Books written by Ray Sullivan

Monday, 22 July 2013

Journeymen II is Published

The publishing process gets, I guess, easier each and every time I do it, yet paradoxically makes me feel it could be slicker than it is.  Anyway, as I mentioned in my last posting I did this the opposite way to my previous attempts, starting with CreateSpace.  That went better than I thought possible and despite my assumption that I'd have to wait until the week started before the book would be reviewed it was up on CreateSpace's website for sale within a couple of hours and by Sunday UK time it was on Amazon.

One feature I haven't looked at previously is the one on CreateSpace that lets you publish on the Kindle using the same files and images.  It's not that I don't think it's a good idea, it's just that until this attempt, I'd done all that before going to CreateSpace.  Well, part of the routine doesn't seem to work in that it implies that when you push the button your file will whizz off to Amazon and will appear as a formatted eBook in due course.  Perhaps it will, but I'm not that patient.  But what it does do on that particular page, probably always has done and I've just not noticed it before, is that it allows you to download an 'Kindle ready' copy of your book which actually looks a heck of lot like the CreateSpace ready version I uploaded to them including page numbers that you wouldn't expect in an eBook and it lets you download a copy of the CreateSpace book cover for use on your Kindle submission.

Now for aspiring self publishers, this is a really useful feature, especially since Apple and Amazon upped the requirements for book images in the last year or so.  As long as you can make a cover you're happy with using the CreateSpace tools then you can re-use it across Amazon and Smashwords, and therefore Apple, B&N, Sony etc.  I've just used it not only for Journeymen II but also for a couple of my other books to standardise my images.  The downside is that CreateSpace haven't improved the range of images and features in the last two years.  This really is one area that they could look at improving, but perhaps that's the idea as I kept tripping over offers to produce book covers starting at 'only' $299.

But the long and short is that it is worth looking at publishing with CreateSpace before the eBook versions just to get a cover you can use.  After that it's your choice whether you work on the Kindle version or the Smashwords version.  As usual Smashwords is pickier than Amazon, but to be fair Amazon only has the one version to worry about, Smashwords tries to accommodate all formats at once.  Hence if you look at my Smashwords version you'll notice I don't have a first line indent, but on Amazon I do.  I prefer the first line indent, but Smashwords aren't keen and although they say it can be achieved, it ain't easy.

Pricing across the three media isn't consistent, which I know is considered a big no-no, but I can't do much about the cost of CreateSpace books, unfortunately.  Most of the price is split between them and Amazon, a few grains left over for the author.  Quite a bit like conventional book publishing, I guess.  Amazon have an irritating habit of forcing the price of eBooks up, which may surprise many newbie authors and general readers as I'm sure you know they have a lot of low price eBooks on sale.  But drop below $2.99 per book and they take 65% of the purchase price; make it $2.99 or more and they only take 30% of the price.  This forces authors to price higher, especially when they try to recall where Amazon were when they were struggling with a plot sequence.  Smashwords takes a trivial cut if readers buy direct from them and  you'll end up with about 60% as a worst case scenario through the channels they distribute to.  Hence authors can afford to market their books for less and not feel dirty after every purchase.

Anyway, if you want to take a look at Journeymen II: Day of Reckoning you'll find it on Amazon and Smashwords right now.  If you want to see it on Apple and the other eBook publishing sites then you'll have to wait a few days while Smashwords ports it across.  Take a look, I hope you enjoy the yarn.

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