Donald James Parker

Donald James Parker is a rebel with a cause and is the author of nine novels, seven of which he considers culture-flash fiction. His goal is to promote God's kingdom and tear down strongholds of the enemy while he provides entertainment. He writes for The Christian Pulse, Examiner.Com, and The ebooks of all his novels are available for free download from his website at All of Don's books promote sexual purity, but two are especially focused on that topic - Love Waits and Homeless Like Me. The novels that attack the theory of human evolution include More Than Dust in the Wind, All the Voices of the Wind, and All the Fury of the Wind. Reforming the Potter's Clay is an attack on the occult. All the Stillness of the Wind is a spiritual odyssey which spotlights cheap grace and lukewarm living.

To Kindle or Not to Kindle—That Is the Question

If you want to survive in the publishing jungle, especially as a self-published author, you need to not only join but also embrace twenty-first century technology. Obviously you have already employed a computer if you are reading this post. Being able to browse and read is cool, but you’ll need to become even more savvy about the computer potential for getting your books into the public eye. You’ll perhaps need to get out of your comfort zone to accomplish this task. My advice is that you listen to Nike and “just do it.”

I had to push myself to gain the knowledge needed to write this article. In retrospect, I wonder why I hadn’t tackled this long ago. The answer rings in my ears: lazy. Well, to defend myself, the problem is not so much laziness as trying to figure out how best to spend my time. We all struggle with that dilemma.

How much time can we realistically devote to getting our books noticed (and hopefully purchased) and still be a productive writer, pay the bills, serve the Lord, and spend quality time with our families? My gut reaction is that the percentage of your total waking hours spent on promoting should be very small in proportion to those other things. I guarantee that you could spend every waking minute in promoting your books if you permitted the intrusion. I’m convinced that you have to take some steps on your own, but in the case of promoting, the adage “let go and let God” seems to be perfectly applicable. I believe one step warrants investing some time. What I’m about to tell you here should be tried at home.

One key innovation of the current age is the Kindle reader from Amazon. I have to admit that I approached putting my books on Kindle once before but backed off when I saw all the hoops I’d have to jump through. But when I quit thinking and started doing, I was surprised at how easily authors can list their books in Kindle format on Amazon.

First, you don’t need to pay anyone to convert your book to a Kindle format. Amazon will do that for you when you sign up to market your Kindle books on its site. I spent almost as much time studying this topic as it took me to enter my ten books. There are services that will charge you a couple of hundred dollars to generate a Kindle file. The only reason I am creating a Kindle edition is to enlarge my presence on Amazon. I don’t plan on trying to market my own Kindle editions, so it doesn’t make any sense to invest money in having my own Kindle file. The option is there if you wish to pursue it, but you don’t have to spend any money to sell exclusively on Amazon.

Secondly, turns out that the good news is it’s better to import a Microsoft Word document than a .pdf file. All you have to do is upload your original Word manuscript. If you’re using another word processor program, save it in Word format: Use your Save As functionality to create a Word-formatted version of your book. More good news: It appears that a Kindle book does not require an ISBN number, but if you have an ISBN already for your paperback, you can use it for the Kindle edition so that reviews can be linked.

To submit your manuscript to Amazon, you will need to provide information such as ISBN number, description, date published, etc. To get started, browse

I ran into one roadblock with an inability to upload a picture of my cover. It was because the picture was too small. It must be at least five hundred pixels on the longest side. (I will explain graphics manipulation and book covers in a future article), but even after I made the picture bigger, I still couldn’t upload the

file. It turned out that the UPLOAD button was not visible. I discovered that Internet Explorer was the problem. When I used Firefox, I had no difficulty in uploading my big picture to the site. One thing to note is that each data input section has its own SAVE button. There are four sections: Product Details, Confirm Content Rights, Upload and Preview Book, and Suggested Retail Price. The upload section does not have a SAVE button but rather an UPLOAD button. That file should be your Word document. As you complete and save each section, a tab at the top of the screen indicates you have completed that process. When all requirements are met, the PUBLISH button becomes enabled.

The Date Published box would not let me type in the date. I had to use the little calendar control and scroll back two years on the calendar, one month at a time, to get back to the date when some of my older books were published. I answered NO to the DRM question. (Here is an article describing DRM so you can understand what you’re saying yes or no to: HERE.) You have to click a button in order to enter the author name. Keywords should be separated by commas. When you have completed all four sections, you can click the PUBLISH button to send it to Amazon for publication.

So there you have it in a nutshell. All in all, this process was quite painless using Firefox. There is delay of forty-eight to seventy-two hours before the books actually appear on Amazon, so don’t expect to see your beautiful cover in the Kindle store immediately. Next month I’ll show you how to get your books into the world of Google and increase your presence in the cyber world even more.

For more information on marketing and publishing your book as cheaply as possible, check out this link:


Love Waits