Blog to Book Project — Other Books by the Author

If you have other books, this is the page where you want to promote them. Other Books by the Author is basically a second page to your About the Author bio. 

You can make a simple list of titles or you can include a very brief synopsis for each. If you use a pen name, you should include those books under the heading “Written as A. Penname.”

For digital books, you should make clickable links that take the reader to your book on Amazon or to each book’s landing page on your website. Print books don’t have clickability so make sure you write out the full title of the book so that readers can search for your book on their own. 

If you have a book that is comparable in theme to the current book or if you have a sequel, you could include a sample chapter as well. A sample chapter will whet readers’ appetites and leaving them hungry for more, which they can get by purchasing the entire book from the link you have conveniently placed at the end of the sample chapter. 

The sample chapter should be short. It doesn’t even have to be the entire first chapter of the book you are featuring. A page or two, with a cliffhanger ending works best. 

Assignment: Set up your Other Books by the Author page. Be sure to add new titles as you publish them and update older books with the new information.

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Blog to Book Project — Colophon

The colophon appears at the very end of the book. It gives information about the printing and publishing process. It might mention the type of paper, ink or binding used to create the book. 

The section Note on the Type could be included in this section or separately. It gives information about the font/typeface used in the book, possibly mentioning its characteristics and history.

Most self-published books do not have a colophon or a page dedicated to the typeface. However, they are worth some consideration. I’m sure you’ve read at least one book where the font changes from one chapter to another. That’s an example of an author (or editor) who did not take the time to look at his or her font.

Assignment: Imagine you are going to add a Colophon or Note on the Type to the end of your book. Check your book for font use consistency.

Blog to Book Project — Amazon Author Page

After your book is published, there’s a whole new set of things you should be doing to promote it. Even if you are using other self-publishing sites, your presence on Amazon is essential to your future as an author.

Once your book is live on Amazon, you can set up an Author Page. It serves as an index of all your books so that people who enjoyed one book know where to look to find more from you by clicking on your hyperlinked name under the book title.  Now when people see your book, they are given the option to follow you. Followers are good!

All editing done to your Author Page is done via Amazon Author Central

You can edit your blog feed, photos, videos, and biography under the Author Page subheading. If you have a blog, you should link it so that updates appear on this page. This adds credibility and might earn you some new blog followers. 

You should include a compelling biography under your photo. Between the two, readers have the option to follow you. When they do, they will receive updates when you release a new book. Neat, huh?

You can add videos, which is something I haven’t done yet, but is as straightforward as the other options. These videos should focus on a specific feature of your books or your personal author experience. Videos should be in avi, wmv, flv, mov, or mpg formats, no more than 10 minutes and smaller than 500 MB. 

You should also edit your Author Page URL and add it to your email signature. Make is something related to your blog, book topics or just your name.

As you write more books, make sure all versions (ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook) appear in your book list. You can check the current list under the Books subheading.

You can add more information to your book listings as you go. If you click on one of your books in the listing and choose a version, you have the option to add information under editorial reviews. These categories must be added separately for each version. 

You can add reviews about your book that are published from reputable sources giving credit to the source. Reviews should be 1-2 sentences and less than 600 characters per review. You can add a total of five reviews no more than 3000 characters. 

Your product description should already be in place since you entered it when you listed your book at Amazon but if not, you can add or edit it here.

From the Author is a message from you to your readers about this particular book. You could write about the experience you had writing it and how it relates to your other books. This section can be up to 8000 characters which is about 1600 words. 

If your paperback or hardcover book has something on the back cover or an inside flap, you can choose to include this in you book listing as well. You can not make any changes to this content, but must transcribe it as it appears, and it must be less than 8000 characters. If this is the same as your product description for your book, and it just very well may be, don’t duplicate the information. 

You can include more biographical information in the About the Author section. This section can be up to 2000 characters which is about 400 words. Don’t include phone numbers, addresses or URLs in this sections. You should also not request reviews or helpful votes. 

You can check your sales and author rankings under the Sales Info subheading. At the beginning of your career as an author, I wouldn’t worry too much about these figures except for comparative purposes. Don’t get discouraged if you haven’t reached best seller status the first week after publication. 

More importantly, at least in my opinion, is the customer review page. Here you can see how readers are responding to your book and if there is something you should do to improve their experience. Constructive criticism is extremely helpful in many instances. For example, if a reader points out a gap in the information timeline, get into gear and fill that hole so that the next reader has all the facts. 

Amazon has four international markets where you can create additional Author’s Pages. Go ahead and reach readers worldwide!

Assignment: Create your Amazon Author Page!

Blog to Book Project — Suggested Reading

If you feel that certain articles or texts should be read in their entirety by the reader, then you might include a list of suggested reading. The order may be alphabetical or thematic. It should list the full title and author of the text being recommended in either MLA and APA format. 

If you want to add commentary, add it to the end of the entry like you would for an annotated bibliography. An annotation describes the text, summarizing the major theme. The description isn’t usually written in full sentences, but rather parsed phrases. 

You may list a link to the article or website or a way to purchase the book via a landing page on your website. Remember, Amazon doesn’t allow direct links to products for sale on Amazon from your ebook.

This is a good section to include if the topic you have written about is complex and is worthy of further reading. It is also a great way to highlight resources that would benefit the reader in some way. So if your book is about turning your blog posts into a book, you might list several books and websites that would help with that process like the Chicago Manual of Style, EasyBib, Grammarly, Hemmingway App, and Evernote.

Assignment: Compile a Suggested Reading list for your book topic.

Blog to Book Project — Back Matter

Similar to front matter, back matter includes the things that are found at the end of the book. The sections in the back matter are often supplementary to the main book. Which sections are found there often depends on the type of the book and what, if any, additional information a reader might need. 

You might these sections in the following order:

Epilogue or Conclusion

An epilogue is found mostly in fiction books. This is a short section that concludes the end of the story. It might take immediately after the events of the story or there could be a leap of years or decades. It can also be used to segue into another series of events that are covered in a sequel to the book. 

This section could be called a conclusion. A conclusion is an epilogue for mostly non-fiction books. It wraps up any loose ends the book doesn’t address. It might talk about what happened to the people mentioned in the book later or if the events in the book predated or caused other historically significant occurrences. 

Afterword or Postscript

An afterword can be a discussion on how the book came to be written It might talk about a specific event that triggered the author to begin writing or the inspiration behind the topic, or even how the information was researched. 

If the book has had previous editions, the afterword might be a commentary on why the book is being reissued. There might also be commentary about the cultural or historical impact this book made, especially if this is a public domain book. 

A postscript is an informal afterword, often directly addressing the reader. Similar to a P.S. in a letter, a postscript will give just a little bit of information that wasn’t included in the main body of the text. This term comes from the Latin post scriptum which means “written after.” This section might also be called an Author’s Note. 

Acknowledgements or List of Contributors

If the acknowledgments are not at the beginning of a book, they may be found at the end in the back matter. Here’s where the author can sincerely thank anyone who helped, inspired, or financially assisted the writing and publishing of the book. 

If anyone contributed to the book, this is where their information would be listed in a section entitled List of Contributors. This section is more than a simple thank you. Professional information about the contributor should be included, such as books or professional articles authored as well as educational or professional experience. 

Permissions or Credits

If permission was needed to include, song lyrics, poems, quotations or even entire chapters, this is the section where an author gives credit where credit is due. 

Discussion or Reading Group Guide

If the book was designed for use in high school or college courses, the author may choose to include a section that lists questions about the book for group discussion. This might include questions about the theme, historical significance, characters or symbology.

Suggested Reading

If the author believes that certain articles or texts should be read in their entirety by the reader, then he or she might include a list of suggested reading. The order may be alphabetical or thematic. It should list at least the full title and author of the text being recommended. It may list a link to the article or a way to purchase the book. 

Appendix or Addendum

Additional information about the book might be contained in the appendix, also known as addendum. Updates to information, corrections to earlier material and references for further reading could be found here.  

Notes or End Notes

If there were references in the book marked by a superscript or number in parenthesis, the additional information is found in the end notes section. These are arranged by chapter in the order they appear.

Glossary

The glossary is a collection of terms from the book. It is sort of like a small dictionary designed specifically for the book that it is in. The words are alphabetized and defined. This section is sometimes called an idioticon, vocabulary or clavis. 

Bibliography

A bibliography can also be called works cited, resources, sources or references. This is a list of books, articles, web sites or other sources that have been consulted in the creation of the book. An annotated bibliography gives publishing information, a text description, and how it is relevant to the book. A bibliography can be alphabetized or organized by theme, topic, or chapter. 

Index

The index is also an alphabetized list of terms, similar to the glossary. However, instead of giving a definition, the location of the words in the main text is indicated. This is especially useful in reference books since it provides a single spot that lists every place the specific term is used in the text.

About the Author or Biographical Note

Written in the third person, About the Author highlights information about the writer that readers would find interesting. It is usually just a paragraph or two. It can be serious and establish the credibility of the author on the book’s topic or it can be whimsical and make a personal connection to the reader. 

If the book is a reissued version of a public domain book, this section could be entitled Biographical Note. Here there would be information about the life and work of the original author, not the person republishing it.

Other Books by the Author 

In this section, books by the same author under the same name and those written under pen names can be mentioned. This section could be done in list format or could include a synopsis of each book. 

Colophon

The colophon appears at the very end of the book. It gives information about the printing and publishing process. It might mention the type of paper, ink or binding used to create the book. The section Note on the Type could be included in this section or separately. It gives information about the font/typeface used in the book, possibly mentioning its characteristics and history.  

Assignment: Determine which back matter sections your Blog to Book project needs.

Blog to Book Project — You author page

Since you have a blog, you may already have a good start on the About the Author page, provided you have an About page on your blog. You do, don’t you? The About the Author page is generally at the end of a book, as one of the back matter sections.

Your About the Author page is about you but not exactly a biography. It’s more about making a connection with the reader. Once you’ve established a relationship with a reader, he or she is more apt to become a loyal follower.

To make that connection, you want to tailor your story to fit your book. You already know that the reader is interested in the topic your book covers, so try to make YOU as interesting and relevant as that topic.

For example, if you write about living in the rolling hills of Ireland, talk about how you came to be there. Maybe you had an Irish grandmother or you visited once and fell in love with a leprechuan. If your blog to book project is about investing in bitcoins, include your credentials and experience. If you wrote about how yoga transformed your quality of life in your book, talk about your personal philosophy.

As you write your Author Bio, think about who you had in mind when writing the information in the book, who do you want to buy and read the book, and what sort of credibility would that ideal reader look for in an author.

Other things you should include: your professional background, education, current business, achievements, awards, general personal details about your family, pets, residence, interests but only as they relate to the topic of the book.

If you are writing about how you traveled the globe you might include information on how you developed wanderlust rather than the 6 soul-sucking years you spent in a cubicle after earning your MBA. Then again, maybe that’s all part of the story that led up to the book.

Tone is yet another important consideration. If your blog to book project chronicles your spiritual awakening, maybe you won’t want to be smarmy or sarcastic in your bio. Just saying.

Do include contact information with a link back to your website and maybe some links to your social media networks as well. Don’t overdo it though, no more than 3.

You should also have an author photo. It can be casual or formal, however best you’d like to be remembered. If you are like me, adding a photo might make you just a tiny bit uncomfortable. Go ahead and do it anyway.

Another section you might wish to include is a call to action. This is something you should already be doing at the end of your blog posts. You are, aren’t you?

A call to action is something you want the reader to do. You could request that the reader leave a review at Amazon or Goodreads. You could mention you have an ecourse available on the topic your book addresses. You could talk about your personal coaching program.  You could highlight a book you’ve written that relates to the topic of the current one and prompt the reader to go and check it out.

Just pick one though. You don’t want to overwhelm anyone. The odds of a completed action are greater when there is only one thing as well. Instead of highlighting every single book you’ve written, why not suggest the reader go to a particular page and browse through your other books.  Doing so means you don’t have to update this page when you publish something new, just the page on your blog.

About the Author should be written in the third person. Yes, I know, corny. But that’s what readers expect, so that’s what you’ll give them.

Keep it short and sweet. Think of this as sort of a letter of introduction to your readers. You don’t have to list your whole life story here, just the most relevant parts. Aim for about 200-250 words.

Your Author Bio is not a static document, but an ever-changing one. When you have new experiences, obtain new credentials, maybe even change location, you will need to update your About the Author section accordingly.

Assignment: Write your About the Author page. Include a picture.

Blog to Book Project — X-ray

Kindle ebooks have this neat little feature called X-ray. When you press and hold a highlighted word or phrase, the x-ray will pop up with more information about characters, topics, events or places.

Amazon has already taken the liberty of making the connection between certain phrases, events and names and Wikipedia.  All you have to do is approved the ones you want or replace the ones you don’t with your own juicy morsels.

In order to enable X-ray, you need to choose it from the options hidden in the ellipses on your bookshelf.

Then you’ll get a message asking if you want to enable x-ray for that particular book.

When the Wikipedia links are ready for review, you’ll receive an email.

Now the ellipses will list Launch x-ray as an option.

From there, you’ll be sent to the online reviewer. There’s even a tutorial to help you out.

When I added it to A to Z Reasons Why La Yacata is the Place to Be in Any Disaster: A Prepper’s Guide to Mexico, the terms apocalypse, Prepper, and zombie were chosen along with a slew of place names and historical personages as well as any references to ancient indigenous gods.

For the most part, I linked up to the appropriate entry at Wikipedia. However, for places like La Yacata that have no wiki page, I added my own definition.

After you review and submit the terms, you’ll get an email letting you know that the feature was enabled for that book. It’sthat easy and it adds value to the reader’s experience.

Assignment: X-ray your book!

Blog to Book Project — When you know better, do better

Today we are going to take a break from the technical stuff and talk about motivation. Believe me, we all need a bit of a boost in that department every so often.

Take that time when KDP rejected my upload for image formatting issues for the 5th time. Or when my first Amazon review of my latest book was only 2 stars. Man, that was a sad moment.

There’s definitely a learning curve to turning your blog into a book. You will make mistakes. A lot of mistakes. And then you’ll figure out how to do it right and make fewer mistakes. Let’s look at my two examples above and see what I learned.

I like to include images in my books. I think it adds to the content. I didn’t know, but I do now, that it works best when I insert the picture I want to use into a template Canva has available, then upload that image to the book. It gives me a standard size image that is consistent throughout my book and guess what? No more formatting errors! In fact, my latest book was image formatting error-free the very first upload.

Now let’s look at the 2-star review. The reviewer mentioned 3 points, that my ebook had links that made reading difficult, that it did not have an index and that there were many typos. Two of those three points were completely valid. I had rushed publishing so that it would be ready for the new year and well, didn’t think some things through.

Currently, I am in the process of hyperlinking the text rather than including the full link in the ebook. Then I am also adding an index. I honestly hadn’t thought to include one, but I think it will be valuable for this particular book. Thirdly, no there were no typos. See, the reviewer was from the UK and as I write in American English, well, yes there are some differences in spelling, but they weren’t typos.

Once my hyperlinking and indexing are done, I’ll be able to upload a new manuscript to Amazon and everyone who has purchased it already will get the new version. So now that I know better, I’ll do better. And so will you.

Blog to Book Project — Video Books

Obviously, your print book isn’t the right format for sharing video clips. The best you can do is list the link to that super awesome video about the llama eating the boy’s head in the Appendix and hope that the reader is motivated enough to look it up later.

There are some options for including videos in the ebook world however. The simplest is to include a link to the video hyperlinked in the text. When the reader clicks on the link, he or she will be taken to where the video is hosted. After watching, she or he can click back to the book and continue reading.

A second option is to embed your video into the ebook. When the video is embedded, it will seem to the readers that they are watching them in your book, but in reality they are watching them on the page you are linking to, like YouTube or your website.

You should check copyright restrictions for videos that you wish to include that are not your own and include appropriate credits. Embedding videos also adds to the file size of your ebook. Amazon charges delivery fees on some international marketplaces based on the file size of your ebook. If you optimize your videos, the file size will be smaller.

Some ereaders don’t have the capability to view videos, like the Kindle Paperwhite. On the other hand, Kindle Fire and iPads are fully able to incorporate video and audio as part of an ebook reading experience. These new and improved books are often called enhanced ebooks. If the ebook has things the reader can do, such as complete quizzes, or make the bunny jump out of the hat with the touch of a button, the text has graduated to the realm of interactive ebooks. Many children’s books have been designed to be interactive.

In order to create an enhanced or interactive ebook, you’ll need some special software. Some programs allow you to import your book file into the new software and add the interactivity. Other programs require you to write directly in the software program for it to work. Amazon also has an enhanced ebook software program embedded in the Kindle Create system. Amazon calls them Print Replica eBooks.

I have yet to create an enhanced or interactive ebook, so the how-to is a bit beyond me at the moment. If you’d like a good overview of the dos and don’ts check out the article: How to create an interactive enhanced ebook: a step-by-step guide.