My brain is about to explode.
In my quest as an Indie author to stay on budget with a quality product, I uber-researched ways to create illustrated chapter e-books for kids. I want go digital to expand my market and use low-cost e-books to entice readers and build book discoverability.
I published two print chapter books for early readers on Amazon that contain color illustrations. But I was bedeviled trying to convert them into digital format across platforms (Kindle, Apple) because the DIY quality of that digital conversion just isn't there. In the past eight months, I have gone through two graphic designers to wrestle Amazon’s formatting technology and a coding guru who finally helped me create an ePub doc.
Thus after great toil and tribulation, Sweet T and the North Wind is finally on Amazon as an e-book for $.99 US. However, it shouldn’t have taken a gazillion hours to create an ebook, right?
Currently, I’m exploring cost-effective DIY e-book options, such as Apple’s iAuthor and Amazon’s newly released Kids' Book Creator software, to turn my Finding Fuzzy You-Decide tale into an e-book.
I asked for help from today’s guest blogger, writer and self-publishing guru Catherine Ryan Howard. Her wit and knowledge I find on her blog are great sources for inspiration on my writerly journey. She responds to my question about KidLit e-books below.
Check out her new book, Self-Printed, The Sane Person's Guide to Self-Publishing, too.
Can you suggest ways, sources, etc. to get quality conversion of printed books with illustrations into digital format across multiple e-reader platforms?
I wouldn't be an expert in illustrated e-books, but there's two ways I know of to achieve a full color, high-quality fixed-format layout, which is what you're after. (Essentially you need things to stay in place - the text on page 3 has to be opposite the illustration on page 4, etc.).
The DIY method is to use Blurb.com, better know for their absolutely GORGEOUS coffee table POD books, which I have used to make amazing presents for big birthdays, milestones, etc. I love that company. Alternatively you could go to a company like eBookPartnership that will create and distribute your fixed format e-book for you. I really don't know what a graphic designer would've done for you - what you need is an expert e-book builder. What the average self-publisher would do - go to Amazon KDP and Smashwords - is just a waste of time for you.
What I would say though, Cat, is that this is going to cost money. Are you sure there's a market for this before you begin, as in are you sure you're going to be able to sell these as e-books to the parents of K-3 children? I'd make sure before I spend the cash.
Catherine Ryan Howard is a writer, self-publisher and caffeine enthusiast from Cork, Ireland.
SELF-PRINTED: THE SANE PERSON'S GUIDE TO SELF-PUBLISHING (3rd edition) is out now in paperback and e-book and available from Amazon. Follow the #selfprintedsplash on Twitter and/or visit www.catherineryanhoward.com for chance to win an amazing prize that will get your self-publishing adventure started!
“SELF-PRINTED is my self-publishing bible. It taught me how to format, create and upload my e-books and print-on-demand paperbacks. It showed me practical things such as how to build a website/blog and how to promote my books. More importantly, it taught me how to compete with the professionals. Just look at the results - The Estate Series has sold nearly 100,000 copies and following that I got a traditional book deal with Thomas & Mercer too, so I’m now a hybrid author. Jam-packed full of hints and tips all in one place, I’m always referring back to it. In a word, it’s priceless.”
– Mel Sherratt, author of The Estate Series and DS Allie Shenton Series
What do you think about
Indie KidLit e-book creation or technology?
Please weigh in on the comments section.
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Writing headlines for social media bedevils me.
I must toss rules of print writing for punchy openers that grab search engines. And though it gives me sleepless nights, I insert the cyber-preferred second-person voice, you - GASP! --- a huge no-no from my days as a college writing coach, where professors deducted points for every ‘you’ found in papers they graded.
Then I stumble on the Headline Analyzer, a FREE gem of an online tool from the Advanced Marketing Institute. I don’t know much about this organization, other than I love how its analyzer tool measures my headline's likelihood of click-throughs and shares. This tool is based on an Emotional Marketing Value (EMV): words measuring three areas that engage people:
Here’s how the analyzer helped me find an effective title to for this post.
Boo. An EMV of just 11% (see below). I'm so hosed.
I stress out when I read studies about writing headlines like the one reported in The Guardian. Eight words max. OK. Odd numbers are better. Huh? Colons (not of the human intestinal kind) are magical. Really?
Yikes! I need help!
And now that you know how to write powerful social media titles with this handy tool, may the headlines be forever in your favor.
To learn more...
Check out this comprehensive post for writing effective headlines for tweets, emails, and blogs by social media guru Kevan Lee, Content Creator for Buffer Social.
Blogger Amy Lynn Andrews also shares a dandy blog content generator you can use to stimulate ideas for blog topics and titles.
We're all on this writing journey together, so please join the conversation in the comment section.
What do you use for writing social media headlines? And if you tried the headline analyzer, how did it work for you?
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The writing journey is a long one. And with all that social media and technology in the mix, it's easy to feel overloaded. To make it easier, I share angst-saving tips found along my way. I'm still learning, so please join me. Let's travel this writing journey and learn together.
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