Savvy Book Writers page 2

13 Tips to Promote Your Crowd Funding Campaign


The term “crowdfunding” means: You need a crowd to fund your idea.  And: supporters of your crowdfunding campaign are your (future) customers.  You also will get for FREE what industries have to pay for top $$$ when you are running a crowdfunding campaign: responses to your pledge proof the interest in your book or product.

First Steps in Promotion
Plan well ahead to get a great start. According to Kickstarter’s own data: the vast bulk of backers seem to happen at the very beginning and very end of a project.

Approaching family and friends might be your first step.
Checking your email contacts, Facebook and Twitter friends and Google+ or LinkedIn followers for those who might help to support your campaign is the next.  Customize your pledge!  You wouldn’t send the same note about supporting your crowdfunding project to a social media acquaintance or business associates as you would to a family member or a good friend.

Rich Brooks explains in an article: “You’ve heard the old saying, ‘you only get one chance to make a first impression.’   Well, it is even tougher on popular crowdfunding sites where there are 30 other projects simultaneously trying to make a first impression on the same page.  Moreover, do create compelling rewards!

Considering that only a small percentage – max. twenty percent of any fan base will actually donate, the more followers and fans you can assemble, the better your chances of success.  When identifying people who can help promote your campaign, think about all the folks who relate to your project.  You want to find groups that have the same goals as you do; they’ll be the most motivated to support your efforts.

Websites & Social Media to Promote Your Crowdfunding Campaign:

  1. Before you start your website und sign up for several social media sites: Get your Google+ site running, but not one, set up several sites for your crowdfunding campaign.  To be on Google+ with several accounts means to get every post directly on to Google’s search engines!
  2. After signing up for Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr etc. get as many followers as possible, and follow and re-tweet others as much as possible.  If you only have a personal Facebook, Twitter or Google+ page, start one for your campaign. Find real friends on these sites who are helping to promote your campaign (after you helped them promote their pledge or book or other agenda).
  3. The best site to promote your crowdfunding campaign is…your own website!  It is easy and often free to put together a simple website with a home page and a blog, using, or  Write and blog at least two times a week for a couple of months before and during your campaign.  And immediately post or tweet your article!
  4. Add your project to Kicktraq as soon as it goes live – by simply placing your Kickstarter web address into the search bar.  This site tracks Kickstarter campaigns, providing information on daily pledging and estimates on how likely a campaign is to reach its funding goal.  Campaigns that were added on their first day go into a special list that people can browse and the site has several other categories where your campaign can be found by visitors.
  5. Crowdfunding communities members on Google+ start at 180 members to more than 18,000 and have the same benefit as every post is immediately seen on Google’s search engines.  The group is also more active than others and you can pick up some great ideas on how to promote your crowdfunding campaign besides just posting your link and talking about the campaign.
  6. As with all social media groups, be sure to answer questions from other members and be social besides just posting links to your own campaign.
  7. Another benefit: Every post of others that you “plus”  on Google or repost their article will show up on the search engines – with a link to YOUR site!  Being very active on Google+ helps your campaign immensely.
    LinkedIn has a large and strong community of groups dedicated to crowdfunding.  Kickstarter, IndieGoGo and other crowdfunding groups on LinkedIn are also pretty engaged.
  8. Use tools such as HootSuite, Buffer, SocialOomph, SproutSocial, TweetDeck… to schedule automated posts to your social media accounts.  Many are free and allow you to post on multiple social media sites simultaneously – big time savers!
  9. While it is generally for selling stuff, Craigslist also can be a good resource to promote your crowdfunding campaign.  Post in the discussion forums or in one of the other categories.  If your crowdfunding campaign offers rewards, try posting as if a reward were a product for sale to get people to come to your page.
  10. Forums can be another great place to promote your crowdfunding campaign and are usually a little more active than social media groups.  There are a couple of crowdfunding-related forums and a few that are directly related to your campaign topic.
  11. The Google+ Crowdfundingforum has over 18,000 members and tens of thousands of posts with usually a couple of hundred members online at any given time.  You’ll find posts for general crowdfunding questions and project manager tips on different types of crowdfunding.
  12. Most of the posts on Kickstarter Forum are for rewards-based crowdfunding.  However, it is not affiliated with Kickstarter.
  13. Articles about campaigns and interviews with campaign owners can be found on the Crowd101 blog.  Talk with others about crowdfunding, something that interests the audience.  This blog is more a social media site – less to promote your own campaign. But you are much more likely to get your article read and shared. That means your short description of the campaign and link gets seen by more people!

You can see how important it is to start preparing your crowdfunding campaign as soon as possible – months before you actually begin to pledge at the crowdfunding site.
Find more tips:




Mystery Writers of America Welcome Indie Authors


If you are writing in your books about murder, robbery, white-collar crimes, drug- or people trafficking or financial fraud – then the Mystery Writers of America is the right organization to join!
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and other writer organizations, required in the past that authors be traditionally published, and even then, with approved publishers.  Since early 2017 even Mystery Writers of America opened their doors to indie authors.


This was never an issue in Canada: Crime Writers of Canada doesn’t even ask if their authors are self-publishers or if they contracted with a trade publisher.

Mystery Writers of America Announced:
“The MWA National Board of Directors is pleased to announce that starting January 1, 2017, self-published authors can apply for Active Membership Status.  You can qualify by fulfilling either of the following criteria:

You have been paid for your work by a print, e-book, print-on-demand, periodical or e-zine/webzine publisher that is on the MWA list of approved publishers and meets all of the criteria for inclusion.
You have been self-published and have earned a minimum of $5,000 in a single calendar year from approved mystery works (novels, novellas, short stories), or suitable non-fiction titles, i.e., true crime; biographies of mystery authors; critical works about mysteries, their creators, and characters; forensic works; or other non-fiction that is mystery or crime-related), either in print, electronically, or by way of an audio recording.  A “mystery work” is defined as a story where a crime is a central element.

This earning requirement is a one-time event, meaning there is no need to generate a specified income each year to maintain one’s level of membership. The proof of earnings shall be either a US tax return (with all information not pertaining to publishing activity redacted) or an IRS Form 1099. These new criteria became effective January 1, 2017. However, MWA has agreed to accept proof of earnings for any calendar year beginning with 2014.

If your work is a contribution to a periodical, you must provide a hard copy. For an e-zine/webzine, you must provide a hard copy and proof of its online/electronic availability, even if the work is no longer available. A work must be available for a minimum of thirty days to be considered published.
Not Eligible:
Works offered through predatory i.e. subsidy publishing companies shall not qualify.  A predatory publisher is a company who assigns your book an ISBN number that subsequently belongs to them, i.e., they become the publisher of record that entitles them to receive an additional royalty whenever a book sells.  They also set the book’s retail price.”

For those writers, trying to decide how to publish your mystery, you might decide tossing aside vanity presses because they are not respected, and here is a perfect of example of it being said loud and clear.  Publishing with a vanity press/subsidy press speaks of hobby writers.  If you don’t care to be a professional writer, fine.  But if you are serious, get real with your publishing.  Go traditional or choose self-publishing, but think twice before going with a subsidy/vanity press!
During the last couple of years, I wrote dozens of articles why it is literary and monetary suicide to contract with vanity/subsidy companies…
About Mystery Writers of America
It has acted as an archivist and historian for the American mystery. While housing a robust selection of mystery reference materials at its New York City headquarters in the Anthony Boucher Memorial Reference Library, much of the MWA’s archives are now housed in the Mugar Library of Boston University as part of the 20th Century Special Collection.

MWA provides scholarships for writers, sponsors MWA: Reads (their youth literacy program, formerly known as Kids Love A Mystery), and sponsors relevant conferences.

Benefits of MWA Membership for Indies:
It helps with networking, for one; plus, you can participate (submit) to one of the MWA anthology competitions; you can participate in a local chapter at no additional cost (more anthology/competition avenues, more networking); discounts for books, events, etc;
MWA Library Database has contact information for hundreds of libraries interested in programs featuring mystery writers as speakers which is now free for all members;
The MWA Loan Fund helps members in need of temporary financial assistance, either to pay their dues or to ease a personal problem.


Trying to Game the Bestseller Lists?

Remember my article years ago? The Dark Site of Bestseller Lists. Or did you read Karen Ballum’s story: How Much Would You Pay to Be a Bestselling Author?

Since then the methods may have changed a bit, and some new, creative, money-sucking players came up, but in principle, it is the same game: Bestseller Manipulation.
“New York Times, USA Today Bestseller status, it’s no big deal anymore, thanks to a handful of individuals who have figured out how to make a ton of cash and inflate sales numbers to shoot 20+ author box sets onto the lists.  Has anyone ever heard of the authors in these mega-sets?  Do they ever go on to sell any other books after “getting letters”?  Let’s get serious: When everybody is a bestselling author, the marketing benefits from such manipulations decline substantially in value.”  I found this story on the Passive Voice blog.
I just found one of these “offers” on my Twitter timeline: “Rip into killer fiction with this thrilling box set. 14 bestselling authors bring you 14 thriller novels! Launching May 2016. Pre-order now for just 99¢!” Never heard from these authors before…
“According to one box set organizer, Amazon assured her that everyone at Amazon is perfectly fine with her methods, and the way she tells it, Amazon’s in her pocket with this gig.  Amazon has no problem with authors gifting thousands of copies of books to readers who then use those gift book credits to purchase the box set, making it look like a legitimate sale.  We’re not talking about chump change here, either, folks.  The “buy-in” for these box sets is anywhere from $500 -$2000 per author.  At 20+ authors per sets, the organizer is collecting between $10,000 – $40,000 per set and self-reports eight sets have made the lists (out of dozens of sets managed).  Not counting the sets that did not make lists, eight box sets have raked in $80,000 – $320,000.”

“Even more disturbing, the same organizer says that she spoke with PayPal and PayPal is fine with her methods of asking authors to pay her thousands of dollars of business transactions via “friends & family” transfers – which PayPal does not report to the IRS as taxable income and are not covered by PayPal Buyer Protection, or even worse, Amazon Gift Cards so that customers can not get a refund via PayPal dispute, which has happened multiple times to the organizer.”
“Of course, any author who dares speak up, question the methods or ethics, or consults silly documents like the Amazon TOS and PayPal TOS is immediately bombarded with an internet tirade from the organizer.  Past customers of the organizer have been so bullied and harassed that they have had to change to pen names and start over.  Current customers of this organizer have money tied up with her, and since they know there is no way in hell they’ll get a refund, they sit in silence until they can get away without making waves.”
Let’s take a look at how this is happening:

  • Organizing multi-author box sets with the advertised goal of hitting USA Today & NYT Bestseller lists, for payment per author of $500 – $2000.  For the typical 20-author box set, the organizer is paid $10,000 to $40,000.
  • Threatening legal action when anyone questions the business methods used to get bestseller status; posting long rants on social media to encourage followers to wage internet war against anyone who displeases them.
  • Social media campaigns targeted against numerous authors in the industry who have spoken out about shady dealings/practices.
  • Using an online google spreadsheet sign up form for readers to sign up to receive thousands of gifted copies of new releases in order to manipulate Amazon sales rank and appear to have enough sales to make bestseller lists (USAT, NYT, etc).
  • The gifting of thousands of books is assigned to assistants and authors in the set so gifted books are not all coming from one KDP account, and therefore, no red flags go up on Amazon’s end.
  • Also, coordinates massive gifting of books on Apple and Nook.
    Gifts books to readers directly via vendors (Amazon, B&N, Kobo, iBooks) with the express intent to look like organic sales and manipulate sales rank
  • Paying box set authors to buy books; Pays authors to download on Nook, iBooks, Kobo, and Amazon offers $4 towards additional “advertising” for a box set they already paid her to participate in
  • Paying readers with a $5 incentive to PRE-ORDER books on Nook; $10 if the reader pre-orders the book on both Amazon and Nook.

There is More:

  • Advising clients who pay for their services that they should pay via PayPal’s “friends & family” option to avoid PayPal fees; claiming they are not receiving business funds, but that it is “charity” and they have some super exclusive relationship with PayPal who said it’s okay.
  • Refusing to refund authors for services not rendered; starting online hate campaigns against authors who question business practices or ask for refunds.
  • Asking readers to circumvent Amazon’s review policy so that street team member reviews will appear organic.

There’s a difference between creating buzz using free books (same way even traditional publishers do) – or gifting your way onto a bestseller list – also called “bestselling service” by the provider (for more details see pages 52, 53 and 54 at the website.

Due to the sudden influx of authors into the ranks of the bestseller lists, the meaning, impact, & prestige of titles such as the USA Today Bestseller and New York Times Bestseller holds very little weight anymore.  Most of the time, these organizers pile hundreds of unknown authors into box sets simply based on no qualifications other than their ability to pay for it.”

Read the whole article here:

On KindleBoard are in the meantime 54 pages of people’s opinions and experiences:,250491.0.html


Stay for Free in a National Park to Write

Would you like to stay longer than for a day visit in one of the greatest US National Parks, writing a short story or working on your next novel – certainly paired with free accommodation?


More than 50 National Parks feature Artist-in-Residence (AIR) programs. The National Parks Service’s Artist in Residence programs offer writers and other artists the opportunity to find inspiration in the great outdoors.
Be an Artist-in-Residence
Whether you prefer the peaks of the Rockies or the shores of Maine, there’s a national park AIR out there for you, and you can find the full listing of residencies on the National Park Service website.

A map shows the Residency programs across the National Park system. Each park in this directory has its own application process and timeline, so please visit the park’s website for further information.

There are programs for visual artists, writers, musicians, and other creative media. Programs vary, but residencies are typically 2 to 4 weeks in length and most include lodging. Often artists are invited to participate in park programs by sharing their art with the public.
Examples of Natl. Park Residency Programs:

The Shenandoah, Virginia, program offers artists a chance to live and work in this exceptional environment for a period of two weeks – one in June and the second in August.

Whiskeytown Natl. Recreation Area, in Northern California, offers professional artists (writers, composers, visual and performing artist) the opportunity to spend a couple of weeks exploring old growth forests, oak woodlands, majestic waterfalls and the forested slopes of Shasta Bally. a rustic two bedroom cabin tucked in the forest of Whiskeytown National Recreation Area to use as a studio and base camp. Residencies are scheduled through the spring, summer, and fall for stays from one to three weeks.

The Padre Island National Seashore, Texas, Artist-in-Residence program offers a glimpse into the beauty of Padre Island to selected artists for a period up to 3 months on a free camp site (RV or tent necessary, Candidates should be comfortable with dry camping). Over this time, artists will be surrounded by the natural world and allow it to inspire them and their work. Writers, painters, sculptors, composers, cinematographers and other visual and performing artists are encouraged to apply for this opportunity.

Big Cypress National Preserve’s Artist-In-Residence Program in Southern Florida primarily looks for residencies that last less than one month during our dry season (November through April). Each person has their own room and shares living room/dining room/kitchen and bathroom space.

The Dune Shacks of Peaked Hill Bars Historic District near Provincetown in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is a 1900-acre National Register district significant for its association with the historic development of art and literature in America. One or two week stays in the dunes for journalists, nature, history, literature, fiction, poetry writers.

Find here a full listing of Natl. Parks with Artist-In-Residence Programs. 

Excerpt from our upcoming book: “111 Tips to Make Money with Writing”.

Guest Author Feature – Author D.G. Kaye interviewed me for her blog

Featured author of the week

I am thrilled to introduce you all to Doris Heilmann, author, and publisher at 111 Publishing. Doris is the ‘woman behind the curtain’ at Many of you who like to stay current with what’s happening in the publishing world may be familiar with Doris and her most informative website where she contributes myriad of articles on current events in marketing for authors.

Doris is a freelance writer, writing coach and author of several books on book marketing. I recently wrote a book review on another book of hers, a most informative guide for writers, Book Marketing on a Shoestring, and today we’re going to get to know a little more about Doris and her latest book, 111 Tips to get Free Book Reviews, as well as learn more about Amazon and reading and writing reviews.

Read the whole story here:

A Politician EXPOSED

“I mentally prepared myself for entering this historic U.S. residence which is, by all means, a political hell hole and private war zone where corruption, hypocrisy, and danger breeds.”


The Narrator in A Politician EXPOSED is a tiny housefly who reports: “Deviance, debauchery, and corruption commonly thrive at politician’s addresses. Personally, I enjoy the challenge to scoop up as much dirt as possible so we can fry these hypocrites, and I can usually smell them a mile away. I’ll be shocked at what’s brewing behind these closed doors.
I will be your narrator and your private guide. I will take you into private homes, behind closed doors as a voyeur.”

A Politician EXPOSED  is a work of pure fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

This short-story eBook is available in North America, Australia and in Europe at Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Tolino, Scribd, and Books2Read
– get your copy for only $0.99.

ISBN: 978-1-988664-09-5
Charlayne E. Grenci, Ph.D. is a clinical sexologist and clinical professor, an author and a relationship expert; a graduate from Maimonides University, an affiliate of The American Academy of Clinical Sexologists and a Diplomat of The American Board of Clinical Sexology. She has a private practice in Southern Florida and is also a guest lecturer.

Dr. Grenci specializes in life coaching, sex education and instruction for individuals, couples, or groups who are seeking advice, info, and support for improving sexual relationships, alternative lifestyles, or sexual issues. Charlayne E. Grenci, Ph.D. has inspired, entertained and educated thousands of people for over thirty-six years with her knowledge, experience, and amazing life’s story.



Tagged: Politician

Why it’s Smart to Sell Books via KOBO


Many writers I am talking with are still selling their books via Amazon only. It is hard to understand why they “put all their eggs into one basket only”.  During the last years, I wrote more than a dozen of articles, and explaining in detail how authors can diversify – a commandment in any business!  So why not sell your books at Apple’s iBooks, on Barnes&Noble, on Kobo, and many other retailers in and outside of the USA?

I showed on my blogs all the avenues an author can go, up to selling their e-books and print versions from their own website.  For example herehere, and here.

Sure, being on KDP Select has some small benefits, but there is an exclusivity rule, although there are ways to opt out for a while (or forever).  Yes, and the majority of books is still sold by Amazon.  But if you want to have more sales, more readers around the world, and most of all: to get into the libraries it is essential to spread your books in more markets.

Good News: Kobo and OverDrive
OverDrive, the library ebook vendor was bought by Rakuten, the parent company of Kobo last year.  OverDrive is the major supplier of books and ebooks to libraries.  See the connection and the Benefit for authors who have their books sold through Kobo too?

Readers Can Borrow Library Titles using Kobo’s Aura One e-Reader.
There is an enormous benefit for readers – and certainly authors: Kobo’s latest and greatest e-reader the Kobo Aura lets you borrow library titles. The Digital Reader reported:
“Aura One features close integration with Overdrive, the library ebook vendor bought by Rakuten/Kobo last spring. However, the feature only works in the USA, UK, Canada, NZ, and Australia so far.”

How Readers Can Borrow Kobo Library Books
The way it works is that once you have entered your OverDrive info in the settings menu, you can simply search the Kobo store on the Aura One and the e-books you see will list their price as well as whether they are available to be checked out of your library.
You can check out an ebook on the Aura One, and you can also place a hold for an ebook. Any borrowed book will indicate how long until the library loan expires.”
A tip from a reader: It is faster and simpler to first browse OverDrive’s website from your PC and borrow an e-book, and only then pick up the Aura One and tell it to sync.  This borrowed library e-book will show up on the Aura One’s home page as a “New” title which can be downloaded and read.

About OverDrive
eBooks, audiobooks, and more are delivered to over 34,000 libraries, including your local public library. Information for publishers can be found here where a presentation shows every step of the “OverDrive Connect” platform.

OverDrive partnered with more than 5,000 publishers to build a catalog of more than 2 million premium titles available for retail.

But There’s More:
If you offer your own books on your website as an author, you can also include two million! other book titles via OverDrive and earn a sales commission.

“Offer our entire retail catalog or select from our vast inventory of popular digital eBooks and audiobooks in more than 50 languages. We deliver titles to your customers directly from your online bookstore, device or app. OverDrive distributes titles in virtually every subject from more than 5,000 publishers.”

Lots of Possibilities for Authors
Using eBookPartnership, Draft2Digital or any other distributor or submit your books directly to the online retailers will spread your book to new markets, and makes you more independent as a self-publisher.  And now with the added bonus of Kobo and their OverDrive company you are one more step up to have your books included in library catalogs.



POD Services & Distributions Compared

Expanded Distribution

Now as Amazon Create for print books is coming into the picture – and hopefully soon out of the Beta version – Authors get even more choices to get their print books on to the Amazon market – but maybe not much else. Bookstores are not eager to deal with or to carry books, produced an Amazon company, such as CreateSpace or AmazonCreate.

Did you choose Extended Distribution for your print book version on CreateSpace? This option at CreateSpace on their distribution page offers to make your book available to bookstores and libraries.

However, bookstores are often not willing to order from Amazon-owned CreateSpace – as Amazon is their biggest competitor, and the discount offered through Extended Distribution is so low that stores won’t accept it. Plus, these CreateSpace print books are non-returnable.
What is the Solution?
If you did not opt for Expanded Distribution you are fine and you can just go ahead and use IngramSpark for bookstore and library use and CreateSpace for distribution to Amazon. Uncheck the Extended Distribution option and contacted CreateSpace to request that they don’t use (or remove the book from) their IngramSpark account. They also offer hardcover books which are not available at CS. If your title contains lots of inside color images – it is also a benefit of working with IngramSpark. They are widely seen as the better print quality provider, that also offer a wider bookstore and library distribution, although check out their 35-page guide on how to properly upload your book – a bit more effort than with CreateSpace – and their FAQ’s.
Title Transfer Information
The Title Transfer Addendum needs to be completed by the publisher receiving the title transfer. A transfer form can be found here. Their requirements are:

  • “We need written permission from the publisher who currently owns the title stating that the title is released and can be transferred to a new account.
  • The account receiving the transfer must be fully active, i.e., all account set up tasks on the Dashboard must be completed.
    CreateSpace Transfers
  • The Title Transfer Addendum needs to be completed by the publisher receiving the title transfer.
  • If CreateSpace owns the ISBN or if it is CreateSpace exclusive, it cannot be transferred.
  • If the print service company owns the ISBN, it can be transferred once Expanded Distribution is removed and CreateSpace confirms the transfer with Ingram.
  • If the title has never been in Expanded Distribution, it can be set up as a new title on the Spark account without transferring.
  • The account receiving the transfer must be fully active, i.e., all account set up tasks on the Dashboard must be completed.
  • Once a title is transferred to the new publisher’s account, the publisher will be responsible for the title moving forward. This includes invoices, returns, and compensation (royalties). The new publisher will have the ability to update metadata, submit new files, and make alterations to the title.”

Lightning Source International
Many micro-publishers and indie authors use both CreateSpace and IngramSpark simultaneously for effective distribution of print books. There is another (the parent-) company in the picture: Ingram offers two services for publishers: Lightning Source International (LSI) for “real” publishers and IngramSpark. LSI’s contracts are sometimes called daunting, its interface is a bit clumsy, and communications are a bit slow and sometimes difficult to understand due to the trade publishe jargon.  LSI is a business-to-business operation, and its clients are all book publishers—not authors.

If you are hiring professionals, have a real plan for publishing and marketing books to a definable audience, and plan to grow your business, consider Lightning Source as an invaluable strategic partner in your growing business.


Behind Closed Doors…


Dr. Charlayne Grenci

You might have read the prequels Last Curtain for a Stripper or A Politician EXPOSED but now the new, completed ebook Behind Closed Doors with twenty-one chapters is available. 
Decadence, Sex, and Crime
Did you ever wish to get a peek behind closed doors – or you imagined you would be a tiny fly to get access and find out what’s really going on in the lives of celebrities or your neighbors?  Experience this fictional investigation of a detective “fly on the wall” – your narrator – the shocking, uncensored stories about the private lives and double lives of people we think we know.
Get the fictional story BEHIND CLOSED DOORS on all Amazon sites around the world, such as Amazon for the US, Australia, NZ, South Africa or on,,, or at Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Gardners, Scribd, Story- Tel, OverDrive, Bookmate, just to name a few of the many retailers and distributors that carry her books.
Take a peek behind the masks of hypocrisy and the walls of deception that lurk and thrive in the mainstream; the secret, desperate lives of sinners, perverts, and criminals that remain usually well hidden in posh mansions from the wrath and condemnation of our society.

Reading BEHIND CLOSED DOORS: Detective Fly On The Wall, you will likely agree that author Charlayne Grenci bluntly wrote bizarre, fictitious tales with sinister, violent, gruesome and highly emotional plots. Her purpose was to expose and dramatize the true reality of what goes on in the private lives of people in suburban America.
Follow the Author:
Website and Blog
Author Page
Amazon Book Page

Connect with her on social media:
Twitter: @CharlayneGrenci

More books by Dr. Charlayne Grenci:

Queen of Domination: My Secret Life
Marcel Proust EXPOSED
Last Curtain for a Stripper
A Politician EXPOSED



Good News for Your Ebook Conversions


The worst experience I ever had with ebook formatting was last year when I commissioned – my usual professional ebook builder was ill – a manuscript to let it format by a person in South Africa which I had “met” on social media. She promised to deliver within days.
I paid in advance for .mobi and epub, and received both versions after a wait of almost two months! and dozens of emails.  I immediately transferred it to our distributor. He refused the epub version as it contained 63 !!! technical errors – which they offered to fix for just $50. When I reported this to the “formatter”, she emailed me after a couple of days that she charged only for .mobi – and the epub version was only a complementary version… which was certainly not true, according to my order and her invoice. In the end, she wrote me an email and called my inquiries “nasty”.  Well, I should have been warier of her work, as in her first attempt she even did not know how to hyperlink the TOC’s.  My own fault – cannot blame anyone else!
Ebook formatting is a never-ending topic in writer circles, forums, and blogs since the dawn of self-publishing.  And many authors have their fair share of hit-and-miss, and of experiences with so-called “professional” formatters.

Popular DIY programs to format ebooks are:

  • Calibre
  • Sigil
  • Jutoh
  • Vellum (for Mac)

Read also Author Alex Hallatt shares tips on how to produce ebooks using the Mac-only Vellum software, including books with lots of illustrations.  Many authors need formatting for their new books only two or three times a year at the most.  However, the more they use the software, the more competent they will become.
The New Kindle Create:
Amazon Kindle recently launched a new free app, called Kindle Create, which provides a simplified conversion process for formatting Kindle e-books from Microsoft Word.  When you finish your manuscript and upload it, Kindle Create (Beta) automatically converts the file into a Kindle-compatible file. Then it will help you format it. A rich illustrated conversation instruction will help you.  For example, building a TOC manually can be time-consuming. Kindle Create automatically scans your file for chapter headings and builds a table of contents for you.
You can download the software for Mac or for PC. 

Beta Limitations
The program is still in Beta, which means it will take a while to perfect it.
Some features are not available yet warns Amazon early users:
Limited support for lists and tables: Kindle Create (Beta version) will allow you to import your document, but you may not be able to edit the lists and tables. Lists and tables are marked as ‘un-editable content’, however, you can still publish the eBook and the list or table will display as depicted in the previewer.
Limited support currently also for modifying images.  Kindle Create (beta) will import documents that include images and will place them as block images. Re-sizing, re-positioning, and deletion of images is not supported.
If your document includes hyperlinks (external to the World Wide Web, or internal to other locations in the document), those hyperlinks will be preserved, but can’t be edited in Kindle Create (Beta).
Editing Lists, Tables or Images is Difficult.
Under “Beta Limitations,” it states that you may not be able to edit lists or tables for example – you need to go back to Microsoft Word and start the whole Kindle formatting again.  Upload a Word .docx or .doc file. Open your file in the previewer on all devices to see if they format well enough for you in the previewer, before you go ahead with your file in Kindle Create.
Same with images: you can’t reposition, or delete them. Preview these right away or go back to Word and get them right before proceeding with Kindle Create.  Hyperlinks cannot be edited too.  Test them in the previewer after loading in Kindle Create to make sure that you’re happy with the links before you do anything else in Kindle Create. These are just a few, read more technical tips on Chris Mullen’s blog post.
Previewing is Important!
Kindle Create Has its Own Previewer. Or you can download the Kindle Previewer 3.0 that shows books with enhanced typesetting.
Please, give your input to help with beta testing and to improve the program, visit the Kindle Create page, use the Feedback link, complete the survey or email KDP.
If you’re looking for a simplified conversion process, and if your ebook formatting is not too complex, this tool may be worth exploring. If you visit the Kindle Create page, click the link called, “So how does it work?” You will find some important information.

BTW: Another, relatively new offer is KDP Paperbacks, that might retire CreateSpace soon. Check out this article by John Doppler.
Even Better: FREE Formatting
Another route for authors is to use the conversion services offered by certain distribution platforms, for example, the FREE service at Draft2Digital. They are one of the most author-centred and customer-friendly distributors I have ever encountered: they answer emails and calls promptly, manuscripts are formatted in hours, corrections are made immediately – and they deliver .mobi and epub.
They do not work with Amazon, even they deliver you a free .mobi version, so you can upload it yourself – which has its benefits: it makes it easier to create your Amazon author page and your sales page. Or if you decide to switch in and out of KDP Select and their associated perks, you don’t need to go through the distributor, which may be a pain or not work at all.

Draft2Digital distributes your book for free to Apple, Kobo, as well as to Barnes&Noble (good for non-US authors) and many other online retailers.  You receive immediately the direct link to your ebook’s sales page – something that is not common or even possible at other aggregators.


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