Monday, 29 June 2015

DIY - How I self-published my book on Amazon for Kindle

Having written my book and got it printed, the next step was to make it available on the Net. After exploring various options and I decided on the kindle version as kindle is now a free software on all PCs and mobiles. I am already a member of Amazon and I logged onto Kindle Direct Publishing with the same id. After completing requirements for tax purposes, I went to my bookshelf and added my title. All details were simple and took no time at all.

Since I had already obtained an ISBN for an e-book I entered these details. (Amazon however have still given their own ASIN number). The issues were on uploading the book and deciding on pricing and royalty.

The book cover was already designed, the uploading took a bit of fixing because of the pixel requirements. I converted the .docx file into a pdf file which I then saved as a JPEG file selecting the best quality and the highest pixel count available. The cover was uploaded and accepted.
For the book content, I again saved my .docx file as a pdf file since I wanted to keep my fonts intact - an upload of the docx file changes several English fonts. And I also had several hindi words interspersed throughout the book, which became garbage when uploaded as a .docx file.
As far as royalty was concerned, I did have the option of Amazon's Select offer where they give upto 70% royalty in several countries, including India, which is where I come from. This has the added benefit of giving you payments if your book is borrowed, with some free days too. However this gives Amazon the freedom to decide on pricing / reduce the price. So the decision was - do not opt for select.

A major difficulty as far as Amazon is concerned if that royalty payments (except for purchases in America and India) is through cheques sent by post after the threshold is achieved in each individual currency.  I am therefore reconciled to not receiving even a single rupee for sales in any country other that US and India.

Anyway, my book "Our Heritage Revisited : A glimpse into ancient Indian texts" is now available at . The sample pages  are free to download and will show you what I have done. The book, in a mere 66 pages will give you a quick overview of all our Shruti and Smriti texts - the topic is sure to interest all persons having linkages with India. The second half of the book gives the gist of the concepts of the Upanishads and covers ten of the major Upanishads.

Do read it - you will be able to sound quite knowledgeable in your circle of relatives and friends and colleagues!!!!

Saturday, 13 June 2015

How I obtained ISBNs as a self-publisher in India.

Unlike several other countries, India issues ISBN numbers free, both to the publishing companies and to self publishers. The Raja Rammohun Roy National Agency for ISBN, under the Ministry of Human Resource Development is the concerned agency and is situated in New Delhi. The Ministry has explained the whole concept of ISBNs here and a quick read gives great understanding. 
The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) uniquely identifies the book across the globe and is issued publisher-wise, NOT author wise. While sites such as createspace do give you ISBNs for your book, if you use theirs, effectively you restrict usage of this ISBN of your book to this publisher only. I preferred keeping all rights with myself and so got my own ISBNs.
The various proforma are also available on MHRD's site. For individuals who are self publishers of books, there is a really simple form - I doubt it could be simpler - here is the link to the form  
What I did was downloaded the form and entered the required details. I then needed to attach only three items, the cover page of the book, valid ID proof and a stamped self addressed envelop - to enable them to send the allotment letter back. I then submitted the form.
Unlike several developed countries, India has made the process free and simple, thereby encouraging self-publishers. I could very easily obtain two ISBNs (for the ebook and the paper back versions) for my book  "Our Heritage Revisited : A glimpse into ancient Indian texts"  which today is available across various Amazon online stores.  So, if you are a self-publisher, go right ahead, the process could not be easier.