have at least five reviews, the new title may not be included in certain important book lists.

I finally have six reviews and forwarded my book, Walk Forward, to addicted to ebooks at http://addictedtoebooks.com/. I received my 5th and 6th reviews yesterday, and am most grateful to anyone that wrote a review so that I might post the book to such lists. Walk Forward is #2 on today's list at http://addictedtoebooks.com/.

Since my book is about my search for a lost sister, one would think that family might jump at the chance to participate in finding our half-sister, lost to our father when she was only nine years old. I am most sorry to report that this is not necessarily the case. One of the six reviews for Walk Forward is from a family member!

I wrote a press release for the book this morning and hope to post it on Friday.

Per book marketing to date, I have learned that their are some great book lists on the internet for free, low cost and books on any subject one might have an interest in. Books in the Kindle Select program have five free days in each 90 day enrollment period. In the case of my book which has about 100 purchases, the book was downloaded almost three times that amount on it's first free promotion day. Since the first free promotion day on 10/11/12, the book is now also in paperback format on Amazon and on CreateSpace.

Links to the ebook and paperback formats on Amazon are at http://www.amazon.com/Walk-Forward-ebook/dp/B009H6Y7AC. The CreateSpace link is at https://www.CreateSpace.com/4025278M, and the book's trailer is on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zp7uQap6p2M.                  
                                                                           

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Walk Forward in Paperback

Walk Forward is now in paperback on Amazon.com. The Kindle ebook and paperback are linked and appear on the same screen, but one might have to hunt for mention of the paperback copy on the original screen shot of the ebook at http://www.amazon.com/Walk-Forward-ebook/dp/B009H6Y7AC.

One can search Amazon.com, however, for any book format. For example, if one types "Walk Forward Paperback" into Amazon's search box, all books with each of the words will be included in the result. Today the search resulted in three books, my book Walk Forward was listed first, followed by two additional publications which have the three words included on their Amazon page.


 If you have not yet seen the YouTube entry on the book, you might want to see it and discuss herein at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zp7uQap6p2M
                                                                          

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Walk Forward in Paperback

As of tonight, Wednesday,  October 24, 2012, "Walk Forward" is available in paperback at CreateSpace at

https://www.CreateSpace.com/4025278

Walk Forward should also be available in paperback on Amazon.com, hopefully by this Sunday. Walk Forward has been on Amazon.com since September 26, 2012 as an ebook!


Friday, October 19, 2012

No Sales other than the U.S. or U.K., why?

I have been trying to figure out why not a single copy of Walk Forward had been purchased in Germany, although hundreds of copies have been downloaded in the U.S. and the U.K. in the book's first three weeks of life!

I should have read about the state-of-the-art in regard to ebooks in Europe, before I tried to gift several copies to family and friends in Europe, who either did not know how to read a Kindle book nor understand that the book could be read in the Amazon Cloud (assuming it works in Europe).

Germany is much behind in reading ebooks, but I want to make sure that Walk Forward is ready and waiting in Germany when ebooks take off! Ebook readers have increased much in the last year.

The cover of Walk Forward is a picture of my mother taken in 1938, in Karlsruhe, Germany.

                                                                      
I read today that I should include the international Amazon nodes on the website for my book and have done so. I added Amazon Germany, U.K., France, Spain, and Italy to the books website at:
                                           http://www.raskinfo.com/walkforward.html

 The reviews of my book, uploaded in the U.S., show up on each of the international Amazon outlets, however, things like "like" the page, review, or tagged terms must be input in each country.

I could select German tags for Walk Forward on Amazon.de, Germany, but can not do the same for the other countries as I do not know the language!

In order to post my book on various websites, I need a 5th review and hope someone reviews and uploads a review of my book to the books page on Amazon at:

http://www.amazon.com/Walk-Forward-ebook/dp/B009H6Y7AC

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Turning the Ebook into a Paperback

Some potential readers are asking me for a copy of my ebook, Walk Forward, as a paperback!

                                                                         

This means I must find a platform for publishing a hard copy of Walk Forward.

I checked out the following three platforms:

1. Espresso Book Machine
2. Blurb
3. Createspace

The decision as to which platform to use is not exclusive, I could go with all three.
However, I eliminated the first two per issues of either the information they requested, cost, or location.

We do not yet have an Espresso Book Machine in our area of Cleveland, Ohio. There is one in Austin, Texas, and my sister would gladly pick a paperback copy of the book to me from their location on the University of Texas at Austin campus, and check the book for me.

However, after looking at cost, prompts, and requirements, I decided to try Createspace which is fully owned by Amazon, where my ebook resides on the Amazon Kindle platform.
I hoped that since my book was an ebook on Amazon's platform that there might be an easy way to submit my Amazon contribution to their wholly owned subsidiary.

Unfortunately, there is no easy way my ebook for Kindle can be turned into a paperback without having me upload a manuscript to Createspace in their preferred format.

All three platforms, Espresso, Blurb, and Createspace use a print-ready PDF to make prints of the book, various formats are accepted, but they convert to a PDF for publishing. Createspace will do as much as one wants to do and offer various services, in addition to the free uploading of a PDF.Whether one creates a PDF, using the guidelines for each platform, or hire someone to do it depends on the time one has to spend on the project.

I chose to do everything myself using mostly free programs and read that Open Office makes an awesome PDF.

Per Open Office Writer one need only match the requirements of the target platform to options in making the appropriate PDF.

One obvious problem is that ebooks do not currently have page numbers. Pages in a book are also dependent on font size. I decided to make the font size in my book size 14, and in the 6" x 9" paperback,
my book turned into 226 pages.

After submitting a PDF with even numbers on the right side and odd on the left, Createspace emailed that my book is non-standard. A book must have the odd page on the right side! They suggested I add another page to the front of my book to make my text start on an odd page, on the right side.

It sounded simple, just add a page and all should be fine, right?  No, no, no, it did not work. I could add a page by placing a page break before a heading on page 2, however, when I inserted the pagination, all the pages had numbers, or none of the pages had numbers. Should I use Roman numerals for the pages, such as the copyright and dedication pages, restart the page numbering process on the first text page, or what?

I called Createpace as was not sure I understood their directions and what the pagination should look like.

Createspace has great telephone help. I recommend them for their helpful telephone response system with a live person. All I had to do was type in my phone number and Createspace called me back immediately, with and very short waiting period, practically no waiting at all to speak with one of their knowledgeable representatives.

Createspace explained that they only allow one series of numbers, the front pages should not have numbers, but must be considered in the page count expressed on the first page of text of the book.

In my case, the first page of text would be page 5.

I could not get the text page to say page 5. Thus, decided to move my Open Office document to Microsoft Word which for some reason, allowed me to add the page numbers more easily. However, the page in back of the title page had a page "2" on it. I did not mind this and as long as it truly is page #2 and page #5 is labeled as page 5,  Createspace would accept the manuscript as long as page numbers correspond to the actual number the page would have, counting blank pages or whatever pages one might include in the book.

Having had to redo my pagination many times, I quickly learned to understand the difference between changing properties of a paragraph versus a page. 


I went between Open Office and Word and Open Office. Setting styles for a front page (termed a "first page" in Open Office) versus a "default" style for text, seemed easy, but for some unknown reason, the extra page I had to insert, stayed as a "default" page rather than being a unnumbered "first page." I started over
several times adding or deleting page numbers. I tried both Open Office and Microsoft Word and seemed to have issues as could not remove the default style from the page I added.

Certain tasks were easier to perform in Open Office, like making an awesome PDF, while it seemed easier to add/delete pages in Microsoft Word, and add page numbers using Word. Open Office's footer got larger and larger, Word's page number did not take up much space on the page. 
 
 I did not want to purchase software or hire someone to make a cover or put page numbers on my book, but I might hire someone in the future to do what I did as it was beyond time consuming! I am thankful that my first 6" x 9" paperback was no longer than its 226 pages!

I uploaded several copies to Createspace, as I had a few words in italics that hung into the margin. It was easy to cut and re-paste the few sentences that had italic words in the margin area.

The reverse side of the title page has a little number "2" on the bottom, as I could not
get that page number to hide, without deleting all the page numbers! The next two pages
have no page numbers (as I wanted and Createspace prefers), and no number on the Title page.

The text of Walk Forward starts on a page which is numbered "5" and it is page 5 if one counts every page included in the book from its front cover. Page 5 is on the right side, where convention dictates. CreateSpace will not
accept text starting on page 1, my text started on page 5 and it must be so numbered, 5.

CreateSpace wants the text to start with the real number, counting from the beginning of the book
and they do not allow Roman numerals, or another numbering style, for those early pages. Createspace does not allow two numbering systems in one book.

They said my cover converted properly and I ordered 5 proofs of Walk Forward as 5 is the maximum number of proofs one is permitted to purchase.

My book cover is brown to convey a serious feel of the nonfiction book, with yellow words on the back and front of the cover to signify "rays of sunshine."

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Marketing Your Book: Part 6, Promotions-continued





The 24 hour, free promotion of my book, Walk Forward, on Amazon's KDP Select, resulted in 294 downloads, one loan in the Kindle Lending Library, and four purchases (99 cents) just before and after the free period.

My book was exactly two weeks old when I signed up for my first promotion day, Thursday, 10/11/12.

The Vice Presidential debates greatly slowed down the downloading of the free book.  I will try to co-ordinate better with what's happening in the world, the next time I schedule a free promotion day.

To be honest, I will remember forever that my first free promotion day, the day 294 copies were downloaded in 24 hours, was the day of the Vice Presidential debates!

Per Amazon's Kindle's Select program, one is allowed five days in every period of 90 days that the book is an exclusive on Amazon.

I think the program is worthwhile, as I doubt if I would have received 294 persons interested in the book at this stage were it not for the free promotion. I need to get the book downloaded worldwide if I expect to uncover any new information about my lost sister.

My conclusion is FREE works! The UK both downloaded and purchased copies, a total of 18 to date, while all the rest of the downloads (free and purchases) were from the U.S.

Amazon's Reports Module is great in identifying in what countries the book is being downloaded, per the Amazon node in the area. The free promotion includes Amazon all over the world!

I tweeted and posted on Facebook almost the entire time the book was free, but for the few hours of the Vice Presidential debates!

It will be interesting to see if sales continue. The first day my book was on Amazon was September 26. I publication date being September 25, 2012. In September the book stats went as high as 18 sold, but the final data said 13. In October before the promotion, sales were up to 18 books. I had gifted 40 books to friends and family, but most thought they needed to have a Kindle to read the book.

One secret I learned is when emailing potential readers, mention that they can read the book for free on the Amazon Cloud or download to their PC using "Kindle for PC."

I had complaints mostly from my family for a "large" print, paperback book, which I am trying to create!

Another secret is to get reviews first! Three reviews are required before many sites will mention a book!

The best thing about the free promotion was seeing this in regard to Walk Forward:





Thursday, October 11, 2012

Marketing Your Book: Part 6, Free Promotions

My book, Walk Forward, is free today at http://www.amazon.com/Walk-Forward-ebook/dp/B009H6Y7AC, and so far it has been downloaded almost as many copies as it has sold in its first two weeks, the book being two weeks old today!

What is fascinating is that sold copies increased immediately before the free book promotion began.

I do not see the ratings listed on the book during its free book promotion, but assume the ratings return after the promotion ends.

One side, Free Book Dude, sent me an email last night with the link where the book will be posted today.

Since the promotion began, this morning at 12:00 AM (Pacific Time), the book has been borrowed in the Kindle Lending Library too!

It is now 9:30 AM and I will add to this blog later in the day.

It is noon now and about 10 books are being downloaded for free per hour.

One of the best blogs for finding places to advertise the book is:
http://katrinaparkerwilliams.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/kdp-select-free-days-promo-sites/
as most of the links work and the explanation Katrina gives for each site is valuable.

The site that gave me the best promo and let me know about it is Free Book Dude at
http://www.freebookdude.com/2012/10/walk-forward-kindle-non-fiction.html

Per statistics, read this:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,717 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Free Translations

My adviser of 40+ years from The Ohio State University, reminded me that you can post comments to my blog in your native language. Translation is available via such tools as Google Translate! I use free translation tools much from free language dictionaries to web sites that translate an entire page.

Herein is the link for Google Translate http://translate.google.com/ where you can enter a URL, add text or
use the browse feature to find a document to translate. If you prefer just using a button to your browser to translate web pages instantly, the browser Google Chrome has an extension for translations, check
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/aapbdbdomjkkjkaonfhkkikfgjllcleb





       

Marketing Your Book: Part 4, Tagging

A great explanation of tagging and why it is important to tag books is included at
http://trianglepubs.com/1762/book-marketing/sell-more-books-amazon-tagging/

Tags are a free way to help your book come up in a search on Amazon.com. To select a tag, think of terms
one might use to search for books like your book.

Those that view a book's web page on Amazon, have the option to "agree to" tags. I never noticed this until one of my LinkedIn groups noticed that I had not placed any tags for my book on my book's Amazon page.

One is allowed 15 tags, use them all! When my book has a free day in the Amazon Kindle Select program, I will remove two of the 15 tags and replace them with two tags to tag the book as a freebie.




Marketing Your Book: Part 5, Updating

I published my book, Walk Forward, about the ongoing search for my lost sister, Eugenia Chimowicz, on Amazon Kindle Select. In choosing the "Select" program, I agreed that the book will be an exclusive on Amazon Kindle for the next 90 days.

One reason I chose Amazon as in the publishing directions, it appeared easy to revise a book.  When the book was a week old, a newly found cousin in Israel read the book and emailed me that my grandmother had a brother, and that brother was a twin of one of my grandmother's sisters. This was new information for my book which could lead to new information about my lost sister. Since my grandmother's brother had offspring, it was important to include their male ancestor in the book as it identifies not only how they are related to me, but to my lost sister.

Those who purchased the book, tried to purchase the updated copy, only to find out that this is not possible. Amazon only allows an individual to purchase one copy of a book, even if the book is updated.

Herein is a reply which I received from Amazon this morning in response to my question as to how the 24 readers that purchased the first, original version of my book might obtain the updated version:

Email from Amazon this morning:

Regarding your inquiry about notifying your customers, we have received your request to provide updated content to customers who purchased your book. Thanks for providing specific details about the changes made. We’ll perform a review of the changes to determine the most appropriate way to describe the updates to your customers. This review will be complete within four weeks, and the possible results of our review listed below.
1. If the changes made to your content are considered critical, we’ll send an email to all customers who own the book to notify them of the update and improvements made. These customers will be able to choose to opt in to receive the update through the Manage Your Kindle page on Amazon.com www.amazon.com/gp/digital/fiona/manage
2. If the changes made to your content are considered minor, we won’t be able to notify all customers by email, but we will activate their ability to update the content through the Manage Your Kindle page on Amazon.com.
3. If the changes made to your content have caused unexpected critical issues with the book content, we’ll temporarily remove your book from sale. We’ll notify of you the issues found so you can fix them. Once the improvements are made, just let us know and we’ll then email customers as in case 1. Once our review is complete, we’ll email you to share the results and action taken.
Thanks for using Amazon KDP.
I am publishing this in my blog herein, for any authors needing information per updating a book on Amazon Kindle. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Marketing Your Book: Part 3, Twitter

Since my book is free this Thursday, October 11, 2012, I have been tweeting about my book and making sure I direct it to like-minded persons.

I am using the following hash tags (#) at the end of my tweet about Walk Forward, per my upcoming first day promoting my book as "free" in the Amazon Kindle Select program.

The hash tags which I have been collecting include:

#FreeKindleEbooks, #freebook,  #free,  #ReadThis, #Kindle, #authorshelpingauthors, #amazon prime,
#book, #ebook, #read, #writing, #writechat, #storycraft, #amwriting, #litchat, #journalchat

The tags which I added to the Amazon page of my book include:

"free ebook," and  "kindle freebie." I had to delete two of my 15 tags to make room for these two tags which I hope the search engines pick up before this Thursday!

The hash tag #SampleSunday directs tweets to your book's website.

Walk Forward was published on September 25, 2012, and appeared on Amazon on September 26, 2012.
To date (October 9, 2012), a total of 25 copies have been sold. I gifted 40 copies, but unfortunately, those to whom  I gifted books, did not understand that one need not own a Kindle or any reading device to read an ebook.

One can read an ebook on the Amazon platform in the free Amazon Cloud or download the book to one's personal computer and read the book via the free "Kindle for PC."

I will report on the progress of the book in real time on Thursday and continue tweeting with hash tags!

Marketing Your Ebook: Part 2

Those experienced with marketing an ebook, say that marketing should start before the book is published. The author should have a market  of readers waiting to read the book, anticipating the publication of the ebook, which I think is a great idea, but I did not do it. If I had done it, the title of my book would not have been correct, as I changed the title several times in the draft copies of my book until I found the title which truly seemed to fit. I could easily fit two short words on the cover of my book, Walk Forward, comprising two short words not only fit on the cover, but is a theme of the book and repeated in the contents more than any other phrase. It was the perfect title!

I am trying to market my ebook, Walk Forward, after publication on Amazon Kindle Select.

I emailed family and friends and asked them to share the link. Putting the link in the email makes it easy for them to find the book. I purchased 10 ISBNs from Bowker as discussed in an earlier post, but in email to family and friends it is easiest for them if one includes the Amazon link, which includes the ASIN, a unique code assigned by Amazon to the ebook. The ASIN of Walk Forward is B009H6Y7AC.
Many ebook sites ask for the ISBN or ASIN of the ebook. 

The ASIN, the Amazon Standard Identification Number, is a unique identification number assigned by Amazon.com and its partners for product identification within Amazon.com

I emailed my LinkedIn  ebook publishing groups. These groups were tremendously helpful as they checked my book's page on Amazon. Members emailed me to select tags for the book on its page in the Amazon database. Amazon allows 15 tags per item and my LinkedIn group emailed that I should take full advantage of the feature and assign as many tags as permitted.

A few family and friends said they would like to write a review and I hope they do! I only have two reviews of the book to date.

Someone suggested  that I "gift" the book to family and friends, which I did, but only one or two of the persons I gifted actually downloaded the book.

The reason family and friends are not receipting the gifted book is because they thought they had to own a Kindle or other reading device. Now that I emailed them that they could read the book in the Amazon Cloud, download an appropriate apps, or "Kindle for the PC," they are happy campers!

I sent the link to hundreds of organizations, which I determined might have an interest, tweeted about my new published book, created a Facebook page for the book, a website for the book which includes photographs related to the story in my book,  and included relevant hash tags (#), the list of which I will include in a later posting.

Since I placed Walk Forward in the Amazon Kindle Select Program, I have 5 promotion days each 90 day period during which my book is free.  My first free day is this Thursday, October 11, 2012, and I am actively submitting my book to the many sites that advertise free ebooks.

What is really great about publishing a book on Amazon is that one see the sales of the book in their "Report Module," my favorite module! An author can easily review the current and retrospective sales of their book.

I identified some secrets to the selecting sites to which to post the free book promotion days, if they prove to work, I will post!




Monday, October 8, 2012

Marketing Your Ebook: Part 1

Many say that writing the book is the easy part, but marketing is the real challenge.

My book, Walk Forward, was published on Amazon Kindle Select on September 25, 2012. I told family and friends about the book, which because of some early purchases, had a high rating in its very narrow subject area of non fiction, historical, holocaust, young adult, and adult categories.

The reason the numbers were high on first publication was because family and friends purchased several copies, and because the book is in a very narrow subject area.

In hindsight, I discovered the secret of a preliminary high rating, a few sales in a narrow subject area, where relatively few publish. My subject areas not being in the mass market, nor would the masses have interest in my topic.

My book is about the search for my lost sister. A newly found relative read the book and emailed me that I left my great-uncle out of the book. I quickly added him and sent the book to Amazon to update.

Updating is easy, but for one problem. The author can not purchase more than one copy of a book, even if it is an update. I understand that this is true for everyone, one can not buy the original copy of a book and the update, a week or two later! Amazon will send the author the updated version, update the version of the book in the Amazon Cloud, but this might take a few days. Thus, it takes some time to see if the live links to websites included in a book, actually work.

Amazon is aware of the problem with readers wanting to purchase updates of books and I hope this issue is resolved quickly as in the case of my ongoing search for my sister, as more information is found, I hope to include it in updates to the book.

Since I had uploaded a MOBI file, the "preview" module does not include the option of seeing the HTML of the uploaded book. When I click on a live link in the book in "preview" mode, it links to the cover of my book, rather than going out to the link.

To revise a MOBI file, one has to recreate the MOBI file and upload the book once again.

Per updates, I emailed Amazon to find out if I could load a book in MOBI and update in HTML, for example, and they replied "Yes," but I decided to continue with MOBI, which was Amazon Kindle's native file, once-upon-a-time.

The "Look Inside" was immediately updated and Amazon sent me an email saying that my book, meaning my revision, was published. New customers purchasing the book would receive the revised book.

Come back to read "Marketing Your Ebook: Part 2," and follow my journey into the secrets and adventures in ebook publishing as it happens!


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Walk Forward - Updating Book

I love Amazon Kindle's Report module, but not too happy about the steps I need to take to revise a duplicate content word entry and an extra space in a hyphenated word in them text of my book, Walk Forward.

Problem is that to fix the errors in the free part of the book, I can not go up to Amazon.com and just fix, as I did with the "Book Description", I have to redo in Open Office, convert to .mobi again, and send it through the Amazon grinder again. The steps seem to be overkill as all I need to do is fix a hyphenated word that has an extra space and delete a duplicate word!

I continue to Walk Forward m to uncover the secrets of ebook publishing! I love the picture of my Mom on the book's cover, hope you do to?


Walk Forward - Housekeeping


I felt courageous and clicked on the "look inside" my 3-day-old book, Walk Forward, and noticed two conversion errors in the first 10% of the book. One word was repeated, and a hyphenated word did not convert correctly. I had read about the second error type, but not the first. I wish I did not have any errors in my first few chapters and am perplexed as to how the errors happened. Fixing them is simple, if one likes to format and convert files, but I have no plans to format in the near future,  am seeing code in my sleep, and continue to search for any secrets to the process of ebook publishing!

When some of my paragraphs failed to indent, I could verify that code was missing, I saw the missing symbols, but no matter what I tried, I could not add the needed code. I finally had to alter my content to fit the formatting -- luckily, I am the author of the book and can add or delete content!


Many of you are formatting, please share any and all secret fixes, so that we might all save time!
Seems like a  list of common errors observed after formatting or sending a file to be ground up, would be well received, certainly by this author!

Starting with plain HTML is my secret and  made the process easier than those I read about. I had little manual labor to do, did not have to go through pages correcting code. I had no extraneous code in my manuscript. Using Open Office has some advantages and Word has others, but since I am not comfortable with the new Word program on my computer, I used Open Office and recommend it.

Breathing on a manuscript seems to propagate extraneous code, and holding one's breath, as I did, apparently makes some needed code mysteriously disappear!

There is much housekeeping to do the first days after publication for a single platform. I have not found
a "to do" list anywhere, but am  finding out by the helpful hints of those reading Walk Forward.

One reader emailed that she loved the book, would like to "like" my tags, but I have none!
Another told me she could not find me in "author central" -- maybe an issue per my maiden name?

Amazon prompted me for an RSS feed to my blogs, and I have no clue how to do, but will be reading about it in the wee hours of the morning!

I want to respond to the email and telephone calls I am receiving about the book. I am being asked "Rosa, where did you get all of those details?" -- the answer is that I was lucky that my mother kept a journal which I found after she died last year. Adding details to the stories I remembered was easy, as she wrote them down. This was long before I was serious about writing a book. It remains a very emotional process, because I miss her very much.

Summary, one can not do a half decent job if attacking all platforms at once. The housekeeping tasks are keeping me busy 24/7. I am glad that I am only on Amazon!

My book keeps moving from #6 to #4  and  back again, in several of its categories, and I can not help scrolling back and forth between Amazon's incredible report module and my book's web page.

I highly recommend checking Amazon's incredible report module which includes statistics on my book in real time!


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Walk Forward

The picture on the cover of my book is a picture of my mother, Louise V. Shine, taken in 1938.

                                                          

I published my book, Walk Forward, yesterday, and am truly amazed at how quickly Amazon loaded the book on their platform!  I am also impressed with their "Author Central" option and "Report" module to keep track of everything.

I decided to try the Kindle Select program, which has an exclusive on my book for 90 days, as I like having the book available in the Kindle Lending Library. I love libraries and hope to get hard copies of my book into libraries one day.

The book is targeted to young adults and adults, has one five star review, and sold two copies in its first few hours of life on the Amazon Kindle Select platform. A few hours later, 5 copies of the book were downloaded.

I will be pleased if the book helps uncover a single new secret about my lost sister.

If you have any interest in family relationships or history, please send the link for the book to your family and friends:

http://www.amazon.com/Walk-Forward-ebook/dp/B009H6Y7AC

Friday, August 3, 2012

Editing the Book

O.K. I made mistake #1 by sending out my first completed draft. The idea was to get comments from close family and friends and do one major edit!  Guess I was more than a little naive?

After my Israeli cousin's edit, I did my first major rewrite of the entire book and wondered if my work was worthy to go forward?

Mistake #2, I revised the entire book quickly and immediately sent the next version to family members who kindly replied, they would keep editing the first draft! Not only was I adding to their reading load, I was filling up their email program with my short book, yet too long a file for daily correspondence.

The same cousin that reviewed the heck out of the book, was the most encouraging as she had gone through the same process. She had written a book about our family, her inspiration being a long letter that my father and his brother wrote to her mother, their first cousin.

Yes, her book is in a foreign language with a few captions in English. My book includes both my parents, not just my father. My book is in English with the hope for translations.

My advice is to keep encouraging persons and other writers around you, as you continue to write, rewrite and edit your book.

If you wish, include a hook at the end of your book for the sequel!

I am getting advice from my college adviser of 40+ years to publish a few hard copies in addition to the ebook.

-- Yes, one of the best kept secrets is to never lose connection with your college adviser. 
He just emailed me to consider CreateSpace and Blurb for hard copies. I had read about both but no time yet to compare!

If your adviser is as incredible as mine, he or she will continue to be at least one step ahead of you,  like in days gone by when you were the student.

I love mine, hope you at least keep in contact with yours!

Keep on writing. 


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Clarification of ISBNs and Ebook continued

I called Bowker, the company from whom I will buy my ISBNs.  Bowker told me today that my ten ISBNs will wait for me. I do not have to pay an annual fee. For publishers who buy a multitude of ISBNs there is an option of accessing a spreadsheet including all their ISBNs. There is an annual fee for this spreadsheet.  For ten ISBNs no spreadsheet is needed. Since I know I will need two ISBNs, I decided to buy ten as two are the same price as ten.

My book is in final review. I hope to format my book in some generic file so that I can prepare a version for each of the ebook platforms. I wrote my book in HTML, inserted it into Open Office and saved it in the format preferred by each of my reviewers.

Because I wanted to write at the most generic level and hate to do any kind of formatting,  I rather insert style via  codes in my word processor than have to delete extraneous code from my document.

Fixing extraneous code is labor intensive!

I wrote my book in the most simple, generic HTML. I limited myself to the opening and closing tags, no font tags included. Formatting codes will be added to my simple document in Open Office.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

ISBN's, How Many Does One Ebook Need?


My book is going into final editing, I have a possible ebook cover for Walk Forward, what do I need next?

Time to think about ISBN's for each version of my book. Since I want my book to be available in various formats, I will most probably buy the set of 10 ISBN's. I know that I will have a .pdf, ePub and maybe a few hard copies of the book down the road. I want to be able to track the book myself. I know that many books have similar titles but each has a unique ISBN.

I plan on uploading the book to Amazon, Smashwords and any vendor that will take my ebook. Down the road, I might want a hard copy too. I know that the ebook cover I made will have to be revised for a hard copy book where the cover wraps around the book. I have no idea now as to how many pages a  hard copy of my book might have. In hard copy, my text might appear in larger font for my target of young adults, but then again, the book is also for adult readers.

I want to submit my book to any online publisher willing to let me upload it, thus, expect more than two book formats. Perhaps, I will publish a version with photographs and one without, this would require another ISBN! Maybe my book will have a new cover or need revisions sooner than I might expect.
Guess it is better to buy the batch of 10 than run out!

The ISBN is the unique identifier for a particular format of the book. I don't think I really need 10 ISBN's but since 10 cost the same as 2, and I am sure I need at least 3, I might as well buy the set of 10.

Are there any negatives to buying 10 ISBN's and not using them all immediately? I don't know but plan to call Bowker, the only company allowed to sell ISBN's. I wonder if there is a penalty in not assigning all 10 ISBN's in a reasonable time period? I can not imagine that it will take me 10 years to write a second book although I have been writing content for my first book for more than 20 years!

Is there a fee or penalty for holding my 10 ISBN's, which I assume will be numbers in a series? I don't know for sure, heard there was some sort of  annual fee? I must find out as hate to commit to annual fees.

What about translations? I assume if someone creates a translation of the book, the new translated version will need another ISBN. If I change the cover design and a few photographs, this would require ISBN's!

Maybe my first ebook will need more revisions than I can now possibly imagine?

Ten ISBN's seems much for my first attempt at an ebook and my second book is but a vision. I have read Bowker's section on why one should buy an ISBN.

No matter the price or how many, as a librarian, I know that an ISBN is priceless!

Ebook Covers

I am editing my first ebook and wondered what to do about the cover. I tried making a simple cover by taking a photograph, bringing it up in Microsoft Paint, adding my book title and saving as a .jpg file. The problem is that when I made a tiny thumbprint of the cover or exploded it, the letters of my title were not readable. I read whatever I could find on the subject and realized that I need to use a graphic program based on vectors rather than pixels.

The ebook publishers, like Amazon, include requirements for ebook covers, such as the size should be 800 pixes in height and 600 pixels in width.

I searched for free graphic and file converting programs. I took Photoshop classes years ago but thought it too complicated for me at this point. I have little experience in the graphic arts but am a bit persistent. I am however, not at all artistic.

I tried a few programs and quickly realized that it would be easier for me to take another picture than play around with the graphic programs. I decided the less I have to rely on any program the better.

I reduced the size of my photograph and cropped it using Faststone. I saved it as a .png and brought it up in Inkscape where I added my title words. I saw the similarity of Inkscape to Photoshop per layering. After having to name my layers a few times, layering became routine. I added text words, the title of my ebook  to the photograph using Inkscape and saved the file as a .png. I then put the .png product back into Faststone to create a .jpg for the ebook vendors. I double checked my final .jpg file size per publisher requirements.

Inkscape does not have the bells and whistles or the precision of Photoshop but if you are starting with a graphic and need only to add the title of your book, you can create an acceptable cover in a few minutes. After about 5 covers, I created one that my husband likes. He is my most difficult critic. I don't know how to use either program very well, but think I assembled an acceptable cover in a few hours.

If I hire a graphic artist to make a better looking cover, at least I have an idea of what may be involved in the process. I still  have a "homemade" website!

If anyone has any great free programs for making an ebook cover for Amazon, Smashwords or any other ebook publisher, please respond to this post or send me an email at rosaraskin@gmail.com and I will be glad to add to this blog.

One of my favorite "how to author" blogs to date is Copple's Writing and Coffee Blog. If  you are interested in ebook publishing. I highly recommend Copple. His blog is the best kept secret in the blogsphere of ebook creation. I tried many graphic programs in trying to make an ebook cover today, as well as several file converters. Copple's suggestions work and I ended up with what I think is more than an acceptable, free, ebook cover!

Please stay tuned as I will be posting more about my journey into ebook publishing live, as it happens!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Treasure Hunt for Missing Funds

It is incredible that each time I search names of family members on missing funds websites, names that I recognize turn up! My niece recently claimed funds and the process was grueling but she got the funds. I see my sister's name on various lists as well as the name of neighbors and friends!

Missing funds sites, sometimes termed "unclaimed funds" or "unclaimed property" are organized in aggregate but knowing the state helps in double checking results. Whenever I check a list, I find a relative or friend's name. I check the names on as many sites as possible but not as often as I should!

To start your search, below are a few of the sites for identifying missing/lost funds:

National list: http://www.unclaimed.org/

Ohio:      http://www.com.ohio.gov/unfd/treasurehunt.aspx

Other Sites: http://www.dc2net.com/unclmdprpty.htm
                    http://www.missingmoney.com/

The last site above, missingmoney.com, is great if you do not have  a clue as to which State you should be searching!

The treasure hunt is fun and can be rewarding! If you ever find my name on your search
(Rosa Raskin, Rosa Shine, Rosa Shine Raskin), please let me know!

Happy treasure hunting!

Rosa