need to add a postscript to a
previous article on registering books on Kindle. Maybe my embarrassing
faux pas will help you to avoid similar humiliation.
When I submitted the manuscript
to Kindle, I neglected to accept the changes registered in the Word
document through the Track Changes feature. The conversion to Kindle
included that edit information, resulting in a messy manuscript with
deleted words showing up along with replacement words, along with other
changes typical to an edited manuscript. Note: After
you submit your Word document to Kindle, click the preview button to
make sure your Kindle book looks like your final manuscript. If I had
done this, I would have fixed the problem before anyone bought a flawed
Now on to Google. It seems that
the folks at Google are trying to take over the world. A while ago they
stuck their noses into the business (and livelihood) of writers and
ended up in litigation. From what I understand, they were going to scan
all the books from a multitude of libraries and make the books
available on the Internet, without remuneration to the authors.
Obviously that wouldn’t sit well with a lot of folks. Because I make my
books available online for free anyway, I just performed my Alfred E.
Neuman “What, me worry?” routine. I wasn’t going to lose sleep over it
in the remote chance Google actually found my book in a library. (If
you’re interested in checking out the lawsuit status, you can chase the
literary ambulance at http://books.google.com/googlebooks/agreement/.)
I discovered that I could
register the books myself and specify how much of the content to make
available to an online reader. This gives ambitious marketers the
chance to provide a sample of their wares in a venue that draws
millions of potential readers. The decision to join the Google crowd
was a no brainer for me. If you think you’d like to participate in this
activity, read on for detailed instructions for listing your books on
an international platform—for free.
Google books has two components:
the Library Project and the Partner Project. You obviously aren’t a
library, so you would opt for the Partner Program, which you can log on
to at https://books.google.com/partner/.
First, you need to have a Google account in order to list your books.
There is no cost to register. Technically challenged? They have a demo
to help you sign up: http://bit.ly/95Sb5t. Make sure
you read every word of the Terms and Conditions to make sure you aren’t
getting bamboozled (that’s a scientific term for flimflammed). I’d tell
you what’s in those terms, but I had something in my eye the day I
signed up and bypassed that stimulating bit of prose. I probably
shouldn’t be so trusting. That I’m not worried about having my books
stolen makes it a lot easier to sleep at night knowing that I’ve
perhaps signed away my rights to the $4.78 I made in sales last year.
If you have more at stake, you might want to be more thorough in
analyzing the terms.
Once you’re an authorized author
(as opposed to a vulcanized Vulcan), you’re ready to list your books.
You need to click on the Books tab (if you don’t open up that page
automatically). Then click on the Add Book link. A new row appears on
the grid with textboxes, which you can type into. Enter your ISBN
number in the first column, title of the book in the next modifiable
column, author name, link where the book can be purchased (like Amazon
or your own Website), and ALL for territories. Click the Save button on
the right side of the grid. Then you can edit (see edit instructions
below) and change other settings, such as the percentage of the book
that is viewable. The default setting is 20 percent. If you want more
or less, choose the option you want from the drop down. Click Save
& Continue to keep your changes and return to the list of
books. You’re ready to add another book if you have more. If you find
my instructions unsatisfactory, go to http://bit.ly/bDhLNE.
You can modify this
information at any time. To edit existing books, click on little icon
on the far left side of your title—the one that looks like a tiny
number two lead pencil you used to fill in those pesky circles on
standardized tests. One of the options you’ll be able to change is a
feature called Creative Commons. To find out relevant details, visit http://bit.ly/c2t9lb.
To make your manuscript
available for browsing, you need to upload the .pdf file containing the
text. You can also optionally upload cover images. I highly recommend
your making at least the front cover available. To upload files, click
the Send Books option. For detailed help on performing the upload task,
Note that the images for the book must be named properly. You can
upload front and back covers. The name must be ISBN#_frontcover.xxx and
ISBN#_frontcover.xxx, where xxx is one of the supported image types of
.jpg, .tif, and .pdf.
you have a multitude of
books, you can put the data in an Excel worksheet and upload that. See
the Google instructions. If you want to put Google book search on your
Web page, see the instructions at http://bit.ly/cbeVdX. A cool
feature of the Partner Project is a reports page, which lists
statistics profiling interaction with your books. By clicking on the
Report menu tab, you can see how many pages have been viewed, etc.
There’s even a column showing the purchases and ad money you’ve earned.
I’m not sure how all that works. Perhaps I could be persuaded to shed
light on that topic in a future column.
The Google staff has to approve
and activate your books after you submit them. By returning to the
Partner page, you can trace the progress as the books change in status
from New to Received to Processing to Live. So don't expect your
be available immediately. Three days after I submitted my book it was
still in processing mode.
Once the book goes live, people
all over the world can start reading your masterpiece. Hopefully,
they’ll get hooked and buy a copy so they can read it to the end. And
that’s your cue to do a happy dance.