Post by chelsfield on Jun 30, 2017 23:29:03 GMT -8
I guess I'll take the plunge as I was the one suggesting this topic.
But I am afraid that I am the one with the least to offer! We at the Press (a publishing 'project') often find ourselves wondering whether to use a publishing tool or not (we are currently stymied by Amazon), and I'll look on the forum for the various pieces of advice, but it's like herding cats....
So, our two pennies:
We use Smashwords for converting text to ebooks format, as well as publishing and distribution.
We use Wordpress.org for the main website, and others of us have personal websites at Wordpress.com We use Gimp for cover design, and because we work with authors on editing etc of non fiction we use a bibliographic tool called Zotero.
We do not actively promote. Partly because we all have other jobs, but also we've yet to agree on an approach
First, a list of distributors to publish and how to format for each distributor.
Amazon: ebooks need to be mobi, print books need to be docx? or something else? Createspace: print books need pdf for interior and cover. They can make a mobi from the approved pdfs to go on Amazon, but I do not use Createspace for my Amazon ebook. IBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and all the rest use epub files for ebooks.
However, you can use D2D, Pronoun, and Smashwords to reach a lot more little distributors, They use epub or doc files and a jpeg cover image.
How I do it: Write in word.doc and send out to beta readers who Track Changes. When I get the .doc file back I either accept or reject each and every suggested change. :-) Fun!
Then I use speech while I read to find last few typos, etc, and save as a TitleSmashwords.doc and a TitleAmazon.doc and a TitleCreateSpace.doc.
I then copy the CreateSpace.doc into my Scribus 8x5 template and go through page by page adjusting spacing so there are no big gaps on any rows, confirm all chapters have a drop capital and the correct font is used for the chapter titles and header and footer details. While I do the layout I find any last few typos or awkward sentences and fix, and update the Smashwords and Amazon docs at the same time.
Then I export as a TitleCreatespaceInterior.pdf and take note of the number of pages.
Then I create the cover in Scribus using the number of pages to calculate the spine. Import the image and adjust the Title, Title Tag, Author and Author tag, book blurb, publisher info, and spine info and export as pdf.
I upload to Createspace, and order a proof copy.
While waiting (sometimes up to a month for the proof copy to arrive) I use the front of the print cover for the ebook covers, and wait until proof is approved before I upload Smashwords.doc and jpg ebook cover.
I edit the Amazon.doc file to replace all the single and double quotes, em and n dash, and hellip dots with their html codes, and surround all italic text with <i> and </i>. I copy the tidied up manuscript into my jedit program and code the styles for chapters, scene breaks, front and back matter, etc then save as html. I open that in Calibre and create a mobi, epub and any other files I need, then do not upload the mobi and jpg ebook cover to Amazon until I read and approve the proof copy in case I find more errors that have to be fixed.
I use the epub file if I am running a sale on most of the sites like Instafreebie, bookbub, bookbundle, etc. or send either the epub or mobi to reviewers when requested.
I create a cover letter for reviewers, and a sales copy page, both for the publisher site and to send to book stores and libraries. :-)
Then I go out to dinner to celebrate before I read the proof looking for anything not right, and if I find something, I update and upload the fixed pdf files (if required) then approve the proof, and upload to Smashwords and Amazon, and start my low key marketing. :-)
I use Photoshop Elements (free with scanners and other hardware), Blender and DAZ Studio (both free) to create characters, buildings, spaceships, adjust lighting, etc or just scan in my own drawings then colour inside photoshop, adding all effects needed then saving as jpg to import into Scribus for print covers, and adjusting in Photoshop for ebook covers.
There are many expensive programs to create images, but it is quicker and easier to purchase images from Dreamstime, istockphotos, everystockphoto, artrenewal, etc and alter inside photoshop to get the effect required for each genre cover. Make sure to understand the licensing required for each image. I print out the licensing info and file with copy of the image used on my covers.
Then when you figure it all out, I will tell you what we both should be doing that sells more print books in bookstores and libraries, and still sell print and ebooks through Amazon, B&N, Kobo, etc.
But it involves paying for our own ISBNs ($ cost) to use through IngramSpark for extended distribution, and only using Createspace for Amazon without selecting Extended Distribution using Createspace ISBN (free). :-) And there is a fee to set up each print book via IngramSpark. So, I will not do it until I am selling more books, to cover the expenses to go worldwide into bookstores. :-)
I sort of gave up on Google Play a few years ago. Wasn't much action and a few forums complained about usability.
Might be worth a look now.
Blender? Holy cow. I couple of years back I tried it and got lost in the maze of how things worked. I just wanted to draw some cartoon characters. It turned out I needed drawing talent to get anything decent. Drawing is not my forte.
I'm still waiting for the computer which will see in my mind what I want and draw it for me.
I just wanted to draw some cartoon characters. It turned out I needed drawing talent to get anything decent. Drawing is not my forte.
Ted, if you really want to draw cartoon characters, then you might be interested in www.draw-cartoons-today.com/. The book cost $19.95. Well worth it to build confidence in your drawings if you do the exercises. By the time you finish the exercises you will have developed your own style. :-)
I could email some of my cartoon examples if you are interested. :-)
I earn more royalties on Google Play than on Amazon, iBooks and Kobo combined.
Thanks, Galatea. How are you producing your texts for submission to Google Play?
I did it directly. But apparently they closed off that possibility in 2015. I didn't know that until today. PublishDrive did a blog post on it. (https://publishdrive.com/5-facts-didnt-know-publishing-google-play/) But apparently Publishdrive is one of the aggregators that publishes to Google Play. They're an okay company. I have no complaints about them. Works the same way as other aggregators. Only difference is that they European. Makes it easier for me to cash, no ITIN crap and such.