Hi everyone! Today is day 3 of my Kindling (by Geoff Shaw) course review. First an update about yesterday. Remember I had 2 questions for Geoff so I emailed him at 11: 50 AM. Gotta test the customer service from him.
Well he emailed me back by 7:49 PM. Same day. Nice! He clarified the two questions I had. Now I have a question for YOU that you can answer in the comments here. When I do these reviews and test customer service, people always say, “But of course he’s going to answer you – you’re reviewing him!” I want to know from other buyers – has he ignored you? Responded? Helped? Let us all know.
I have my BM (Book Magnet) that I’m working on first as part of my double dog dare challenge from Paula. Because I wanted to launch the whole series at once, I figured if I worked every day and wrote 5 pages per day, I could have it done in 35 days since I have 7 courses in the series. But I think I’ll just do it one at a time.
I might be able to do more once the ghostwriting is finished, but that’s my priority right now.
The next section of Geoff’s course is about Formatting – the dreaded Kindle formatting that makes people so scared! Make sure you click on the title Formatting because it’s a page of its own. Don’t just click on the subheadings.
Love that he gets your initial worries out of the way. Ha! And he teaches that you can do it without templates or tools. That’s what I did for mine! But he gives you a free template anyway. No need to go buy one. Nice perk! He has it for Word or Open Office, either one.
He includes a video to show you how it works. He has some additional tips and invites you to not hesitate to email him if you have a question, reassuring you nothing’s too silly. Nice attitude from that Aussie! (I’m just teasing I know he’s Kiwi now)!
Love the template – I’ll be using that instead of my own for this series since I’m implementing as the course teaches.
Page Breaks is the first section under formatting. He explains why and when you might want to use page breaks and he has two videos – one for Word and one for Open Office. I already knew this but good simple training. Love the way he teaches – it’s thorough and step by step. He has a good tip and reasoning about choosing between Open Office and Googledocs.
Table of Contents is next in this section. The first video shows you how to use a free tool to get a clickable (hyperlinked) table of contents. I think I know a way to do it without you having to download anything. OMG an hour later…I was going to check on my Kindle to see if my own TOC was hyperlinked but I couldn’t find my cord so I had to research which generation I had, call Walmart to see if they had one (they had ONE) and run up there in the heat to get it.
But it’s worth it if it saves you a step and I hate downloading stuff personally. My Kindle is charging (I have only used it once or twice since my hubby bought it for me) – I prefer print books because I take them in my bath but I’m thinking now, I might get Kindle Prime and be able to borrow books so that I can review and participate more easily!
Okay I made a video here for those of you who use WORD and do NOT have images in your Kindle creations, you don’t need to download the tool he recommends. Here’s a simple way to do it instead:
I’m not sure how it works with images – I don’t plan to have them in my books unless I ever do children’s books or something with all I’m learning in this Kindling course. Very good instructions on using the tool though – and nice that he shows you a free tool rather than a paid one, which he could have easily done to make a quick buck.
Kindle Previewer is the next section. This is the step where you get to preview your upload to see how it’s going to look. He shows you a step by step video (one little thing I like – he doesn’t just start from the point of usage, he goes to the very beginning on the web page and re-downloads the tools and installs, and runs – I mean every detail is shared. Nice for newbies or tech challenged people but not so long it annoys more advanced users.
He explains which people will want to use the previewer and which won’t need to.
Changing Books is up next! He gives a neat tip about under-performing books. He links out to another page but I won’t go there yet (he mentions it in passing) because it’s farther down in the training and I don’t want to be all over the place. He goes through the process of making changes, pointing out an important step so that you don’t accidentally unpublish your Kindle creation. All of this with screen captures so you can SEE what he’s telling you about. Love that.
Linking is next. He talks about the kinds of links he places inside the books he uploads on Kindle. I like that he teaches us a simple free way for linking to a promotion site for each of our books under each pen name. Really good tip about additional linking because I’m SURE people make that mistake all the time. He covers lots of good tips about cross promotion, here!
I like the way Geoff does examples for us. Either he makes one up or if he happens to have a friend who needs to have his stuff fixed, Geoff records himself doing it to show us.
Wow really neat tip about the preview sample! I didn’t know you could do that! I have to remember that for my series. Watch that video – really good tip.
I just noticed something cool about the membership in general. The sidebar links? They turn red if you’ve visited them today. That’s neat because it lets me know where I went.
The next major section is Author Training (make sure you click on that page). I think it’s odd that Amazon is so split up – there’s Kindle, Author Central, Createspace, Seller Central, etc. I know Createspace is a different entity but it gets confusing managing all these places and where you’re supposed to go to do what.
Ha ha! I know if I hadn’t already set up my account I would have done exactly what he said not to do when he says STOP! Trigger finger’s a little too happy when I’m enthusiastic. Slow down and follow along with him.
There’s video one which shows set up. Then video 2 shows a lot about the branding of yourself on Kindle. He teases us about what all he’s going to teach us for this area. It’s a quick rundown. I like it and he mentions two tips I haven’t done so I’m anxious to know about that.
There’s an audio file for us to listen to about pen names and branding. Really good tips on pen names and cautions you have to take so I’ll remember that.
Next is a video about a neat author page tool he uses. OMG! I need this!! LOL! If you’re in there you’ll know what I’m talking about. I’m downloading this right now! Free trial version first to see if it’s dummy friendly. It’s activating so I’m not sure yet – moving on and will let you know about this tomorrow. But if it works, it could be a BLESSING for me online in many areas because I keep putting off an appointment to do this.
Update: I sat there waiting for it to finish activating and it never did so I tried exiting out, which is when it took me to the key to activate it. LOL! Anyway I played around with it. My own picture was kind of blurry so I’d need to experiment with a clear focused image but it IS easy and it’s affordable. When you do the trial and then buy after using it, it’s less than $40. I won’t get it just yet but on down the road.
Also, I tried uninstalling this trial and it won’t let me quit it or uninstall it so I’m annoyed there. I’m even going to task manager to quit it but it won’t quit. Weird. So I’ll have to mess with that. OMG so annoyed here. I tried exiting it – then uninstalling, and it says it’s still running so it can’t uninstall until I close it. I CLOSED IT! My recommendation is skip this – not sure if it’s just the trial file or the purchased version too, but this one is pissing me off.
The last video is about choosing your pen names. Really cool tip in this! I was doing it wrong. His slant is from someone else’s mindset. I had been choosing based on the author, not the reader. Oh NOW I see where Quantcast comes in handy! NEAT tip!
Under the main Author Training section is a page called Author Area. Now the video on here has a point I disagree with – about images you choose. I would not do this but would instead choose a non person image. It’s part ethics and part not wanting to get your butt burned when someone sees that image on another website under a different name and questions you about it.
Anyway, I don’t need to do this yet but if you’re doing pen names, you may need to go through the whole system with the blog, etc. I don’t need to do this because I already have one.
Okay that’s it for today! Someone else mentioned Geoff being a good guy but sometimes a tad greyhatish. I can see that. It’s nothing where I’d bother scolding anyone – but there have been maybe 2 tiny things I’d just personally pass up on. Nothing illegal, nothing you’d really raise an eyebrow at – just 1-2 things I’d say, “Eh not for me, thanks.”
And I’m sure y’all have seen things even from me that aren’t for you. Like if I recommend going honey badger and it’s not your style, you might just pass it up. So I’m pleased with that! It’s rare for me to feel that way.
Tomorrow will be part 4! I’m still curled in the toe department, ladies and gents! Today I just happened to have some stuff already set up but that’s good because I’m ghostwriting. I’m sure the stuff I reviewed today in the Kindling course will be really neat for brand new authors to see him teach. I happened to have it all there already but even then I picked up a few neat tips!
Oh and on that dare Paula gave me – I did last night’s first chapter of the Kindle book – 5 pages in one hour. I’ll do another 5 before I go to bed tonight! Should have the first one ready in about 4 more days.