Category Archives: business of writing

Reading and five minute video

Hot Summer Nights 7-2016

August 26th, I took part in “Hot Summer Nights”–Tuesdays in July when four members of Redwood Writers, the largest branch of the California Writers Club, read from recently their published books at Copperfield’s Book Store in Montgomery Village, Santa Rosa, CA. This is the fourth year Copperfield’s has partnered with us on this event.

Here’s a five minute clip my friend Beth filmed:




Filed under business of writing, e-books, publishing, writing process

Kindle books – what I learned today

I uploaded the .mobi file that I formatted for Kindle. Because my book has quite a few sub-titles, and because I have the skill, I wanted to handle the formatting myself. With the help of Hugh O. Smith’s Seven Days to Kindle, the process went very well. Like all book formatting, there is unrelenting detail, and proofing, reproofing, and reproofing yet again. But finally, the book, in the Kindle Previewer software, looks the way I want it to.

When the file went through Kindle’s “meatgrinding” software, and was accepted, I of course went to the page to check it out. But when I clicked on the “Look Inside” link, I was disturbed by the preview–the formatting was different. I called, and was told that is always so: the previews are handled by different software, and will not be identical to the actual formatting of the book when it is purchased. The customer service person looked at my actual book, and said the formatting matched my description of it.

I also learned that it takes five business days for Amazon to link up the paperback and Kindle versions, and put them on the same page so the customer can easily choose which they want.

Another challenge I discovered is another author out there named Skye Blaine! I never expected that to happen. Her name is Allegra Skye Blaine, and she writes about dragons. My legal name is Amrita Skye Blaine: both authors, both names start with A and have the same rhythm. Surprising.

Once both versions of my book, Bound to Love: a memoir of grit and gratitude, are on the same Amazon page, I will announce its publication here.

© Skye Blaine, 2015

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Filed under business of writing, digital books, e-books, publishing

IngramSpark or CreateSpace?

I have had quite a week. First, because I prefer to do business locally, I got a bid from my favorite local printer. Each copy of my book would cost over $10. Then I planned to publish with IngramSpark, so my book will be in their catalog. I still will. However…

I have not yet reached IngramSpark by telephone to get questions answered. I have waited on hold for an hour each time, and finally hung up because I needed to go to appointments.

Frustrated, I decided to try CreateSpace. Each copy of my book will cost $4.32 including shipping. Their customer service department is simply amazing. Over the last week, I’ve spoken to eight or ten customer service representatives. I put in my phone number for them to call me “now,” and within about 30 seconds, my phone rang. I was then put on hold–but every time, the hold was approximately one minute. The representatives have been unfailingly helpful, friendly, and human. They seemed happy and upbeat. Only one had a slight accent that made it a little difficult to understand her–and the problem was most likely on my end, because I wear hearing aids.

There is no charge for uploading and proofing a book and its cover. I ended up uploading mine three times, because even after countless proofreadings, my husband and I still found small glitches–a missing drop cap, an indent with one extra space, a word that was supposed to be italicized, but I had missed it. Yes, I am a perfectionist.

When I placed the order for my first 100 books, the review invoice showed sales tax. I have a resale permit from California, so I called CreateSpace yet again. My window is getting smaller–I want to take the books to a retreat that begins on October 25th, and I should have my books by October 20th if I order them today. I had to send them a signed form and a copy of my resale permit. They found my email–addressed only to–while I was on the telephone with them, corrected my account, and boom! Within 1/2 hour from first noticing, we solved the problem, and my invoice now shows up with no sales tax. ORDER PLACED! People grouse about Amazon all the time, but CreateSpace is one of their divisions, and I’m a fan.

Now back to waiting on the telephone for IngramSpark.

© Skye Blaine, 2015


Filed under business of writing, publishing, self-publishing, writing