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INDIE PUBLISHING

The Riddle Report 05 17 2021

These days the author has more responsibility than ever before and more opportunities! Indie Publishing plays a big role.

In days gone by the author wrote a novel, submitted it to a publisher, and once accepted, relaxed. But Indie Publishing has changed all of that !

There are all kinds of publishers out there. But here I want to present you with a different perspective. In a previous blog I have mentioned that there is a better way than self-publishing. You are about to see what I was talking about.

First a brief history. I published my first novel in 2003. Since then, I have written a number of books. The first four books were all published by self-publishers. But in 2013, I discovered Smashwords.com and published my first eBook. (My other books are also in the eBook format, but the publisher did this because I paid for it.)

This discovery has changed my life and now I am about to reveal to you what I believe is a better way to publish.

That better way is simply: You are the publisher!

At the time there was almost no information on the subject but today there’s considerable. It is called Indie Publishing which tells you right off the bat that as a publisher you are independent. This is an important distinction.

More about this issue on the other side of this break.

TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

 TR-WritingServices.com is a service dedicated to help authors reach their potential as independent writers. Knowing the world you live and work in is essential to being a good writer, thus the need for the free flow of information.

To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at markting@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing plus a brochure detailing our plans. We won’t ask for your credit card or any money, but we will send you these items for free.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

Indie Publishing is the author taking ultimate charge. Basically, it means selecting a printer or publisher to print our books. And there are publishers out there willing to be our printer and even our marketer.

The one I am most familiar with is Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). CreateSpace, whom I was with, merged with KDP so now all my print books are with KDP. Plus, I have eBooks with KDP and a few with Smashwords.

I will discuss KDP more in the example. I have also located at least one other printer called Best Value Copy. They are an online printing service that provides quality work at reasonable prices. However, I have not used them or any other publishing platform because KDP has proven to me that they are very capable and affordable.

In looking for a quality printer you can try your own neighborhood. For example, there is a Staples store not far from us that gives business discounts to authors using their printing services. That suggests the possibility that other office supply stores may offer the same services.

But assuming the role of publisher is more than just getting a printer. You literally take on the responsibilities of a publisher. You may have to seek your own ISBN, copyright, and other important items.

In our case, we listed ourselves with the State of Florida with a DBA (Doing Business As) name of T&R Independent Books. Because we use KDP we are able to use their ISBNs which are free, although they also sell other ISBNs for a modest price. Copyrights are free.

It is both exciting and scary. But the rewards can be awesome. For example, a self-publisher may give us anywhere from 8% to 40% royalty depending on volume of books sold. But as our own publisher the percentage jumps up to 60% and more (before costs and taxes).

In addition to that, we have virtual control over every aspect. It is true that with Kindle Direct some control lies with them, but it is also true that such controls are limited.

In establishing our own publishing business, we also took on the marketing of the books, which I may discuss in a future blog.  But in short, we will now be able to use the marketing tools that we used to buy from the publisher. Now we will have the authority to market the books as we see fit without incurring exorbitant costs.

Tip: As a publisher you pay the ISBN, the copyright, and other legal fees.                
Tip #2: Indie Publishers can get gross royalties of 60% or more. Even after taxes the profit is excellent.                

Example

I promised to discuss Kindle Direct Publishing and here we go.

When my wife first expressed the desire to start writing her own novels it fitted right in with the idea of T&R Independent Books. So, we immediately began researching what the costs would be to publish.

We searched the internet for both local and online printers. Eventually we settled on KDP because of three primary factors:

  1. We would retain ownership of all rights.
  2. Costs were reasonable.
  3. KDP would provide us worldwide marketing.

(At this time, we were dealing with CreateSpace but in 2018 they merged with KDP. KDP is virtually the same as CreateSpace and both are owned by Amazon.)

These are career changing factors. Although we have and will do our own expanded local marketing, being in the KDP loop will expand our marketing a thousand times over!

While the KDP name will be on our books, there will be no question of the identity of the real publisher which is T&R Independent Books.

Application

In establishing T&R Independent Books we also took over what was formerly known as RFrederickRiddle’s Bookstore. Initially, we closed down the store and opted to direct all potential buyers to Amazon and Kindle. However, in 2021 we opened a new store called T&R Independent Bookstore. In both cases, we have control over the marketing, including tracking of sales. Our initial relation with Amazon was the familiarity of Amazon for customers and KDP’s powerful tracking tools.

But our association with WordPress and Woo eCommerce has enabled us to set up our store using WordPress’s Storefront theme. It is another game changer and fits right into our Indie persona.

When using KDP, it enabled us to exercise several marketing options, some being free. Does this guarantee sales? Of course not. But it did give us, a relative newcomer maximum control and flexibility. And we still have them by our side with the primary difference that the controls, tools, and products (books) reside in our store while the eBooks are on Amazon.

When we started out in 2014 Indie Publishing was rather new and unknown, at least to us. But now becoming your own publisher is no longer a new idea. It has the potential to change the publishing landscape in years to come.

Not only the publishing landscape, but our future and yours. You should seriously consider this avenue. I can almost guarantee you that your book will be published sooner than traditionally, and it will cost you dramatically less. Quality is another story as it will be up to you to either do the editing or hire a professional.

Getting published doesn’t guarantee sales. But once again being an Indie Publisher involves great responsibility and great rewards. Being an Indie Publisher has great potential! If you are listening to this podcast, it is being brought to you by T&R Independent Bookstore. We want to be your local bookstore and we are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.

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What Are Six Steps to Writing?

The Riddle Report 04 20 2021

This blog is written to help new authors or those contemplating the idea of writing a book.

If you are thinking about whether to write a book or not, don’t be afraid to step out. While there are thousands of writers out there, there is no one quite like you. And we need to see your work.

What follows are six steps to help you get started. These are not in-depth, and they are not all that difficult. But I believe that you should take them to heart.

#1 – The Concept

The Basics of the Story

A story has to start somewhere and that is usually in the mind of the author. Perhaps it is a childhood memory, college years, military service, or simply a job. All of these are potential sources of plots.

You may only know a ‘what if?’ concept or perhaps a specific event in your own life that has triggered an idea for a story. While I am primarily talking about a fictional story, you could also want to write a nonfiction account of your experience.

#2 – The Research

Beginning Research

I call it Beginning Research because research is something you will need to do a lot of throughout your writing. But here you are performing some basic research to get you off on the right foot.

Some of the research you will do is as follows:

  • What is the uniqueness of the subject?
  • Has someone else already written on the subject?
  • What genres will it be in?
  • Is it fictional or nonfiction?

You get the idea. These are areas that you should consider, and you will probably come up with other areas. And none of the above will probably ever get in your book. But they will help you formulate your ideas.

Other areas of research may cover location of the story (i.e., Florida, Maine, etc.), type of industry in area, manner of speech and dress in the area, and so forth. The answers to these questions will have a direct impact upon your story.

In short, research is a valuable tool that you can use to help you throughout writing your book and, indeed, throughout your writing career.

#3 – First Draft

Your initial Work

New authors often fall in love with their first drafts because they poured their hearts into it. But you should always consider the first draft as a rough draft not meant for publication. No matter how much effort you put in this first draft it is going to require work.

I have never met an author who wrote a first draft and successfully published it. Someone out there may claim they have done so, but I can almost guarantee you that the draft is full of errors.

#4 – Review and Edit

Edit or not?

Some writers don’t edit until they have finished the first draft, others like to edit every page. Neither approach is wrong. But I would suggest that making use of your built-in grammar checker can be a help. But it is critical to remember that the grammar checker does not know whether you are writing an academic paper, which requires very stringent grammar, or a novel, which is not that stringent.

The other thing to remember about grammar programs is that they know the rules, but those rules are aimed at the academic level. Plus, the program does not know you are writing a novel, does not know your plot, does not know the education level of your characters, and so forth. So, use the grammar checker as a tool and interpret its concerns accordingly.

That said, I recommend that you strike a balance between constant editing and waiting until the end. Edit is necessary, but too much of a good thing can disrupt your flow of thoughts. In this first draft your story’s development is the most important thing going on. And when you finish your first draft you will find it necessary to go back over the entire book and check out your spelling, grammar, and other issues that may pop up. You find these issues by reading your draft. It is called reviewing.

What you are doing for each draft is reviewing and editing. And it may take several drafts before your book is ready to be published.

#5 – Get Help

Professional Help

After you have finished the first draft and done your review & edit, you can then write your next draft. But after you third or fourth or fifth draft you may realize that you need help.

The temptation is too do it all by yourself. And the hard truth is that even your very best authors don’t publish error free books. I know, I’ve read some of the best and still found errors. Sometimes minor and sometimes major. When you are talking about thousands of words, the likelihood of errors increases even when you use professional help.

But you don’t necessarily need professional help. Consider relatives or friends. But make sure they understand that you need honest reviews. It is not helpful if they tell you what they think you want to hear. What you need are another pair of eyes.

Even so, if you are on a tight budget, you may not be able to do that because if someone helps you out like that you should do something for them. If you are on a tight budget you may have to do it yourself, in which case, I would suggest that you take a breather after finishing a draft and do something else. Then go back and reread your story. You might consider reading with a view for spelling errors, such as ‘their’ instead of ‘there’. Then, reread the story and look at the grammar.

But if you go the do-it-yourself-approach, remember that you are the author and know what you think you wrote. Your mind might trick your eyes into seeing the words that you thought you wrote instead of the words you really wrote.

More about this issue on the other side of this break. TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to help you be your absolute best as a writer.

The problems associated with self-editing are why there are professional editors out there. We exist to help you prepare your book for publishing. We read your book thoroughly looking for errors in grammar, spelling, etc. Then we work with you to improve the story.

In fact, if we are doing the editing, we do so with your story in mind. And not only your story, but your writing style. It is unique to you and we believe it should be preserved. So, we edit and proof the book, then we make sure you are happy with the results. Only when you are happy, and it meets the requirements of KDP is the book published.

And you haven’t spent a fortune to have it done.

Now back to the article.

#6 – Getting Published

Kindle Direct Publishing

At TR Writing Services we use KDP because they:

  • Allow the author to have total control except for a few technical issues
  • Allow you to determine your royalties, which range from 35% to 70%
  • Pay directly to an account you indicate
  • Provide you a large potential readership
  • and much more.

There are self-publishing companies out there that you should learn about. Don’t be confused by the term self-publishing. It does not mean that you have control over the publishing process. They do. And if you want them to edit your book, you may be giving up any control you have there as well.

But there are publishing criteria that you need to check out. One is the book cover.

It is important that after all the work you have put in to the book that your cover be good. And you have some options.

  • KDP gallery, which provides templates and pictures
  • Professional designers who will design a book cover for you

The KDP gallery should not be ignored. They have a small amount of pictures that may fit your need. I wish they would expand that gallery. However, they also have preset templates for book covers which allows you to upload your own pictures, such as designed for you or you purchased off the internet. Some designers will design the back cover for you but unless these people are KDP certified it could prove difficult. So, take the time and find out if they have worked with KDP, because KDP has criteria that must be met.

Professional designers offer their services at varying prices. Just because someone offers their services at a high cost does not mean that their services are better than anyone else’s. Check out their work.

Here’s thought. Why not make use of istock, pexels, pixabay, or others. Then upload to KDP the picture you bought or downloaded. Then let KDP do the rest.

I’ve done it. They also let you upload of bio picture of yourself along with a short biography and a description of the book. Then they let you know if you need to do more work on any of those items. When done, you have a quality book cover.

There you have it. Six basic steps to help you get started. There are several more items we didn’t discuss, such as ISBN, color vs. B&W, and more. But KDP will work with you on that as will just about any publisher that exists.

Find out the difference between Traditional Publishing, Self-Publishing, and Indie Publishing. I’ve written about this subject in the past. And remember this, Indie Publishing means you have more responsibility, better royalties, and, of course, more work to do. Why not be an Indie?

If you are listening to this podcast, it has been brought to you by T&R Independent Bookstore. We want to be your local bookstore and we are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.

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Ron’s Tuesday Tip: Handling Rejection Slips

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This week is about:Handling Rejection.

Principle

This is primarily addressed to those who plan to use a traditional publisher. Self-publishing companies rarely reject a manuscript. And Indie Publishers (that’s you!) don’t.

As a disclaimer I have never received a rejection slip because I have never used traditional publishers. As an Indie publisher I have the ultimate power or authority and I can exercise that authority over when my book is published. I may change my mind, but if I want it published it gets published.

In our Guide to Writing we spent very little time on this subject, but if you’re not an Indie publisher you need this information. So, I am expanding on what the book talked about.

Never let rejection slips stop you!

In the tip below I advise that you Use rejection slips as learning tools. Why?

It’s really simple. In life every experience is a tool that you can learn from. Rejection slips are no different.

Use them as you would any tool.

  • Learn from them
    • Why was it rejected?
    • Did it come with suggestions?
    • Are the suggestions worthwhile in your thinking?
  • Remember the editor, agent, or whatever is not THE authority.
    • It is their opinion based on years of experience
    • But they don’t know you or your motivation
    • They are concerned with marketability
  • Don’t take it personally
    • All they probably know about you is based on your manuscript
    • Their advice or rejection is not meant to discourage you but enlighten you
  • Use the criticism to write a better book
    • Use it as a steppingstone to your eventual success
    • Incorporate their advice if it doesn’t violate your standards
    • Rewrite and try again.
Tip: Use rejection slips as learning tools to help you become a better writer. Don’t take it personally.              

Example

Since I have never had a book rejected, I have no practical example to share with you. But the more meaningful example is one’s reaction to any roadblock, which is all that a rejection slip amounts to in one’s career.

That said check out your response to other roadblocks. If your response works in those cases, maybe it will with rejection.

But better is this: As I said in the Tips: Use rejection slips as learning tools to help you become a better writer and don’t take it personally.

Application

My suggestion is to stay away from the Traditional Publishers and the preceding is only one reason. But if you must use Traditional Publishers, then please pay close attention when listening to them. They each have their own preferences and not following them will bring on a rejection quickly.

You have a responsibility to yourself. That is why I emphasize treating rejection as a tool. Instead of being discouraged, see it as something that will only make you a better writer!

Indie Publishing may be the answer.

As mentioned above you have the ultimate power as an Indie Publisher. That power is to evaluate your book, take any criticism you receive and make it a better book. One of the advantages of being an Indie publisher using the Kindle (KDP) platform is that you can republish without extra cost.

Kindle makes it easy for you to republish your book. You can leave the book in its current published form (valuable if your book is generating sales) while you edit it. You can edit the book according to your desires or ideas. And at the proper time when it is ready to be published, you simply unpublish it and then republish the new updated book.

You have corrected your errors, republished it without losing much exposure and thereby dollars. And with Kindle you will be able to use KDP Select.

This is one of the reasons we use Kindle Direct Publishing. It gives us the authority usually reserved only for the traditional publishers. But as an independent I am writer, agent, publisher, and marketer all rolled into one. It is risky, but it is worth it!

Rejection may be your chance to succeed!

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or Epub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip: Indie Publishing

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This weeks blog is a followup to last Friday’s blog Do You Desire to be an Independent Author? This week it’s about:Indie Publishing.

Principle

These days the author has more responsibility than ever before – and more opportunities!

In days gone by the author wrote a novel, submitted it to a publisher, and once accepted, relaxed. But that is no longer true!

There are all kinds of publishers out there. But here I want to present you with a different perspective. There are three kinds of publishing: Traditional, Self, and Indie. You are about to see what I was talking about.

Traditional Publishing

This is basically represented by the big publishing houses. It is a far cry from the publishers your mom and pop knew, although some have the same name. These publishers are in almost total control.

Nowadays many of them require you to have an agent before they’ll look at your manuscript. That’s a red flag to me. Nothing against agents, but the whole experience of searching for an agent, finding the right agent, being rejected or accepted by the agent, and then submitting my work to a publisher is time consuming, can be expensive, and does not guarantee being published.

As for the publishers themselves, they control just about everything from submission, to editing, and to publishing. They’ll help you with marketing, but you are ultimately responsible for that. Unless you already are well-known.

Traditional publishers do pay royalties which are usually based on reaching certain predetermined book sales goals.

Self-Publishing

Although the name suggests you are in charge it really means you pay up front to have your book published. Thus, some people refer to it as vanity publishing. It has come a long way, but they still have control over the most important aspects of the publishing experience.

And you still are responsible for the marketing.

Indie Publishing

This is the subject of today’s blog.

But first a brief history. I self-published my first novel in 2003. Since then I have written a number of books. The first four books were all published by self-publishers. But in 2013 I discovered Smashwords.com and published my first eBook. (My other books were also in eBook format, but the publisher did this because I paid for it.)

This discovery has changed my life and now I am about to reveal to you what I believe is a better way to publish.

That better way is simply: You as an Indie publisher!

At the time there was almost no information on the subject but today there’s considerable. It is called Indie Publishing which tells you right off the bat that as a publisher you are independent! This is an important distinction.

Indie Publishing is the author taking ultimate charge. Basically, it means selecting a printer or publisher to print your books. And there are publishers out there willing to be your printer and even your marketer.

The one I am most familiar with is Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). CreateSpace whom I was with previously merged with KDP, so now all my print books are with KDP. Plus, I have eBooks with KDP. I also have used Smashwords for e-Books, but they are not my primary.

I will discuss KDP more in the example. I have also located at least one other printer called Best Value Copy. They are an online printing service that provides quality work at reasonable prices. However, I have not used them or any other publishing platform because KDP has proven to me that they are very capable and affordable.

In looking for a quality printer you can try your own neighborhood. For example, there is a Staples store not far from us that gives business discounts to authors using their printing services. That suggests the possibility that other office supply stores may offer the same services.

But assuming the role of publisher is more than just getting a printer. You literally take on the responsibilities of a publisher! You may have to seek your own ISBN, copyright, and other important items.

In our case, we listed ourselves with the State of Florida with a DBA (Doing Business As) name of T&R Independent Books. Because we use KDP we are able to use their ISBNs which are free, although they also sell other ISBNs for a modest price. Copyrights are free.

It is both exciting and scary. But the rewards can be awesome. For example, a self-publisher may give us anywhere from 8% to 40% royalty depending on volume of books sold. But as our own publisher the percentage jumps up to 60% and more (before costs and taxes). And no predetermined sales goals; you get the royalties from the start.

In addition to that, we have virtual control over every aspect. It is true that with Kindle Direct some control lies with them, but it is also true that such controls are limited.

In establishing our own publishing business we also took on the marketing of the books, which is another subject.  But in short, we are now able to use the marketing tools that we used to buy from the publisher. Now we have the authority to market the books as we see fit without incurring exorbitant costs.

Tip #1: As an Indie publisher you pay for the ISBN (if necessary), the copyright, and other legal fees.

Tip #2: Indie publishers can get gross royalties of 60% and more. Even after taxes the profits are excellent.

Example

I promised to discuss Kindle Direct Publishing and here we go.

When my wife first expressed the desire to start writing her own novels it fitted right in with the idea of T&R Independent Books. So, we immediately began researching what the costs would be to publish.

We searched the internet for both local and online printers. Eventually we settled on KDP because of three primary factors:

  1. We would retain ownership of all rights.
  2. Costs were reasonable.
  3. KDP would provide us worldwide marketing.

(At this time we were dealing with CreateSpace but in 2018 they merged with KDP. KDP is virtually the same as CreateSpace and both are owned by Amazon.)

These are career changing factors. Although we have and will do our own marketing, being in the KDP loop will expand our marketing a thousand times over!

While their imprint will be on our books, there will be no question of the identity of the real publisher which is T&R Independent Books.

Application

In establishing T&R Independent Books we also took over what was formerly known as RFrederickRiddle’s Bookstore. But instead of marketing our books from our own website (an excellent marketing option) we closed down the store and opted to direct all potential buyers to Amazon and Kindle. We still have control over the marketing, including the tracking of sales but the customer has the familiarity of buying on Amazon. Plus, KDP has powerful tracking tools!

KDP enables us to exercise several marketing options, some being free. Does this guarantee sales? Of course not. But it does give us maximum control and flexibility.

Becoming your own publisher is no longer a new idea. And it has the potential to change the publishing landscape in years to come. You should seriously consider this avenue.

For information on TR Writing Services contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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How to Compare CS with KDP That Will Help You Publish

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a deeper look at How to Compare CS with KDP That Will Help You Publish.
As I prepare to publish my latest novel I thought a few comments upon publishing with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) versus CreateSpace might be appropriate. This is especially true since this is my first ‘fully KDP printed book.’ What I mean by that is this has been a KDP project from the start. Previously I either published with CreateSpace or started with CreateSpace and published with KDP.
My first overall observation is that Kindle Direct Publishing is every easy to use. As I have progressed with the book I have noticed that KDP is actually a tad simpler to use than CS. It is easily understood, information is easily inputted, and the whole process is user friendly.
Now let’s take a look at some specifics.
TITLE

As with CreateSpace Kindle Direct Publishing is very easy to use. For the Title you simply enter your book’s title. If it has a Subtitle you can enter that in the appropriate box. It is a very easy process equal to the CreateSpace experience. I am very pleased.

DISCRIPTION

With the allowance of up to 3247 words you have ample space allowed for your description.

SERIES

You can input the Series and Series Number if your book is a series. Because I want the Series to be prominently displayed on the cover I enter the Series name and number in both the Subtitle and Series boxes.

EDITION NUMBER

An edition is a particular version of a book. The edition number tells readers whether the book is an original version or an updated version. If this is the first time you have published this book, enter the numeral 1. If the book was previously published and the version you are publishing contains significant changes, enter the numeral 2 (and so on).

AUTHOR

Probably most of you won’t have the same needs as I do. My author name is R. Frederick Riddle. Like in CreateSpace the input form has a First Name, Middle Name, and Last Name. Since I am primarily focused upon my middle name, I want it to be displayed on the cover. However, if you provide the middle name in the middle name box it won’t be displayed. So I simply type R. Frederick in the First Name box. Works like a charm!

CONTRIBUTORS

If there are multiple authors you will want to list them here. This is similar to the Author entry. You can add as many authors as you need. Since I am the only author of my books, I skip this part.

PUBLISHING RIGHTS

Here you have two options:

  • I own the copyright and I hold necessary publishing rights.
  • This is a public domain work

Simply indicate which option is correct.

KEYWORDS

You are allowed up to 7 key words or phrases. It is recommended by experts that you use keywords that are not in the Title, Description, or Category. This can be difficult, but think about possible ways someone might seek to find your book. There appears to be some debate about whether words or phrases are best, so I recommend a mix. Again this is comparable to CreateSpace.

CATAGORIES

You are allowed up to two categories which I believe was the same in CreateSpace. Simply make your selections and carry it out as far as possible.

ADULT CONTENT

You’ll see this sentence: Does this book contain language, situations, or images inappropriate for children under 18 years of age?
Then you either select Yes or No.
Choosing Yes does not mean your book is pornographic, it simply seeks to identify the age appropriate level of reader.

ISBN

This might actually be a tad easier than CreateSpace. You are given choices for your ISBN.
An ISBN, or International Standard Book Number, is a unique 10-digit number assigned to every published book. An ISBN identifies a title’s binding, edition, and publisher. An EAN, or European Article Number, is a 13-digit number assigned to every book to provide a unique identifier for international distributors. The 10-digit ISBN is converted to a 13-digit EAN by adding a 978 prefix and changing the last digit. To publish a book, you can use either a free KDP ISBN or use your own valid ISBN (purchased directly from your ISBN agency).

PUBLICATION DATE

Your publication date is the date on which your book was first published. You cannot change it after publishing your title. If you leave this blank, KDP will automatically use the date on which your book goes live (i.e. it is available for sale) on Amazon.

PRINT OPTIONS

INTERIOR & PAPER TYPE (you can choose):

  • Black and White interior with Cream paper
  • Black and White interior with White paper
  • Color interior with White paper

TRIM SIZE

6 x 9 in. or a different size.

BLEED SETTINGS

Setting your interior to “bleed” allows printing at or off the edge of a page. It is used to support images and illustrations. Most books use “no bleed” unless there is a specific reason to apply “bleed.” Changing the bleed settings will not change the manufacturing cost.

PAPERBACK COVER FINISH

KDP supports Matte and Glossy finish. If memory serves me CreateSpace may have had more choices, but this seems ideal for most authors.

MANUSCRIPT

Upload a manuscript of your book interior content. For best results, we recommend using a formatted PDF file to create your paperback. You can also upload a DOC (.doc), DOCX (.docx), HTML (.html), or RTF (.rtf).
You can also download a KDP Template.

BOOK COVER

We recommend a book cover for a good reader experience. You can create a cover using our Cover Creator tool or upload your own book cover. If uploading your own book cover it must be PDF.
To use Cover Creator click on it. You will go to a very easy to follow page that will guide you and provide the tools necessary to taking advantage of their gallery.

BOOK PREVIEW

Preview your file to check for formatting and print quality issues. This is mandatory to continue onward. Every time you upload a new manuscript or make changes affecting the book’s interior you will be required to Launch Previewer.

SUMMARY

This shows a summary of your decisions plus the printing costs of the book.

TERRITORIES

If you don’t hold worldwide rights to sell and distribute your title, you must indicate the territories in which you hold rights. If you are publishing a public domain title, keep in mind that the duration of copyright varies between countries/regions, so ensure you set your territory rights to only include those territories where you have determined the book is in the public domain.

PRICING & ROYALTY

The List Price is the price a customer sees on an Amazon detail page. In certain marketplaces, the List Price displayed to the customer will include local VAT which is added on to the List Price you provide.
I always use Expanded Distribution.

TERMS & CONDITIONS

It can take up to 72 hours for your book to be available for purchase on Amazon. Until then, the book’s status will be “In Review” on your Bookshelf.
By clicking publish I confirm that I agree to and am in compliance with the KDP Terms and Conditions.

PROOF COPIES

Order proof copies of your book before publication. Proof copies are printed using your latest uploaded book files which may differ from your book’s live version. They will also have a “Not for Resale” watermark on the cover and a unique barcode but no ISBN. You pay only the printing cost for your selected marketplace times the number of copies. Shipping and applicable taxes will be applied at checkout.
This is the only place in which I’ve been disappointed. I liked where CreateSpace allowed you to have the book proofed right there online and you discovered the errors, etc. KDP only allows you to order a printed proof copy as far as I can tell. This will take more time. However, the disappointment is minor since it will allow me to actually hold the proof copy in my hands. Thus I will get the feel and appearance!

FINAL THOUGHTS

I have been very pleased with the whole process of publishing the book although I haven’t published yet due to Final Edits that I am currently undergoing. But that is simply me uploading a new and improved manuscript plus another Book Preview.
So when comparing CreateSpace with Kindle Direct Publishing you (in this case I) can expect the same and, in some cases, better experience with KDP than with CreateSpace. This is always a good thing. It means that we, as authors, can focus on our writing and not so much on the publishing end of the process. In my opinion this has been a transparent upgrade that benefits me (and I hope you) as an author.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.