oof

A good reminder that sometimes stepping back and approaching a problem with fresh eyes is the easiest way to get it solved: a minor formatting issue with The Wizard of Suomen ebook back in October that I could not figure out only took a few minutes to solve today!

Pro tip: if you want your epub file to clear with no epubcheck errors, make sure you have the ” https:// ” bit in front of any web links you might have in your html file. Simple, but easy to overlook, as it turns out. -_-

I’m just double-checking a few things prior to promos for both the book and the short story, coming next week!

~Ethelinda

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It couldn’t all be smooth…

Finding errors in your EPUB file that make no sense = nail-biting. >.<

Hopefully I’ll be able to get it resolved before Saturday!

ETA: And then I figured out the problem! Whew.

Happy October!

October has started out chilly and rainy for me, but that has made it a perfect day to curl up in my living room with my Halloween decorations up, the Green Dragon on the TV, and work on prep for the upcoming local author fair and formatting for The Witch.

I’m pleased to say that I’ll be able to do a cover reveal and announce a release date for The Witch (a prequel short story to The Wizard of Suomen) in the next couple of days! Stay tuned. 🙂

~Ethelinda

Wow

It is hard to express how amazing it is to hold a print copy of your book in your hands.

Cover by Luke Brickley, and interior formatting by Larks & Katydids.

As this post might suggest, print copies of The Wizard of Suomen will be available through Amazon in a few days! When it is, I’ll also run a sale on the ebook for anyone who’d like to give it a try for a bit less than $12.99.

Working through CreateSpace was a pretty easy process! I was careful to check all of their specs beforehand, so I didn’t have any trouble with their review process, and the proof (pictured above) looked great.

I will (hopefully) be attending some events local to me over the next few months, and will have print copies available at those as well. More posts about those as they come up!

(Seriously, though, this still gives me shivers even days later. ^_^;; )

~Ethelinda

Woo-hoo!

For anyone who has downloaded The Wizard of Suomen over the last few days, you helped make this happen:

4-3-18-freerank

Thank you! It feels really good to hit the Top 100 lists, even in the Free rankings.

4-3-18-ssfree

For anyone who hasn’t grabbed it yet, it’s still free until 11:59 PST on Wednesday, April 4, so it’s not too late!

Self-Publishing Tip: Careful with Categories

There’s definitely a learning curve to this self-publishing business, even if you’ve done your research beforehand! I’ll post some tips as I figure stuff out. Something I ran into (publishing as I currently am on Amazon) is to be careful with what categories your book gets placed into. This is undoubtedly a rookie error on my part, but I will learn more about this process and get better at it. 🙂

For this, I’m especially referencing the categories that Amazon chooses to put your book into based on keywords that you select during the uploading process. They have a chart in the Help section on KDP that helps you pick these. For example, I wanted The Wizard of Suomen to appear in the Fantasy>Sword & Sorcery category, so not surprisingly I had to have the words “sword” and “sorcery” appear in my keywords. So far, so good.

My mistake was in not paying enough attention to the other keywords I was using, and whether or not Amazon used them to determine any other categories. Because of this, TWoS ended up in Fantasy>Myths & Legends>Norse & Vikings.

The first problem with being in the wrong category is obvious: I don’t want to give potential readers a false impression of what my book is about. Although it is inspired by Finland to a certain extent, TWoS is definitely not a Vikings kind of story, so this was not a good category for it from that perspective.

The other problem was one that I had not considered, though, which had to do with the sales rankings, and how I viewed them. “Norse & Vikings” is a fairly small category on Amazon, with not too many books in it. Because of this, even my few early sales were enough to boost me into the top 100 bestsellers in this category, which in turn pulled up my ranking in “Sword & Sorcery,” etc. For this reason, it was tempting to leave TWoS in the smaller category, in the hopes of that trend continuing! But having the categories be accurate is more important, so I changed my keywords so Amazon would remove it from the “Norse & Vikings” category, which they duly noted and did. And then my sales ranking took a BIG hit, which was very disheartening to watch!

So, if you’re getting your first book up on Amazon, be careful of the keywords and categories. That way you’ll not only show up to the right potential readers, but also you won’t have to go through the disappointment of seeing your sales rank improve, only to have to undo it all!

~Ethelinda

Cover

The quest for a great cover has begun! I’m both excited and very nervous about this part, because (other than the formatting), this is the last major step before I can publish, and it really has to be good. I’m fortunate to have some good friends helping me with this process, though, which makes it less daunting.

I also found some very useful information about this process (especially about doing photoshoots to get your own images) on kboards.com.

~Ethelinda