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Amazon Round-table: How To Self Publish!






     This past November I was invited to a very exclusive Amazon Roundtable to discuss the amazing perks of publishing digital with Kindle Direct Publishing.   It should come as no surprise to anyone out there that Amazon would be in the forefront of this new wave of self-publishing.   They have already made themselves the leaders in online shopping, as well as digital reading, it only makes sense that they would create a program with that would be as user friendly to publish those books as well!  Amazon has set up two wonderful programs, the Kindle Direct Publishing, and CreateSpace, which have done wonders for the self-publishing industry.
        To talk about how the process works, and to give helpful hints as well as tell us their stories of success, we got to talk to three highly successful writers in the children and teen genres.  E.G. Foley is a real life couple that has had real success in publishing their series of books The Gryphon Chronicles, both in the printed book world and via online downloads.  This husband and wife team live and work in Pennsylvania and have been finishing each other’s sentences way before they started publishing them. 
     The Gryphon Chronicles is a series of books that although are published toward the young adult audience but are as popular among the adults and they are within the young adult genre.  A period piece that takes place in the Victorian streets of London, follow young Jake as he goes on his magical and mysterious adventures, fights grand foes, and goes through the trials and tribulations of also being a young boy on the brink of manhood. 

      Both Eric and Gaelen (the E.G. of E.G Foley) agree that they have had a rise in popularity that was largely in part with their partnering with Amazon Digital Printing.  They had a pretty big fan base before, and Gael has had success writing in other genres as well, however Amazon has done wonders with connecting with their current fan base, as well as enticing new readers towards their books. 
     Eric especially liked the try a sample feature, stating it gave the readers an opportunity to go into their world without the commitment of buying it.  Many people tend to like to try out the book, However the days of pursuing the pages at a bookstore are swiftly coming to an end, so this gives new readers a great way to really immerse themselves in the world they have created, before purchasing.  He makes a connection with this feature and their high purchase rate on amazon.

    Personally, I always take advantage of the try a sample option, and I happen to be one of The Gryphon Chronicles statistics. I did in fact download a sample before purchasing, and am completely hooked on the series.
       It was quite amazing to meet the two that created the series which I happen to enjoy very much.  Eric showed a true passion for writing, and was as shocked as anyone when he was able to quit his full time job to dedicate himself in the creation of their written world.  He attributes a great deal of the series success to Amazon Digital Download and tablets like the Kindle Fire, to their success.  Of course the series is also amazing, so that always helps.

      Another Writer at the Roundtable was the author of Captain No Beard.  Carole P. Roman was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best of 2012 for her very first title.  The “Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life”.  Writing was not Ms. Romans first love, and indeed she is thrilled as well as surprised that writing is part of her “second Act” as she likes to call it.  Her first act was comprised of raising her children and working in her “family Business”.  She attributes all her success to publishing on Kindle Digital, that and marketing.  She too enjoyed the ease of publishing through the Kindle Direct Publishing, and the CreateSpace website.  She found it really easy to go through all the steps through both programing. She even found her illustrator from the CreateSpace website.  The one thing she really wanted to push at this meeting was how much you have to believe in your own product, and how much you have to work for it to succeed.  “Yes your book is out there, but you have to make it be seen.”  So she put a lot of stock in marketing, “I will put the book on bus stop benches if that means my book will get seen, and then bought.”  Her books are very entertaining, and are great for the youngins.  Parents will enjoy reading the adventures of Captain No Beard, and it is a great book to help your child start reading on their own as well. 

    The Third Writer on the panel was Ally Nathaniel who is the author of “Fabulous Me”.  She is not only a number one best-selling author, but also an e-publishing coach.   Taking everything she has learned and helping others be successful in the e-publishing world as well.  She loves the Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and CreateSpace so much she has literally made a business helping others out of it.  She helps writers find illustrators, editor, and even gives advice on how to promote their works after publishing them on Amazon. To date she has published ten titles for children 0-6 and has a truly wonderful way of connecting to every kind of child through her work.  She is a self-publishing
g success story and it was wonderful meeting her, and hearing how she made a mark on the world with her creativity, and the help of the Amazon Digital Programs.  She really gave you a sense that she loved what she was doing, and wanted to help others out their reach their goals in the publishing world.  One of the most important things she said to do when writing a children’s book is to make sure you have the perfect illustrator for your story.  Your cover art, the illustrations inside, everything is very important. With CreateSpace, you can search through thousands of illustrators, it is a great tool.

https://www.createspace.com/
       With Amazons program, CreateSpace you gain access to free and easy tools to create publish and distribute your book to the masses.  Using this website as the ultimate tool, you get comprehensive and affordable services which include design, editing and even marketing. There is even someone there for you 24/7 via phone or email if the you get stuck and need some help.  Once your book is done, you can publish directly with Amazon. Your book can be up and for sale as soon as a day once you publish. A DAY!  To a writer like myself, that seems almost too good to be true. Yet it is true, and available to everyone with a little bit of talent, a whole lot of imagination, and the willingness to fight for their work to succeed.

         In a world that is constantly moving forward, it was almost comforting, to see that not only is a company trying to make it easy for you to move with it, but to do everything in their power to help you succeed. Amazon will be making waves in the future, and has started with some truly amazing writers and books, all available now for digital download. 

    To Learn more about publishing Digitally with Kindle Direct Publishing go tokdp.amazon.com.  This free and easy site helps you publish your books in mere minutes. Yeah I know it sounds crazy.  It helps you with distribution on Amazon sites, and even has multiple languages available.  Worried about earning you do ray me from your best seller (did I sound cool there? I was trying to sound cool). KDP helps you with that as well! 

CreateSpace.com has free and easy tools to help you publish and distribute your book.  There are also other services that you can use- for a small fee, that will help you get a editor, marketing plans, and illustrators.  You can email them directly at publishyourbook@createspace.com.  You will be in a community with like-minded writers and business people that will be there to support you, as will the 24 hour customer service that is available though the site every day all day. 
  Amazon also offers, Author Central Tools. Go to amazon.com/author and use this free service to help enhance your author page, twitter feeds, as well as track your sales and Amazon.com ranking.

    So what are you waiting for? Let’s get publishing!


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