Link of the Week – Dear Jeff

June 19, 2018

I’m loving this!

USA Today Best-selling author Suzan Tisdale writes an open letter to founder and chief executive officer of Amazon about the cheating, thievery, and other big problems with Kindle Direct Publishing and the Kindle Unlimted program. A must read!

An Open Letter to Jeff Bezos


Link of the Week – A Voice, Indie Author Support Network

April 24, 2018

Indie authors are long past being tired of the Zon’s antics. Such monkey business includes rank stripping, disappearing reviews or page reads, sketchy Terms of Service rules, the ease of which scammers are able to take advantage, the lack of transparency, unfair wielding of power, and so much more. Most of the woes come from the Kindle Unlimited (KU) program but can affect all authors, whether they exclusively sell with Amazon or distribute wide using different platforms. But no matter what we say or do, Amazon ignores our concerns as if we are pesky little peons.

Currently, a new organization is being formed with the idea that indie authors are a massive force that can not only provide support to one another but give indie authors a voice.

You can read more about this group “exclusively focused on high-level advocacy and interfacing with retailers on issues which concern indies” in a blog post written by David Gaughran.

https://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2018/04/22/giving-a-voice-to-indies/

While this group is still very much in its infancy, I suspect this will catch on like a raging wildfire. It’s already gaining momentum.

http://indieauthorsupportnetwork.com/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/AuthorSupportNetwork/


Link of the Week – Author Beware

April 10, 2018

Here is a one-stop info shop for today’s publishing scams. This Reedsy blog touches on vanity presses, scams, contests and more authors should avoid. They also give some helpful tips on how to sidestep these pitfalls. Check it out!

https://blog.reedsy.com/scams-and-publishing-companies-to-avoid/


Link of the Week – Amazon and Money Laundering

March 20, 2018

There seems to be no end to scams and the author is always on the raw end of the deal. Read, or watch the short video, on Fortune.com about a money-laundering scheme using independently published authors’ Amazon accounts.

http://fortune.com/2018/02/22/money-laundering-books-amazon/


Link of the Week – Kindle and Clickfarms, WTH?

August 8, 2017

Clickfarm employee

I have a love/hate relationship with Amazon. As a consumer, I love the ease of shopping with them. As an author, I am in no way happy with their changing book-selling landscape, their elusive algorithms, the near impossible discoverability on their search engines, and how difficult it is to make sure I’m getting paid correctly. I’m very much aware of pirate sites and scammers hanging around on Amazon and stealing MY money. And I am aware Kindle Unlimited is flawed. But I had no idea just HOW flawed. I have been apparently (and blissfully) clueless of scammers that are also authors. Clueless of clickfarms. Clueless of the unethical manipulations of popular Amazon lists—the coveted lists that also help spread author names and titles to more Amazon readers. This not only affects hard-working (starving) authors, it affects readers, too. So why isn’t Amazon doing anything about it?

Read more (in detail) here on this post by David Gaughran and what we can do to make changes (she says with only a shred of hope).

https://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2017/07/15/scammers-break-the-kindle-store/


Active Table of Contents for Kindle

March 23, 2015

So, you finished a book and have decided to take the indie publishing route. Now you’ve done it, wandering into unfamiliar territory.

So much goes into setting a book up for sale on Amazon. Little details and nuances that you find along the way can be daunting. From formatting to metadata, some processes are easy, others make you feel like you are throwing knives at a moving target, blindfolded, in a wind tunnel.

Well, my dear word slingers, I’m hoping I can help ease the hemorrhaging just a bit. I’m going to show you in easy, bite size chunks (with handy, dandy screen shots!) how to create an active Table of Contents (TOC) in Word for Kindle.

But I must add a disclaimer here. Yes, I must. Because sure as sh—, er sure as the sun rises, someone will cry foul and say it doesn’t work. Or claim there’s another way. I am not a techno goddess. A goddess, yes. A techno goddess, no. But if you follow these instructions, you should have no trouble ‘tall.

Also, please note that there are services provided by Amazon, and the like, that can create an active TOC for you. Sure can. But wouldn’t you rather learn to do this at no cost? It really is pretty simple.

One last thing I must blast before I get started. Do not use Word’s Table of Contents generator. It’s a trick. There are more steps involved, and, yeah, more steps means you’re given more opportunities to screw up. Let’s not be a screw-up.

Ready to begin?

I’m using a book I already have for sale on Amazon, but does not have a table of contents. Once done, I can upload the new version. (Sweet!)

First up, insert a page break where you want the TOC to be placed. This could be after the acknowledgments, copyright page, or other book matter. Type Table of Contents, then type in the names you’ve given your chapters—Chapter 1, Chapter One, The Seize, you get the idea. If you include an Acknowledgment page, About the Author page, or other significant page, be sure to add it in the TOC, as well.

(Click on image for better viewing.)

TOC1a

Create a TOC page.

 

Okay. Pay attention. Here is where the work begins. Find your first chapter and highlight the chapter title.

Bookmark the destination. By doing this, when the reader clicks on the TOC entry, they will be directed to that spot in your book. Cool, huh? So how do you Bookmark? Click the INSERT tab in the toolbar and scroll over to BOOKMARK. (Some Word versions you’ll need to scroll down the drop menu.)

 

TOC3a

Bookmark ’em Dano!

 

Surprise! A new window pops up. You will be prompted to give the bookmark a name. For the sake of your sanity, I’d recommend naming the bookmark exactly what you’ve named your chapter. No spaces are allowed in naming your bookmark. PITA, I know. If you want spaces, use the underscore key.

TOC4b

Name your Bookmark.

 

Click ADD.

Next up, go back to the TOC and highlight the chapter you just named in the Bookmark.  Go to INSERT and select HYPERLINK. Another window pops up.

TOC5a

Highlight item in TOC.

 

Now select PLACE IN THIS DOCUMENT  on the left side of the box (or DOCUMENT in the middle of your screen). You are ANCHORING the hyperlink inside a document. Select the chapter you are anchoring. Click OKAY. Booyah!  (In some Word versions – like Word for Mac – you may have an ANCHOR blank where the bookmark would appear, then you’d click LOCATE to finish the step. A new window would appear. Click the BOOKMARK arrow down key and select chapter. Done.)

 

TOC6b

Insert hyperlink.

 

Tah-Dah! You have now hyperlinked your chapter title in your TOC to its location within your document/manuscript. When you click on it, you will be directed to the beginning of your chapter. Repeat the process for Acknowledgment pages, About the Author pages, or anything else you have added to your TOC.

TOC7

Don’t forget other important pages.

 

Instead of toggling back and forth through all the different windows, I bookmark and name all items in my TOC and then go back to anchor and hyperlink. I also use the FIND feature to get me to the chapters in the middle of the document faster. That’s just me, though.

If you’re feeling extra frisky, you could even hyperlink the chapters in the manuscript back to the TOC. This will allow your readers to go back to the TOC and hop around to different chapters with ease. Just go to your TOC page, highlight the TOC title, bookmark/name it—same steps as before. The difference is finding Chapter One in the document (instead of in the TOC), then highlight, anchor, and hyperlink. Repeat for every chapter.

TOC8

Bookmark TOC.

 

 

TOC9

Hyperlink chapters to TOC for easy hopping around to different locations.

 

It might seem laborious, but once you do it a couple of times, it becomes quite easy-peasy. Don’t forget to check all your hyperlinks to make sure they go to the right chapters, and vice versa.

And now you know!


Link of the Week – 2EPUB

June 10, 2014

th_ebook-readersFree. We like free, don’t we?

Formatting. We hate formatting, don’t we?

I stumbled across this site that is a free (we like) ebook format converter – for us – for free. Did I mention free formatting?   Disclaimer: I haven’t tried it myself, but it seems easy enough.

Check out 2EPUB and see if it’s right for you.

http://www.2epub.com/