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aruna
10-29-2011, 01:19 PM
I've been vacillating for months; but I've known for a long time that with this particular book e-publishing is the way to go, at least at the beginning.

Let me explain: I have about 6 finished mss in total, plus one out-of-print, rights-reverted, once-published book; all of these, I definitely want to see with good, established houses, in print, and am going about this the old-fashioned way.

This one book is different; for a start it wasn't originally written by me; it's a new version of a multi-million international bestseller that has been around for a couple thousand of years; and no, it's not the Bible, but something equivalent.

Ever since I read the Mahabharata almost 40 years ago, in India, I've been in love with this book; the first time, I read it day and night till it was finished, even though the writing was atrocious. I then spent years looking for a version in which everything was right: the story, and the writing, and the passion, and the theme -- just everything. When I didn't find that book I set about writing it myself, and have been doing so, on and off, for about 30 years; putting the ms away for a couple of years, taking it out, dusting it off... first on an old typwriter, then transcribing it all onto a PC, word for word. I ended up with "only" 100000 words.

Anyway, this is really my first book, even though I didn't write it. It was a labour of love. I just think it's a marvellous story and I wish there was ONE version in the English language which Westerners can read and enjoy and fall in love with, just as I did so many years ago. All of the condensed versions on the market today simply fall short in one way or the other. I'm hoping readers will find mine the best (says she, modestly!)

I think it will work as an e-book simply because of name recognition. Most educated Westerners have heard of the Mahabharata, but not read it; and if not, they have heard of, and maybe even read, the Bhagavad Gita; the Bhagavad Gita is part of the Mahabharata. Millions of people are into Yoga these days; the Bhagavad Gita is one of the foundation stones of Yoga.

But finally it's really a marvellous story, an epic tale, great mythology that might be the mother of alll fantasy epics. I don't see why only Hindus should know and love it.

Anyway, that's enough about the book; I'm going to be creating a blog/website in the next few days that will tell more about the contents.

What I need to know now is -- HOW?

A very kind AW graphic artist, Serena Casey (http://burke-design.net/), has donated a cover for me in return for later exposure, but apart from that, I have no idea how to move forward. I am an idiot in all things technical, and an idiot in all things financial. All I ever wanted to do is write, not publish. I did consider allying myself to my agency, which has just started a self-publishing division, but since I've heard nothing more from them I decided to just go ahead on my own.

I can't really afford much in the way of professional help. I've just moved to Germany because my severely disabled husband had to go into a care home there, and I am living from the remains of his pension afer paying for care home fees. That's my financial status. I can't pay for professional formattting etc -- do I need to?

I just went to the Kindle site and downloaded kindlegen_win32 etc.

What do I do next? There's now a window on my screen with all kinds of kindlegen stuff -- read me, release notes, KindleGen EULA, etc. It all means nothing to me.

I still have a few days to go before I actually upload anything -- I'm doing one last, final revision.

I know there is lots of info all over the web on how to e-publish, but I feel so overwhelmed -- I'm like a toddler taking her first steps, and need a hand to hold on to!

Serena Casey
10-29-2011, 09:01 PM
What format is it in right now, Aruna? Word, Scrivener, plain text...?

aruna
10-30-2011, 11:16 AM
It's in Word -- and I've had a wonderful offer to convert it I can't refuse!

popmuze
10-30-2011, 05:04 PM
As a guy who has a guy to do most everything in my house, from mowing the lawn to fixing the car, I am going to pay a place like Book Baby $100 to convert the word file for my long out of print third novel into usable files for Nook and Kindle and the rest. Apparently there are no other hidden fees. If you're as computer illiterate as I am, you may well spend more than the equivalent amount of time trying to figure out how to do it yourself.

FOTSGreg
10-30-2011, 09:45 PM
Um, folks...paying somebody to convert your Word files to Kindle format is, well, just not necessary. Kindle Digital Publishing already does that for you and the KDP programs walk you through every step of the process. It's simple, easy, cheap (free, even), and you can do it all by yourself without ever paying somebody to do it.

I've been publishing stuff on Amazon for the Kindle since last February and I have never ONCE needed a conversion program or needed to pay anyone for anything with the sole exception of the cover for Hatchings which I commissioned a professional artist to create for $100.

Really, you can do all of it yourself. It's simple and easy. If you can use Word, you can publish for Kindle.

popmuze
11-01-2011, 09:17 AM
This reminds me of the guy when I ask for directions to a certain road in an unknown town saying "You can't miss it." How come I always do.

aruna
11-01-2011, 07:56 PM
The cover, and the blog -- ready to go live!
Funny -- I was about to start the blog when I realised I had already started it -- in 2006! And forgotten all about it. The first post is therefore from 2006 and tells of my motivation to retell this story, and the journey towards the step of publication -- which really wasn't in my mind at all when I first started writing.

The next post is today's. I had to struggle a bit uploading the cover photo but in the end it worked.

A new pen name -- again. I figured for THIS book I need a different name to my novels and non-fiction. I wanted something Indian -- so what better than Aruna, and an Indianification of my real name!

Anyway, here it is: http://sonsofgods.blogspot.com/

Gillhoughly
11-01-2011, 09:34 PM
Take a deep breath and hold off for just a *bit* longer.

I am terrible with tech. If there's a way to screw up I either find it or invent it.

So consider doing what I did: upload it to Smashwords first, send free copies to trusted proofreaders and challenge them to find every possible error and tell you ALL about them.

(I couldn't find a way to do this with Kindle.)

However careful you are, there will always be some you and other proofers have missed!

When the proofers report in, make sure they get a free replacement copy.

I used Smashwords first because they have a very easy to understand "how to" book. It was written for tech-challenged people.

They allow you to send free copies with their "coupons." You generate a 100% coupon, get the code for it, and send that and the page address to your proofers.

Once the proofers got back to me, I fixed the errors, saved the file and after formatting to Kindle's needs, THAT was the one I uploaded to Kindle--again, following their "how to."

It was different from Smashwords, but my Kindle learning curve was more shallow.

What I did with Kindle--and maybe they simplified it by now--was save the file with most of the formatting removed. Then I had to go back and put in italics and fonts size changes for chapter headings. Kindle does have to explain how to do it, but I figured it out for a 130K word book. It was tedious, but doable.



My books are now up on both--Smashwords allows for downloads in all reader formats, including Kindle.

The main thing is do not be in a hurry. A slow motion "plunge" is better for your book!

Smashwords has detractors, but I like it fine. It's another sales outlet, pays 80% royalties, and offers downloads for all devices.

While my sales there trail well behind Kindle sales, they are much better than the Nook (PubIt!) sales, which are terrible. It's pretty sad for Nook when Smash downloads outsell them 5 to 1!

Of course, PubIt! shot themselves in the foot without my help. I uploaded my file to them and they didn't get it up on the website for nearly 2 weeks. Kindle and Smash had things up within 24 hours.

Good luck!

FOTSGreg
11-02-2011, 06:32 AM
What Gillhoughly said.

Just as an example though, I was able to upload two stories this afternoon and place in them in the publishing queue, both in Word doc format (both examined in SYW, edited, revised, and given considerable down time prior to publication), in something under an hour.

It took me longer to revise, edit, and read through the stories than it did to publish both of them combined to Smashwords and Kindle. I know it took longer to do the covers than it took to publish either one of them.

Do NOT pay anyone a hundred bucks to reformat your book's. If you absolutely have to pay someone to do it for some nutty reason, pay me. I'll do it for half that price. You're getting swindled.

Sorry.

Cyia
11-02-2011, 10:13 PM
(I couldn't find a way to do this with Kindle.)


Download MobiPocket creator (free). Use it to turn your Word file into an ebook. Attach the efile to an email and send it to your proofreaders. They can upload the file to their kindles and it will look just like a regular e-book.

jimbro
11-02-2011, 10:22 PM
What I need to know now is -- HOW?


I recommend the Smashwords (http://www.smashwords.com/) style guide as a first step.

Even if you don't plan to submit your book to Smashwords (and I have to ask, why not?), their free style guide (pdf download) (http://www.smashwords.com/books/download/52/1/latest/0/0/smashwords-style-guide.pdf) is excellent in formatting your e-book for upload anywhere. Study it well.

Pay attention to how the table of contents should be created. Use internal links rather than letting Word create it automatically.

Smashwords will also run your book through their "Autovetter" and "Meatgrinder" programs looking for errors, and give you feedback if any are found. This is obviously valuable.

Smashwords and B&N both accept *.doc Word files, and Amazon accepts a Filtered Complete *.htm file (which you save from Word from your *.doc file). Apple iBookstore requires an *.epub file, but you can submit to Apple (and everybody else) via Smashwords if you wish.

So basically, once you have a well-formatted Word file, you can be done.

Best wishes for your success.

brianjanuary
11-06-2011, 05:14 PM
Paying someone to format your e-book shouldn't be out of the question if you don't think you can do it yourself (and on the kdp forums there are those who will do it more cheaply than $100), but it's not that hard to learn as long as your Word file is relatively clean.

Smashwords has a good tutorial on how to set up your Word document (however, you need to use Page Breaks for a Kindle book). Basically, you have to separate your paragraphs using Format>Paragraph>Space After or Before rather than carriage returns; the same with any blank spaces in the document. Use Page Break to start a new chapter. Turn on the pilcron (the backward paragraph symbol on the tool bar at the top) to make sure that you have a paragraph symbol only at the end of paragraphs and nowhere else. Then save the document as
"filtered html" and upload it to the Mobipocket Creator (free download from kdp publishing) and check your work in the Kindle Previewer (free download from kdp publishing) and correct any errors.

Some people upload their Word .doc file directly to kdp, but using the filtered html strips out some of the extra code that Word throws in and that can mess up your Kindle book. Some people have had good luck with Calibre (free download (www.calibre-ebook.com (http://www.calibre-ebook.com)).

For lots of technical help, go to the kdp forums in the "Formatting" section.

Once you get the hang of it, it goes pretty smoothly!

Brian January
http://amzn.com/B005WM0HN6 (http://amzn.com/B005WM0HN6)
http://amzn.com/B006QCZF3S (http://amzn.com/B006QCZF3S)

Jo Carroll
11-06-2011, 06:16 PM
Try http://catherineryanhoward.com/

She's also written a very useful book, Self-Printing, that take you through the whole process. She's very bossy, but has done this several times, and if you follow her step by step you'll get there. And yes, formatting is a huge problem - but if you take it a step at a time, you'll get there. It's terrifying to begin with. Hang in there - you can do it.

I know - I did it! Over the Hill and Far Away is available here (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Over-Hill-Far-Away-ebook/dp/B0060J1UGI/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1320588721&sr=1-1) for anyone in the UK, and here (http://www.amazon.com/Over-Hill-Far-Away-ebook/dp/B0060J1UGI/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1320588920&sr=1-4) for those anywhere else.

brianjanuary
11-07-2011, 06:16 PM
Two tutorial providers helped me learn:

http://www.cjs-easy-as-pie.com/ (http://www.cjs-easy-as-pie.com/)

http://dark-neon.blogspot.com/ (http://dark-neon.blogspot.com/)

Plus the kdp Formatting forum.

Brian January
http://amzn.com/B005WM0HN6 (http://amzn.com/B005WM0HN6)
http://amzn.com/B006QCZF3S (http://amzn.com/B006QCZF3S)

FOTSGreg
11-15-2011, 12:28 AM
It occurs to me there might be bigger issues here.

Aruna, have you subbed this work to agents and publishers anywhere else? Especially to professional agents and traditional publishers? If not, why not?

Is the work as professional as you feel you can currently make it? If not, why not?

Always, always, always try to exhaust all traditional and even non-traditional evens of publication before turning to self-publishing. Yeah, there's a lot of hype surrounding Amazon and Smashwords and other self-publishing venues, but traditional publishing is still where the real money lies unless and until you have a name like Dean Wesley Smith or J.A. Konrath or Ben Bova or Stephen King or Dean Koontz.

Have you exhausted all other traditional and non-traditional means of publication prior to choosing to self-publish?

Serena Casey
11-15-2011, 01:01 AM
Always, always, always try to exhaust all traditional and even non-traditional evens of publication before turning to self-publishing. Yeah, there's a lot of hype surrounding Amazon and Smashwords and other self-publishing venues, but traditional publishing is still where the real money lies unless and until you have a name like Dean Wesley Smith or J.A. Konrath or Ben Bova or Stephen King or Dean Koontz.

Have you exhausted all other traditional and non-traditional means of publication prior to choosing to self-publish?
Forgive me, but I just don't agree with this blanket statement, sorry! :) I respect both avenues of publishing and am not interested in debating one vs. the other, but I think it totally depends on the person and their individual situation as to which avenue is going to be more profitable or best for them. Neither one is always the right choice.

J. Tanner
11-15-2011, 02:23 AM
Also, it seems she has covered the bases as to why to self-pub it. It's basically a translation. A "better" one than currently available, but still a translation rather than something originally written by the author.

If a publishing house was interested in such a book, I think they would start from the source rather than pick it out of the slush.

It's already available free on Amazon like most public domain classics so it's a tough sell for many small-press publishers.

All you have to "sell" is the quality of the translation and I agree with the author that this is probably the best method (though it's a good thing it's a labor of love because I suspect it's going to be tough to compete in the crowded marketplace for a translation of this specific book regardless of the quality.)

aruna
11-15-2011, 10:15 AM
It occurs to me there might be bigger issues here.

Aruna, have you subbed this work to agents and publishers anywhere else? Especially to professional agents and traditional publishers? If not, why not?

Is the work as professional as you feel you can currently make it? If not, why not?

Always, always, always try to exhaust all traditional and even non-traditional evens of publication before turning to self-publishing. Yeah, there's a lot of hype surrounding Amazon and Smashwords and other self-publishing venues, but traditional publishing is still where the real money lies unless and until you have a name like Dean Wesley Smith or J.A. Konrath or Ben Bova or Stephen King or Dean Koontz.

Have you exhausted all other traditional and non-traditional means of publication prior to choosing to self-publish?


I did approach agents with this book a couple of times, and the interest isn't great. I guess that's because there are several other versions on the market, none of which have become a bestseller (google Mahabharata on amazon, and you'll see how many versions have been written!) So they most likely think; why should hers be any different? They say this without ever reading the ms.

I have my reasons for believing mine to be better. There's a good reason why the other versions have not been particularly successful -- they are either boring, or cumbersome, or in some other way unsuited to the Western market. Some of them are mere abridgments, without the least attempt at making an interesting story out it -- telling, not showing. Some are just too long (the original is 18 volumes!) Some seem to miss the key elements of the story, at least in my opinion. (For example: read the "Inside the book" pages of the first amazon entry, the Penguin Classics (http://www.amazon.com/Mahabharata-Penguin-Classics/dp/0140446818/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1321339795&sr=1-1) edition. Only scholars would want to read this book.)

I am using a pen name for it. An unknown name. The reason I believe a good version could still find readers is because of name recognition of the BOOK itself. "Mahabharata" is a huge name. For millions of Hindus all over the world it is the very foundation of their culture. And I believe Westerners would want to read it, if there were a readable version out there. I can promote it to Yoga magazines, Hindu, spiritual, New Age forums and websites -- I'm sure there will be some interest. And then, schools. It's a wonderful, exciting story for young people, and in the UK I can imagine it being part of the "religious studies" or "cultural studies" curriculum. And what about the huge community of Hindus outside India, who speak English as a first language, and who would like to know the basics of their culture? They have a great story which is in danger of being lost to them, because none of the versions out there is a book you can fall in love with. Except the one by Kamala Subramaniam, which is written for children in simple sentences and is very, very Indian in that she doesn't even translate many of the terms and assumes a familiarity with Hindu customs and ideas. It's not a book for the West.


Also, it seems she has covered the bases as to why to self-pub it. It's basically a translation. A "better" one than currently available, but still a translation rather than something originally written by the author.
)

Almost there, but not quite! It's not a translation; I don't know Sanskrit. It's a retelling, my source material being all the other English translations out there. I read them all, absorbed the story till I knew it by heart, dramatised it, cut out the boring bits, restructured it so that it reads like a novel, embellished it (just a bit -- and only in the area of characterisation and dialogue) and basically converted it into a form I believe would resonate with Westerners, re-interpreting some of the elements that would seem just too weird, while retaining some VERY weird stuff.

I've basically taken an old story andput it into my own words. It's not a scholarly work of translation. I've just made it more accessible to non-Hindus. At least, that was my aim!

Once it is absolutely perfect -- I'm hoping in a few weeks -- I will indeed give my agent one last chance to read and consider it. If that doesn't work, off I go on the SP route.

aruna
11-15-2011, 10:48 AM
Forgive me, but I just don't agree with this blanket statement, sorry! :) I respect both avenues of publishing and am not interested in debating one vs. the other, but I think it totally depends on the person and their individual situation as to which avenue is going to be more profitable or best for them. Neither one is always the right choice.


Exactly. I have a total of six manuscripts that I hope to have published. Only two of them are being considered for SP, because of what they are. One is an out of print, rights reverted to me book that was marginally succesful ten years ago and could have a second life. The other is this, for the reasons given. All the others - fiction and non-fiction -- I am hoping to have picked up by commercial publishers sooner or later.

So, I consider each ms on its own individual prospects, and consider what would be the best way to get it out there. I think for this one, SP as an ebook is the best route.

J. Tanner
11-15-2011, 12:31 PM
Okay, English to English translation is still "translation" by a strict definition. See, I'm right. What I said was right all along.

Oh wait, I'm not a politician and none of that is necessary. :D

Thanks for clarifying. Good luck with it.

aruna
11-15-2011, 12:52 PM
I like the word "interpretation" myself! :)

FOTSGreg
11-18-2011, 11:06 PM
Okay, it's perfectly okay to disagree with me. No need for anyone to apologize for that. I disagree with myself often enough (it's terrible when the voices in my head start to argue).

However, most professional author's would start by asking Aruna the same question I did. Please understand, I made the same choice myself, but I spent years trying professional venues and doing my own desktop publishing before going the SP route. I am NOT criticizing the choice, I'm asking a question.

Second, a couple of approaches does not mean everyone feels the same way those two or few do. You need to approach dozens, even hundreds, before you decide to go it independently. You need to show agents and editors and publishers why your version of something is different and matters. You need to communicate to them the potential market for and value of your work.

After all, everything's been done before, not just a translation of the Mahabarahta. Literally, you have to show agents and editor's and publishers that you have something different from what thousands of writers have done before.

Ultimately though, it will come down to a personal choice. Do you go with an agent and editor and publisher who can really get your stuff "out there" and make it look professional and do at least some marketing and distribution of it, or do you SP with little hope for any of that except what you can supply yourself.

As I said, I made the choice myself, but it wasn't until I had years, decades really, of experience elsewhere.

I'm only trying to encourage newbies to exhaust all their possibilities first. Self-publishing, even on Amazon, isn't for everyone and it doesn't lead, for very many, to fame and fortune.

PeteDutcher
11-19-2011, 01:06 AM
Take a deep breath and hold off for just a *bit* longer.

I am terrible with tech. If there's a way to screw up I either find it or invent it.

So consider doing what I did: upload it to Smashwords first, send free copies to trusted proofreaders and challenge them to find every possible error and tell you ALL about them.

(I couldn't find a way to do this with Kindle.)

However careful you are, there will always be some you and other proofers have missed!

When the proofers report in, make sure they get a free replacement copy.

I used Smashwords first because they have a very easy to understand "how to" book. It was written for tech-challenged people.

They allow you to send free copies with their "coupons." You generate a 100% coupon, get the code for it, and send that and the page address to your proofers.

Once the proofers got back to me, I fixed the errors, saved the file and after formatting to Kindle's needs, THAT was the one I uploaded to Kindle--again, following their "how to."

It was different from Smashwords, but my Kindle learning curve was more shallow.

What I did with Kindle--and maybe they simplified it by now--was save the file with most of the formatting removed. Then I had to go back and put in italics and fonts size changes for chapter headings. Kindle does have to explain how to do it, but I figured it out for a 130K word book. It was tedious, but doable.



My books are now up on both--Smashwords allows for downloads in all reader formats, including Kindle.

The main thing is do not be in a hurry. A slow motion "plunge" is better for your book!

Smashwords has detractors, but I like it fine. It's another sales outlet, pays 80% royalties, and offers downloads for all devices.

While my sales there trail well behind Kindle sales, they are much better than the Nook (PubIt!) sales, which are terrible. It's pretty sad for Nook when Smash downloads outsell them 5 to 1!

Of course, PubIt! shot themselves in the foot without my help. I uploaded my file to them and they didn't get it up on the website for nearly 2 weeks. Kindle and Smash had things up within 24 hours.

Good luck!

The smashwords style guide is a must read for any eBook seller as well. It took me a couple days to read it because I was completing each step as I went...but after that one time I now have a word template that has all the right styles premade.

So now I just copy and paste into notepad, then past into the template, save as, and start applying styles.

Then I create the bookmarks and table of contents and remove those nasty extra bookmarks Word adds on its own.

I've found since that when I use that template, it's perfect for just about every retailer or device.

EDIT: That .doc I use can be downloaded HERE (http://petedutcher.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/SMASHWORDS-TEMPLATE.doc). Just paste from notepad to remove all formatting from your document. The indents are set to the recommended .25 in the Body Style. I use Heading 1 for Chapters, and Center/Center Bold for the additional stuff on the title page.

I even have a "Spirit" style I use for scriptures and poetry/songs in my books.

When you are done, click the bookmark button and chack the hidden bookmarks option, then delete all those extra things...they cause books to be rejected.

JWNelson
11-19-2011, 01:10 AM
......
Then I create the bookmarks and table of contents and remove those nasty extra bookmarks Word adds on its own.

I've found since that when I use that template, it's perfect for just about every retailer or device.

it is the bookmarks and TOC that bedevil me. I am good at using heading1 to denote chapters, but I am swimming in place with these two.

And I agree, reading the SW how-to is a must. Very useful! :snoopy:

Serena Casey
11-19-2011, 01:29 AM
Self-publishing, even on Amazon, isn't for everyone and it doesn't lead, for very many, to fame and fortune.
Agreed. Just like traditional publishing isn't for everyone and doesn't lead, for very many, to fame and fortune. :)

Do you go with an agent and editor and publisher who can really get your stuff "out there" and make it look professional and do at least some marketing and distribution of it, or do you SP with little hope for any of that except what you can supply yourself.
It's just that I think there are a lot of people for whom the challenges of self-publishing are not daunting and who can supply those things themselves (like me) or who have experience in the writing world and who recognize the benefits of SP for certain projects (like aruna). Sure there are a lot of people on the other end of the spectrum too, but I just don't think that everyone should exhaust all traditional routes first, which would likely take years, when they could be happily published, connecting with their audience (large or small), and making a few dollars right away. As long as their expectations are realistic, it's probably a good choice for them. (I do recognize that there are A LOT of SP'ers who are not realistic.)

I honestly am not a fomenter of SP vs. TP arguments and am not stating my case belligerently or with attitude; it's an interesting discussion and I thank you for the opportunity to discuss it like adults. It's fascinating to watch this change in the publishing world happening all around me and I enjoy talking about it.

aruna
11-19-2011, 11:11 AM
I'm only trying to encourage newbies to exhaust all their possibilities first. Self-publishing, even on Amazon, isn't for everyone and it doesn't lead, for very many, to fame and fortune.


Well, I'm hardly a newbie, having gone the trade publishing route with a Big 6 publisher over ten years ago, and having self-published several books on Lulu, for friends and family! As far as the "preferability" of trade publishing is concerned, you're preaching to the choir. In general.

In this particular case I think that SP IS the best route. I don't feel like persuading my agent to read it (though I might very well offer it to his assistant, who is lovely!), but even then, I just believe that this is the right way to go. For THIS book. But, thanks for your input!

In the past I've been dead against SP, yet for this book I always thoguht this was the way. In fact, a few years back I published it on Lulu, only to withdraw it a few weeks later. I just wanted a few bound copies to give to friends, but it ended up on Amazon. So, as it is "previously published", it anyway has a black mark against it as far as trade publishers are concerned. But even so -- I have a good feeling about this route.

Especially as I just bought a Kindle, and am having fun with my new toy!

Bufty
11-19-2011, 06:34 PM
If you took the trouble to do even the miminal amount of research on a poster before responding you would have realised Aruna is not one of the 'newbies' you are trying to encourage.



I'm only trying to encourage newbies to exhaust all their possibilities first. Self-publishing, even on Amazon, isn't for everyone and it doesn't lead, for very many, to fame and fortune.

Old Hack
11-20-2011, 12:05 AM
Bufty, Greg was trying to help and I see his point: while Aruna does have a good history of publication with the Big Six she is new to self-publishing and without wishing to second-guess him, that's what I think he was referring to.

AW is a big place. We can't all know each other, or know what other members have (or haven't!) achieved no matter how much we try. Let's all be a bit more forgiving, shall we?

aruna
11-20-2011, 11:13 AM
I have a question: KDP asks you for your role in the book's production. Do I say I am the author or the translator? I tend towards author...

And when it asks if it is a work in the public domain -- I guess I have to say yes; even though mine is a completely new version, in my own words?

Old Hack
11-20-2011, 12:08 PM
Aruna, you've not translated this from anyone else's book, have you? You've retold the story in your own words. So I'd say in this case you're the author, not the translator.

And no, this isn't in the public domain: it's your new, original work. If you were publishing the original text, in its original language, which is now out of copyright then yes, that would be in the public domain: but not this new version. If you place it in the public domain like that it means that anyone is entitled to come along, copy it, and make money out of publishing it themselves. Which wouldn't be appropriate at all.

aruna
11-20-2011, 12:12 PM
Thanks; that's what I thought. Makes sense.

aruna
12-10-2011, 02:36 PM
These last few weeks I've been anal and scared shitless and protective all at once. Reading through the ms hundreds of times. Yesterday I almost decided I need to add LOTS more (remember this is a condensation!) but decided against it this morning. Got some excellent feedback. Researched people and places I'll approcah for promotion. Almost ready to move on to formatting.
Two questions: when and how do I apply for an ISBN number?

And is the following OK for the copyright page (ie do I have to post my entire home address?)?


Copyright Aruna Sharan
Copyright cover image Mu Ramalingkum
All Rights Reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing by the author.


Email: *****************

merrihiatt
12-11-2011, 05:26 AM
If you are e-publishing, Amazon and Smashwords will assign you an AISN. If you're using CreateSpace for paperback versions of the book, they can assign you a free ISBN. Smashwords has very specific wording they want noted on the copyright page.

J. Tanner
12-12-2011, 02:31 AM
If you are e-publishing, Amazon and Smashwords will assign you an AISN. If you're using CreateSpace for paperback versions of the book, they can assign you a free ISBN. Smashwords has very specific wording they want noted on the copyright page.

A minor clarification here...

Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords do not require ISBN for ebooks. They will provide the ebook their own internal ID number.

Some of Smashword vendors DO require an ISBN and for that purpose they will assign you one at no cost to you. It will list Smashwords as the publisher in the official record. (You may not reuse it for other editions.) If you're highly resistant to that for some reason, you can pay a small fee to get your name on it. (CreateSpace has a similar system if you decide to do a paper POD edition.)

Getting your own ISBN is comparatively expensive $125 through Bowker and there's virtually no drawbacks to going without where it's not needed, or using the cheap/free alternative where it is.

brianjanuary
12-15-2011, 08:03 PM
No need for an ISBN.

You don't have to put anything in the copyright notice except copyright, your name, and date. I would put the copyright symbol as well.

As for public domain--KDP has lately been frowning on publishing public domain works, since several people have tried to make money by putting many, many PD works up for sale on Kindle. These they pulled off the market.

As I understand it, a translation is considered a derivative work--so if it's based on a work which is now in public domain, then your translation can be copyrighted. So you might about including something like: "(Name of book), an original translation based on the 1850 publication by (author)", or something to that effect. Then--hopefully-KDP won'r give you any problems.

aruna
12-15-2011, 08:16 PM
It's a bit difficult to define. It's not a translation. It's based on an already translated book; I've taken the bare bones of an ancient story, and put my own meat on it. Made several changes to the original, not only in structure but also tweaking the basic plot here and there, to make it read more like a novel.
The original English translation is an 18 volume work, so it was a matter of leaving out about 99.9% of that to get to the actual core. Many authors have done this before me so I don't anticipate a problem. The words are all my own.

James D. Macdonald
12-25-2011, 11:10 AM
I have a question: KDP asks you for your role in the book's production. Do I say I am the author or the translator? I tend towards author...

And when it asks if it is a work in the public domain -- I guess I have to say yes; even though mine is a completely new version, in my own words?

You are the author. The book is not in the public domain.

aruna
12-25-2011, 11:45 AM
Yes I get this now... just a bit of nerves.
All set to go live on 1st January....

Keyan
12-25-2011, 04:16 PM
It's a bit difficult to define. It's not a translation. It's based on an already translated book; I've taken the bare bones of an ancient story, and put my own meat on it. Made several changes to the original, not only in structure but also tweaking the basic plot here and there, to make it read more like a novel.
The original English translation is an 18 volume work, so it was a matter of leaving out about 99.9% of that to get to the actual core. Many authors have done this before me so I don't anticipate a problem. The words are all my own.

This is approximately equivalent to retelling the life of Jesus or something like that. It's your book and you own the copyright.

aruna
01-01-2012, 12:06 PM
OK, I'm in! Sons of Gods is now on sale at Amazon! I did publish on Smashwords as well but finally decided to go with the Select programme for 90 days and so unpublished at Smashwords for the time being.
This last week I've tried to get a sort of marketing programme underway; the book has been mentioned on a couple of blogs and there are some more coming up this week; one today, in fact.
I actually pubished on Christmas Day but kept it quiet as I wanted to make up my mind about a few matters. However, I did make 3 sales on Amazon in that secret time.

ETA: the book does not have DRM. Does that mean it can be read on other e-readers?

gothicangel
01-01-2012, 07:17 PM
Aruna, do you have an Amazon link?

aruna
01-01-2012, 07:29 PM
Yep. (http://www.amazon.com/Sons-Gods-Mahabharata-Retold-ebook/dp/B006Q7F4Q6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325431231&sr=8-1)

inkkognito
01-01-2012, 10:17 PM
Cool! I see you have a rank so your book is selling. Congrats on being live and official : )

JWNelson
01-01-2012, 10:34 PM
Best of luck, Aruna!

merrihiatt
01-02-2012, 03:56 AM
Good luck, Aruna!

aruna
01-02-2012, 01:01 PM
Thanks!
Though the rank has fallen form five digits yesterday to six digits today on amazon.com. On amazon'co.uk it;s still 19000, however.

Please, please let me now be a daily rank reader!

I am also watching its rank in the Kindle store for "Mahabahratas".
There are 5 pages with 60 books in that sub-category (not all of them comparanbke with mine, however; it inlcudes non-fiction and comics). A week ago, SOG was in position 60, last on page 5. Today it is first on page 2. That has to mean something! My aim is to have it first on page one under Kindle STore Mahabharata.



Cool! I see you have a rank so your book is selling. Congrats on being live and official : )

StoneWheller
01-02-2012, 05:00 PM
Good luck,Aruna, may you sell so many books that your feet are off the ground from flying so high--right up there with Nick.

aruna
01-02-2012, 08:54 PM
Would be nice -- but the sales are only trickling in at the moment. Hope to get some good reviews soon... that might help.

aruna
01-19-2012, 08:08 PM
Great review up on AuthorScoop (http://jamiemason.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/sons-of-gods-the-mahabharata-retold-by-aruna-sharan/) and Amazon -- the first! Just in time for my first giveaway next week.
I've also had a few interviews on a couple of sites, and more coming up.
And I've resisted the urge to keep checking on sales. I did so the first few days and then stopped. I will do so once a month. The good thing is that it's a book of "permanent growth", as people will always been reading it -- so the only way is up, even if it is a s-l-o-w up.

JWNelson
01-19-2012, 09:24 PM
Great review up on AuthorScoop (http://jamiemason.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/sons-of-gods-the-mahabharata-retold-by-aruna-sharan/) and Amazon -- the first! Just in time for my first giveaway next week.
I've also had a few interviews on a couple of sites, and more coming up.
And I've resisted the urge to keep checking on sales. I did so the first few days and then stopped. I will do so once a month. The good thing is that it's a book of "permanent growth", as people will always been reading it -- so the only way is up, even if it is a s-l-o-w up.
:snoopy: :snoopy: :snoopy:

aruna
01-19-2012, 09:54 PM
Oh -- and I've also decided NOT to self-publish my out-of-print first novel as an e-book. I've just started a new novel which is similar (but better, I hope!) and if I cna get that published, especially in the USA, I want to leave the option open for that first novel to have a new chance with a trade publisher. If I self-publish I will kill that chance.