Protected: One for the guys
March 6, 2013

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Protected: Confident dating
February 28, 2013

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Protected: A love tale come true
February 20, 2013

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Self-publishing palaver
July 19, 2012


The future, so everyone says, so I’ve decided to try it out with my second dating and relationship book. The first was published the traditional way last February and you can have a lag on me with it here:

But this time, I’ve decide to try out the megalomania route (total control!) and self-publish  – so here we go: the first book I have to try to upload on to e-book and Kindle myself- yikes! How is a non-techy going to cope with that, I wonder?

Best to write myself a step by step guide …Then I thought maybe everyone else might find that helpful too, so here goes with Part One: Kindles.

Part two will appear next week when I hope I have the cover design back and can complete the full works (unless I’ve been overwhelmed by the sheer frustration of failed formatting when Word wants to do something opposite to what I want).

Typesetting basics: Kindle

In your word document, use:

  • A common serif font like Helvetica or Book Antiqua Times New Roman and Century are also recommended by some.
  • Use 11 or 12 point single space regular as a minimum. Use 18- 20 point for headings. Remember that readers can make the font bigger themselves when reading.
  • Put a single space after a full stop.
  • In dent paragraphs with em dash or 5mm.
  • Don’t have a blank line between paragraphs.
  • If using  dash, use space en dash space.
  • Avoid ‘widows and orphans’ (the stray word left flowing onto a new page all on its own – ahh!) by editing carefully.
  • Spaces sections with a blank line   or a blank line ornament  blank line e.g


  • Page numbering isn’t needed, but for reference purposes , centre a footer staring at the first page of the body of the text numbered at the first page following on from the title pages –e.g. maybe this might be 7 by the time the title etc  pages are passed/
  • No headers/ footers or left/right paging are required.
  • Drop the chapter numbers and title a few lines and use 18-20 point regular or italic but not bold.
  • Use hard return to ensure lines c don’t concertina (shift return).
  • Typically, you need         –      A cover

–          A title page

–          A dedication page (possibly)

–          A cover page

–          A copyright page

–          A contents page

–          A map page (possibly

Now you see how you may have reached page 7 before getting to the guts of the book for     the page referencing above.

  • Convert to Kindle using the app if using Indesign (on Amazon).
  • Download Kindle onto your computer and trial your layout.
  • When the layout is good, upload it, check it again and then publish it.

To publish on Kindle you will need:

  • The set up an agreement with Amazon.
  • Choose the royalty level in three currencies.
  • Follow the options and agree the contract.
  • Publish and wait three days for amazon to do their stuff.

Promotion and pitching:

Pitch your book at a lowest price possible as there’s more opportunity in gaining large numbers of very low priced sales than less numbers of higher ones. Amazon will give you the opportunity to have freebie days too – when anyone can download your book for free. Don’t worry that you’re giving it away. The more people who get it and like it, the more sales you’re likely to make later.

Some other tricks:

  • Get people to rate it for you. The more often it’s rated at 4 and above, the better it’s odds in the algorithm that Amazon applies to ‘recommend’ it to purchasers of other similar books. This is based on sales and ratings. The more of each, the more Amazon promotes it for you – neat – huh?
  • Ask everyone you know on Facebook to buy it.
  • Have a twitter account active and promote it on there – especially on the freebie days.
  • An editor/copy editor are a must: what you put on there is the finished product, so make sure it is finished to a high standard first.
  • ISBN’s – all major book stockists recognise self-published ISBN’s and won’t touch them. Save yourself some money and don’t buy one unless you’re determined to see this book in print too.
  • Set your price low. The mentality of internet sales is low price = bulk sales.

So, now it’s time for me to have a go! Next week I’m going to turn it into an e-book, rather than a Kindle so it’s available for free download to my lucky Amazing weekend attendees:

See for all the information about this – 9th to 11th November.

Now that was all very serious stuff wasn’t it? And not a creative bean in sight, so now I’m going to write some more of Chained melody, where the plot thickens …

More to follow next week …

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and on my website:

where you’ll find lots more to read and information when my books are published.

Debbie Martin