Sell Your Book on Amazon – Second Edition

The second edition of SELL YOUR BOOK ON AMAZON is now available through Ingram and on Amazon and Barnes & Noble’s websites. It has been available for a number of weeks, but I’m just getting around to announcing it, mostly because it’s not all that exciting. For people who already purchased the first edition, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend they buy this one (it’s not THAT different).   Yes, that flies in the face of the whole “annual revisions to get people to buy the same content over and over again” concept because, well… I don’t really believe in that as an author business model.  I’m not saying it doesn’t work (because it does); I’m just saying it’s a little lowbrow to ask the same retail price every year for something that only changes by 10%.

And for new people coming to the book for the first time, they don’t really care that it is the first edition or the second — they just care that it will help them market their book(s) more successfully on Amazon, which it will.

I had a couple of goals with the second edition. The first, obviously, was to update it according to the changes Amazon has made to its guidelines, functionality and offerings in the 3 years since the first edition was published. And I’ll detail those changes in a future post.

The second goal was to create a newer version of the book in-house so we could create a “better” Kindle edition and a Search Inside the Book edition that was more productive.   Since the interior formatting for my book is somewhat atypical, this caused some problems with the Kindle edition. The Kindle edition for Sell Your Book on Amazon was also our first Kindle edition for Outskirts Press (because, as I’ve said, we guinea pig my books first before launching any new options for our authors – to work out all the bugs). Yes, for you writers out there, I just turned “guinea pig” into a verb.   So, my first edition on the Kindle didn’t “look” so great.  This second edition allowed us to iron out some of those formatting bugs, too, which are mostly associated with how Amazon’s DTP conversion tool processes HTML or PRC files.  So the second edition on the Kindle will look much better.  I say “will” instead of “does” because we haven’t uploaded it yet. There’s an issue remaining with the Table of Contents. This use to work with our process and now it doesn’t, which leads me to assume Amazon’s conversion software was adjusted slightly. But we’ll figure it out quickly.

Speaking of Table of Contents, I also made an adjustment to the table of contents with the second edition. In the first edition, my TOC was 1 page long. It mentioned the specific chapter names and provided each chapter’s starting page number. Sufficient, right?  But I’ve since discovered that “sufficient” isn’t always the same as “successful.”   A more productive Table of Contents for a non-fiction book is one that not only identifies each chapter and its correlating page number, but also identifies each section and/or sub-section of those chapters.  Why? Because Search Inside the Book displays the TOC and you want your table of contents to look LONG, so that it communicates how substantial and informative your book is.   Does this actually affect the content?  No.  But an aesthetic consideration like this goes a long way toward turning a browser into a buyer, especially if they actively use Search Inside the Book to make their purchase decisions.  So with the Second Edition, my TOC is 3 pages long, so it can display all the sub-sections of each chapter. It really does make a large difference in communicating the value of the book, even if it’s merely cosmetic.

With this edition we also wanted to create the subject index in a different way to explore methods for lowering our indexing costs so we could offer the indexing option at a more affordable price point for our authors.  I’m happy to say the test was successful so now we’re just working on the logistics involved in modifying that option in our system. (Please see “How long everything takes…”

Lastly, this second edition publication was an opportunity to correct a cover anomaly on Amazon that happened for my book several months ago… and more on that next time.