I’ve been writing and publishing a Kindle book every week since the last week of August, 2013. Needless to say I’ve learned a lot of lessons on this journey, so when I was recently asked what I would change from my early Kindle publishing days if I could start over again from scratch, a few things came to mind. Enjoy this journey through my lessons learned, and take them to heart for your own Kindle publishing journey!
Concept & Creation
Two of my Kindle books were based off transcriptions from webinars I taught: The “WOW” Factor: Discover the Secrets to Book Covers that Sell and Turn Your Content into Print in Only 3 Days. If I could do things differently, I would have either written them from scratch to begin with or made it clear in the marketing that these books were transcriptions of the webinars. Instead I tried to hybrid the two methods by writing some, editing the transcripts, and leaving the overall “webinar” conversational style and feel intact. This caused my grammar to not be quite as good as it should be, and it showed up in the Amazon reviews.
To fix these issues, I recently re-edited and added content to The “WOW” Factor and sent the Content into Print e-book to a professional developmental editor. I also had both book covers re-designed to be more professional in appearance. These fixes have made a dramatic change to the reviews and sales of each e-book.
It’s always good to test your e-book’s appearance on a real Kindle since the Kindle Preview Tool tends to miss major issues or worse yet, show them where none exist.. If you don’t have a Kindle, get one. Hey, if you’re an author and you’re using it to test your e-books, it’s a business expense!
I’ve always tested e-books on my Kindle(s) since I first started publishing them several years ago. However, technology changes. With the latest change of new software for the Kindle Fire HDs, many e-books are encountering new formatting issues that weren’t present before. This can be a two-part problem.
- It’s an issue with how Kindle HDs are viewing the files and interpreting the code. With this there’s nothing you can do to fix it.
- It’s an issue in your e-book itself that can be fixed. In both instances that we’ve encountered an issue like this, it’s been fixable.
Bottom line… Always, always, always check your e-book over on a real Kindle before hitting the “Publish” button. And if your file does have issues, instead of beating your head against the wall to figure out how to fix the code, hire a professional e-book programming team to fix them up.
This is an area in which I’m continually learning. Honestly, I don’t think any of us are ever done learning new things we can do to market books! Recently I started an experiment publishing cookbooks under a pen name. I’m using as little of my own influence as possible to market, treating it like I’m a brand new author. My hope is that not only will I learn some new ways to market my new e-books, but to share with you things that have worked, things that haven’t worked, and help you more effectively market your book.
Overall, the biggest regret I have is not realizing sooner how swiftly Kindle would overtake the book publishing world. I’m such a die-hard print gal that for a while I ignored the fact this technology would transform my entire industry. If anything, I’ve learned how important it is that I stay up to date on all publishing industry developments so I can be a better resource to my authors, and I encourage you to treat your industry the same. Never stop learning!
Entrepreneurs get sidetracked? Really? Between shiny objects and new ideas flooding my mind at 100 miles-per-hour, it’s a wonder I stay on track with a new project idea long enough to finish it and not jump to something else!
But once in a while that’s actually how I regain focus. Sometimes we’re not meant to finish that project we’ve been stressing over. Sometimes the new idea brings a fresh new energy, and to try to ignore it only makes it harder to concentrate on what we “should” be doing. This happened to me with my 21 Ways series. I had two books in the series partially written. And that’s when I got really excited about starting a third one. Now, I’d already published two books in the series myself and still have over 18 more outlined. This new idea was completely new. And I chose to use that passion, energy and drive to write it.
Less than 30 days later 21 Ways to be a Kid Again & Get Adult Results was published. And what I learned from that experience I’ve been able to apply toward new project ideas, including my latest Author’s Quick Guide series. Instead of fighting that excitement and energy that comes with a new idea, I allow it to fuel me to take action on it. Can you imagine how many more passionate and amazing ideas will be produced if we quit trying to forget about them and drop everything to take action on them instead?
The important thing is to take action quickly before you get frustrated and begin to lose steam. Fuel your focus with your passion, run with it, and go for it!
What do you wish you’d known before embarking on your journey as an author? Share in the comments below!