Category Archives: Kindle Books

Kindle

Bookstore Survival: Can we help?

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Joanna’s Morning Links post today included a link to a Mike Shatzkin article about the future of Barnes & Noble.”

Penelope‘s insight: 

Is the lesson of: “Price your books cheaply” that we have learned from Amazon, going to contribute to the further demise of bookstores as we know them?W

hat does this mean for publishers, authors and major retail booksellers? We’ve already seen Borders book stores shut down. Is it because they can’t compete with the .99 cent ebooks provided by Amazon?

It will be very telling in the next few years if there are more casualties of brick-and-mortar stores. We still need quality places to meet and read those books–whether printed or digital.

 *****This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing for Kindle”*****

 Link to the original article: http://www.teleread.com/books/bookstore-survival-can-we-help

 

 

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Gothic Tale of Terror “The Roses of the Moon I, Mara” – Book Review

Mara by Alyne de Winter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The author weaves a spellbinding and utterly be-witching tale of a young girl caught up in a magical yet dangerous world. Alyne de Winter, author of several other gothic tales, The Lady in Yellow and Roses, Briars and Blood: A Gothic Re-telling of Sleeping Beauty: Revised Edition (Gothic Faery Tales) has taken us back in time to a world of a moonlit, rose-covered castle, Turks, lords, ladies, brave warriors, gods, gypsies, spells, superstitions and witchcraft.

As I read and became totally immersed in the story of our heroine, Mara, I also felt acute pain for her and her dismal surroundings. It is hard to imagine how such a young girl could survive the daily frightening experiences here. Mara is sensitive, and only nine years old with terrible, ongoing nightmares brought about by the horrible sounds and cries in the night that echo through the walls of Castle Szeppasszony. At age 16, Mara is moved into the Countess’s wing of the castle, only to uncover the source of her nightmares and her mother’s terrible secrets. She experiences extreme loneliness, pain and horror. It seems that the weird happenings inside the Castle Szeppasszony and the Trefoil Tower will never come to an end.

This book will take you on a journey of your imagination that you will not soon forget. You will also experience all that this young girl lived through in this dark, dank castle of secrets in the mountains of 17th Century Hungary. Mara also has her own secrets, and we will soon discover right along with her, the truth as she peels back the layers of her past in this wildly engaging tale.

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Help! My Book Isn’t Selling. 10 Questions You Need To Answer Honestly If You Want To Sell More Books.

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Penelope‘s insight:

 

Help is on the way for those authors with books languishing on the shelves of forgotten books at Amazon. It is amazing how many writers think they can write the book, get it published, and then sit back and wait for the profits to start rolling in. It’s not quite that easy.

 There is hope, however, even for those slow selling or non-selling books. Run down this article’s list of excellent suggestions and see if you are optimizing your book for sales!

 1) Make your book available as an EBOOK – Some readers will still buy the hard or soft cover, but many are opting to find books for Kindle

 2) Professionally designed COVER – People still buy with their “eyes”. Picture your cover as a thumbnail, and put yourself in the buyer’s shoes when viewing it amongst a long list of other books.

 3) Professionally EDITED book – It is very difficult to critique our own work. If possible, get a professional editor or work with a book group that will critique your work.

 4) Correct CATEGORIES in the e-book store – What is your book about? Double check and make sure it is listed in the right genres for the subject matter. This small tweak could net quite a few more sales for you.

 5) Optimize your SALES page – Use it as it is intended. This is why it is called a “sales” page. Make sure there are no misspellings or improper grammar. Do you have hook that draws the reader in?

 There are four more thought-provoking points, and the final word is: being an author is not a get rich quick scheme, and you must work your butt off! Are you up for the challenge?

 

*****This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Ebook Promotion and Marketing”*****

 Link to the original article: http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2012/10/12/help-my-book-isnt-selling

 

 

 

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Deanna Lynn Sletten: Tips for Self-Publishing – Step Four: Book Cover & Book Description

See on Scoop.itWriting for Kindle

Penelope‘s insight:
 

I believe I see more questions on this one issue more than any other. How do I make a cover for this wonderful book that I just wrote and want to upload to the Kindle marketplace? This article sews up the loose ends of self-publishing very nicely and gives some great ideas on creating a masterpiece cover and book description that will grab the attention of millions of possible readers.

You can puchase a professional stock photo and add your book title, subtitle, and author name onto it, but are you a graphic designer? Do you have an eye for color, design, layout, and all the elements that make a good cover pop? I know I don’t, and I use the services of a wonderful designer for very little. Check around on Fiverr, Odesk, Elance or Guru. The author recommends Tugboat Design for a professional cover. You have to remember that the readers are scrolling through hundreds and hundreds of covers (small thumbnail pictures) and it had better grab them in 1 or 2 seconds.

The other non-negotiable is to write up a description for your book, that will give the readers a “birds-eye” view of what your book is all about. Don’t slap up a one or two liner and think that’s going to do the trick. What would you be looking for as a reader? Don’t you want to know if the book is going to be worthwhile or totally waste your time?

In summary, take the time to create or outsource a beautiful cover, a captivating description of your book (written in third person if fiction), and you will be on your way to being a successful, published author on Amazon.

   

*****This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing for Kindle”*****

 Link to the original article: http://www.deannalynnsletten.com/2012/09/tips-for-self-publishing-step-four-book.html

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E-books exploding in popularity among kids, adults

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Readers, publishers and librarians alike are writing a new chapter in the book business. E-books are turning the high-tech page, while traditional printed books increasingly are being shelved.

 

Penelope‘s insight: 

LISTEN UP AUTHORS! The number of American kids ages 6 to 17 who had read an e-book nearly DOUBLED between 2010 and 2012?? This is a jump from 25% to 46%!

 If you have written a traditionally published book, by all means get it off the dusty bookshelf and onto Kindle! If you need help with this, peruse the freelance sites of Elance, Odesk, Guru, and even Fiverr for experts who can help you. Sometimes it will cost a lot less than you think to convert the material for publication to the Kindle marketplace. 

 Do you think it’s not worth the time and effort? Take a further look at the stats:

 Traditionally printed books are increasingly being shelved in favor of ebooks. The survey was conducted for Scholastic, the children’s publishing giant, and Harrison Group, a marketing and research consulting firm.

 Pew reported in December that e-book readership among Americans ages 16 and above jumped from 16% in 2011 to 23% in 2012. At the same time, readership of printed books in the previous 12 months fell from 72% to 67%.

 Several sessions at the Macworld/iWorld conference in San Francisco will focus on e-books. The Apple IPad is a key player in this market. More than 1.5 million e-books are available to be downloaded from the iBookstore. Amazon Kindle is probably the easiest place for you to start if you are a newcomer to this arena.

 Take a look at the entire article for more information that should get your wheels spinning and your feet moving on over to the digital marketplace.

 

*****This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing for Kindle”*****

 Link to the original article: http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2013/adult-ebook-sales-up-31-in-sept-continue-slowdown

 

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Adult Ebook Sales up 31% in Sept., Continue Slowdown | Digital Book World

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The trend of more moderate growth for ebooks in the U.S. in 2012 continued in Sept. as sales of adult trade ebooks were up 30.7%, much less than the triple-digit sales growth seen in ebooks in previous years.

Penelope‘s insight:

 

Hmm….in perusing this interesting article, I wonder where the writing focus should be?

Although adult ebook sales were up 31% in September, the sales for Children’s ebooks are still up 177% for the year through the first 3 quarters! Wow. The ebook revenues for children’s ebooks are up to $190.6M for the year, comprising nearly 13% of all sales!

On the Adult side, ebooks are up 36.2% for the year to $961.6M, comprising nearly 21% of all sales.

The tide turned in 2012, when children’s ebooks grew by a whopping 475.1%! If you have any inclination toward putting together small and simple picture books for children, you should take a serious look at writing for this sector. It can be as simple as putting together a funny picture book of snapshots you have taken of your cat, dog or rat with silly captions underneath.  They really are some of the simplest books to put together–and also the most profitable!

  

*****This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing for Kindle”*****

Link to the original article: http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2013/adult-ebook-sales-up-31-in-sept-continue-slowdown

 

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Amazon Children’s Publishing expands with more books for younger kids and teens

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Amazon is expanding its children’s publishing division with two new imprints. “Two Lions” will publish picture books, chapter books and middle-grade fiction, while “Skyscape” is aimed at teens.

Penelope‘s insight:

 

Should you focus on writing for the children’s book market? As Amazon Children’s Publishing expands with more books for younger kids and teens–this might be a great market. Think picture books.

 The expansion could help feed Kindle FreeTime Unlimited, Amazon’s new subscription product for kids. The program, aimed at 3- to 8-year-olds, offers unlimited access to ebooks, movies, TV shows, educational apps and games for a set monthly price (starting at $2.99).

 Parents are looking for more and more “kid-friendly” books that they can share with their youngsters, and children have their own kindles now.

 

*****This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing for Kindle”*****

 Link to the original article: http://paidcontent.org/2013/01/21/amazon-childrens-publishing-expands-with-more-books-for-younger-kids-and-teens

 

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Deanna Lynn Sletten: Tips for Self-Publishing – Step Three: Formatting Your eBook

See on Scoop.itWriting for Kindle

Penelope‘s insight: 
 

This is a Part 3 of 4 of some great tips on how to self-publish. This post gets into an aspect of self-publishing that turns most authors away for good; that is, formatting your ebook. There is no doubt about it, there is a bit of a learning curve. It can be done, but it may take a lot of trial and error.  Hopefully, this post will give you the confidence you need to dive in and get started on your formatting journey.

 1) STYLE GUIDE – Considered by some to be the best Formatting Guide, you can download Smashwords Style Guide for FREE in PDF or Mobi. (formatting varies a bit for Amazon vs. B&N) http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/52

 2) SIMPLIFIED FORMATTING GUIDE – Amazon has their own. https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/help?topicId=A17W8UM0MMSQX6

 3) FORMATTING GUIDE – Barnes & Noble and Pubit has a guide in their FAQ’s. http://pubit.barnesandnoble.com/pubit_app/bn?t=support

 4) CREATESPACE FORMATTING – You can upload your word document that started with, but you will then need to create page #’s and headings. This takes a little bit of work but once it is done once, you’ll feel like an expert! 

4) KINDLE BOOK GENERATOR – This is ebook formatting software. This is the route that I have taken to format all of my ebooks. I learned how to do the formatting, but found an awesome software that is a cinch to upload my word document, and then it automatically generates all the different file formats to upload to the various publishing platforms. It also has a Photo Storage option to store all of your pictures from all your books. I love it and highly recommend! http://jvz1.com/c/46060/2211

 For all 4 platforms, you can use your Word document to begin. First make a copy, then start the formatting. If this part of the process still frustrates you, don’t give up. There are plenty of outsourcers willing to create your ebook for you–for very little.

 

*****This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing for Kindle”*****

 Link to the original article: http://www.deannalynnsletten.com/2012/08/tips-for-self-publishing-step-three.html

 

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Book Review – Corruption is Rampant on “The Road”

 The Road

by Clive West
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My interview with author Clive West is posted on the blog under “Author Interviews”.  Here’s my review of the book:

This seemingly innocent road project is rife with greed, corruption, intrigue, and downright sleeziness. What makes this book chilling is the fact that these kinds of underhanded deals are being carried out around us every day, as we blindly go about our everyday lives. People are way too trusting of their government leaders, and think that everything they do is “for the people” and “above board”. Not so.

You will get a taste of the seedy side and the underbelly of what REALLY goes on in your community, state, country, and in your world. The author has created a cast of characters that we love to hate, while we root for sweet justice to right all of the wrongs that have been perpetrated.

“The Road” will keep you guessing until the very last page. What you think will happen, may or may not–and this book keeps you riveted until the shocking end.

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Deanna Lynn Sletten: Tips for Self-Publishing – Second Step: Choosing a Publishing Platform

See on Scoop.itWriting for Kindle

Penelope‘s insight:

This is a Part 2 of 3 of some great tips on how to self-publish. This post will delve into each of the major platform of Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. This is assuming that your manuscript is polished, has been checked thoroughly by an editor or proofreader, and beta readers have given the thumbs up!

 1) AMAZON – (70-80% of the ebook buying market, 80% of these buyers own Kindles, free to publish, you own all rights, 35/75% royalties, you can change price at any time, 5 free days per month on KDP, you can’t publish to other platforms if book is signed up in KDP)

 I personally like Amazon because you can upload your book, and it will be ready for sale usually the next day. Changes are super easy to make on the Amazon Kindle platform.  Once your book has been published on Kindle, you can head on over to CREATESPACE to set up the formatting for your printed copy available for sale on Amazon. You don’t have to pay a dime unless you want your own proof copy.

 2) BARNES & NOBLE (claims to have 27% of the ebook market, must create account on “Pubit”, only U.S. authors for now, market very limited, free to publish, royalties 65/30, can change price at any time, can publish to other platforms)

 3) SMASHWORDS – (upload one book file, SW will distribute to all stores you select, BEST style formatting guide of all sellers, own all rights, can unpub at any time, changes can take weeks to take effect)

 Check out the FAQ’s for each platform, before you decide where you would liked to feature your book–it can be one or all. It’s really up to you.

 

COMING NEXT: Step Three – Tips for Formatting Your e-Book

 *****This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing for Kindle”*****

 Link to the original article: http://www.deannalynnsletten.com/2012/08/tips-for-self-publishing-second-step.html

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