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.