Blog

Nooks & Two Covers

While I was able to publish a book with two covers in both print and e-book for Amazon and other retailers through Creatspace, apparently Smashwords does not allow such to occur…

Go figure, right?

So if you are looking for both versions of the cover for your nook or other device that is NOT a Kindle, unfortunately there will be only one version at a time as I would have to unpublish one and then publish the other which undoubtedly might cause issues with their terms and conditions.

E-Books and Ultimate E-Book Creator

Thanks to a new tool that I recently discovered, Ultimate E-Book Creator, I was able to create and publish the e-book versions of Blood-Spatter in a far more timely fashion than I originally expected.

I really enjoy this tool as it makes it a one stop shop for file format conversions whether its epub or mobi.

If and when you consider publishing your first or next e-book, consider trying this tool as it made my efforts much more enjoyable than they had been previously.

Web Page and Updates

Web pages (and blogs for that matter) can be as much fun  as crafting a story, although to be honest there are just way too many ways that things can be put together along with the opinions that abound on which way is better, one over another.

Fortunately WordPress makes it fairly easy to organize and present whatever someone may want to present and how they can do it.

Recently I’ve come to realize just how complicated, albeit initially well intended, that my websites had become, so that I was able to simplify and organize both of them to present a whole lot better on both a computer screen as well as on my phone and other mobile devices.

Many people who start out designing websites forget (much like I did to some extent) how important it is for a website to fit on that itty-bitty screen. The advantage of course is that when you want to access something quickly and you’ve designed it properly it works much better than it would have previously.

That being said, I’ve adopted the same format (Twenty-Sixteen) within WordPress for both my Author website as well as my BBQ website and hope that going forward it will present both itself and what tools that I hope to list as suggestions for others who might also find them useful in either place.

While I had become partial to and preferred the format and layout of the Zombie Apocalypse theme, the process of keeping things organized between them became far more work than it was worth and it did not present as well as I would have liked on the small screen.

Websites should never become stale for very long and mine will continue to grow and get better as it is tweaked and updated.

Book Updates

Speaking of growth, I’ve held off on publishing the e-book versions of my short stories while I work to complete the next two books in my Weird Wild West series so that I can then focus on the e-books together at the same time.

Blood-Born is nearing completion and I’m hoping to have it published this Summer with Dead-Men Hanging following not that long afterward.

Figured I’d give an update to keep my Blog fresh as well 8)

Back In The Saddle

Well, after an overly extended break where I took the time to retool parts of the next books, I have finally managed to come up with what will be the end of book four which had been nagging me for over a decade.

That being said, the book of short stories are now in the process of being massaged and edited for release sometime in the next week or two.

More to come as the break is over and the work is begun once again 8)

The Holidays are Here!

One of the most difficult time to find time to be creative is during the Holiday season that starts just before Thanksgiving and lasts through New Years.

Why? Well, for starters – family obligations, Black Friday and the preparations for Christmas that are and can be a LOT of work for everyone involved.

And not to mention the New Years fun.

Which brings up yet more fun: what does one want for Christmas this year?

For myself, I found a great option using my Amazon Store to give a central point for tips that family could visit as a starting point should they need one.

The best thing one could have is family, friends, and of course fans who enjoy your stories. Without any one of those there wouldn’t be an ability to be creative.

Hopefully this holiday season finds you and yours healthy and wise and safe among your family, friends and fans as well.

How to backup your Amazon aStore and why.

storefront1One particular benefit of the Amazon Associates program is the ability to create your own on-line store that contains links to Amazon products of your choice.

Having access to such an on-line store can and does greatly benefit both you and those that you may list through purchases that occur when people who visit your store choose to purchase the products listed therein.

While you won’t earn a percentage of each particular sale from your store directly, you will manage to earn a small percentage of sales in their entirety each month that your store is open and available.

You can spend countless hours, days and even weeks creating a layout that contains links to products categorized and organized as you wish along with how you want them to be presented to those that may visit your website.

wp1WordPress even has methods to incorporate your store into their various themes that allow them to seamlessly integrate into your website.

Once you are done your store can add much content and opportunity to your website.

backup1At this point it may be a good idea to consider making a backup of your links, just in case.

Of what, you may ask?

 

closed1Well, in the event that you happen to run afoul of the terms and conditions of the Amazon Associates program, there is a good chance that your store account will be terminated and you will no longer have access to your store.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that your store is gone, it simply may mean that you no longer have access to modify or update it.

Once the dust settles as to why you may have incurred such a closure, you will need to create a new store to replace the old.

Backing up your store as you create or update it will make this process much easier as you can load lists of ASIN numbers quickly and easily to rebuild a category should you need to.

Within the aStore console you simply do the following:

  • select a category
  • select ‘Add products’
  • select ‘Upload a List’
  • select the second tab, ‘View All ASINs’
  • select ‘Highlight ASINs’
  • right click and select copy
  • open a file of your choice – I happen to use text files – paste the list and save the file.

At this point you now have a backup of that particular category. Should the need arise  you can import that list and have it look the same as when it was backed up.

It should also be pointed out that if you were to add or remove items, you should also update the backup file(s) accordingly.

A second method, should you find your aStore closed but still available, would be to go through each link within a category of the old store and paste the links into a file.

Each link will have the ASIN number at the very end where you can trim each line and have the same list that you would have had were you to have gone through the previous backup procedure.

storefront1While many may scoff at the necessity of such efforts, should you find yourself in the situation that I recently did — it will pay dividends as you work to recreate your store.

When Amazon closes an aStore, it is not possible to reopen it and you have to reapply and create a new one.

wordpress-backupHopefully now, should you happen to have an aStore, you will know a couple ways to make a backup and feel more confident that you won’t have to start from scratch if the occasion should arise that you were to lose access to it.

 

 

 

BEFORE you publish, consider acquiring an LCCN.

libofcong1What? You have no idea what an LCCN is?

LCCN = Library of Congress Control Number.

Read more here from the LoC website.

Also Mill City Press has a great description here.

Createspace info can be found here.

What this basically will be is the number assigned through a case that is opened by your publisher to get your book entered into the process of acceptance into the Library of Congress. This control number typically can be displayed on your copyright page if you were inclined to do so.

As I discovered recently with my first book, if you overlook this step as I had, you will need to open a case with the Library of Congress yourself and then send two copies of your work to them for consideration.

By acquiring a LCCN number prior to publication, your publisher – in my case Createspace – applies for you and also submits a copy of your book for consideration.

The difference in price initially on the surface is roughly ten dollars (US).

For a LCCN before publication through Createspace (at the time of this post) it is twenty-five dollars (US) while applying directly through the Library of Congress is thirty-five dollars (US) plus two copies of your book and postage to send them.

The Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
The Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

While acquiring this number does not guarantee that your work will be accepted into the Library of Congress, it at least gets the work information entered into their database which other libraries will access.

Not all public libraries that you may have offered your book(s) will enter the information in all databases.

Is it worthwhile to consider as part of your publishing process? I would venture to say yes without question.

budget-hiWith every book that you publish there will be a budget of some sort for advertising and such and a LCCN number guarantees that it will be found in a place that makes it worthwhile.

 

Sometimes the best investment is one that although it involves a gamble of sorts does give a return worth the price and effort in the process.

 

So in the end, I will recommend it as something to seriously consider if not already place in that checklist that is used when you publish.

Every little bit helps 8)