Your Amazon Author Page

An often overlooked, but important part of Indie Publishing on Amazon, is the Author Page. It’s up to you as the author to fill it in, put a photo, a bio, links to Twitter and your blog, and also videos if you wish. It’s free to have one, and it makes sense to take the time to fill it out because it’s another platform for people to discover you.

To fill it in, you have to visit a different website – Amazon Author Central. Unfortunately, you have to fill out the US page and the UK page separately, because they’re not linked! So here it is, step by step:

UK:

Visit authorcentral.amazon.co.uk and sign in using your Amazon account.

author central uk

Click on Author Page, where you can upload photos, videos (unfortunately they don’t allow links to YouTube, you have to upload the original video from your computer) and a biography and your Twitter feed. You can also add upcoming events too.

author central uk 1

Your behind the scenes will look like this when you’re done:

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Then your page on Amazon will look like this (depending on how many books you have of course!)

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From the main menu, you can then go to Books, and if Amazon hasn’t already assigned your books to you, you can add them here.

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Then you can check your sales stats and see all your customer reviews by clicking on the other two buttons on the menu.

US:

Visit authorcentral.amazon.com and sign in using your Amazon account.

author central us

Then click on the Author Page:

author central us 1

It’s very similar to the UK page, except that you can add a feed to your blog as well. And you can choose a custom URL for your page. But I would recommend getting a Universal link from Booklinker for your author page.

The behind the scenes will look like this:

author central us 2

And then your page on Amazon will look like this:

author central us 3

author central us 4

A feature I love about the US page is the Follow button. This means readers get a message when the author releases a new book, which is a handy little tool.

 

I hope you found that helpful, it’s very simple and straightforward, but definitely worth doing!

 

 


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Michelle is the author and publisher of 10 Visionary Fiction novels, all available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle. She spends her days helping Indie Authors to publish their books, taking photographs of mushrooms and making gluten-free cakes.

If you need any help with your publishing journey, please do get in touch with her by emailing theamethystangel@hotmail.co.uk. You can book a Skype session or a phone call with her, or ask questions via email. Please do follow this blog to receive more posts on Indie Publishing.


Disclaimer:All views, ideas and tips presented on this website are my own, based on my own experience and the experience of my clients. It is by no means the only way to do it, or the right way to do it, but it is the way that works for me. Please take what helps you and makes sense to you, and don’t worry about the rest for now. Please know that I take no responsibility for anything that happens as a result of you following my advice. I have created this blog as a resource for Indie Authors to help them make the publishing journey a little easier. I am not affiliated with any of the companies I mention, other than the fact that I use their services myself.

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Self-Publishing on Createspace – Part 6

To learn how to set up your Createspace account, then create a book, please do catch up by reading Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5.

#7. File Review

Once you have received and email from Createspace, saying that your book has been approved, you can now view an online proof copy (which is like the online reviewer used previously), you can download a PDF proof and you can also order a printed proof copy.

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(If the email says that you need to make changes before they will approve it, then make the appropriate changes and re-submit it for reviewing).

#8. Proof Your Book

Even though I have published many books now, and I probably could just look at the online proof and approve the book, I still ALWAYS order a paperback proof copy. Why? Because I like to do one last proofread before publishing, and also because occasionally something might not go to plan on the cover or in the front and back matter. In my last book, for example, the book title on the title page was not in the right place, and looked odd, which I hadn’t noticed on the online proof copy. It’s much easier to spot formatting errors and also spelling mistakes and typos, when the book is in printed format. And even if it’s been edited and proofread extensively, and you’ve employed all kids of tactics, I promise you, there will still be more errors lurking in there.

The proof copy will be the most expensive copy you will buy, as you will have a huge postage cost for just one book, which in the future will be spread out over lots of books. You can buy up to 5 proof copies, so you could get some extra if you have willing friends to look over them for you. They will have ‘Proof’ in large letters on the final page of the book, so there’s no point buying too many as they won’t be saleable.

If you find errors in the print copy, then you can make changes to the original document, and re-upload it, but you will then have to re-submit the book for Createspace to review it and approve it, which will take another 24-48 hours.

Once you are happy with the proof, you can approve it, which will mean that it will be available to buy on Amazon within a few days, and that you can now buy copies at cost price.

In the next part, I will go through the distribution and pricing sections.

 

 


IMG_5734_2

Michelle is the author and publisher of 8 Visionary Fiction novels, all available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle. She spends her days helping Indie Authors to publish their books, taking photographs and making gluten-free cakes.

If you need any help with your publishing journey, please do get in touch with her by emailing theamethystangel@hotmail.co.uk. You can book a Skype session or a phone call with her, or ask questions via email. Please do follow this blog to receive more posts on Indie Publishing.


Disclaimer:All views, ideas and tips presented on this website are my own, based on my own experience and the experience of my clients. It is by no means the only way to do it, or the right way to do it, but it is the way that works for me. Please take what helps you and makes sense to you, and don’t worry about the rest for now. Please know that I take no responsibility for anything that happens as a result of you following my advice. I have created this blog as a resource for Indie Authors to help them make the publishing journey a little easier. I am not affiliated with any of the companies I mention, other than the fact that I use their services myself.

 

 

Self-Publishing on Createspace – Part 5

Welcome to part 5 of the Self-publishing on Createspace Series. You can catch up by viewing Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4. I will dive straight into the next step which is uploading the cover.

#5.  Book Cover

At this stage, you will either have a PDF of your full cover (ie. the front cover, spine and back cover all in one) or you will have JPGs of the front and back cover separately. There is a cover designer in Createspace, but as it is very basic, I would recommend that you get your cover designed and made into a full PDF as it will look more professional. When I first started out, I used to use the creator to do the spine and upload the front and back images, which is okay, but you won’t be able to add the publishing logo to your spine, and as I discussed in an earlier post, that’s actually quite an important part of your cover.

To help your designer to work out the sizing for the PDF, you will need to know the final page count, and then using the info in this page, work out the spine width. 

I will go through the process of uploading the PDF first. Click on Cover in the menu. The first choice you need to make is – Matte cover or Glossy cover. Both are good choices, I have published my Earth Angel series with glossy covers, and my Visionary Collection with matte. Go into a bookshop and look at books in the same genre as yours. I found that many fantasy and sci-fi books actually had glossy covers, while romance books tended to have matte covers. I believe that the choice of cover is a personal one, though I must admit, more than anything, I just love the way the matte covers feel!

createspace 6

To upload your PDF, you want to choose the 3rd option  – Upload a Print-Ready PDF Cover

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Then browse for your PDF file:

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Then hit save, and it will upload.

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Once it is uploaded, you can click on continue, to move onto the next step, which will be covered tomorrow.

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If you have separate JPG images for the front and back cover that you wish to upload, you will need to use the cover creator, which is option 1. Click on Launch Cover Creator.

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You’ll need to scroll through the templates to page 5, and choose the The Palm and click OK.

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Then you will go through each step, uploading the front and back covers, and choosing the spine colour. The spine text will be entered from the info you have already entered, but you can tweak it if you want to. If your book is any colour other than black or white, then you may find it difficult to match the spine colour as there is a very limited selection of covers to choose from. Your images will need to be at least 300DPI and the right size for the book trim size you have chosen.

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In the example above, this cover would be deemed unacceptable, because there is text in the red area around the edge. Createspace will not allow any vital info to be in these red areas in case it is cut off in the printing and trimming process, so you will have to ensure the title and other text is within the middle area.

Once you have completed the steps, you can click Submit Cover, and then you can review the PDF they create of the cover to check that it looks right. Then you can click Save and Continue.

#6. Complete Setup

The next step is a quick one – you just need to click to submit your book to be reviewed by Createspace! The review could take between 24 and 48 hours, and they will email you to let you know whether they have found your book to be printable or not. If it is not, they will tell you why, if it is not clear why, then you can email them to ask for more information, or call them (they’re there 24/7 but the number is a US number, so will cost a bit if you’re calling from the UK)

Congratulations! I will cover the next steps of the process soon.

 


IMG_5734_2

Michelle is the author and publisher of 8 Visionary Fiction novels, all available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle. She spends her days helping Indie Authors to publish their books, taking photographs and making gluten-free cakes.

If you need any help with your publishing journey, please do get in touch with her by emailing theamethystangel@hotmail.co.uk. You can book a Skype session or a phone call with her, or ask questions via email. Please do follow this blog to receive more posts on Indie Publishing.


Disclaimer:All views, ideas and tips presented on this website are my own, based on my own experience and the experience of my clients. It is by no means the only way to do it, or the right way to do it, but it is the way that works for me. Please take what helps you and makes sense to you, and don’t worry about the rest for now. Please know that I take no responsibility for anything that happens as a result of you following my advice. I have created this blog as a resource for Indie Authors to help them make the publishing journey a little easier. I am not affiliated with any of the companies I mention, other than the fact that I use their services myself.

 

 

Self-Publishing on Createspace – Part 4

This post will cover uploading the interior file of you book to Createspace. For help with setting up your account, and starting a new project, please check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

#4. Interior

The first part of the process for the interior looks like the image below. You need to choose the Interior Type, either black and white, or full colour. If you have any images at all inside the book that you want in colour, you will have to choose full colour, and it is much more expensive than black and white. Then you need to choose the Paper Colour. I have only ever used white for my own books, as cream wouldn’t go with my covers. But I have had clients who have chosen the cream and have been very pleased with it.

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Next, is trim size. Createspace offer many different sizes, which you will see when you click on Choose a Different Size.

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 For my Earth Angel Series books, I use the 5.5″ by 8.5″, mainly because I used to publish them elsewhere and this was the only size they offered. When I switched to Createspace, I kept the same size. But when I had the covers of the Visionary Collection re-designed, I decided to switch to a smaller size, more appropriate for a novel, and the smallest size that Createspace offers – 5″ by 8″. It’s entirely up to you what size you use, but bear in mind that with Print on Demand, the cost of the book rises with the number of pages. So if you have a 100k word novel, and you choose the smallest trim size, you will pay more in manufacturing cost than if it were a bit bigger and fewer pages. At the other end of the scale, if you have fewer pages, and you want the book to look more substantial (and you want writing on the spine) then go for a smaller size.

Once you have chosen the trim size, you can click on Upload Your Book File. At this point, I am assuming that you already have your book file properly edited, proofread, formatted and laid out in the correct way. You can upload a word document, but I prefer to upload PDFs, so that my formatting isn’t changed in any way in the process. If you haven’t got the book file ready to go, then you can just save your choices so far, and come back to this stage later. I will be posting a series on how to format your book for print very soon.

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Once you have chosen your file, if it’s a PDF, you will be asked if the bleed ends before the edge of the page, or after – I always choose before to ensure nothing gets cuts off. Then, click on Save, and there will be a bit of processing time, and then they will perform the Automated Print Check.

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Then you will get here:

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If there are any issues found, it will tell you, but even if it says there are no issues, you still need to click on Launch Interior Reviewer, to go through the book carefully, to make sure that how it is presented in the Reviewer is EXACTLY how you want it to be printed.

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You want all of your text to be inside the dotted lines (if it isn’t it will tell you anyway) and you can go through, page by page, to make sure all is in order. If there are any issues but you accept them (like a low resolution images) then you can click Ignore Issues and Save, when you are happy with how it looks. Or if there are no issues and you are happy with it, you will click on Save and Continue. If you do find anything that you need to change, you will have to go back to your original document, make the changes, export it as a PDF again, then go through the upload process again. To do that, you would click on Go Back and Make Changes, then click on Upload New File. You can go through this process as many times as you wish to get the interior to look the way you want it to.

When you exit the reviewer, you will then click on Save and Continue, and you will then go onto the next step, which is uploading your cover. I will cover that step in the next part of the series! If you are finding these posts useful, please do comment below and share them with fellow writers and authors!

 


IMG_5734_2Michelle is the author and publisher of 8 Visionary Fiction novels, all available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle. She spends her days helping Indie Authors to publish their books, taking photographs and making gluten-free cakes.

If you need any help with your publishing journey, please do get in touch with her by emailing theamethystangel@hotmail.co.uk. You can book a Skype session or a phone call with her, or ask questions via email. Please do follow this blog to receive more posts on Indie Publishing.


Disclaimer:All views, ideas and tips presented on this website are my own, based on my own experience and the experience of my clients. It is by no means the only way to do it, or the right way to do it, but it is the way that works for me. Please take what helps you and makes sense to you, and don’t worry about the rest for now. Please know that I take no responsibility for anything that happens as a result of you following my advice. I have created this blog as a resource for Indie Authors to help them make the publishing journey a little easier. I am not affiliated with any of the companies I mention, other than the fact that I use their services myself.

 

Self-Publishing on Createspace – Part 3

Thanks for joining me again for part 3 of my publishing in Createspace series! If you need help setting up your account, please check out Part 1 and Part 2 first.

In this post, I will cover the first part of setting up your book title on Createspace. I will take you through the process in as much detail as possible, but if you have any questions, please ask in the comments below.

#1. Add New Title

From the Member Dashboard, click on ‘Add New Title‘ then you will be taken to this screen. Enter the title of your book, (which you can change at a later date if you wish) choose ‘paperback’ and then choose the ‘Guided’ process.

createspace 1

#2. Title Information

You will then start on this page. As you can see, the steps of the publishing process are on the left-hand menu, and when you complete each one, they will go green. For this page, you will need the basic info of the book – title, author name (I wouldn’t recommend putting a title – Mr or Miss, as it looks a little silly on the product page. But obviously if you are a Dr and it is relevant to the book, use it). Say if it’s a series and what the series name is, the edition number and the language. You won’t be able to put a future date in the ‘publication date‘ part, so unless you’re ready to publish immediately, I’d leave this blank. Then hit Save & Continue.

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#3. ISBN

The next step is the ISBN. You can choose to have a free Createspace-assigned ISBN, or enter your own that you have bought and registered. If you choose the free one, you can only use it on Createspace (you cannot take it with you if you decide to re-publish elsewhere) and it will list Createspace as the publisher in the Product Information on Amazon. I have used the free Createspace ISBNs for all my books so far, and I’m quite happy with that, if I wanted to publish my book with a company offering extended distribution in the UK at a later date, I would have to buy my own ISBNs then. Does it matter having the same book published by two different companies bearing two different ISBNs? I’m not sure it does, although it may affect re-selling on Amazon.

Have a look at all of the information on the ISBN page before deciding what you want to do. If you decide to purchase your own, the process to do so will depend on your country, and I would recommend you doing some research on how to go about doing so.

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If you choose a Createspace assigned ISBN, you will then end up on this page:

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You will need to copy the ISBN and paste it onto the legal page in your book, and when it comes to the cover, Createspace will generate the right barcode for that number for you.

legal page

Tune in soon for Part 4!


IMG_5734_2Michelle is the author and publisher of 8 Visionary Fiction novels, all available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle. She spends her days helping Indie Authors to publish their books, taking photographs and making gluten-free cakes. If you need any help with your publishing journey, please do get in touch with her by emailing theamethystangel@hotmail.co.uk. You can book a Skype session or a phone call with her, or ask questions via email. Please do follow this blog to receive more posts on Indie Publishing.


Disclaimer:All views, ideas and tips presented on this website are my own, based on my own experience and the experience of my clients. It is by no means the only way to do it, or the right way to do it, but it is the way that works for me. Please take what helps you and makes sense to you, and don’t worry about the rest for now. Please know that I take no responsibility for anything that happens as a result of you following my advice. I have created this blog as a resource for Indie Authors to help them make the publishing journey a little easier. I am not affiliated with any of the companies I mention, other than the fact that I use their services myself.

Formatting for Kindle – Part 3

This post follows on from Formatting for Kindle – Part 2. Part 1 is here.

#10. Creating a Clickable Table of Contents

Creating a table of contents is easier than ever with the latest version of Microsoft Word. It does have a few steps to it though. They are:

Step 1:

Highlight a chapter heading, then change the font and size and centralise it (or left align it if you prefer) then right-click on the Heading 1 style, and choose – Update Heading 1 to Match Selection. (or it may say ‘modify’)

Go through the whole manuscript, highlighting the chapter headings and just clicking on the Heading 1 style. When you have done them all, if you click on Find, then Headings, you will see the list of chapter headings underneath. It’s useful to check through and make sure you haven’t missed any out.

kindle chapter heading

Step 2:

The next step of creating the table of contents, is to click on the page where you want it to go, (usually the second page) give it a title, like Contents, place the cursor underneath, then go to the References tab, choose Table of Contents, then Custom Table of Contents.

kindle toc1

 

A box will pop up, and here, you can change the font and size of the typeface in the table of contents, by clicking on ‘Modify’.

kindle toc2

 

This box will pop up, where you can adjust the font type and size. Then you will click okay and be redirected to the above box again, where you want to deselect the Show Page Numbers box, make sure the Use Hyperlinks instead of page numbers is selected, change the Show Levels to ‘1’ and then click ‘OK‘.

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You should then get this:

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Congratulations! You now have a clickable table of contents! When someone buys your book on Kindle, they will now be able to skip straight to the chapter they wish to go to. In the very beginning, I never had clickable contents, I didn’t see the point. But now, being an avid Kindle user, when a book doesn’t have one, I get quite annoyed!

Tune in soon for tips on the front and back matter of your eBook, which is the final step of the formatting process, your book will then be ready to upload to KDP! (As described in my 6 part series of posts on publishing your book on KDP)

 

Disclaimer: All views, ideas and tips presented on this website are my own, based on my own experience and the experience of my clients. It is by no means the only way to do it, or the right way to do it, but it is the way that works for me. Please take what helps you and makes sense to you, and don’t worry about the rest for now. Please know that I take no responsibility for anything that happens as a result of you following my advice. I have created this blog as a resource for Indie Authors to help them make the publishing journey a little easier. I am not affiliated with any of the companies I mention, other than the fact that I use their services myself.

 

 

 

Formatting for Kindle – Part 2

This post follows on from Formatting for Kindle – Part 1. It details the next steps in the formatting process using Microsoft Word.

#6. Page Breaks

If you are formatting the book file from scratch, you want to make sure that there a page breaks inserted between chapters. Please do not use the enter/return button to move the chapter onto the next page.

To reveal the formatting in your document, under the Home tab, you can click on the backwards P symbol, and it will reveal all the unseen formatting. This image shows that a Page Break is separating the chapters.

kindle page breaks

This image shows where to find page breaks – under the Insert tab, then Page Break. And it also shows what it looks like to use the enter/return key to separate the chapters. If you have done this, delete them and use the page breaks instead.

kindle page breaks 1

#7. Paragraph Breaks

In my novels I like to break up sections of the story with three asterisks, with a tab space inbetween, and centralised on the page. You could just leave a space or use one asterisk. It’s up to you, but make sure it is obvious that there is a shift in the story at that point.

kindle section breaks

#8. Font type and size

It is possible to change the font on some Kindle readers from serif to sans-serif, so because I prefer serif fonts, I always format my books to Times New Roman or Garamond. I use 12pt usually, again, eReaders can change the font size if needed too. Easiest way to change the font and size, is to hit Select then Select All, and then change the type and size. When we get to creating the table of contents, we will change the chapter headings so they are a bit bigger at that point.

If, after changing the font type and size, you right-click on the ‘Normal’ style type, and click Modify Normal to Match Selection, then any normal text will automatically for that font style.

kindle font size

#9. Paragraphing

The next part is all about indents, justification and line spacing. For this, you can just select some of your text, then right-click on the highlighted text, and choose ‘Paragraph‘ from the menu.

kindle paragraph

Then you want to set out how you want the text to look. I always fully justify my text, I hate reading Kindle books that are aligned to the left, because I find it difficult, but it’s something that is personal preference. (Though if you pick up any printed novel, you will find the text is always fully justified)

You should never use the TAB key to create indents in your text, you should always insert indents in the Paragraph tool, as you can see below. If you have used indents, please remove them.

You can see my settings below for my book I’m Here.

kindle paragraph 1

Tune in for part 3 tomorrow.

 

Disclaimer: All views, ideas and tips presented on this website are my own, based on my own experience and the experience of my clients. It is by no means the only way to do it, or the right way to do it, but it is the way that works for me. Please take what helps you and makes sense to you, and don’t worry about the rest for now. Please know that I take no responsibility for anything that happens as a result of you following my advice. I have created this blog as a resource for Indie Authors to help them make the publishing journey a little easier. I am not affiliated with any of the companies I mention, other than the fact that I use their services myself.

Formatting for Kindle – Part 1

To follow on from the six-part series (part 1 here) I have posted on how to publish your book on Kindle, this post will detail the first steps of how to format your book for uploading to Kindle. The next steps will be posted in the next couple of days.

I know there are many programmes out there that do formatting for Kindle, and that there are many services on offer to do it for you, but if you have a fairly straightforward book (eg. fiction novel that has no illustrations) and you have a decent knowledge of how to use Microsoft Word, (I use Microsoft Word 2013) then there is absolutely no reason why you cannot format your book yourself. It will take a bit of time, and it can be a little bit tedious, but it is completely doable. I have formatted all of my own books using the following method.

#1. Page size

Though eBooks don’t need to have a certain page size, I usually set the page size to the same as the print version, because Amazon tend to give an approximation of the number of pages, so if you have A4 sized pages, then it’s going to appear to be a much shorter book than it actually is.

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In Microsoft Word, you set the page size here from the Page Layout tab, then choose Size.

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#2. Margins

It doesn’t matter what you set the margins to for eBooks, so I generally just set them as narrow. You can find margins under the Page Layout tab, then Margins, then choose which one you want.

kindle margins

#4. Headers, footers and page numbers

If you are formatting the book for Kindle using a file that was prepared for print, you may have headers and footers and page numbers. These all need to go. You do not want text in the header or footer, so delete it. You don’t need page numbers in Kindle books because the text is reflowable to suit any device. Any footnotes that are in the footer needs to be brought into the text or moved to the back of the book.

#5. Blank Pages

This again, only applies if you are using a file formatted for print. In print books, you will have several blank pages, to ensure that the book is set out properly. In Kindle books, blank pages are not a good idea. So please remove all blank pages. You can keep page breaks between chapters.

Click here for Part 2.

 


IMG_5734_2Michelle is the author and publisher of 8 Visionary Fiction novels, all available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle. She spends her days helping Indie Authors to publish their books, taking photographs and making gluten-free cakes.

If you need any help with your publishing journey, please do get in touch with her by emailing theamethystangel@hotmail.co.uk. You can book a Skype session or a phone call with her, or ask questions via email. Please do follow this blog to receive more posts on Indie Publishing.


 

Disclaimer: All views, ideas and tips presented on this website are my own, based on my own experience and the experience of my clients. It is by no means the only way to do it, or the right way to do it, but it is the way that works for me. Please take what helps you and makes sense to you, and don’t worry about the rest for now. Please know that I take no responsibility for anything that happens as a result of you following my advice. I have created this blog as a resource for Indie Authors to help them make the publishing journey a little easier. I am not affiliated with any of the companies I mention, other than the fact that I use their services myself.