The createspace print book process definitely works better than the Kindle process. I can hold the actual product in my hand, review it, before I release it. You can only see a finalized version of your Kindle work after it’s released. The Previewer doesn’t always display exactly how your eBook will appear, especially from device to device. I bought the first download of my eBook and displayed it via the app on my iPad. It didn’t look anything like it did in the previewer under iPad. I’m now getting a Kindle to see if that appears differently on the device as it does in the previewer.
The boxes to cut/paste your book description are small and that makes it easy to miss an error.
Being use to everything digital being able to happen nearly instantly, with changes made and displayed online in seconds, I was surprised to find out that so simple of a thing as changing a single word in the book description took anywhere from 12-24 hours to go live.
Things I would never do working with Kindle:
1. Use the createspace kindle conversion for my eBook: this I learned when another author wanted to send me his kindle file for a BETA read. It had all kinds of strange characters in it. They weren’t there in his preview file, but they were in his eBook for sale.
2. Never trust again that my kindle files will display online as they appear in the creation space of Kindle.
3. Never think that visual format of your book doesn’t matter: I read a sample yesterday from a book from an author who has had success in self-publishing and is a very good writer. The sample was engaging and I might have read on. The format was a nightmare, so irritating to my eyes that I didn’t want to go on. Paragraphs were not justified, there was no indentation of first line and no spacing between the paragraphs. A visual mess. It just looked like words thrown on a page that I had to decode. The visual presentation does matter!
1 Smart tip I did hear on the author forum, that wasn’t fully explained, but now makes sense:
1. I would create a dummy book file for my Kindle upload. This is a file with a fake book title, priced at zero, with a fake pen name. I’d load my files there 1 time to review before I sent my files for release through my office Kindle book title. Things can sometimes magically change from WIP to final release. It’s better to find any inconsistencies in the dummy account or verify that there are not any prior to official upload.
With the description boxes being so small, it’s difficult to proof the content well or find errors.
If I purchase/get sample of this eBook I can see how the formatting transfers to the readers before I go live. And believe me: Format is different in every type of reader regardless of how it looks in your Kindle file Preview!
It’s better to delay, rather than release, and then wait, wait, wait, as the necessary changes are made to your Kindle site.
While error free is the goal for your work product, or zero defect, it is a goal. Will every upload be error-free? Probably not. But should you attempt it? Absolutely. Every effort should be made to minimize negative impressions of your work by readers.
Things I learned the hard way:
1. The format guide for Kindle is somewhat good, but it is so easy to miss things even with the format characters displayed. A simple *dot* at the start of a sentence puts in an extra space and the alignment out. A missed return marker at the end of a paragraph will ruin the alignment of the next paragraph.
These errors are easier to see in the cloud reader or on your kindle or iPad device.
2. I still haven’t figured out why the format is different from Kindle to iPad app, but I’m pretty much resolved that I won’t ever figure that one out. So long as the format is visual pleasing in both delivery devices and the work as error free as humanly possible [for me] then I have to be satisfied with the result.
Did I make some Mulligans? Oh golly, without a doubt. That’s why I’m documenting my steps. I want to know what I did well and what I learned only by doing. And I’m sharing them in hopes that others get through the process easier.
Now, we start with the different recommended means of online book promotion. Let’s see how well those work. Then, time to repeat all my really fun steps to publish in other content delivery channels. Won’t that be fun? I don’t think so…