Friday, April 1, 2011

Potpourri At The End Of The Week

There was a small problem with the Summer Horse file for CreateSpace so I managed to magnify a 15 min. fix into about 6 hours worth of work.  But it's as perfect as I'm likely to get it and now it has some illustrations inside.

Wait, you had a problem with the 300 DPI business.  Yeah.  I have no explanation because when I went into Photoshop and tinkered with different images there was no problem at all resampling from 72 DPI to 300 DPI.
All I can say is to persist if you have issues with your images for CreateSpace.

Several of my books, including Not Low Maintenance, have illustrations.  This isn't an issue for B&N but it's dicey for Kindle.  I was struggling yesterday.  You are always shouting "Why doesn't this work??" at the monitor.  And the monitor never says a word.

First off, Amazon is really happier (it seems) if you send the document in html.  If your document contains images and you're in Word, this will save the images in a folder that it names something you can recognize (words not a string of numbers).  This is where I started to struggle because I couldn't get the html file into this folder.  After about 30 minutes of frustration, I went to Open Office and saved the doc file as html.  What it gave me were the images in the uh call it...working document folder.  From there it was a simple matter of opening 7Zip and adding all the images files plus the html file into a zip file.  You must save this new folder as a zip because Amazon won't accept it otherwise.  From there it was smooth sailing to upload.  Amazon was very happy so I was very happy.

This information doesn't seem to be in a FAQ over there so you might want to write it down for future reference and stick it on your wall like I do.

Last month was very invigorating and as the month drew to a close I was reminded of how fine Dec. was at B&N and how it never was again.  But we seem to be off to a good start and NLM has already sold 15 copies.  Which is good for the morning hours.

I had a number of returns last month, mostly for Dream Horse.  I try to chalk that up to kids not knowing which buttons to push.  But then I started seeing some returns on NLM.  After I added everything up (yes, on a calculator, don't imagine I can do the simplest math without either calling someone or going to Accessories) it turned out to be slightly over 1% which is what's expected.

I don't know how much we should be jolly about accepting this.  I really do think there are people who see digital as more of a lending library.  There shouldn't be a 5-7 day window where they can return.  24 hours is more than plenty.  If they want to read the book that bad, force them to sit down and read it right then.  But of course, then they'll really be reading it at speed and miss all the subtle bits.  Then they can go leave a 1 star review about how stupid the author is and left out so much junk and misrepresented the book and other things I can't even think of at the moment.

Which brings me to the whole issue of the Kate book.  Yes I raised the price and I felt it was the only thing I could do to protect it without unpublishing it.  I was perfectly happy to not have it sell at all.  I can be very obstinate.  Imagine my surprise that it's already sold copies at the increased price at B&N.  So thank you whoever you are (I think).

Scott left a post a couple days back about pricing.  And we should talk about it but it's lunch time so I won't.  This is a complicated emotional issue for most people that has nothing to do with business.  Some people, new to the business, are terrified someone will steal their work.  I was once working as a creative writing teacher and a woman approached me very much wanting help but afraid I would steal her book.  I'm a white Jewish woman born in NYC.  She was a black woman from Africa and the book was her memoir.  I could not convince her I had no interest in stealing her work.  She never showed up.  These are the type of people who usually charge $29.99 for their vanity press novel When The Wind Blows Through The Moussa Koussa

I don't know where the ideal price point will ultimately wind up.  It's not 99 cents for me.

Original cover for Kate, she looks mean!

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