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Named to "Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites," this #SharingwithWriters blog is a way to connect with my readers and fellow writers, a way to give the teaching genes that populate my DNA free rein. Please join the conversation using the very tiny "comment" link. For those interested in editing and grammar, go to http://thefrugaleditor.blogspot.com.

Saturday, January 08, 2022

Five Things I Learned Trying Amazon's Beta Hardcover Option

Five Things I Learned Trying Amazon's Beta Hardcover Option

Five Things I Learned Trying Amazon's Beta Hardcover Option

I recently tried the Amazon KDP hardcover beta option for one of my self-published children's books, Chloe and the No Good, Very Sad, Deplorable Pandemic, and one other book. Oxana Cerra illustrated the book with her son, Gabriel. 

First: Manuscripts of 75 pages are required

Five Things I Learned Trying Amazon's Beta Hardcover Option
First, I learned manuscripts of at least 75 pages for a children's picture book were required. That was the only way to upload the book not only for the hardcover but also for the paperback. Before, I could self-publish quite short children's books. I do sell shorter paperback children's books on Amazon. So, who knows? I just follow the rules. My story was done and not that long. What to do? The way I got around this without making the story longer as the artists were done was to make a "3-in-1" book with the story, the same story as a coloring book, and then a journal writing section. I waited to see if it would be accepted. It was. My other book was over 200 pages and not an issue. 

Second: Not all countries will publish hardcovers for self-published authors

Second, although the US does publish hardcover books through KDP, the UK does not do so. I was used to sending books through Amazon UK to some people. To send hardcover books of mine to those friends, I had to create a profile in a country that prints hardcover books and sends them to the UK. Although I studied French in high school, it was a little challenging to send it through French Amazon. I am now the proud unintentional owner of Amazon Prime in France, but I plan to send a few more books anyway. Germany and just a few countries also offer self-publishing hardcovers. Check because other countries are being added. 

Third: Templates are an issue

Third, I couldn't really find any templates like Amazon KDP has available for paperbacks and covers. The page says it is for hardcover and paperback, but when the templates are downloaded, they are the same as ever and the folder is labeled paperbacks. The way I created mine was to use Publisher. I had been using Word prior to this experience. Not everyone uses Publisher, I know. There were a few errors but when I used the preview, I didn't always see them. I just re-uploaded with no changes a few times and the book then had no errors. I don't know but try, try, try again worked for me. For the cover, my trick is to upload the paperback cover, and then the program tells me the file is wrong and what size to use. Then I resize it appropriately.*Note: I do have a commercial license for a template but what I use from that is the fonts. I like the manual control in Word. 

Fourth: Hardcover self-publishing is probably for the author and a few friends

Fourth, hardcover self-publishing through Amazon KDP is probably a "vanity" project, and just for the sake of having such a book. It is also good for gifts. It made me feel happy to have hardcover books. I actually never sent any manuscripts to publishers at all, I just self-published. So my expectation of ever having a "real book" (hardcover) was zero. I was delighted when Amazon offered a beta hardcover option. Libraries prefer hardcover, so this might be a choice for such a situation. 

Fifth: Hardcover KDP Self-publishing is very expensive

Five Things I Learned Trying Amazon's Beta Hardcover Option
oh, wow, spendy! One of my books, of course in color as it is for children, is $37 and I earn less than fifty cents. Hardcover publishing is not a to be a money-maker. The pandemic book is $20 and, yes, I earn less than a dollar. The KDP author's copy prices are lower, of course. And maybe, well for sure, black and white books would have a larger profit margin. I didn't even price black and white as yet. Children are used to color printing and lots of color at that. Hardcover books will earn the least, paperbacks a little more depending on the price, and ebooks do earn the most in my opinion. 
Thank you for reading, 

MORE ABOUT THE BLOGGER Howard-Johnson is the multi award-winning author of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. She is also a marketing consultant, editor, and author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers including the multi award-winning The Frugal Book Promoter (http://bit.ly/FrugalBookPromoIII), now offered in its third edition by Modern History Press. Carolyn's latest is in the #HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers is How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically. She has two booklets in the #HowToDoItFrugally Series, both in their second editions from Modern History Press. Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers (http://bit.ly/LastMinuteEditsII) and The Great First Impression Book Proposal (http://bit.ly/BookProposalsII) are career boosters in mini doses and both make ideal thank you gifts for authors. The one on writing book proposals is also available as an Audio Book. The Frugal Editor (http://bit.ly/FrugalEditor), now in its second edition, is the winningest book in the series. Carolyn also has three frugal books for retailers including one she encourages authors to read because it helps them convince retailers to host their workshops, presentations, and signings. It is A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques (http://bit.ly/RetailersGuide). In addition to this blog, Carolyn helps writers extend the exposure of their favorite reviews at TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com. She also blogs all things editing--grammar, formatting and more--at The Frugal, Smart, and Tuned-In Editor (http://TheFrugalEditor.blogspot.com). Learn more and follow for news on her new releases direct from Amazon at http://bit.ly/CarolynsAmznProfile.

Five Things I Learned Trying Amazon's Beta Hardcover Option

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