At the end of last week, I decided to gradually move all of my ebooks over to Amazon. However, before I could do that, I had to make sure that they were all published first. And before I do that, I want the designs to be consistent.
I do love publishing my books on Draft2Digital. They make the books available on all ereaders, not just Kindle, and they have a paperback publishing tool too.
Not only that, though, they also let you download the interiors to publish elsewhere. You’re not tied to them.
Ah yes, and they allow you to download your ebook at any time to any platform, so that you have a copy of it without having to buy it.
You have to have your own front cover art, but they will then use that to create both your ebook cover and your paperback cover. OR they let you upload your own wraparound jacket for the paperbacks.
I can also convert the BookCoverly jackets to ebook covers if I want to, and I believe there’s an update coming soon from the developers to bring it a little bit more up to date and to iron out any known bugs.
So, on Friday, I searched my Kindle Direct Publishing bookshelf and unpublished everything that was still left on there, apart from the three short stories mentioned in Friday’s post. Those three stories are the only stories currently being published by Amazon.
During this exercise, I realised that I didn’t have all of my books on D2D, and so I set about correcting that.
That meant that on Friday afternoon, overnight, and all over the weekend, all of my books have gradually been added to the various ebook reader platforms (some platforms are slower than others, but the process is well and truly underway). And oh, what an eye-opener that was.
All was going exceedingly well until I had a book blocked by Amazon.
Yes, they blocked a book. It was Diary of a Scaredy Cat and they even included an online tag where some of the content was apparently still available. Apparently, Amazon don’t like publishing material that’s already available online …
… well, what a bummer that is! And what does it mean? It means that blog compilations are not allowed by Amazon. But apart from that, my content wasn’t even still available online!
However, it seems like the fact that the content was NOT online is apparently beside the point. The Amazon robots had found the title of the book mentioned in a blog post and a front cover image.
Diary of a Scaredy Cat was a compilation of weekly blog posts from the old Tales From Baggins Bottom. (Does anyone remember Tales From Baggins Bottom?) Aside from unpublishing any relevant blog posts from Tales From … I also stopped using that blog in January 2016. That’s FIVE YEARS AGO.
Well, to make sure, as of Saturday afternoon, I’ve made the Tales From … blog for my eyes only and for anyone subscribed to it. And I’ve let D2D know that Amazon are incorrect, as apparently they’ll investigate further and persist if necessary.
Now then, when I publish my blog compilations, the first thing I do – the FIRST thing – is unpublish them. The second thing I do is edit them and add extra material. The third thing I do is add completely brand new material.
When I’m happy that the book is most likely now complete, I go through and treat it like any other book. I edit and proofread and polish again, until I’m happy with it. By the end of all of this, it’s a lot less like the original blog posts than when it started.
And then I had another book blocked by Amazon. This time it was Twee Tales Twee, the compilation I’ve only just published! Their excuse? They already have it on their lists from another source.
Really? Then Amazon are better than they give themselves credit for. Because Twee Tales Twee has never been published anywhere before as a compilation. Ever.
And what else does it mean? What about book bundles or omnibus editions? Most books in these cases are available as standalones too. So when they’re added to a bundle, does that mean that Amazon won’t publish those either?
What a load of rot! No wonder authors are leaving Amazon in their droves. And it’s made me reconsider my decision to gradually move everything over there again.
I might put individual short stories up, but I’m going to do a lot more research and see if I can increase my sales another way.
Anyway, back to Twee Tales Twee, what was their evidence this time? They linked to my other books, Twee Tales and Twee Tales Too. There never has been a Twee Tales Twee. Until now.
Once again, I fired off an email to D2D letting them know that the Amazon robots are making things up again. Hopefully, they will get it sorted and Amazon will let the books through. Especially as Amazon have already accepted the new version of Night Crawler.
However, if Amazon persist in not letting D2D distribute my books there, then I’ll simply uncheck that option on the D2D platform for both books, and publish them again on KDP. Then when I’m ready to do an exclusive with Kindle Select, if ever I decide to do that after all, after all of this furore, I’ll simply delist them on D2D for 90 days.
You can now find all of my self-published ebooks over on Books2Read, which is the sister site to D2D that enables readers to peruse and purchase books. And, more importantly, each series is more consistent in its interior design.
The paperbacks take a while longer, but I’ll also leave those where they are for now until after I’ve run the competition.
Oh yes, and Twee Tales Twee is NOW PUBLISHED! Ta-da!