Wednesday, 1 May 2013

MAY DAY: DRAFT2DIGITAL - THE NEW KID ON THE BLOCK -E-PUBLISHING MADE EASY: AND CHILDHOOD TALES REVISTED. By Pam Howes



Even though it's the 2nd of the month I'll still wish you Happy May Day. Who used to take part in the Whit-Walks and May Day parades? Trips to Manchester for a new dress with a sticky-out skirt and a fancy hat were a highlight of my childhood. The walk through the town with everyone dressed in their finery, and mums, proudly standing watching, Pac-a-Mac's at the ready in case of the odd shower. Then a dance around the Maypole at the end of the ceremony. Try telling kids today what fun it was and they'd laugh in your face and go back to playing with their I pads or I pods or whatever. Sad really.


I slipped back into childhood recently by reading a free Kindle download of Anne of Green Gables. I've read it umpteen times but this was the first time since my very early teens, a time I couldn't get enough of young Anne Shirley and her tales. The story has captivated me again, even though I can now see errors and how it all needs tightening up a bit, but then maybe it doesn't and that's the beauty of the old classics. They didn't need to be sharp and peppered with modern lingo. Even though the descriptions are way over the top by today's standards they still take you right onto to Prince Edward Island; riding in the buggy with Anne and Matthew, through the White Way of Delight and across the Lake of Shining Waters. It was somewhere I always wanted to visit as a kid, because of those descriptions and I didn't even know where it was. Canada was just a place on a globe that I was hardly ever likely to visit in my lifetime; until I ended up living there for a few years, but I'm still waiting to visit P.E.I. I may get that chance eventually, as my brother, who lives in Toronto, is thinking of retiring to Nova Scotia in a year or two.



As an alternative to Smashwords, and for a bit of an experiment, I've recently uploaded three of my books to Draft2Digital. I only discovered the company a few weeks ago after seeing people talking about them on various author sites. The process was quick, clean and painless. No such thing as "auto-vettor errors" or "wrong size pixels for your cover", whatever that might mean. Why can't they just say - it's not big enough? And no having to "nuke" your book to get rid of rogue font's etcetera and then sweating to put everything back together again.

Anyway, like I say, it was a fairly easy thing to do and the books soon went through to B&N, Apple and Kobo. They don't "do" Sony as of yet but it's apparently in the pipeline. The thing I was most impressed with is the fact that they will prepare your word doc in readiness for a print book via Createspace. Now I'm not familiar with CS, my print publisher is another company, but one of the novels I uploaded to D2D was never supposed to be published in any form other than as an e-book, through my own choice. It's always done well as an e book and has regular sales. However, I've taken advantage of this easy option, approved the PDF, commissioned a full cover design and have sent the cover over for full publication. I will come back next month with a quality control report. I don't dislike Smashwords and have good sales on all my e-books via their affiliate sites, but it's necessary to have as many sales points as possible these days to bag the readers who have something other than a Kindle to download to.
And that's me done for now. I hope you're all enjoying the warmer weather and long may it continue. Until next month. Pam.


 

5 comments:

CallyPhillips said...

Hi Pam, thanks for that interesting lead - I checked them out already. I guess more companies like this will come onstream soon.
For those who avoid small print - like all US companies you'll have to fill the tax waiver form if you don't want them taking 30% of what you earn AND they do point out that they are doing a 'generic' CS format so that won't suit all - but their 'model' seems to be to take a small % off your sale which seems reasonable enough for people who struggle to convert their own documents OR perhaps as I shall test it, to get into the Apple Store (which I've been finding hard for admin reasons - Apple do NOT appear to have good customer service in such cases) So I'll give this one a test for the apple store. Each to his own and some people may find that a 'portal' approach serves them best - for others - don't forget that you will be paying out of each sale so if you're competent with Kindle (and epub) formatting this might not be necessary. But great to start seeing alternatives to the monoliths. Thanks Pam.

Jan Needle said...

all this smart talk by techno literate women makes my head hurt (thanks for doing all the hard work, pam and cally) but i should point out that in saddleworth we still have whit walks every year, and a rushcart, and a morris (and a ladies' morris), and a brass band contest, and a beer walk (although the police keep trying to close it down on elf and safety grounds, the ratbags), and more folk music of every description than you could shake a shillelagh at. there's talk of a maypole in the air, as well.

and the sun's shining, and we're sixteen miles from both manchester and huddersfield. who said god's dead?

julia jones said...

Thanks for the info Pam - and I do like your style!

Dan Holloway said...

thank you - I wasn't aware of D2D but definitely sounds worth checking out

Katherine Roberts said...

I'm using D2D to reach Apple, Kobo and Nook with epubs. They are still in beta I think, but seem quite helpful. I still go to Amazon direct for Kindle.