Publishing

Always learning something new on #Smashwords

With every new eBook project, it seems like I stumble across a new Smashwords formatting snafu that I hadn’t ever before encountered, or even considered. My recent upload of my newest book, F-ing Freddy Fisher, was no exception. It usually doesn’t take me long to figure out what I’m up against, but this time, when I received an email telling me that my manuscript had been rejected due to the lack of an NCX file, I was stumped.

Like any true worrier, my head immediately whirled with panicked questions. What the heck was an NCX file? Was this something new? Was I going to have to give up on Smashwords for good because they had finally managed to make it too difficult for me to figure something out?

Like any true procrastinator, I then put off thinking about it until I had an entire free afternoon to focus on nothing but this problem. Luckily, it turned out all the panic was for naught. Continue reading “Always learning something new on #Smashwords”

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eBooks, Publishing

How to expand your audience with Smashwords

Like many indie publishers, I began my publishing journey with Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Since learning to publish an eBook was more than enough knowledge to digest on its own without learning to publish on multiple platforms at once, I decided to stick with KDP for a while until I had a better idea of what I was doing. However, with the launch of my latest book project, I decided it was time to finally expand beyond Kindle and Nook and learn how to use Smashwords.

Capture

The leap from Kindle to Nook eBook publishing was a no-brainer. I wanted my print books to be available in brick and mortar bookstores like Barnes and Noble, and I wanted my B&N customers to also be able to access my books on their eReaders. But I knew there was still a vast audience that had no access to my books. Continue reading “How to expand your audience with Smashwords”

Creative Nonfiction, Essays, Publishing

How to know when you’ve “made it” as a writer

Hitting a writing milestone is one of the greatest feelings for a writer, especially when you meet your own self-imposed deadlines early. This week, I finished writing book two of my Valley of the Bees novel series and am now working on my second draft (my goal was to finish the rough draft by the end of March). I also just ordered the second proof of an essay collection that I am editing, titled, As Good as a Feast: Essays on Enough. Once I have reviewed this second proof, the book should be ready to go to print!

As Good as a Feast - Print Cover Image

Yesterday, an article popped up in my newsfeed. The title caught my eye, but I decided not to read it. The topic was on how to know when you’ve “made it” as a writer. I didn’t need to read it because I feel like I have already made it. Continue reading “How to know when you’ve “made it” as a writer”

book cover
eBooks, Publishing, Short Story

Now available on Kindle: Her Name was Amber

book cover
My new short story, Her Name was Amber, is now available on Kindle for only 99 cents.

I am giving myself a sweet birthday present today and announcing that my new short story, Her Name was Amber, is now available on Kindle for only 99 cents!

It feels great to get back on the fiction-writing horse. I wrote this 4,000 word story in one day! (Don’t worry, I edited it before I published it! Although, if you do find any errors, please let me know so I can fix them!)

Description

Amber is finally forced to deal with her dysfunctional marriage while mourning the death of her teenage daughter. Meanwhile, an even bigger disaster looms near as the outside world struggles with its own uncertain fate. In this prequel to her upcoming novel, Valley of the Bees, author Amanda L. Webster introduces you to the matriarch of what is destined to become a powerful – yet still dysfunctional – family in a not-so-distant dystopian future.

Buy your copy of Her Name was Amber on Kindle today! Continue reading “Now available on Kindle: Her Name was Amber”

Book Reviews, eBooks, Mount Mary College, Novel Writing, Publishing

Now available on Kindle! Papers: A Master Collection on the Art of Writing

Kindle cover for my new book, Papers: A Master Collection on the Art of Writing.
Kindle cover for my new book, Papers: A Master Collection on the Art of Writing.

It’s finally here! My new book, Papers: A Master Collection on the Art of Writing is now available for purchase on Kindle for only 99 cents!

There is so much content packed into this one book! In addition to all of the academic papers that I wrote while pursuing my master of arts in English with a concentration in professional writing, you also get several original short stories, poems, and a behind-the-scenes peek into my as-yet-unnamed fantasy novel in progress.

Challenge: Upon reading my creative thesis, which is contained in the pages of this text, help me come up with a title for my novel! If I decide to use your suggested title, I will send you a free signed copy of the print edition of Papers: A Master Collection on the Art of Writing as soon as it becomes available!

I am currently in the process of formatting this book for print and should have it available within the next few weeks. In the meantime, get your Kindle copy today! Thank you for supporting my writing journey! Continue reading “Now available on Kindle! Papers: A Master Collection on the Art of Writing”

Publishing

Publishing 101: Honey, that’s not how it works

This gave me a chuckle. I recently saw this comment on a promotional post on the HarperCollins Facebook page.

Publishing - That's not how it works

Do people really believe that getting a novel published is as easy as commenting on a publisher’s Facebook post and asking how much they charge? Continue reading “Publishing 101: Honey, that’s not how it works”

eBooks, Publishing

Kindle Direct Publishing for children’s books is amazingly simple!

The cover of "Avery Moves."

In a recent blog post, I mentioned that my 8-year-old son was writing a book for a school competition. Since I have dabbled in publishing a bit, he had gotten the idea that I could publish his book for him with a few simple clicks, and then he could sell it and make millions. My kids have great imaginations!

Well, I don’t know about the “making millions” part, but it turns out that publishing a children’s book using the new Kindle Kids’ Book Creator really is as simple as a few clicks (once you have your PDF’ed book written, illustrated, and ready to go, that is!) Additionally, I am pleased to announce that my son’s new book, Avery Moves, is now available to download on Kindle!

There are a few different ways that you can go about publishing a book using the Kindle Kids’ Book Creator. In this case, I already had a PDF copy of my son’s book ready to go at the time that I went to publish it. So, all I had to do was convert the PDF to a .mobi file using the app that I downloaded to my PC from the KDP website, add the book to my KDP bookshelf, and voila! Book published!  Continue reading “Kindle Direct Publishing for children’s books is amazingly simple!”

Publishing

KDP publishing lesson: Convert your Word document to a webpage prior to publishing

Word document to web page conversion
Here’s a screen shot of me converting my Word document to a “web page.” Click the image to “enlargen.” (Yes, this is me making up new words again. I’m a writer. It’s what I do.)

They say you learn something new every day, and I tend to agree. Today, I learned something new that is worth sharing with anyone who is considering publishing their own work via Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).

If you have ever published an eBook via KDP, you are probably familiar with that moment of frustration you experience when you realize that the Word document you so carefully edited and formatted has not rendered properly in Kindle format.

When I published my poetry collection last year, I spent hours flipping back and forth between my original Word document and the converted Kindle file, fixing one formatting error after another. I then had to re-publish the book with the new, updated version of my Word document. I am still not happy with the results, but I eventually just got sick of messing with it! Continue reading “KDP publishing lesson: Convert your Word document to a webpage prior to publishing”

eBooks, Mount Mary College, Publishing

The self-publishing bug is back

English: A Picture of a eBook Español: Foto de...
English: A Picture of a eBook Español: Foto de eBook Беларуская: Фотаздымак электроннай кнігі Русский: Фотография электронной книги (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since I published my very first ebook last year, I kind of have the self-publishing bug. I can’t wait to finish my first novel and get it out there where people can read it! The only problem is, each of my novel projects are months (at minimum) from being publishable. I suppose that’s what happens when you allow yourself to start multiple projects rather than finishing one before starting the next.

One of my writing goals for 2014 was to begin to publish at least one ebook every year. My goal for 2015 is to focus on one writing project and finish it so I can publish it in 2016. But that doesn’t help me meet my 2014 goal, does it? I can’t really say I’ve met that goal if I only did it one year in a row, now can I? Continue reading “The self-publishing bug is back”

Digital Marketing, Novel Writing, Publishing

Writing is your business: justify the investment

BLACK BALLOON SALESMAN ON SOUTH SIDE CHICAGO'S...
Zemanta offered this image up in response to my blog post. I love it! Could anything (even writing) be more fanciful than selling balloons on the street? How is that somehow more acceptable than investing in a writing business? | BALLOON SALESMAN ON SOUTH SIDE CHICAGO’S 47TH STREET MANY OF THE CITY’S BLACK BUSINESS OWNERS STARTED WITH… – NARA – 556217 (Photo and description credit: Wikipedia)

Did you know 50 to 70 percent of small businesses fail within the first 18 months? I am curious as to how that statistic stacks up in the entrepreneurwriter world. How many would-be writers give up within the first 18 months?

Have you ever considered taking time off work to write? Did you then decide not to because you couldn’t “afford it?” How do you justify the time spent on an activity that may or may not pay out in the long term? Well, let me ask you this: How do most small business owners justify the time and expense sunk into the more than half a million small businesses opened in the U.S. each year? When you consider the odds, how can anyone believe they can afford to open a small business? Continue reading “Writing is your business: justify the investment”