Mark Terry

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Kindle Publishing Experience

June 15, 2009As promised, I'll talk a bit about my Amazon Kindle publishing story here. As mentioned, I decided to take a novel manuscript that was gathering dust and publish it as an e-book for the Amazon Kindle. The cost to me, in theory, would be $0, but…

I wanted a cover, so first, I put out a request on my blog for someone who might be comfortable with PhotoShop who might be able to work up a professional-looking cover. I was hooked up with Judy Bullard of Jaebee Creations. Her website is: For a fairly modest fee she created a good, professional-looking cover for the book.

I spent a couple days tweaking and going over the manuscript, then I entered the Amazon Kindle page. Go to, at the bottom of the page is a link to Self-Publish with Us. Click on it and there'll be several options. The one you're looking for is Kindle Books. You create an account, then there are three steps. You basically fill out the description of your book, upload the artwork, then upload the manuscript. In theory you can upload the manuscript as a Word Doc, as a PDF or in HTML. (In Word, Save As HTML). They warn you that HTML will have the best results.

So I did that. Then you wait a couple days (they say hours, but for me it was a day or two) and then it's available.

The problem I had was when you Save As HTML, Word can do some really screwy things. And it did. If you downloaded DANCING IN THE DARK, almost all of the quotation marks were 0s and the paragraph indents were all screwed up.

I e-mailed the Kindle publishing help person and was given a referral to their forums section (so much for customer service). Not really helpful for a non-techie such as myself. Finally I asked Natasha Fondren, better known here as SpyScribbler, for her help. She did her magic, reformatting the HTML, I reloaded it and as far as I can tell, we're good. I'll probably readjust the price periodically.

I've sold, to-date, about 6 copies (yeah, we're just breaking down those publishing barriers there, aren't we?). I'll let you know at the end of June and at the end of July what the numbers are.

I recommend you get a good cover. And if you're not terribly techie, hire Natasha to help you.

Mark Terry


Blogger Stephen Parrish said...

First, Judy Bullard did a good job. I'm really sensitive to cover art, from a writer's perspective: it needs to communicate something about the book and (most importantly) make potential buyers reach for it on the shelf. I've bookmarked Judy's site.

Also, this is the umpteenth time I've heard about Natasha fixing software problems. I was going to take piano lessons from her, but I think now I'll save my money for something else.

7:47 AM  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

Awww, thanks, LOL! :-) I feel so proud to be one of the first six to read it! :-)

8:05 AM  
Anonymous Eric Mayer said...

Interesting to hear how this stuff actually works (or doesn't). Mind you, I won't be trying it unless I write some more books.

9:54 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

She did. And yeah, Natasha needs to hang out her shingle as a web mechanic. Ms. Fix-It.

11:30 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

You never know, your Victorian supernatural mystery might need a home.

11:30 AM  
Blogger Richmond Writer said...

I would buy the book but I don't have a Kindle. Is there a way to buy it and read it like on my computer?

3:39 PM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Not at the moment, but you never know.

5:50 PM  
Anonymous Christine said...

I am one of the six who have bought your book so far. The formatting seems pretty good so far. I was wondering: how much of the book price are you getting?

Personally, I think selling six copies in just a few days is pretty good, considering this book wasn't published anywhere else till now. It's six books you wouldn't have sold otherwise.

6:46 PM  
Blogger JA Konrath said...

I just added you to my Amazon Listmania list, for whatever that's worth...

8:36 PM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Thanks, Joe.

6:57 AM  
Anonymous Zoe Winters said...

Hey Mark,

My first couple of weeks I sold about 6 copies of my novella on Kindle. It's been on Amazon for about six months now and I've sold close to 1500 copies, as well as had thousands of downloads in other places. So give it some time to pick up some steam.

And your cover looks great!

You can also pop it up on, it would allow people to buy it who don't have a Kindle, because you can put it in multi-formats there, including several that are easily readable right from the computer.

2:29 AM  

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