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All the news that's fit to print--or not.  Check in here for our latest articles and updates about anything in the ePublishing world.

 


eBook Giant Amazon to Commence Warning Buyers of Quality Issue in Kindle Books Feb 3 2016

Amazon eBooks: Public Quality WARNING Msgs on Sales Page!

Breaking Amazon News!!

Reported by GoodEReader, yesterday, at this page:   http://goodereader.com/blog/e-book-news/kindle-e-books-will-have-a-warning-message-if-they-have-spelling-mistakes-or-bad-formatting

According to Michael Kozlowski at GoodEReader.com's blog, Amazon has implemented a new program, by which they are going to alert customers and buyers of validated errors in eBooks, on the book's sales page.  Amazon has begun emailing self-publishers, alerting them to the presence of spelling and formatting errors.  The new program will go into effect on February 3rd, 2016.  

Amazon has implemented a new program, by which they are going to alert customers and buyers of validated errors in eBooks, on the book's sales page.

There's going to be a two-step warning system.  If an eBook solely has a few spelling errors, a simple "warning message" will appear on the book's sales page.  It will make buyers aware that there are some errors in the book.  

If the book has bad formatting, however, making it hard to read or unreadable, the book will be removed from sale, by Amazon, until the product is fixed.

GoodEReader says that Amazon is currently in the process of emailing anyone who has books in the KDP store with "multiple" errors.  We don't know if multiple means 2 or 20 or 200, but I'm sure we'll find out shortly.  

Only readers with the newer KF8 e-ink readers--the Paperwhite, Voyage, and later numbered versions (Kindle 3, Kindle 4), can report errors to Amazon whilst in the book itself.  Other readers have to use the "report formatting errors" button on the book's sales page.  

 Kozlowski goes on to say that he hopes that Apple, B&N, Google and Kobo will follow suit. Given that Amazon is clearly the 900lb Gorilla in this scenario, any author is going to end up thinking "in for a penny, in for a pound," and cleaning up their ePUB books at the other vendors.  

We're all waiting breathlessly to see the results.  Frankly--this type of quality culling is long overdue, in our opinion.  

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Cover of DeathByte by D.S. Kane

DS Kane's DeathByte is Amazon Bestseller!

DeathByte Knocks It Out of the Park!

Booknook.biz client D.S. Kane must be one of the happiest guys around--not only did Baksheesh, Book 5 of the Spies Lie Series, kick up to #47 in the Amazon Thrillers/Assassintaions genre, but this week D.S. (not his real name--read on to find out why!) learned that DeathByte, Book 2 in the same series, assassinated the competition by rocketing up to #1--yes, number 1--on TWO of the Amazon Bestseller lists, and number 23 overall. Yup:  23rd on the overall list, which ain't bad, boys and girls.  

Why is D.S. So Successful at Espionage Thrillers?

For all those naysayers out there still whingeing that a self-publishing author can't compete with the big boys of BPH (Big Publishing Houses), D.S., amongst others, is quite simply proving them wrong.  But why? Why is Dave just so darn good at his storytelling?  At spinning tales out of thin air? At getting inside the minds of intelligence operatives, covert agents, double-agents and traitors? 

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An Example of Amazon Look Inside The Book Gone Wrong

How Do I Fix The Look Inside the Book on Amazon?

Is Your Look Inside the Book a Wreck?

One of the questions that I see posted, all the time, at the Amazon KDP Forums is this one--some variant on, "my Look Inside is a mess!," or, "How do I fix the Look Inside, because all my nice page breaks are gone!"

Here's the bottom line:  mostly, you can't.  

I know, I know--now, you're horrified.  But here's the thing:  while an eBook like a Kindle or an ePUB is made out of HTML, so are the Amazon webpages.  The problem is, it's not the same kind of HTML.  While the HTML itself is the same, HTML is controlled by something else, called "stylesheets."  That's how companies like ours make things like fonts work--by using Stylesheets.  In HTML, they are called "CSS." (Cascading Style Sheets).  They're called cascading because a more important style will override a less important style, to put it simply.  Or, a more detailed style will override a less detailed style.  

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Ernie Vecchione's Devil's Catch demonstrating that Indy Cover Design can be AWESOME.

When Indy Cover Design Goes Right

If you've been hanging out with me for a while, or you're one of our clients, you know that one of my pet peeves is the inattention, by many self-publishing authors, to the realities of the importance of COVER DESIGN. I started nagging you all about this not less than 5 years ago (see my early-on article, Cover Design Calypso which I originally published in 2010), and my various and sundry kibbitzes since then, if you don't remember.

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An eBook made from a Commercial Template

Can You Sucessfully Use eBook Templates?

Once upon a time, (okay, about two months ago or so)  in a fit of curiosity, I decided to buy one of those advertised templates—you know the ones—make your ebook from WORD!  Why?  Because we get a lot of inquiries here.  In fact, we receive about 300 emails a day, believe it or not.  We get people asking why our services are “better” or different than what they can do themselves. A lot of what we do is invisible to the human eye.  This makes it hard to answer those types of questions without sounding self-serving. 

As in, “well, gosh, we export and clean up the HTML, so that all the bad code that you can’t see with the naked eye doesn’t make your book go wonky when it’s opened on a Kindle.” This is a difficult sell, to be honest.  It’s the same difficult sell that I run into when I try to explain that Smashwords does not do the same thing that we do.  But, when you look at a sausage, do you know what’s inside it? Can you tell that one sausage-maker lovingly crafted his sausage from the BEST stuff, while the other used what remained on the floor after the first guy finished?  No, you can’t.  Not unless you already do this for a living, and if you did, we wouldn't be having this conversation--would we?

An eBook-making Test:  Show, Not Tell.

In that vein, I decided to test what we do against those "DIY Word" templates that you can buy all over the Internet.  After all, a picture is worth a thousand words, right?  Perhaps, I thought, if I simply used one of those commercial templates, I could show--not tell--people the difference.  I made sure that I bought a well-written template, from one of the most reputable and best-known websites on the topic of bookmaking.  For both ebooks and print books.  Below, see the original, unstyled Word file.  (click ANY image to enlarge/lightbox).  

Read on to see my test.

 

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