The Accidental Book
Helping a Great Vocal Friend Resulted In Me Publishing My First Book
My friend Lesley has written a lovely book (it’s her second, her first “The Owl In The Towel” is published here) and I suggested that she could self publish. She is a busy lady and wasn’t sure that she could do it so I said I would see if I could publish one using Amazon’s Kindle Publishing interface. You can hear her reading the first chapter of her new book below.
I went onto Amazon and found the Kindle Publishing site which lives here. I already have an Amazon account and associate account so it asked me for my login details which I gave it then it asked me for an OTP (one time password) via my phone which never came. It said there were other options like email but it didn’t give me them, so after a couple of days I gave a friend's phone number and then she sent it to me and I finally got on.
You then get asked for bank details (which they already have for me via my associate's account) and some tax information that I didn't provide because I am an individual and in the UK.
So the next thing I did was look into the documentation, and what I was going to do was to create an eBook which would be the simplest option and the site and interface give a few options for novels and children's books and I noticed pop up options and more, and though I will look into that later, for my first attempt I wanted to keep things simple.
You need to download software that creates the Kindle (and Paperback and Hardback) source. Prior to this, I had to create a Word document ( but I think any standard Word Processing document with being suitable including a Google Docs Document.
Now came the awkward part, I could just put any rubbish in there and see if it loads up, but luckily, thanks to Vocal, I have over three hundred pieces to choose from, but the prose is all around six to seven hundred words and the poetry clocks in at one to two hundred words.
I then remembered I had done some fiction pieces and some were in the realms of Roald Dahl’s “Tales of the Unexpected” with a slightly more macabre twist , so I collected together nine tales and put them into a word document , with chapter headings. This was imported to the Kindle source creating software that enables you to adjust fonts and headings and create something that can actually be read.
This was just a trial run to see if it could be done, nothing more.
So there was no editing or proofreading apart from my own personal scan of the situation, A book normally has to go through a lot of stages if it is to be released and promoted by a publisher. This was self-published so it was all my own doing, for better or worse.
I exported the Kindle source file using the prompts in the software, then went to the Kindle Website to upload it.
This again was straightforward but a cover was required and this bit nearly flummoxed me, although I realise that I have thousands of my own pictures that could be uploaded , but then saw Amazon had a plethora of free images.
I thought the black and white section may yield some fruit and sure enough the final picture with the lightning looked perfect.
But then there was the text.
Again Amazon gave me a number of ready made options with my chosen backdrop , my name and the book title., so that was simple.
It was then a case of setting a pricing structure and submitting for publication , so it could be checked.
The option for paperback is the same except you need to design the back cover, and was actually on the website quicker than the ebook.
I shared on my Facebook timeline and was shocked how many people picked up on it and actually bought it, including Eastenders and Doctors writer Paul Campbell.
There are sales in the UK and USA so this is a far bigger success than I expected, and was completed in less than two days ,
I am confident that anyone can actually do this, but feel free to question me if you want to know anything.
This is the Accidental book "The Ha'Penny Dreadful: A Collection of Unusually Worrying Stories" by Mike Singleton