Blog to Book Project — Proof Copies

Proof copies are great to send Beta readers, proofreaders, copy editors or to do a final check yourself. A proof copy is what your book would look like before it gets the final quality review at Amazon. 

You can only order proof copies when your book is in the draft category. You will get the opportunity to order proofs when you reach the Paperback Rights & Pricing tab in the uploading process. Click on the link in the box above the yellow Publish Your Paperback Book button that says “Request Printed Proofs of this book that you can order from the Amazon cart.” 

Clicking on that link will take you to a page where you can place your order. You can order up to five copies at a time. You can ship to multiple addresses by placing separate orders.

After you order your proof, you can publish your book immediately or wait until you’ve had a chance to look over your book. Remember, if you do find errors, you can upload a new manuscript with corrections. 

You will receive an email from Amazon KDP with a link to complete the order for your proofs. You must complete the transaction within 24 hours of receiving the email, otherwise you’ll have to make the request again. 

Proofs are a little different from regular copies of the book. Across the cover there is a “Not for Resale” watermark and no ISBN although there is a bar code. Other than that, the text and image formatting is the same, so if there is something that you want to change after seeing your book in print, do it.

Assignment: Order your proof copy.

Authors’ Revolution Workbook by B. Alan Bourgeois

Unbelievably, I did it again. I choose a workbook to review without having read the main book that the workbook as a companion for. This time I chose Authors’ Revolution Workbook by B. Alan Bourgeois and had high hopes. After all, I am a self-published author myself and am always on the lookout for tips. 

My reaction towards this book was mixed. There were excellent bits of information for authors that help them look at the publishing dream reaslitistically. The graphics were also very useful as visual representations of that reality. The Cost of Publishing Worksheets were worthwhile additions. Using them, an author could compare his or her costs to the average amounts spent by authors in the creation, publishing and marketing areas. Becoming a successful published author isn’t an overnight event as the uninitiated might believe. 

The companies and organizations that were listed under different headings were also practical resources. Each company or feature was classified by average price and services offered. There were listings for places to have your book reviewed, marketing and publishing companies, and useful social media tools. There was even a section on companies to avoid. 

You may ask, with all these beneficial guides included, why have I not given this a five-star rating? That’s a fair question. Yes, the workbook contained great resources for authors. However, I didn’t feel that it was enough for the workbook to stand on its own. In fact, the workbook would have done better to be included as an appendix in the main book. 

There was also inconsistent capitalization throughout the text, as if headings had been copied and pasted from another source. Then there were an overwhelming number of blank pages. There were no exercises to complete or self-reflective questions to respond to as might be expected in a workbook with lots of space to respond. In fact, the only work in this workbook were the The Cost of Publishing Worksheets and a question about your book’s launch date.

Finally, there was a second author bio included at the end of the book. The first bio was shorter and placed at the beginning of the workbook so readers had a general idea who the author was and why he was qualified to bring us this workbook. However, a second author bio which said pretty much the same thing was really unnecessary. 

So even though I found much of the information in Authors’ Revolution Workbook by B. Alan Bourgeois useful, I find myself unable to justify its existence apart from the main book, which I have not read.  

I received an advance review copy from Reedsy Discovery. You can read my review here.

A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal 2020

This year for the A to Z Challenge, Content Creative will continue to share information about how to set up and self-publish your book on Amazon. The process doesn’t have to be shrouded in confusion, as many book publishing companies make it seem. However, you, as the author and publisher, are responsible for creating the best literary work possible and it can be tricky.

Images, book covers, formatting, editing, book order, uploading to Amazon, and marketing are key components to creating an incredible book that you can be proud of. Look for these topics and more in the month of April as part of the 2020 A to Z Challenge.

Blog to Book Project — Author Copies

Author copies are copies of a book that are given to the author at the time of publication by the publisher. If you aren’t going the traditional route, you can still get author copies of your blog to book project and you should!

With Amazon Kindle Direct, for example, you can order up to 999 copies of your book for only the cost of printing, which depending on your final book price, can be a substantial saving.

Author copies make great marketing tools. You can donate them to your local library. You can sign them and make them prizes in raffles or giveaways. You can send them to family and friends. You can give them to all those people you thanked in your acknowledgment section. Send them to people who want to review your book. You can sell them yourself, but you won’t get royalty payments on them.

Plus, a shelf of your own blog to book projects in print form makes a heart glad!

To order Author copies, go to your KDP Bookshelf and choose the book you want to get copies of. Next, enter the number of copies you would like and pick the marketplace through which you’d like to order the books. To save on shipping costs, choose the Amazon branch closest to your shipping address. 

Assignment: Order some Author copies.

Live Your Gift by Dana V. Adams

Having read and enjoyed the companion guide to Live Your Gift by Dana V. Adams already, I was excited to read the main book. Although a good read, I didn’t find it quite as useful as the workbook, which was a little disappointing but not overwhelmingly so. 

Let me start with the Foreword. While I think that having the Foreword written by Bill Cohen who was the author of the little yellow book called Life Mapping that changed Dana V. Adams’ Life, was a great addition, it was amazingly dated 2081. Perhaps a little time travel occurred? 

The introduction to Live Your Gift by Dana V. Adams, mother of four, covers everything from personal fulfillment to global reckoning, a momentous challenge for just an ordinary person. From the onset, I was interested in learning how Ms. Adams was going to make the connection between self-development and world-shaking betterment in her book. That seemed to be a big stretch to me. I never did feel that the connection was made, though. 

I would have liked a little more focus on the concept of life mapping in the introduction or maybe in the first chapter, what it entailed and what it can provide. I felt like I was jumping from concept to concept without seeing the whole picture. To be fair, life mapping was thoroughly explained in section two of the book. By then I was committed to reading the entire book, whether or not I was fully following the steps.

I also thought the book relied heavily on the stories of celebrities and famous people. I found more inspiration in the chapters that the author shared her own story and that of her oldest son. Some of the biographies didn’t really illustrate the concepts covered in the chapter or tie directly in to the self-reflection activities at the end of each section. Others did an excellent job of making the connection. For example, chapter four focused on values. The story of Walt Disney was a great way to illustrate what it means to live with values. The tie-in was very clear. 

I loved seeing Benjamin Franklin’s 13 virtues list used as an example of how to design your own principle list. The author’s own examples were also very helpful in completing the assignments for each section. Overall, the book convinced me, as if I needed convincing, that I too needed to make my life map, which I believe was the intention of the author. 

So if you are ready to take control of your life and “Live Your Gift” you’ll find inspiration galore in Live Your Gift by Dana V. Adams and a place to create your own life map in the companion guide. 

I received an advance review copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery. You can read my review here.

Blog to Book Project — Sample Chapters

The first 10% of your ebook can be downloaded by readers through the Send a free sample option available on your book’s detail page on Amazon. 

This option means you should think about what content you should include in your front matter to capitalize on this preview opportunity. 

Do you want to waste all the valuable space on acknowledgments or can you move the acknowledgements to the back matter?

Will the list of tables and graphs really grab the reader’s attention? 

Would including testimonials bolster your book and/or qualifications for writing it? 

Does your introduction do a bang-up job of convincing the reader to buy the book?

Have you checked and double-checked for errors?

Assignment: Decide how to format the front matter to capitalize on the Send a free sample option.

Playing Tourist in Mexico: A Collection of Adventures from Women Traveling in Mexico

Patty M. Vanegas, Susi Schuegraf, Lynne DeSantis, Karen Swanson, Jill Michelle Douglas, Emily Lee Garcia and I combined our adventures into an amazing travel book last year. It’s finally available on Amazon as a  Kindle book and a full-color paperback!

Have you ever wondered what Mexico is really like? In Playing Tourist in Mexico: A Collection of Adventures from Women Traveling in Mexico you can share in the travels of seven women to 45 different locations throughout Mexico.

Not only are places like Mexico City and the beaches of Baja California included, but also remote but equally delightful places like Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato the birthplace of independence, and Paracho de Verduzco, Michoacan, a mountain town dedicated to handcrafting guitars.

You’ll see a different beauty in Mexico through the eyes of these women as they galavant hither and yon experiencing the sights, tastes, and sounds of this amazing country.

If you’ve already read this fun travel book, then we’d love if you could leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads!

Blog to Book Project — Linking Your Books

Example of linked books. Both the Kindle and Paperback options appear.

Once you have your paperback manuscript uploaded to Amazon, you want to make sure that the ebook and paperback link up so that readers will have both options when they go to purchase your book. 

Most of the time, Amazon will do the link-up automatically. I’ve run into an issue though when the books don’t link up because I changed the formatting slightly to accommodate print vs. ebook-reader experience. 

There isn’t a way to get around the exact match to link the books on the detail pages. You can, however, link the slightly different books on your KDP Bookshelf which helps you keep track of your publications. 

To do the KDP Bookshelf link-up, go to your Bookshelf on KDP and find the book you want to link. Choose the option Link Existing (paperback or eBook). Search for the book you want to link in the pop-up box. Link books. 

You can also unlink books on the KDP Bookshelf. Choose the Unlink books option from the ellipsis button next to the book you want to unlink.

You’ll get a warning message asking if you are sure. Choose yes, you can always link them up again if you so desire.

Now the books will be listed separately on your KDP Bookshelf.

Assignment: Link your books.

Frankenstein: or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Frankenstein: or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley is told through a series of letters from 28-year-old Robert Walton to his sister Mrs. Saville. While Robert is on an exploration in the Arctic ocean, he happens upon Victor Frankenstein and a single sled dog upon a float of ice. 

Victor is from Genovese, the eldest son of an important family who discovered a way to create the spark of life in inanimate bodies, from whence came all of his woes which he recounts to Roberto who then records the story for his sister.

Frankenstein’s creation is amazingly sensitive and fluent in German, French and English having taught himself by spying on different people he encounters. He manages to dress himself and forage for edibles without any difficulty at all. When the monster, who is never given a name, first speaks, I was astounded by the femininity of his speech. 

The creature begs Victor to create a companion for him to end his loneliness. When he refuses, the being exacts revenge by attacking Victor’s family and friends. In the end, despite the atrocities he committed, my sympathy was ever for the creation and not the creator.

The author’s own life was as pitiable as the monster’s. Her mother died shortly after Mary was born. She ran off with Percy Blythe Shelley, who was already married, at the age of 15. Mary herself lost several infants in quick success as she was writing Frankenstein, only one child surviving to adulthood. Her older sister commited suicide. Shelley’s wife also commited suicide, allowing the couple to finally marry. And then, Mary was widowed at 24 when Percy drowned. Is it any wonder that the monster speaks with such painful eloquence?