Q&A Is it allowed to use articles one finds on the internet and use them for ebooks that one later sell online?

ceri's q and aQuestion: Is it allowed to use articles one finds on the internet and use them for ebooks that one later sell online?

Q&A My books have gone from Calibre, how do I get them back?

ceri's q and aMy books have gone, how do I get them back? A quick tip from A Simpler Guide to Calibre.

A Simpler Guide to Calibre
A Simpler Guide to Calibre, available as an ebook or paperback from Amazon.

It can happen that when you first load Calibre your books all seemed to have disappeared. This is usually because the software has been told your e-books library has moved to a different folder and is now pointing to the wrong place. This has happened to me during upgrades for example. Another reason may be that a special file called metadata.db (which is in the folder where your books are stored) has been deleted or corrupted. You will either need to tell Calibre where your books really are or rebuild the f
ile that is missing.

If your library has moved

Find the Calibre Library icon/logo (as seen below), then choose Switch/create library.

Switching to a Calibre library

Click on the little picture to the right of the box to browse your computer for the folder you just created and ignore the already checked Use the previously existing library at the new location and click OK. Your books should now reappear.

If the file metadata.db has been moved or corrupted

If you cannot find a file named metadata.db in the top folder where your library is located on your computer, it has been deleted. You may also encounter problems if it has been corrupted in some way. To fix this:

  1. First right-click on the Calibre icon in the Calibre toolbar (as above) and choose Library maintenance.
  2. Select Restore database and Calibre will rebuild the metadata.db file.

ceri's q and a

Republishing with KDP – Customers don’t automatically get changes.

I’ve had a few problems moving from one edition of my Gmail book to another. I didn’t want to delete the other one as it sold well and was highly ranked. I would have to start from scratch. I tried putting a message in the original book to people who already bought it offering them the new one. I was expecting them to refund the book and get the new one. Turns out they weren’t getting the changes!

The reason I didn’t want to keep the old edition because the name was wrong (my maiden name instead of married name) on the customer facing details. It was fine on the KDP admin side and I had contacted Amazon a few times, it seememd sorted but would revert after a while.

Anyway, turns out if you have made changes and republish your ebook, you need to send an email to Amazon asking them to send the new file to your customers.

Here’s an extract from the Amazon website explaining further. Customers can also request a later version of the same book to be sent to them.

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3-16 Do I have to re-buy or re-upload my book to get the updated copy I re-published? If you’ve already purchased your book and subsequently revise the content and re-publish the updated version, you don’t need to re-purchase the book to get a copy. At this time, it’s not possible for publishers to receive the updated file without contacting KDP Support for help. We’re working to automate this feature and appreciate your understanding with our existing solution to manually send the updated content to your device.

We request your explicit permission, and will do the same for any customers who contact us to receive the updated content, prior to sending the revised file because the new version will not have previously saved Highlights, Last Page Read, Bookmarks, and the location of notes may not match. If this is acceptable, please email [email protected] confirming your permission and which title/s you’d like to have re-sent. Thank you.

Note: Customers who purchased the old content can also contact our Customer Service department to have the new file delivered.
_____________________________________________________________

I hope this helps.

Ceri

Lending ebooks through Amazon – oh the unfairness of it all!

In the US, (and I am not sure where else), if you buy a book from Amazon there is every reason to believe that you can lend it to a deserving friend., what other kind of friend would you lend your books too?

Unfortunately this is not the case in the UK and possible South Africa, I have a friend there.

If you bought a book from Amazon, all you do is go to the Amazon book page and click the link on the top of the page to lend the book, Your friend will then have two weeks to read it. Sounds simple, don’t it (bad grammar deliberate). If you want more details on how to do this Johanna Garth has a great blog post explaining how to lend them to your friends at: http://www.johannagarth.com/2012/01/shared-good-book-lately.html

Well I can’t do that and I feel left out. I’m the girl sulking in the corner of the party, nursing a gin and tonic looking at the floor, whilst everyone is partying like its 1999 (erm 2012) in the center.

On Facebook, there is a group called SOS, Share our Stories. Its all promoted by Fantasy Island Book Publishing (FIBP) to promote the lending program. After all authors just want their books to be read. Authors are freely lending their copies of other author#s books within the program, unless they are currently reading them.

I think it is about time that Amazon opened up the Kindle Lending Library to the rest of the world or at least the UK! We like to read too and there is a great vampire novel I KNOW my friend will love.

Here’s hoping 2012 will be the year of the Kindle Library.

C’mon Amazon don’t leave us inthe corner…

 

 

Publishing for the Kindle: Images

Images are a nuisance. They can be beautiful when you design them but upload them to an ebook asn the magic can be lost instantly. This is my little guide, mostly for my own benefit so I don’t have to search the KDP website for minor details such as optimum sizes etc.

Covers

Covers are difficult. You might want to make them so they stand out on the Kindle store. If you have a non-fiction book sometimes it is nice to have a square cover, but otherwise I feel filling a Kindle screen would be better in which case a rectangle fits the need.

Another thing to consider is that when designing your Kindle Cover, have a look at a thumbnail before you make your final decision. This is what customers will see when they browse.

Inside Images

KDP advise the PNG format in one section of their help pages, bitmaps are too big and gifs too limited, which I agree with in my limited experience. Although in a different part of the website they recommend using jpegs. Usefully they also mention that the content is shown in 16 shades of grey on some Kindles.

So looking quickly through the nightmare of help pages, still trying to find the right size to create the images in the first place, my husband walks in suggesting I look at jailbroken Kindle pages. He was right. The optimum size is 600px by 800px. Genius.

Right off to make some images now…

 

Indie Publishing on Kindle – Part One

This post is for Ricardo from G+, who asked me to blog about this. :0).

I’ve published a few books on Kindle. While it won’t make you rich (unless you are very lucky) it will give you an enormous feeling of satisfaction for making someone happy or just helping a stranger who would find your books useful.

So what did I do?

First I came up with something I felt I could write about. I love my Android phone and was always trying out apps so I had my idea.

I then needed to format the book so it would look good in an ebook. Remember there are no page numbers in an ebook because everyone can change the size of the text and even spacings for comfort, so a page will have a different number of words for different people. I would recommend the Smashwords Style Guide (available from Smashwords.com funnily enough).

Another thing to note about is formatting, if you are using  Microsoft Word then try to use the styles function. Use this to space out paragraphs, headings etc. Your book will look so much better. Also this will have the added benefit of the ability to change all your headings in your entire book by changing one style.

Yet another aside. Think about how your images will look in greyscale. Kindles on tablets and phones are usually in colour but the ereaders are in grey. Even if they bring out a colour Kindle there are millions of the black and white versions which will be out there for a looooonnnng time.

So you have formatted the book, what next?

Upload the book to Kindle Direct Publishing of course. Remember to pay special attention to the tags as that is how people will find your book once it is published.

Pricing

Think hard about pricing. If you are writing a non-fiction book then have a look at similar books in the field you have chosen. How long are they? How much are they? Try to get the balance so that you are offering value for money.

For a fiction book, if the book took a lot of effort and a long time with a huge amount of editing then I believe selling for less than $2.99 is selling yourself short. I think more than this for a first time author is hubris.

Wait a couple of days and you are set.

Of course this is not the definitive guide to publishing with KDP as this would be a lot longer than a blog post should be, but it should give you an overview.

Ways to read ebooks on your computer (PC or Mac) – for when you don’t have a Kindle or iPad

Having recently done a Member Giveaway of  my ebook, Children of the Elementi, I sent emails with the book attached in the Kindle and epub formats. I was surprised that not everyone knew about Kindle for PC or Mac, so I thought I would do a brief post about the various ways to read an ebook on your computer.

Kindle Apps

The best software for reading Mobi files is always going to be using the Kindle software but there are several different versions.

Go to Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk (whichever is appropriate) and click on Kindle on the left navigation bar. Choose Free Kindle Reading Apps. A page will load which will give you the option to download the app for your PC or Mac. Download and enjoy.

The advantage of using the Kindle Apps is that if you read books on your phone using Kindle but then read a little on your computer, if you bought the book from Amazon then it will synchronise how for you’ve got. This means you don’t have to mess with bookmarks, the software just opens at the point where you stopped reading previously. Brilliant.

You can read Mobis and PDFs using this.

Calibre

Calibre ebook software is not just a way to manage your ebooks, it also contain an ereader. You can pretty much read all file formats using this software. Its multipurpose.

Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Digital Editions

With Acrobat you can read PDFs and with Adobe Digital Editions  you can read Epubs and PDFs.

You CAN have the benefits of ebooks without ereader devices!

Please note: There are other ebook readers but these are the best in my opinion. This is not an exhaustive list. If you would like to find out more type ereaders into Google. 🙂