Publishing with Amazon: My reflections

I recently ran a test of all publishing services for one of my classes as we are publishing a book together. After evaluating all options, we decided to publish with Amazon. So before I published that book with my class I wanted to see what the tool was really like, so I published another book. Here is my experience:

I formatted my book into PDF format and then I signed into createspace. Overall, it was very easy to use. I created a book title, entered author information, and then had to choose payment information. I then selected if my book would be color or black and white and what size it would be. At first I chose 6×9 but realized that I created my book in word and it was 8.5×11 so I had to choose 8.5×11. Otherwise there were no formatting issues. Then I created a cover. Amazon has a great cover creator template that was very easy to use. It does not allow much customization and I think it can be improved tremendously however it was good enough. I have a feeling they will not improve it as they want you to purchase the design services they offer. Once my book was created I had to choose a price. The cheapest my book could be sold for was $2.65. That means that I can sell for 2.65 or higher. At $2.65 I collect no royalty. I chose $4.99. This means that for every copy sold I get $0.84 from Amazon. Not too great but honestly my book is on and they are doing all of the work. I am still waiting for the book to be listed on Amazon, they say it take 5-7 business days and today is day 1:) I will post the book to the blog once it is posted to Amazon. Also, you can order copies for yourself as author for $2.15 a copy and provide discount codes to family/friends.

Here is what my book looks like in the createspace store. It should be uploaded to Amazon in the next 5-7 business days:

Now onto Kindle publishing. Well this was a bit more complicated and I will need to continue this post when it works because right now my book is in limbo with Kindle. Publishing was just as easy as Amazon’s createspace. The only difference was that I needed to reformat my text. Kindle recognized certain symbols but not others. For instance, a lot of my text, such as the beginning and end of each chapter was smashed together. Thus I had to use page breaks. It took me about and hour to reformat, so be prepared for that. Then I submitted my text for review. My book is currently in limbo because I have two websites that offer sections of the book for free on the sites. So Amazon is currently making sure I actually own those sites because they did an online content check. I am glad they are checking for copyright and people scamming the system however this is taking longer and I am now waiting two days for a response. I am hoping this issue is cleared up asap. I also hope that I do not have to take the content down from the sites before publishing with Kindle.


Two Tech Rumors

Both from Phandroid….

1. Amazon releasing two Kindle this year which will replace their current one. First one will be an upgrade of the 7 inch model available now and the other will be an 8.9 inch model.

More info here

2. Google Drive will be coming out this april. Google drive is just like dropbox and box. Rumor is that google will offer 1gb of free space, which in my opinion is not very good as dropbox offers 2GB and Box gave me 50GB for free.

More info here

iPad 3 vs iPad 1 vs Kindle Fire

Now that I have all three devices and have time to play with all of them, here are my reviews…well more or less a comparison

First lets do iPad 3 vs Kindle Fire

Cost – Kindle is $200 vs iPad which starts at $499

Functionality of Hardware – iPad takes the cake here. I can do a lot more with the iPad. For instance hardware wise it has a camera and microphone. It can also have 4G data if you have that version.

Functionality of Software – On the software side you have Apple’s app store (tons of apps) vs the amazon app store which is a limited version of Android market. I still believe Kindle isnt too far behind here for a majority of users but the apple store is better. Once Kindle gets the full Android store then I will say they are nearly the same.

Size – Kindle is much smaller than iPad. I thought I would like the size but soon realized its really not much bigger than my galaxy nexus phone. I would not want to watch a movie on this…although I would on a plane, etc. The iPad screen just feels much better due to its size but again, I wouldnt really want to watch a movie on this either. I just personally prefer the bigger size. If I were you, I would put both in your hands and see what you think.

Interface – Both have a good interface. I have no problems with either. I like both for different reasons and think both can be improved.

Web – Both connect to the web just fine. Kindle displays Flash which is awesome and iPad doesnt. This is great for me as many surf reports are in flash. However, a drawback with the Kindle is that the Facebook app actually connects to its web page so its not really an app. And one weird thing about the Kindle is that there is no email app? No idea why, its not that big of a deal but its weird that its not there. Instead I have to go through the web browser to access email. iPad has the mail app and has a facebook app.

Integration – iPad integrates well with Apple stuff and Kindle integrates well with Amazon stuff. If you are a user of one or the other that could help you make a choice between one.

Overall – both devices are pretty good and fun to use. If you have a cell phone and laptop but want a tablet to take to meetings, connect to the internet, view email, and facebook, either one should satisfy your needs just fine. I personally think the big things to consider here will be price and size because the other things are minor in my opinion. For business needs, iPad is probably better, for surfing the web, email, and facebook I would probably just get the Kindle because of the price but thats just because I am cheap and have a laptop/phone – the tablet is just a luxury to me. Again, it really depends on your needs and financial situation. Both do pretty much everything the other does and each has something that is better or worse than the other.

Now iPad 1 vs iPad 3.

If you have iPad 1, I would NOT recommend getting iPad 3 unless….You want

4G data – just so you know its $30 a month
Camera/Microphone – honestly are you really going to take pics with your iPad?

Besides those features, the rest are really minor and not worth an upgrade in my opinion. The new iPad has a much better screen resolution and this might matter to tablet gamers (is there a such thing?) and people who watch a lot of movies on their iPad and really need that HD. It is also slightly faster but I really couldnt tell much of a difference. Otherwise its the same interface, apps, functionality, size (for the most part – I cant tell a difference), etc.

Overall – if you have iPad 1 I would not upgrade unless you care about the 4G and Camera/Mic. while its a big upgrade for us techies it is NOT an upgrade for most iPad users.