Archive for June, 2011

It’s official. John Locke has joined Kindle’s 1 million club.

Well, that didn’t take long since my article last week, asking who would be the first indie author to join the club. To think, I almost missed his name from the list. This is a boost for self publishing.

Read the news release here.

I have upgraded my free guide on How to format for kindle and smashwords to include easy to understand pictures. I have noticed from Google searches to my site that many are asking questions regarding justifying text. I would first answer you by saying that when formatting for kindle, or Smashwords, the finished formatting will look nothing like how you format a printed book. An example is justified text. If you justify your text, then your eBook will be rejected.

My guide may not be the only way to format, but it got me approved for the premium catalogue through Smashwords to, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Nook, Kobo and  Kindle ETC, at my first attempt.

eBook format page

I keep asking myself this question and seem to be something of a lone wolf when I approach the subject on writers’ forums and hardly ever win the debate. When I first published my eBooks through Amazon Kindle, I thought it would be easy to publish both my American edited versions and UK and Commonwealth edited versions. Everything went smoothly when I started to fill in the details to upload my manuscripts to kindle. The process was quite simple. That is until I came to the question of language choice. ‘English,’ it said. I scrolled down to look for the different versions, but there were none.

It struck me as odd. How is the reader to know? Okay, you could say that the reader has the opportunity to sample first and that would be true, but many don’t. Of the ones that do sample, I just wonder how many decide not to buy because the read jars when not in their native English. After much head scratching, I decided to upload the American version to .com and the UK English version to … problem solved. Well that’s what I thought, but then I thought, what of the countries such as Canada and the other countries that can only buy from .com and use English spellings. Then what about expats?

When I contacted Amazon customer services, they sent me a nice email back, basically the only way round the problem was to maybe upload both version with world rights and to say put the Stars and Stripes on the front cover of one and the Union Jack on the other. Ughh.

The usual answer I receive from American authors when I bring up the subject seems to be. “There are 300 million potential customers in America and the UK market is small. Why should I care about the rest?” The answer from UK English authors seems to be “English is English, they’ll understand.” It’s no wonder to me that some American authors claim their sales are poor in the UK and vice versa with the British authors; although I admit there are exceptions. My answer to the authors who have a different opinion to me, I would ask them to trawl the Amazon readers’ forums and look at the debates where the posts mention poor spelling. Alternatively, maybe to read some of the one star reviews, where some readers assume that spellings are in error when they are in fact correct for the authors native English. Don’t think this situation just exists with just self-published authors; it is the same for traditionally published eBooks.

What am I doing about it, you may ask. In my own case, I have made a start by splitting my short stories into individual eBooks and including both versions with links for the reader to make the choice of language. I have already up loaded these to Smashwords for distribution to B&N Kobo and Apple, also to de, in Germany. This week I should have a German translation completed for The End, or a New Dawn, one of my short stories and I will upload it to Amazon with the German translation and the two English versions in one eBook, with links for the customer to make the choice. It isn’t going to happen overnight, but I intend to do this with all my short stories on all eBook platforms. As for my full-length books, I will be re formatting them to include both English versions.

For a more in-depth article and links for American v UK English words and an example of quotation mark differences, follow the link below

Translation page.

Declan Conner: Smashwords profile and books page.

The figures quoted in the press release below are staggering and an indication of how independent authors and publishers are now dominating the market. The advances made in eBook and POD as a route to publishing has clearly changed the dynamics of the industry, if not the minds of sections of the industry who frown on the encroachment of their territory and use any means of PR available to put down the efforts of self published authors. The Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group through their awards scheme is seeking to redress this bias.

 2011 Indie Book Award Winners Announced

NEW YORK, June 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group has named the best indie books of 2011.

The books are winners of the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, the largest non-profit book awards program worldwide, judged by leaders in the indie book publishing industry to identify indie books that deserve to reach a wider audience.

“We like to think of our awards program as the ‘Sundance’ of the book publishing world,” says Catherine Goulet, Chair of the 2011 book awards program.

Independent book publishing companies are independent of the major conglomerates that dominate the book publishing industry. The indies include small presses, larger independent publishers, university presses, e-book publishers, and self-published authors.

According to Goulet, “Like other independent artists, many indie book publishers face challenges that the industry giants don’t experience. They typically have to work a lot harder to get their best books into retail stores and ultimately into the hands of readers.”

“Authors and publishers who compete in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards are serious about promoting their books,” adds Goulet. “They aim to stand out from the crowd of millions of books in print.”

According to Bowker, publisher of the Books in Print database, preliminary data for 2010 shows more than three million new titles were published last year alone. Of these, over 2.7 million were “non-traditionally” published books, including print-on-demand and self-published titles — an increase of 269% over 2009.

To help Indie authors and publishers reach a wider audience, the top 60 books in the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards will be reviewed by New York literary agent Marilyn Allen of Allen O’Shea Literary Agency or one of Ms. Allen’s co-agents for possible representation in areas such as distribution, foreign rights, film rights, and other rights.

Marilyn Allen has worked as an executive and/or directed sales and marketing teams with Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin Books and Avon Books. Ms. Allen has worked with many best-selling authors, including Stephen King, Ken Follett, Barbara Kingsolver, John Gray, Mary Higgins Clark, and many more.

The top prize winning books in the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards are:

Top Non-Fiction Books

First Place Winner ($1,500 Prize)

Last Chance: Preserving Life on Earth, by Larry J. Schweiger (Fulcrum Publishing)

Second Place Winner ($750 Prize)

Touching: Poems of Love, Longing, and Desire, edited by Sari Friedman and D. Patrick Miller (Fearless Books)

Third Place Winner ($500 Prize)

Serve to Lead®: Your Transformational 21st Century Leadership System, by James M. Strock (Serve to Lead Press)

Top Fiction Books

First Place Winner ($1,500 Prize)

Carny: A Novel in Stories, by James Hitt (Aberdeen Bay Press)

Second Place Winner ($750 Prize)

The DeValera Deception, by Michael McMenamin & Patrick McMenamin (Enigma Books)

Third Place Winner ($500 Prize)

I Can Only Give You Everything, by Bradford Tatum (self-published)

Top Design Book ($250 Prize)

Wisconsin‘s Own: Twenty Remarkable Homes, by M. Caren Connolly and Louis Wasserman, photographs by Zane Williams (Wisconsin Historical Society Press).

In addition to the grand prize winners, top indie books were named as winners and finalists in 60 publishing categories ranging from Action/Adventure to Young Adult. A complete list of 2011 winners and finalists is available at the Next Generation Indie Book Awards website at

2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards

Entries are now being accepted for the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. The awards program is open to fiction and nonfiction books from independent authors and publishers worldwide released in 2011 or 2012 or with a copyright date of 2011 or 2012. Visit the Next Generation Indie Book Awards website at for more information. (Entry fee $75)

Catherine Goulet

This press release was issued through eReleases(R). For more information, visit eReleases Press Release Distribution at

SOURCE Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group

Back to top


Kindle eBook sales are going from strength to strength. More authors are joining the 1 million club. The upsurge in eBook sales has rocketed Michael Connolly in to the 1 million club, following news that Lee Child, a fellow thriller author and Charlaine Harris, the children’s author, have joined the club. One of the clubs’ authors’ is reputed to have said that eBooks now account for 45% of his sales.

Whilst this is good news for established, published authors, who is going to be the first indie author to join the club? My money is on Amanda Hocking, who although she has accepted a publishing contract, still continues to sell her self-published work on kindle by the cartload. Another guess is J A Konrath, the indie authors’ champion, who has just picked up an Amazon publishing contract and is no stranger to getting his books in the top 100 at release date. With the weight of Amazon behind him, watch him fly. However, there are many more hoping to join them and I am sorry if I have missed out any likely contenders. If I have missed someone out please feel free to leave a comment.

STOP PRESS. I’ve forgotten someone. Sooo Sorry to John Locke. Apparently he is ahead of Konrath. It will be interesting to see what happens with Amazon behind Konrath.

One dark horse I am crossing my fingers for the future, is former published thriller author turned indie, J Conran Black, who features on myBook Buzz page. Her sales figures are reported in a previous article and were at almost 75000 for 1 month in May this year. It doesn’t take a math genius to work out that if you add the growth she has experienced, then in 12 months time it could be champagne cork popping time.

Kindle eBooks: News . It’s all good news on the eBook front More authors have joined the  million club. Suzanne Collins and  Lee Child have joined the “Kindle Million Club, to become, the 5th and 6th authors to sell more than one million eBooks through Amazon.Amazon’s have announced that, Collins became the first children’s author to achieve this milestone. Other members of the “Kindle Million club” include  James Patterson, Stieg Larsson, Nora Roberts and Charlaine Harris.Thriller novelist  Lee Child added this comment: “I started writing at the same time Amazon first went live, back in 1995, and it has been a thrill to move forward together through the years and through the generations of new technology … I’m really delighted to have hit this current milestone, and I look forward to many more together.”


See the article below for details. Great news for eBook published authors, or click the link. As Ilyria Moon commented on my facebook post. “Not only is it good from a writer perspective, but I like seeing people are reading.”