Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Walk Forward in Paperback

Walk Forward is now in paperback on 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

One can search, 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

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Walk Forward in Paperback

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

Walk Forward should also be available in paperback on, hopefully by this Sunday. Walk Forward has been on 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:

 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, 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:

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, 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:
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

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 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


Marketing Your Book: Part 4, Tagging

A great explanation of tagging and why it is important to tag books is included at

Tags are a free way to help your book come up in a search on 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
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
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 and its partners for product identification within

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!