Friday, 16 August 2019

A learning curve with Amazon's new Kindle Create Program

Well, I finally did it! It’s been a long and often trying process but I’ve finally gone and done it! Now, what you are wondering, could I possibly be talking about?

My new book, of course, Such A Time As This. It’s the third and last book in the series centred round the Roberts’ family and the small Lancashire mill town of Horwich in which all the characters from my previous two novels, A Suitable Young Man and Bittersweet Flight, are brought together for one last time. I found this book harder to write because all my characters have moved on, changed, developed and are having to face up to various challenges, some of which involved considerable research.

Then, having written and edited it to within an inch of it’s life, it was time to publish it via Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP for short). My previous two books were published as an ebook by KDP itself while the paperbacks were produced used a subsidiary company called Createspace. Last year, Createspace was amalgamated into KDP which involved a completely different process so it would be a learning curve for me.

However, Amazon have now produced a program called Kindle Create, easily downloaded and surprisingly easier to use than Createspace in that it uses templates that are easily adaptable. At first, I didn’t see any need to include a Table of Contents but when I did, I discovered that if I right-clicked on first page of Chapter 1, I could set it so that page numbering began on that page. After the various problems I had with page-numbering in Createspace, this was a real bonus. There are various aids to formatting as you can see from the screen shot here.

It’s obviously better if your manuscript does at least have some kind of formatting in place but the program certainly takes most of the hard work out of the process, including setting up chapter headings and dropped caps, if you wish.

Carried away by my success and pleased with the result, I enthusiastically clicked on the ‘publish’ button. Big mistake! KDP wouldn’t accept the document. Chastened, I went back to the tutorial I’d watched initially and saw that I had to ‘save’ the document (.kcb) to a different file (.kpf). This was done by clicking on ‘file’ then ‘save project’. Having done that, it was time to ‘publish’ by following the dialogue box and uploading the kpf file. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well, by and large, it is although I did have one or two problems with the cover (designed once again by the talented Berni Stevens but between us, we sorted it out. The Kindle version came out on 31st July while the paperback version became available a few days later. My main bit of advice if using Kindle Create? Look at the tutorials and keep them open on your laptop/computer. I’d have saved a lot of time if I’d done that in the first place!

So what is Such A Time As This about? ‘On the cusp of the 1960s, in the small Lancashire mill town of Horwich, three young women are facing heart-ache and problems that could affect their future.
Mill girl Joyce Roberts finds her long-standing love for Dave Yates being tested in ways she would never have thought possible when they discover that Dave has a life-changing illness.
Sally Roberts, married to Joyce’s brother, RAF serviceman Phil, learns that living in close proximity to an air base brings the reality of the Cold War much closer to home. Back at the family home, her two younger sisters are facing problems of their own.
Kathy Armstrong, engaged to be married to the eldest Roberts’ brother, Nick, is disillusioned at being side-lined by her male colleagues at the newspaper where she works and decides to take matters into her own hands.
And bad boy, Jud Simcox, is about to be released from prison…..’

You can find out more here -