Today I published the latest novel by independent author Valerie Bird. Ladybird, Ladybird, a literary fiction novel, is the fourth title we have published together and we are starting to get quite a rhythm going with our collective efforts.
Working with an independent author
Valerie will usually provide me with a document in Apple Pages format (the Mac’s alternative to Microsoft Word). The Pages version actually does quite a good job of creating a manuscript which can be uploaded to the print on demand system of CreateSpace. However, I have found that with some extra tweaking of the file I can ensure better compatibility for the Kindle and iBooks standards.
- setting a better font and size for the iBooks version as the default output from Pages is a little too small.
- ensuring the chapter information works correctly in the Kindle and iBooks Table of Content menus.
- adding front matter, including dedications, copyright and acknowledgements.
- uploading to the relevant store systems. Adding the correct categories, keywords and description to the marketing form, to give the book the greatest chance of discovery.
By doing this the novel is able to reach a wider audience. It will be sold via Amazon’s sites worldwide, as both a paperback and Kindle ebook. Be available to iPad (and iPhone) readers via the Apple iBookstore. The print on demand system I use also makes the book available to offline bookstores and independent retailers.
It’s not just about formatting
Once we have published the novel to the various marketplaces I normally spend some time helping Valerie with her social media. Publishing is a big step for an independent author, but marketing is an even bigger one.
I set up smart URLs for the various novels I have published. This allows the authors and myself to use one link on social media such as Twitter and Facebook. We found this necessary because readers on social media could be from all over the world, and we wanted to make it easier for our posts to direct them to the correct store for their location. For instance we will send a reader in the United States to amazon.com while sending a follower in the United Kingdom to amazon.co.uk