Self-Publishing 2

14 01 2020

Blood sugar restored and after some sleep I’m feeling less whiny. Why was I obsessing about format and covers when I won’t see the format after it is published and I don’t pay much attention to covers?

I do have to see the format while checking the conversion process and will probably check it again when published, but if I need to read my work I’ll do it in my manuscript version and can format that to whatever I want.

Covers are still a dilemma, I’m still quibbling about them because I can’t quite get my head around why it is better to have something that looks just like all the competition out there. But as I don’t pay that much attention to covers (because I can’t really see any detail on thumbnails) is that really a problem?

I have found three istock photos that I like for the covers of ‘Persistence Pays’ and ‘A Scary Package’. I think they are all of the same couple. The hair colour isn’t quite right but the skin tones are. I was going to use the same photo for both stories as they are about the same couple, but now I’m tempted to use two photos. Only that doubles the cost…

There is a cute cartoon one that might be free, only my definition of free is obviously wrong when applied to cover images. I mean ‘no cost to me’ and the sites seem to mean ‘no further cost after you’ve paid for using it’. The cartoon would fit with the stories, but not with the other mm romance covers.

Really over-thinking this for 99p short stories.

I was very brave and created my KDP account despite my abject panic on finding out that my old ITIN had ‘expired’ on 31st Jan 2019 before I started. There was a single mention on the US Tax site about it still being valid if a third party was using it and if I wasn’t filing a US tax return. That was buried in a lot of info on making sure you renew and hurry up about it. KDP had no problem with my old ITIN and even the dreaded two stage validation thing before I got that far worked.

As covers were on my mind I decided to see what the free KDP cover creator offered. Not a lot as it turns out because I can’t see the detail on the photos. I found a hand-holding one but suspect it is a man and woman – one hairy arm, one not so hairy – it doesn’t look too bad to me, but could well give the wrong message to anyone with good eyesight.

At least I did get both stories uploaded and ready for publishing – once I stop dithering about the covers.

Of course that did raise another question. KDP does a spell-check while processing the manuscript and I got big green ticks for no spelling mistakes on either. Yay! But both stories are US spelling and grammar, so would I still get a green tick if I converted them back to UK spelling and grammar?

The standard advice is to use US English for all books because US readers can’t cope with UK English, but because UK readers have been exposed to so much US English that they can accept it. Hmm.  I’m still not convinced that US readers as a group are that much less intelligent than UK readers.

And there’s a decision for another day. All the old manuscripts I am planning to put up on KDP are already in US English so will stay that way; although I might try rewording sentences that have the shudder-inducing ‘gotten’ in them. Maybe I can build a list of alternative phrases…



2 responses

25 01 2020

I make my own covers but might revisit them after a few comments I’ve had – not about their quality but about their marketing vibe! I always use UK English and have never had a Smashwords or KDP book rejected on that score – it’s never even been mentioned. However, all my ‘real life’ stories and some of my urban fantasy are set in UK and would look very strange to UK readers with US spelling. And I would expect UK readers to be my primary market. We must stay in touch and monitor each other’s progress!

25 01 2020
Mara Ismine

I have switched one story back to UK English because it is a very British story and it didn’t make sense talking about traditional Brit seaside in US English. My internet friends in the States (that like and want UK stories) can all cope with UK English because they made the effort to understand it. I know it took me quite a while to be able to follow US English and even now some contemporary US books are impenetrable to me because I just don’t have the ‘culture’ references – and can’t be bothered to track them down or ignore them for a lot of stories.

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