Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy Cyber Monday!

Simple Promo Tips in an Increasingly Complex Electronic World

Many authors (including me) are using independent distribution sites like Amazon and Smashwords to sell their books (either brand new titles, titles that weren’t picked up by traditional publishers or titles that were once published elsewhere but are no longer in print) in order to find a new audience in this wonderful Kindle, KOBO, Nook, and tablet-happy electronic world we now inhabit. It’s tough to be an indie author, but there are ways to make it easier. Here are a few tips I’ve found helpful:
Converting books for Amazon’s Kindle and Smashwords can be a chore, especially for first-timers. Here is a list I’ve found and I refer to it closely when I have to upload a new book. It’s worked wonders and saved me a ton of time. It also helps to have a new computer and a new version of Microsoft Word.

* “Save As” to create Kindle file copy
* Insert cover image on first page
* Remove blank pages
* Remove headers
* Remove footers
* Set margins to 1” all around, remove gutter
* Replace section breaks with page breaks
* Set two carriage returns before each pg break and one after each
* Insert page breaks before each chapter heading, if necessary
* Replace double spaces with single space between sentences
* Standardize body text style
* Turn off auto-hyphenate (Tools > Language > Hyphenation)
* Remove any tab or space bar indents, replace w/ ruler indents as needed
* Set line spacing to 1.5, max 6pt spacing after paragraphs
* Standardize chapter headings
* Standardize section headings
* Remove/replace special characters
* Reformat graphics as needed to 300dpi resolution & optimal size (4×6” or smaller)
* Verify images are “in line” with text
* Insert page breaks before and after full-page images
* Modify copyright page to reflect Kindle edition verbiage
* Add correct ISBN to copyright page
* Insert hyperlinked TOC (From The Indie Author Guide by April Hamilton)

Other great resources: Taleist (, Kindle Boards Author Tag Exchange and Kindle’s Direct Publishing Newsletter. Also, where you can list new releases as well as Hope Clark’s Funds for Writers at, Sandra Beckwith’s Build Book Buzz, and Dana Lynn Smith’s The Savvy Book Marketer are also wonderful resources.

Books: The Newbie’s Guide to Publishing by J.A. Konrath and Smart Self-Publishing: Becoming an Indie Author by Zoe Winters

Join the following groups for great writing and promo tips: Authors, Writers, Publishers, Editors and Writing; New Image Writer’s International Network; Reader’s Entertainment; Books and Writers; and Romantic Fiction, all on Linked In.

Post at: Long and Short Romance Reviews, Coffee Time Romance, Love Romance Café, All Romance Reviews (Put their banner on your website and get a free headline ad each month), and Twitter and Facebook, of course.

Happy Cyber Monday and I hope your sales skyrocket!

What’s your favorite free promotional tool?
Next week: How to Creatively Promote while on Vacation and during the Holidays


Nancy Jardine said...

Very helpful, Alison, thank you.

Lynne Marshall said...

OK, I'm exhausted! I cannot keep up with this whirlwind of promo stuff. Sigh. I bow at your feet, Alison.

Wishing you great success!


Sandra Koehler said...

I agree; it's exhausting and overwhelming...the cyber world is too much...Sandy/Alison