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Self-Publishing or a Gangbang of Suggestions

by | Jul 22, 2018 | General | 5 comments

For those of you who are currently self-publishing or thinking of it, I’d like to offer some suggestions of tools that are available free of charge.

Kindle Createhttps://www.amazon.com/gp/browse.html?node=16536087011 – Format your latest masterpiece by simply uploading the document file and allowing Kindle Create to do the rest.

Canva Cover Designerhttps://www.canva.com/ A free online layout program that can be used for cover design for the graphically challenged.

Book Reporthttps://www.getbookreport.com/ – Your one-stop source for reporting Amazon sales.

 

Kindle Create

Kindle Create is a new tool that Amazon is rolling out to help with the formatting of your Kindle stories. This targeted tool takes your Word document file and builds a version ready to be uploaded to Amazon Kindle. The program is currently in Beta but relatively complete.

Create searches your doc file and automatically formats the chapter heads and applies styles to your manuscript. A Table of Contents is generated for you, which is one of the most labor-intensive parts of publishing a story IMHO. At this time it doesn’t appear that TOC generation is working but I’m assuming will be available shortly.

You pretty much just import the doc file and Create does the rest. It will find chapter headings and format them appropriately. You get a list of suggested chapter heads and if it’s not a heading, just uncheck the box to remove the heading.

There are a number of styles to select from to vary the look of your finished story and when done, just upload the Create output file to publish it. I’m planning on publishing my latest story, House Party, with Kindle Create so I can see how it goes.

So far there are some loose ends such as how to create a Table of Contents, but the beta version of the program looks promising. It’s nice that you can see what your story will look like on different devices such as a tablet, phone, or Kindle e-reader.

It will do cool stuff, like create drop caps to give your story a more professional look.

 

I’m still debating on whether I will use Kindle Create as it will mean that I will have yet another version of a story to keep track of. You cannot publish the same exact story for Amazon or SmashWords, for example. Embedding a link to SmashWords will get your story instantly rejected by Amazon and vice versa. I’ve created a methodology to package stories for specific publishers that is still a work in progress but an order of magnitude better than when I originally started.

 

Canva Cover Designer

Canva, an online layout designer allows the user to select from a number of templates and then edit the individual elements, such as text and images to your requirements. There are a number of book templates available to start from.

This will help those without a graphics design package or problems using crayons to create a cover. Just find the template, which is laid out in the style that you like. Then replace the original text (words) with your text and the image with your image.

When you are done, simply export the image, and you have a JPG file ready to publish.

Disclaimer: I do not use Canva as my goto layout program is CorelDraw, which I’ve used for years but from my testing, I’d recommend Canva for those who don’t want to lay out the money for other products.

Book Report

BookReport – An add-in for Chrome that summaries your Amazon sales in one easy to read sales report, automatically updated to the latest figures. The basic version is free if your sales are under $1,000 per month.

Book Report shows your sales between dates, such as last 30 days, top earners, and earnings per day.

Book Report will display your sales over time as well as the ranks in the Kindle Store. Your reviews are shown with the number of stars, etc.

You can drill down and examine your sales from a number of perspectives, and the thing I really like about it is how everything is in one tabbed report that is continually updated every time you refresh your browser.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Am Writing – Currently, my story de jour is House Party about surprisingly a house party. House party is an acronym of a swinger’s party with a number of twists and turns from my normal fare. I’m still not sure how it’s going to turn out but will hopefully be HEA in the end!

Thanks for reading and if it’s the 24th, it’s another bit of smut from Larry Archer. Visit me at LarryArcher.blog for more pervy stuff. Sorry, I can’t offer any cooking or house cleaning tips but if it involves abusing yourself, drop me a line: Larry [at] LarryArcher [dot] com.

About the Author Larry Archer

Larry Archer is an author of explicit erotica stories, primarily stroke material but with a plot (I'd like to think). I write about swingers, girl-on-girl, cuckold/Hotwife couples, strip clubs, some BDSM, and everything bareback in a light-hearted humorous style. I've been writing smut for a little over five years and think I have a decent aptitude for it. Wifey and I are in "The Lifestyle" and use our adventures as a basis for a lot of the stories I have written. My motto is "Erotica from the dirty mind of Larry Archer," which pretty much says it all. I enjoy writing dirty smut stories, which are full of people doing things to each other that are probably against the law somewhere. My audience also includes a lot of women, which has always surprised me as I consider my porn more for guys. But it seems that a lot of women like stories about consensual no strings attached (NSA) sex, which are always HEA. My erotica is basically written in a realistic escapism style, which allows you to fantasize about scenes, which most people will never experience. While somewhat extreme at times, the storyline is never so far-fetched that you can't imagine it actually happening, especially with people we know. A lot of my stories revolve around a swinger couple, who owns a strip club in Vegas and sound suspiciously like us! While the choice to write ourselves into our stories, was probably a poor decision at the time, I initially started out writing about our life experiences and our alter egos, Foxy and Larry, took on a life of their own. I typically write Novellas or stories in the 20 to 60,000-word category. My writing style is like that of Stephen King, where I turn the characters lose between my ears and just write down what they do, as the story plays out in my mind. I'm just a scribe who stands in the background and copies everything down that the perverts say and do while trying not to get anything splashed on my keyboard. Probably different from a lot of writers, I do not have an English or Literature background. My training is in engineering and computer programming, which if you know engineers you realize that we struggle with proper English. But I'd like to think that my stories are reasonably well put together and readable. I've published 20 stories to date, which have all been typically 4-5 star rated. I self-publish and do all my own covers, so I'm a one-stop shop, with nobody to blame but myself. I publish on Amazon, SmashWords, Excessica, Apple, B&N, Kobo, Excitica, as well as a number of others. Visit me at LarryArcher.blog to contact me or learn more about my stories here LarryArcher.blog/stories.

5 Comments

  1. Sorry folks but I got a little excited clicking the mouse and posted this two days in advance. I can’t figure out how to delete the blog post, so you’ll getting it two days sooner than scheduled.

  2. Hmm, excited about Kindle Create, especially with the TOC and those drop-caps. As for Canva, I love it, and regularly use it to get the right look/design before making final tweaks in Photoshop. Thanks for the tip!

    • I’m hoping that Kindle Create will be as powerful a tool as it looks now. This will be especially good for those authors who struggle with formatting and packaging a story.

      Remember if you can’t afford PhotoShop, Check out GIMP at gimp.org, it’s an open source (free) program available for Windows, Mac, or Linux that can do most things PhotoShop can.

  3. One of these days I’ll get around to trying Canva. Right now I do my covers on an ancient Windows machine running Corel Draw — which is an awesome composition program, but doesn’t give me much support for image edits.

    I’ve tried Gimp, but find it really impenetrable.

    • I love CorelDraw and have used it for years. If you check Amazon, you can often find the previous version for about $150 or if you have a student id or facility card, you can buy the current version for generally $100. InkScape is an open source program that’s a lot like Corel but I haven’t had the time to try and learn it.

      If you are using Corel then Canva would be a step back for you.

      About the only photo editing, you can do with CorelDraw is to put a black bar on someone’s face to hide their identity. LOL

      Since I’ve gotten used to GIMP, it does most everything I want but I’m not a hardcode graphics editor by any stretch.

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