Ch ch ch changes (and a Small Rant)

Amazon’s self-publishing platform, Createspace (RIP), was somewhat unwieldy but once you figured it out, it was simple, and customer service was responsive (to me, other people have had other experiences)…but then there was Kindle.

Publishing on Kindle was another thing completely. Not very easy. If, like me, you don’t read books on Kindle and don’t want to, you wouldn’t know how they worked. Still if you’re serious about getting your self-published book read, you learn, and I learned. It’s not as easy as where Createspace used to say, “Do you want to publish your book on Kindle?” What emerged THEN was ugly and unreadable. There was a reason for this. If you frustrate the customer enough, they’ll hire you to do it for them.

Ha.

Thank God for reviewers on Goodreads and IndieBRAG who alerted me to format problems in my eBooks. Besides that, more people bought my books as eBooks than as paperbacks. Customer service, right?

Life was good.

Then Amazon said, “Why do I have two self-publishing platforms?” and began offering Kindle publishers the option to publish their Kindle books as paperbacks. I had a feeling… Just last week, they told us we needed to “migrate” our Createspace books to Kindle Paperback (which is an oxymoron).

OK. They did most of the work but…

It didn’t work forΒ Martin of Gfenn,Β and I ended up reformatting the whole thing. Yep. Hours and hours of work (somehow when it migrated the font size went up two points; it looked like a kid’s book and was VERY thick). To fix that, I pretty much had to edit the whole book (again) which was OK. I found some funny formatting inside that was probably my fault.

Their interface is far from obvious. I get that, too. They want to sell their services.

Pretty much everybody wants to sell their services. I’m even paying for radio in my car which I think is nuts. My tires were low yesterday, and I spent $2 for 6 minutes of fucking air. Yeah. Sorry. But air???

“It’s a racket,” as an old friend’s 95 year old mother used to say from her elegant, turn-of-the-century wood and wicker wheelchair. She said a couple of other things, too. If something was great, she said, “Great!” if it wasn’t, she said, “Baloney.”

Not a bad summary for a human. My roommates, however, have it figured out. They don’t like something, they bark.

 

 

14 thoughts on “Ch ch ch changes (and a Small Rant)

  1. Excellent rant. Can I join you? I finally did an Amazon review of ‘Savior’. And guess what!!! It only appears on the Australian Amazon site. It should be copied across all their sites. Outrageous. I appears that they don’t really want to sell books.

    Sorry, you probably didn’t want to know that.

  2. Publishing a book is hard work. Reading through it x-times until you find no more mistakes, and in my case just eventually hoping there were no more mistakes. I self-published with BoD a german self publishing thing, but it was also featured on Amazon. In never really sold anything, but my intention was more doing it. I admire your perseverance and they are good books. By the way I thought you was going to do this one in Swiss German with all those CH CH CH at the beginning.

    • I am ashamed but I didn’t think of CH when I wrote that title though, usually, CH is near the top of my mind. Since The Brothers Path and all that’s happened in the meantime, I have a new view of publishing my books. I don’t care. If I can sell The Price I’ll be happy. If I can’t I’ll do it myself. I don’t even care any more if anyone buys them. It’s weird because that used to matter a lot to me. Now I just want to walk my dogs and write good stories (and return to CH). πŸ™‚

  3. I’m so sorry you had to re-edit your book, Martha – I’d be incredibly frustrated too. 😦 But, you are teaching me through your posts, so if I do end up self-publishing (which I hope to do in the near future), I’ll make sure to look back at your posts and incorporate all of your wisdom. So, thank you! I hope you have a smoother ride from here. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you. The only REAL trick is to be patient with yourself. πŸ™‚ I sometimes have the tendency to fight against something I can’t change and that I actually need. It’s totally unavailing. πŸ™‚

  4. Its all about the selling these days, it seems. I’m all for supporting individuals and their businesses and projects, but on a corporate level, excessive seems an understatement.

    On the air thing, can buy inflators that blow up stuff from balls to bike, car and van tires. Not particularly expensive. Have one from Lowes that works well. And with many bikes that need air every few weeks, it pays for itself quickly, to say nothing of the convenience factor.

  5. I still get a little crazy when I’m told I have to pay for air. Seriously? Air? Is syntax next?

    I don’t think I’ have to migrate because my book is too old and I did the Kindle book entirely separately, but frankly, I’m not worried about it. The book has been around quite a while — 9 years now — and it’s not exactly a hot seller.

    I suppose I was lucky because when I put my book together, I had been designing books professionally for years … decades … and I had the right tools to do it with. Now, I’d have no idea what to do. Whatever I knew, I have forgotten and have no interest in relearning. I’m pretty sure the application I used no longer exists, either.

    • If you want your book to be for sale as a paperback, you have to migrate it. There will no longer be Createspace. But for all but one of my books it was painless. The Kindle book for MOG is separate. Anyway, it wasn’t such a big deal — I just didn’t want to do it but now I’m glad I did. It’s better now. πŸ™‚

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