So, recently Amazon has added a feature for its KDP authors: paperback. And while they don't as of yet have the additional features that Createspace offer, it does make it more convenient and in my opinion, when it comes to formatting, Amazon was much easier. But that's just my opinion. And Amazon does promise to add the same features that Createspace offers in the near future. As it stands though, Amazon does not offer print proof copies (only digital PDF or Word downloads). They don't offer author wholesale yet. So if these two are a deal-breaker for you, maybe stick to Createspace until Amazon ups their game.
However, I have to say, the ease of adding a paperback option on Amazon for the first time, was a pleasant experience. Your book's already there. Just a click and answer some questions, make some choices on price and royalty and upload a print manuscript and print cover, and you are good to go. Below are my tips to make this experience just as easy for you as it was for me.
Format, I uploaded a docx file, which worked perfectly. Be sure to follow the instructions on the site for margins so no text gets cut off.
Also, a quick list of things to check:
- page numbers
- chapter headings
Furthermore, I'd double - maybe even triple-check - the front and back content.
- copyright and disclaimer
- dedication page
- 'other books by' page
- author bio
Check for typos, and that the layout looks good.
The cover. For the cover, you'll have to do some mathematics. I know, I hear your sighs. But I promise this isn't algebra or trig. This is a simple formula. Basically add the number of pages, by a certain figure, this will get you the right spine width. In terms of height, that's pretty easy. You just decide on the layout size you want, and you'll have to add a tiny margin. Check the KDP site for exact figures and more specific directions.
Finally, the legal stuff. If you've used a cover designer or artist, you don't need to worry so much. Credit them, and they assume most legal responsibility. But, if you are designing your own covers, which I do, you'll need proof of image downloads and/or purchases. I use Shutterstock and Canstock for images. Unless they have changed their terms, you can use the image for unlimited digital downloads, but once you read 500,000 print purchases, you'll need to buy an extended license.
Also, don't forget to have proof of purchase / or download, and a license for the fonts used. There are fontsquirrel.com and 1001fonts.com who I've used. Save and download the 'open font' license to cover yourself.
Additionals: you can put the ISBN number at the front of the book, in the copyright section, if you wish.
Once all this has been checked. You're ready to hit publish, after deciding on a price and so on. I wish you all the best!
*I am not a lawyer/solicitor, so please double check with a professional when it comes to legal matters*
Here we go, 10 ways to market your book without spending a penny!
1) FREEBIE. Set your book as free and use several FREE promotional services. Yes, I hear what you're saying, how will we make money? I would only suggest doing this if you have several books out. So they get one for free and hopefully enjoy it so much they are compelled to purchase one of your other books.
2) Newsletter. It is free to sign up for Mailchimp or newsletter services, but is invaluable for authors. Work on building a list of genuinely interested readers, so you have a direct way of communicating with your readers! Offer something free for them to join. Their email address is valuable, they won't just join any newsletter, you need to give them incentive. For example, I offer a free guide to self-publishing when authors/writers sign up to my free writing and marketing monthly newsletter: http://wesleysauthorpromoservice.weebly.com/
I do have another newsletter for my horror readers and offer one of my bestselling, award-winning books for free when they sign up for monthly emails of all things horror.
3) Promote into Facebook groups. DO NOT SPAM! Promote every once in a while. Use copywriting to form a powerful text promo, have a professional banner or cover, and a clear message of why you are promoting. Do you want readers? Sales? Reviews? etc. Use your common sense as to how often to promote in that group. If there are only a few readers/authors, don't promote too much. If there are tens of thousands, you can promote a little more often.
4) Use #ff. On Twitter, every Friday, there is something known as FollowFriday. You can use the hashtag #FF and tag followers in a post. Why not use that and post something about your book? Don't be too salesy, post something interesting about the book or how it was created. This will get better results.
5) Be social. It costs nothing to talk with other writers, and when the opportunity presents itself, mention your book. Don't be too salesy, again, just mention in a way that you are proud of it. Or something interesting about it.
6) Blogger. Offer a free copy to a blogger who reviews books in your genre. Preferably one that already has a huge following. Free exposure, free review, and hopefully paid sales as a result.
7) Library. Give a free copy to a library. Insane exposure to hardcore readers that still go to the library. Also, it will be placed in the correct genre, focusing on your core target audience.
8) Optimize. Optimize your site, blog and even social networking pages! Trust me, it will take a few hours, but will be worth it. What is the point in having a blog or site if it is lost in the millions of sites on the web? Make it discoverable by adding labels to pages, site descriptions, images and so on. Look into this, it is worth it. I will try and blog about this very soon as it is something I get asked about quite often, that authors seem to struggle with.
9) Banners. Drive traffic to your site by means of an effective marketing plan, and have plenty of banners of your books on there, with the price clear and a tagline clearly explaining what the book is about, in a nutshell, and suggest the genre so there is no confusion. Again, it is about making the purpose of that ad clear, along with the interested party.
10) Link it up. It is free to put your book on Amazon, Nook, etc. A world of millions of readers. Not enough authors take advantage of this! At the end of your book, ask for a review in a polite professional manner. And give a teaser from another book. And mention all your releases. And mention your newsletter with a signup incentive. They have spent their hard earned cash to buy your book, they are interested, they go to the end so they must have liked it, so use this to your advantage guys. Make every book link to another one. So they end up buying one of your books, and be given teasers and mentioning of your others, leading to a buy-buy-buy strategy! Multiple sales, maybe a new subscriber to your mailing list, and some reviews. It amazes me that still, so many self-published authors don't do this.
There you have it folks, I hope you found that blog helpful. If you have something you would like me to blog about email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Feel free to check out my other blogs: http://blogpostsforwriters.blogspot.com/