Vellum to the rescue

December 25th, 2017. Christmas Day for most people — a day where family, presents, and if you’re lucky, snow greets you as you wake. Not us. Not this year, at least.

First off, we’re in Japan, where for all the Christmas music in the stores and blustery cold in the air, there is no celebrating of Christmas, per se. The occasional present is exchanged and the occasional cake is consumed, but the overblown mash-up of religion and markdowns doesn’t exist here. The second reason Christmas isn’t a factor for us is that Getting Even is exactly two weeks into its run on Amazon. Which means we are still in the midst of promotion, the occasional revise, and, to be honest, equal amounts of wonder and worry. And a bit of fatigue.

Notice I didn’t mention celebration. I can only imagine what other self-published authors feel when their book goes live on Amazon. You know, when the reviews, downloads, and money start to pile on up. For us, well, it’s been interesting.

With today’s post, I hope to begin the task of putting into words the steps we took to get our book live. One step, one post. You’ll probably learn more about our path to publishing then you might need to, but the goal is for you to grab a takeaway or two you can apply to your own publishing adventure. One thing for sure. I don’t want to make the same mistake twice, so why should you make it even once!

Today’s misadventure down memory lane goes back to preparing our book for upload to the Kindle store. Merely having a manuscript written, edited, proofed — what you might think is a manuscript ready for others to read — doesn’t mean it’s formatted for acceptance to the Kindle Store. You’re going to need a third-party application to massage your manuscript into final form that includes all the usual elements of a book — table of contents, title page, copyright page, acknowledgments page, bio, etc. We don’t think anyone needs to go overboard with design elements and fancy flourishes, but if you’re going to compete with the other million-plus ebooks on Amazon you ought to at least look the part.

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Day 12 of Getting Even, live on Amazon. Now, the reality check.

We are still learning the ropes of the self-publishing world. I just discovered that the price of the print version of my book includes a four-color cover. It means I can sell the book for $9.00 (no profit for me) with a full color cover! This might be basic to most Kindle authors but it was news to me. I originally designed a black and white cover page so the book wouldn’t be expensive.

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The fall in Japan

After our golden, Molly, died (at 16 years old!) in Berkeley, we weren’t sure what to do next. So we went into default mode and decided to go back to Japan for a while. The fall season in Japan is the best. The leaves of the Japanese maple turns a bright red, and the leaves of the Ginko tree turn to deep yellow. Late October and the end of the November are the most colorful times of the year. And here’s proof!



Getting Even now on Amazon!

Happy Birthday!-3

Hi there, past guests of the bnb!

Here’s an update from Hiouchi and bnb hiouchi we want to share.

We sold the property last September and have started in on some extended travel. We’re pretty amazed we did it, too!

Meg and I planted ourselves in Berkeley for two months after the sale and then relocated to Osaka, Japan where we’ve been living since late-November. We figure on a minimum of one more month in Osaka before making a next move, which could be more time in Japan, or maybe Nepal, or maybe Cambodia. I’ve been reading up on Baja California and now that’s on my list, too.

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