Old Mate Media http://oldmatemedia.com Get Old Mate To Do It! Mon, 16 Apr 2018 09:18:39 +0000 en-AU hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 IngramSpark Interview: Answers to your Self-Publishing Questions http://oldmatemedia.com/ingramspark-interview/ http://oldmatemedia.com/ingramspark-interview/#comments Mon, 05 Mar 2018 10:05:58 +0000 http://oldmatemedia.com/?p=7769 IngramSpark Interview: Answers to your Self-Publishing Questions There is one debate you’re bound to find raging in every self-publishing community: IngramSpark or Createspace? The two dominant players in print-on-demand both have their...

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IngramSpark Interview: Answers to your Self-Publishing Questions

There is one debate you’re bound to find raging in every self-publishing community: IngramSpark or Createspace? The two dominant players in print-on-demand both have their advantages and disadvantages. We had plenty of self-publishing questions to ask when we began our IngramSpark interview with Australian account manager, Emma Hall.

IngramSpark dashboard

What is IngramSpark?

Before we start the IngramSpark interview, a little bit of homework. IngramSpark is a print-on-demand publishing platform that allows you to upload and publish a book in print and digital formats. You can distribute through them to retailers as well as ordering your own copies as they are required. This is a cost-effective solution for many indie self-publishers, as there is no need to store or post out books. They are printed at IngramSpark and delivered to the received on demand.

Who are we? For those of your new to the site, we’re a family-run studio with 22-years of publishing experience. We help authors along their self-publishing journey, offering a range of free guides, services and advice as required. We don’t want royalties or ongoing payments. We’re all about education and getting great ideas turned into world-class reads.

IngramSpark Interview

Just last week I sat down for a chat with Emma Hall, Key Account Manager for the Australian office of IngramSpark. We talked about our own library of books, our future plans, the book we create for other authors and some of the areas where I felt the platform could be improved. Emma was lovely and friendly, and very positive about of the usefulness of IngramSpark to small publishers and independent authors. But she was also quite firm in the limitations of the printers and the platform. We also spoke to our community to get any questions they might have for Emma in our IngramSpark interview. Below you will find a stripped back version of our chat that cuts right to the details.

Emma Hall IngramSpark image

Emma Hall IngramSpark Key Account Manager, Australia

What are some of the positives of the IngramSpark platform?

  1. Variability in returns and discounting by region.

We recently helped an English author realise his publishing dream. Currently, he is trying to negotiate a deal to get his book into his local Waterstones (a book retailer) in the UK. Unfortunately, this book is locked at a worldwide discount and offers no returns, which Emma confirmed is not that attractive to some stores. As a result, we were happy to learn that you can vary the discount and the return level just for the UK region and not change the rest of the world. This is handy as it means if you want to target a particular store, or chain in a particular region, you can do so without allowing wholesalers everywhere to return your book.

  1. New Australian printing machines

Recently IngramSpark in Australia upgraded their printers and this means that nearly all books (apart from those in landscape orientation) can be printed in Australia. The new machines also theoretically have improved the quality of the printing, to the point where Standard 70 option is very close to the old Premium option. As for the lack of landscape options, this remains an ongoing issue. Especially for children’s book authors as we explained in detail here.

  1. iPage ordering system coming soon to Australia.

iPage is Ingram’s online ordering system for bookstores. It allows stores all over the world to easily stock independent books, with fast printing and delivery. Think of it as a private Amazon shopping cart on a site. Currently it’s available in the US and UK, but soon it will be in Australia, too.

What are some of the limitations of the IngramSpark platform?

  1. Paper stocks and ink quality not going to change

There are no plans to have thicker paper or a better ink quality through the IngramSpark platform. It’s the trade-off for having print-on-demand at an affordable price to the reader. You can get better quality books, but it’s more expensive and requires more admin. For some of the authors we work with, we’ve designed two versions of the book. They vary only slight, but allow for one to be specifically setup for print-on-demand, while the other is used through a traditional printer to produce better quality books. These can be handy for events, gifts or as an added value option to customers willing to pay for the premium finish.

  1. Upload process to remain the same

Uploading can be a long and frustrating process. Deciphering errors produced by the computer receiving submissions is a nightmare (and one of the main reasons authors involve us in the process). Sadly, there are no plans to make any changes to that side of the platform in the near future.

  1. The advance catalogue not recommended as a promotional means for Australian & New Zealand authors.

This catalogue – which highlights upcoming books – is not sent out in print form in Australia. Instead it’s emailed as a PDF and IngramSpark does not track the clickthroughs. So there is no data to support the effectiveness of the catalogue.

  1. Online stores set their own prices

One of the big advantages of distribution through IngramSpark in Australia is that you automatically make your book available through online retailers such as Book Depository and Fishpond. However, these stores do set their own prices and you can find quite a bit of variation. For example, our fan favourite book The Little Green Boat has a RRP of $14.25 including GST, but is priced at:

Selling directly will give you a better profit, but does add to the workload on your part.

IngramSpark Interview – Answers Your Publishing Questions

After collecting some questions via social media, we put Emma under the spotlight. She took the interrogation part of our IngramSpark interview with good grace and gave us some meaty answers.

Why is IngramSpark better than Createspace?

(From Brian Blackmore)

“Firstly, the different trim sizes we can do. We’ve got lots of trim sizes. We can do hardback as well as paperback.. In our hardback we can do the case laminate as well as the gloss cover with dust jacket. So there’s a few more options there.

You’ve got more options in terms of your returns policy, too. In IngramSpark, you can set it to no returns, which we often recommend. But if you want the option of having returns you can have them sent to you or select “return and destroy,” which means they come back to us and we pulp them. This is a lot more attractive to book stores as most stores won’t take on books that they can’t send back.

Createspace doesn’t give you that option. Createspace also doesn’t let you set your discount. We let you set your wholesaler discount to whatever you want. We do have recommendations, but if you want it to be a really small discount, you do have that option.”

Will I get better profit margins using Ingram distribution versus Createspace expanded distribution?

(From Paul Johnson-Jovanovic)

“Probably, because you do have that ability to set your own pricing and then set your discount as well. So you can play on that. Use the Publishers Compensation Calculator and play on that to work out your profit margins. IngramSpark only ever takes a cut out of what the retailers pay. We’ve never taking a cut from your side. For example, if you do have a 55% discount set, the retailer actually gets about 50% discount and Ingram gets 5% of the sale.”

Why is it so exhausting trying to format books for IngramSpark?

(From Debi Stanton)

“We want our books to be professionally formatted. We don’t want self-publishing authors to be able to import whatever they want and have spacing funny and margins wherever they want them and that kind of thing. So it’s just really about having a more professional looking product. Which will help you down the road when you are trying to sell your book.”

(Note – Emma was happy to acknowledge that it can be a challenging process to get your book up on the IngramSpark system, perhaps more so than Createspace. If this is an area you feel you need help with, you can find out more details on design here.)

What is the best bracket for retailers to discount your book?

(From Becky Dembowski)

“It does depend a little on the type of book. If it’s a trade book, we normally say 50-55%. This same discount would suit both hardback and paperback.”

(Note – A trade book is a traditionally published book written for general readers. These are the kinds of discounts then that self-published authors need to compete with.)

How many books are uploaded into the system each day?

(From Becky Dembowski)

“I know we have seven million in total at the moment total, and we’ve been around since 2013. So assuming the growth is exponential. A lot.”

(Note – Conservatively, that averages out at around 4,000 books a day).

Why is landscape so expensive?

(From Brandon Walden)

It just is. Unfortunately, it’s because it’s so new. The landscape option has only been around for a few months. Eventually it will expand into all the colour types and there will probably be more than one trim size option in landscape. But if you want something like landscape now, go square.

** At this point I pushed her a little as to when the landscape options will improve and she said:

“It hasn’t been discussed in detail, it’s just that we’re always rolling out new sizes. It will happen, I just don’t have a timeframe on when.”

How are they different from KDP Paperback?

(From Anabel Soto)

I don’t really know enough about them to be able to comment on it

Do you think the print quality varies between the different printers in different countries?

(From Anabel Soto)

It wouldn’t vary to the extent that one is significantly worse than another, but each printer is going to be slightly different. This is just because it’s a different machine. So, for example, sometimes at the end of your book you might have two blank pages. This is because of the way that the pages have been grouped into sixes or fours. And then you have the exact same book printed in the US and you’ve got four blank pages at the end. It’s just because it’s been done on a different machine and they’ve bound the book differently.

Where to Next?

We hope you enjoyed this IngramSpark interview and that it answered some of your questions regarding the platform and it’s capabilities.  Let us know on social media or in the comments if you’re interested in a more detailed overview of how to get your book ready for Ingram and we’ll put one together. In the meantime, have a look through our ever growing list of Indie Author Guides and just drop us an email if you would like to have a FREE chat about how we can help you get your book published. Thank you for reading our IngramSpark interview.

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Setting Publishing Goals – Your Roadmap to Success http://oldmatemedia.com/setting-publishing-goals-for-success/ http://oldmatemedia.com/setting-publishing-goals-for-success/#respond Sun, 25 Feb 2018 21:34:49 +0000 http://oldmatemedia.com/?p=7752 Setting Publishing Goals – Your Roadmap to Success You’ve got a dream! The good news is, if you’re reading this, you are already ahead of 99% of the population as you’re doing something...

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Setting Publishing Goals – Your Roadmap to Success

You’ve got a dream! The good news is, if you’re reading this, you are already ahead of 99% of the population as you’re doing something about it. Well done! But what is that dream and how are you going to get there? What are your publishing goals for your book?
Success in your publishing goals

Why do I Need to Articulate My Publishing Goals?

There is so much material all over the internet about how to set and achieve goals. Do you know why? Because it’s still something that people struggle with. According to a study by the Harvard Business School, 84% of people never set goals, 13% of people set goals but never write them down and a measly 3% of people work to achieve their goals.

I don’t know about you, but I want to be in that 3%. Because I want to be one of the people out there smashing it and celebrating success.

I Don’t Know How to Start Setting My Publishing Goals!

While it may feel like an overwhelming task, setting goals is actually pretty easy and ultimately a rewarding process. It’s amazing how good it feels to create a shiny bright destination for you to move towards. The best way to start is to ask yourself some questions to create a vision:

  1. Why are you at this point? What’s prompted you to create a children’s book?
  2. Think forward to six months after publication and visualise your ideal day as it involves your book. What are you doing? What is the book doing? Where is it on sale and what’s your role? It’s important to not restrict yourself by trying to be realistic here: dream big and then you can plan how you get there.
  3. Is there something you are particularly excited about doing during the publication process?
  4. What resources do you have available to you? Note down your skills, access to skills, budget and time level available
  5. What challenges do you have? What life challenges do you need to balance against publishing your book. This could be things like family responsibilities, a full-time job, lack of support from those close to you, finances, etc.

Time to Set Your Publishing Goals

Now that you have all the information down, you can set yourselves some goals using the SMART principles:SMART publishing goals

S            Specific

What exactly do you want to do?

M           Measurable

What will success look like? How will you measure that success?

A            Achievable

Are you being realistic? This is where you factor in your skills, resources and challenges to create goals that push you, but you can achieve.

R            Relevant

Is the goal relevant to your overall vision? Think back to your ideal day and make sure this goal will help get you there.

T            Timely

Finally, what’s the due date for the goal?

Examples of some Publishing Goals

Here are some examples of publishing goals to give you some pointers.

  1. I hit my June deadline right on the money to get my book written, edited and designed.
  2. I’m excited to launch my Facebook page in May after completing Facebook training in April.
  3. I successfully published and launched my first book to Kindle in July 2018.
  4. My team of 50 beta readers launched my book with 20 reviews on Amazon and Goodreads in July 2018.
  5. It’s December 2018 and I have just celebrated 500 book sales from the launch date.

Want More Help in Creating Publishing Goals?

There is a science and an art to setting and achieving goals, and we’ve just touched on the beginning steps. I studied with Business School for Mums in their Small Business Success Program and I give full credit to them for all the key teachings discussed in this article. They run a number of free programs throughout the year so you can test out their material to see if it suits you. In addition, you can search online and you’ll find coaches and programs galore that will help you set and achieve your publishing goals.

Alternatively, if you would like to complete the above goal setting exercise, I’ve created a free online form to help you fill in your vision. Or you can write or draw, whatever suits you best.

Where to Next?

This is just one of our many free indie Author Guides, so make sure you take a look at the rest. A good next step following this guide for most authors is setting the sales expectations for your book. So please do have a look. We’d love to hear from you if there’s a topic you’d like us to cover or if you would like to have a chat about how we can help you on your publishing journey. Finally, for extensive guides on each step in the publishing journey, please refer to the services tab in our menu.

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Mindfulness Children’s Book Zary Little Wisdoms goes Free http://oldmatemedia.com/zary-little-wisdoms/ http://oldmatemedia.com/zary-little-wisdoms/#respond Sat, 10 Feb 2018 11:19:44 +0000 http://oldmatemedia.com/?p=7742 Mindfulness Children’s Book Zary Little Wisdoms goes Free Meet Zary, the Spirit Warrior that will nurture your children through their times of need. Old Mate Media is delighted to announce...

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Mindfulness Children’s Book Zary Little Wisdoms goes Free

Meet Zary, the Spirit Warrior that will nurture your children through their times of need. Old Mate Media is delighted to announce the digital release of this wonderful mindfulness guide for children, Zary Little Wisdoms by Kay Andrews.

Zary Little Wisdoms - Never Give Up

What is Zary Little Wisdoms?

Zary’s Little Wisdoms is an empowering book for kids. It’s full of positive quotes that channel the energy and wise thoughts of Zary, the spirit warrior. Author Kay Andrews created this gorgeous book and its 13 easy mantras for children to help and support them in their daily lives.

Each mantra is paired with a beautiful painted image of Zary. These stunning illustrations perfectly bring to life the concepts in the mantras and draw children into the book.

Zary Little Wisdoms now in digital format

The book was initially released in 2017 as a hardback. That format is available through the Zary Little Wisdoms website for AU$24.95 + shipping. It is also distributed to retailers across Australia through Phoenix Distribution.

Author, Kay Andrews first approached Old Mate Media looking for a way to broaden the reach of Zary. We converted the book into a fixed layout digital version available for sale worldwide.

Zary Little Wisdoms is available now on Kindle or Kindle app via Amazon and will be available at additional retailers in May 2018.

A passion project for author Kay Andrews

Author Kay Andrews is a practicing energetic healer with a special ability to understand and connect with children. Kay’s passion is to teach children how to be happy and content. She believes that a person’s childhood holds the key to a successful life.

Kay created Zary Little Wisdoms to provide an easy method for parents to teach children about resilience. And to show them that being positive and focusing on love will bring about the best solution to any problem.

You can keep in touch with Kay’s journey via her social channels:

Zary Little Wisdoms - Book cover

Celebrate love: Grab a Free Copy of Zary Little Wisdoms

To celebrate the worldwide launch of Zary Little Wisdoms on Amazon, we are delighted to share some exciting news. You will be able to pick up a copy of this fabulous book for FREE on Tuesday 13 February and Wednesday 14 February.

What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than to gift your children a loving guide to teach your child to live the life they deserve filled with joy and happiness.

Get your FREE copy of Zary Little Wisdoms now!

Kay is also very happy to send a print copy for review to any bloggers, please get in contact with her via the contact form on the Zary Little Wisdoms website or through one of her social channels.

Where to Next?

Please have a look at our full range of digital and print books. If you are an author or dreaming of becoming published, step your way through our guide on how to create a children’s book and do let us know if we can help in any way. We offer bespoke packages for indie authors that provide as much or as little support as required. From developmental edits, to illustrations, to website landing pages and full design, we do it all! Ask for a quote at any time.

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Understanding Full Bleed Printing and How to Design for Bleed Area http://oldmatemedia.com/full-bleed-printing/ http://oldmatemedia.com/full-bleed-printing/#comments Sun, 07 Jan 2018 12:08:05 +0000 http://oldmatemedia.com/?p=7728 Understanding Full Bleed Printing and How to Design for Bleed Area. Understanding bleeds in printing and how they affect your images is vital! If you’re creating your own art, a self-publishing...

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Understanding Full Bleed Printing and How to Design for Bleed Area.

understanding image bleed 2

Understanding bleeds in printing and how they affect your images is vital! If you’re creating your own art, a self-publishing indie, or just working on your cover, it’s important you define bleed area accurately before you begin your image.

Remember the line in Predator when Arnie, muscles bulging out ridiculously from every inch of his body, says, “if it bleeds, we can kill it?” He was referring of course to his alien hunter. The one with a face only a mother could love. But in the world of book design, it’s the direct opposite. If it doesn’t bleed, then your printer will kill it. But what is bleed? How does it impact a book’s design? And why is it essential that you understand bleeds in printing before you begin creating illustrations of cover art.

Let’s Define Bleed

We do a lot of work with children’s book authors here at Old Mate Media, where illustrations are a critical part of production. However, even those planning to self-publish novels or other genres should pay heed. You will still need a cover. Plus, you may have the odd image inside your masterpiece that may require bleed, like that “About the Author” page.

When first thinking about the design of your book, you should think about your trim size. This is effectively the final dimensions of the printed book. Bleed refers to a section of the image that exists beyond the trim size. It’s literally cut-off during the printing of your book. But why would you need an image to go beyond the dimensions of your book?

It’s effectively a safety net. During the printing process, components can shift slightly. The paper may move, or on some printers, the plates that “stamp” the page onto the paper can shift. If that happens when you have an image that goes right to the edge of your page and there is no bleed, you end up with an unsightly white line down the edge. (Assuming you are using white paper).

By bleeding an image beyond the trim size – often called a full bleed image – if there is any movement in the printing process, there is more image in the bleed area to compensate. So if the paper moves a few pixels, then a few pixels of the image in the bleed area will be pulled into the trim size.

How will the Bleed Area Impact Design?

All printers have slightly different rules they work to, but all will require bleed of some sort. When self-publishing, your submitted work is going to be checked by a computer, not a human. Computers have no grey area. They see your submission in black and white. The computers that do that check for places like IngramSpark and CreateSpace are programmed to look for any image that encroaches on the “safe zone” which is near the edge of the final trim size. This is typically the first 0.3” of space along all edges of your page.

If your image encroaches into that “safe zone” it is considered a full bleed image, and must extend beyond the trim size limits to the bleed lines. It must have bleed. If it is inside that 0.3” margin required by the printer, then it can sit alone on the page hanging out next to the text.

So where does the bleed area end? The bleed lines are typically 0.125” beyond the edge of the final time size. Here is all that information in image form.

full image bleed step 1

Where you start running into big, big trouble is if your art was supplied at the trim size and exactly at 300 dpi. (If you don’t know what dpi means, there is a full guide here.) As 300 dpi is the minimum resolution for image printing for most printers, you cannot expand this image without decreasing the dpi. As soon as you try and make the image bigger so that it can extend 0.125” through the bleed area to the bleed lines, the dpi goes down. Suddenly it is 280 dpi. Our helpful computers over at those print-on-demand services will not accept this image, even though you now have bleed.

How Should Artists Ensure they are ready for Full Bleed Printing?

When the artist looking after your children’s book illustrations – be it yourself or someone else – is laying out their canvas, they need to know if you intend to do full bleed printing. They need to know if the image will extend to the edge of your book. For cover art, this is almost always the case, but for internal illustrations, there may be variation. Armed with this knowledge, your artist should then make sure no important components are near the edge of a page. Any detail at the edge, is likely to be pulled into the bleed area, and therefore cut out of the book.

When communicating with an artist, there is a simple rule of thumb you can follow. Say that you need an image at your set dimensions, plus 0.125” inch extra for the bleed area. If you are working in pixels – which is what we do – then you’d say, plus 38-pixels image bleed. This is because 0.125” converts to 38 pixels at 300 dpi (which is the minimal printable resolution for most printers).

As an example, let’s say you were making an 8.5” by 8.5” children’s picture book with full page illustrations. You’d therefore say to your artist the following. Please give me an 8.5 x 8.5-inch image, with 0.125-inch of bleed on all sides at 300dpi. You should then receive an image that is 8.625×8.625-inch. This would be perfect.

An example of bleeds in printing and design.

I’m going to quickly take you through a real world example of full bleed printing. Joining me for the ride is Willy Nilly, start of my children’s book series The Wild Imagination of Willy Nilly. (I’d love for you to grab a copy!). In this first image, you can see a full bleed image that hasn’t considered the need for bleed. Take note of the elements I have circled. These are details that are very close to the edge.

image bleed step 2

Now, in this second image, I have expanded the art so it goes through the bleed area up to the bleed line. You can clearly see the black line, which is the actual edge of the page. This image was designed at 600 dpi, so I’m able to expand it while retaining print-worthy resolution. It’s now ready for full bleed printing.

image bleed step 3

Finally, in this third image, you’ll see what happens when the final image is exported. You can see the circled elements from earlier are now off the page somewhat. Particularly painful is Willy’s sister Suzie, who has a part of her eye off the page.

image bleed step 4

Thankfully, this was not the final image. Seeing the problem I had with bleed, my artist added 0.125″ to the art on all edges before final submission. Otherwise, in order to show all the details on this image, the image would have had to sit completely within the safe zone, with a white border around it. That’s not what I wanted: I wanted full bleed printing.

How to define Bleed with eBooks and ePubs?

Understanding bleed is an issue you only need to worry about with printed books. When looking at bleed and ePubs, you’re talking about something that will appear on a screen rather than paper. So bleed in its traditional sense is irrelevant. With illustrations for digital art, you need to be more concerned with different screen dimensions. For example, a Kindle, a Samsung tablet and an iPhone are all different dimensions. This is why you get letterboxing – black bars on the side of your book – as it’s impossible to create a one-size-fits-all image.

In Old Mate Media’s opinion, even if you are making a book for digital primarily, consider bleed. While irrelevant to digital formats, you don’t want to be readdressing your art if you ever decide to make a print edition. Just stay cognisant of the fact that at some point in your book’s future, the 0.125-inch outer edge could be chopped off. So don’t leave any important details in there!

Where to Next?

We hope you liked our article on full bleed printing and now know how to define bleed. Why not continue to make the most of Old Mate Media’ free guides. Alternatively, if you need any help with the production of your book, check out our services menu. We offer bespoke packages for indie authors that provides as much or as little support as required. From developmental edits, to illustrations, to website landing pages and full design, we do it all! Ask for a quote at any time.

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How to Add Editorial Reviews to your Book’s Amazon Page http://oldmatemedia.com/amazon-editorial-reviews/ http://oldmatemedia.com/amazon-editorial-reviews/#comments Sun, 31 Dec 2017 07:17:11 +0000 http://oldmatemedia.com/?p=7570 How to Add Editorial Reviews to your Book’s Amazon Page Are you missing out on an opportunity to sell your books? Did you know that Amazon gives you a free...

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How to Add Editorial Reviews to your Book’s Amazon Page

Are you missing out on an opportunity to sell your books? Did you know that Amazon gives you a free promotion opportunity right in the middle of your sales page? In this article we will take you through the simple process to add editorial reviews to your book sales page.

editorial reviews to amazon

Few things lead to book sales like great reviews. Word-of-mouth is critical success in the self-publishing, indie author scene. On Amazon, we all cross our fingers and toes, make the best book possible, and hope hundreds of people will jump on and add their weight to your book’s sales potential. However, it rarely works out like that. It’s a grind acquiring reviews or getting enough people to buy and comment on your book for it to look impressive. As such, it can be disheartening when a great review appears from a reader, blogger or journalist on a location not on Amazon. Thankfully, you can add that review to Amazon yourself so it can play its part in promoting your book. Here’s how:

What is the Editorial Reviews Section?

The Editorial Review section allows you to add reviews from publications, blogs, customers and others. It sits just above the Product Details section of your page.

  • You can add the following information in this section:
  • About the Author
  • From the Author
  • From the Inside Flap
  • From the Back Cover
  • Reviews

Why Should I add my Reviews to the Editorial Reviews Section?

This section is another sales tool on your book page. As you can see by the range of information you can provide, it really does give you a great opportunity to further persuade readers to click the buy button. One more good review could be all it takes to set your book sales trending upwards.

Many authors have had their books reviewed by a blog, book review site or reader’s website. These sites are often not able to post a customer review, but you can include a snippet of their review in this section. These reviews can often hold more sway than a customer review. This is especially true if you can include a few in the section, or if you’ve been reviewed on a known, relevant website.

Steps for Adding Your Editorial Review to Amazon

  1. Log in to Author Central
  2. Click on the Books tab at the top of the page
  3. Go to your Books Page
  4. Click on the title of the book you want to edit
  5. Choose Under Editorial Reviews and click “add” review
  6. Add in some book reviews. I’d suggest choosing a section that highlights the best part of your book. Make sure to attribute the review to the source.
  7. Click Preview and see how your entry looks.
  8. When you’re satisfied, click Save to add the review.

What are the Restrictions on Editorial Reviews

Amazon does not allow the following to appear in this section:

  • Phone numbers, addresses or URLs
  • Time-sensitive statements or statements specific to one edition or listing
  • Advertisements or promotional material
  • Availability, price or alternative ordering/shipping information
  • Profanity or spiteful remarks
  • Obscene or distasteful content

There are also character limits as follows:

  • Review — 20000 characters. For hardcover and paperback books, the character counts for the text box is limited to 4000 characters and you can add up to five reviews.
  • For Kindle books, you can add all of your reviews at once in the box.
  • Product Description — 2400 characters
  • From the author, From the Inside Flap and From the Back Cover — 8000 characters
  • About the Author — 2000 characters

How do you Format Editorial Reviews?

Amazon only accepts a limited set of HMTL tags, so you don’t have a lot of leeway to create anything visually spectacular. However, with a little creativity you can help the content stand out. Key code that is recognised includes:

  • Italics = <i>text goes here</i>
  • Bold = <b>text goes here</b>
  • Line break = <br />
  • Unordered (bulleted) list = <ul><li>List item 1</li><li>list item 2</li><li>And so on</li></ul>
  • Ordered (numbered) list = <ol><li>List item 1</li><li>list item 2</li><li>And so on</li></ol>

Using these tags shown above and pasting from a plain text document will prevent errors. Notepad is a good program for ensuring you are writing plain text and is installed on most computers. Microsoft Word is not a good program. Tip: Write your coded text in Microsoft Word for convenience, then copy it into Notepad, then copy it again before entering it into Amazon. This will ensure the text is plain. If you struggle with using html tags, you can use the free html converter at Kindlepreneur to help you out.

What if I Don’t Have any Editorial Reviews?

If you haven’t managed to get any blog reviews yet for your book this is where you can think a little creatively about who will add a touch of credibility to this section. At the most simple level, you could ask another children’s author to provide a quote to use.

But going beyond that, why not ask a teacher friend, or someone that works in a field that’s related to your book. For example, one of our authors Danny Blitz sourced quotes from vets to support her book Much To Do Before a Dog. It’s a book about pet ownership.

Old Mate Media offers a book review service for indie authors. So please do reach out for a review after reading our submission guidelines. And if we have already reviewed your book, don’t hesitate to ask for a Amazon friendly snippet to use on your book page.

Where to Next?

We hope this has been a helpful guide for you in improving your Amazon sales page. Stay tuned for the iTunes version of this article, coming soon. This is just one of the free guides we have for indie authors, so please look through the full list here. Did you know, for example, How to Create a Kindle Book Series Bundle on Amazon in Five Steps? Also make sure to sign up to our newsletter to keep in touch with future guides.

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Have a Willy Nilly Christmas http://oldmatemedia.com/willy-nilly-christmas/ http://oldmatemedia.com/willy-nilly-christmas/#respond Sat, 23 Dec 2017 04:13:44 +0000 http://oldmatemedia.com/?p=7703 Have a Willy Nilly Christmas Nothing could be more fun than a Willy Nilly Christmas. It’s the holiday season and as a special treat, we’re sharing an early first look...

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Have a Willy Nilly Christmas

Nothing could be more fun than a Willy Nilly Christmas. It’s the holiday season and as a special treat, we’re sharing an early first look at the seventh book in The Wild Imagination of Willy Nilly series.

Willy Nilly Christmas

It’s Christmas time – yay! We’re putting down the keyboard for a few weeks to enjoy some time off with our family and we hope you are too. Depending on which side of the world you are on, hopefully you’re either relaxing in front of the fire or sitting on the beach. Willy Nilly is Australian, so a Willy Nilly Christmas is about enjoying the heat wave glaring down on Sydney right now.

At OId Mate Media we love making children’s picture books. We have a diverse catalogue of children’s books available, but our big star is Willy Nilly. He has three books already out! Hopefully you have enjoyed The Little Green Boat, The Fastest Kid in the World or Follow the Breadcrumbs. A further three are complete and waiting for their time to shine, too. And now we’ve just begun work on a seventh title, currently in early production.

What’s a Willy Nilly Christmas like?

This most recent book is Christmas themed, so we’re unlikely to release it until late next year. But as a special treat we wanted to give Willy’s fans a sneak peek. The above image is from early on in the title, as Willy and his family are enjoying their town square, dressed up in Christmas theme. It looks like everyone is having a great time, right? However, this is a Willy Nilly Christmas. With his wild imagination, you know things are going to getting very silly, very quickly.

We don’t want to spoil too much, other than to say that in Australia, Christmas is very different from the rest of the world. For example, most of us don’t have chimneys. So all those “climbing down the chimney” tales are as foreign to our children as snow. From this perspective, we’ve created a Christmas tale that feels magical, but different. We’ll let you know more soon, but we wonder what that glowing powder is in Willy’s hands?

If you’re looking for any last minute ideas for your kids or grandkids, we hope you consider our books. In particular, our digital titles are excellent for those looking for entertainment on the go while travelling. But either way, we at Old Mate Media hope you have a fantastic break, eat lots of food and catch up with good people. Have a Willy Nilly Christmas and we’ll see you in the New Year – we’re planning on a big 2018!

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Celebrate the Amazon Australia Launch with Australian Made Books http://oldmatemedia.com/amazon-australia-launch-books/ http://oldmatemedia.com/amazon-australia-launch-books/#respond Tue, 05 Dec 2017 11:54:44 +0000 http://oldmatemedia.com/?p=7680 Celebrate the Amazon Australia Launch with Australian Made Books The Amazon Australia launch has finally happened, which is great news for Australian creatives trying to sell their books in their...

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Celebrate the Amazon Australia Launch with Australian Made Books

The Amazon Australia launch has finally happened, which is great news for Australian creatives trying to sell their books in their home market.

Amazon Australia Launch Willy Nilly

At Old Mate Media, we make books for people all over the world, but we’re inspired by our home. We come from Australia; the land down under. Like many creative people in our modern, digital world, Amazon is a major channel through which we sell our products. As a result, today’s Amazon Australia launch is quite exciting. It brings our local readers a little bit closer to the purchasing experience our international readers enjoy.

With the Amazon Australia launch so fresh, the company still appears to be ironing out many of the kinks. Take the first book in The Wild Imagination of Willy Nilly series, The Little Green Boat – that’s an image from it above. It’s available on both the Amazon Kindle app and as a paperback in many territories around the world. At the outset of the Amazon Australia launch, both versions were showing as available. However, at the time of this writing, just the Kindle version is appearing.

Still it’s a moment worth celebrating by buying an Australian Amazon book. As you can see, the Australian lifestyle is clearly evident in this scene from The Little Green Boat. The star, Willy Nilly, has just arrived with his family at the beach on a hit summer’s day. He is yet to realise how wild his adventure will be, and the dolphins, monkeys, bats and crocodiles he’ll meet. There are two other Willy Nilly books available in The Fastest Kid in the World and Follow the Breadcrumbs, too.

Hopefully that paperback option will appear again shortly.

Amazon Australia Launch Featured

More Australian Books on Amazon

One particularly Australian children’s book experience you can enjoy is Can You See the Magic (see the above image). It was written by award winning writer and Sydney-sider Chris Stead with illustrations by Els Dirickx, a resident of the Southern Highlands. This talented artist uses photos of Australian nature and typical items around an Aussie farm as the backdrop for her art. You can basically smell the eucalypts! We totally suggest reading up on how it was made and Els’ unique reverse art concept.

There is plenty more to discover in our shop. There’s children’s books Trouble at the Zoo, My Birthday Cake Needs a New Home and A Very Strange Zoo. Plus we have a great sci-fi novel, Adam Exitus, by Melbournian Nicholas Abdilla. There’s a cookbook, a video games guide, a comic and more!

So why not celebrate the Amazon Australia Launch by celebrating Australian made creations? Buy an Australian made book from a local independent publisher!

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New Book: Jasper The Very Lucky Little Kitten http://oldmatemedia.com/jasper-lucky-kitten-announced/ http://oldmatemedia.com/jasper-lucky-kitten-announced/#respond Thu, 30 Nov 2017 04:00:47 +0000 http://oldmatemedia.com/?p=7663 New Book: Jasper The Very Lucky Little Kitten Old Mate Media is excited to announce our latest release Jasper the Very Lucky Little Kitten. A special project by author Ken...

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New Book: Jasper The Very Lucky Little Kitten

Old Mate Media is excited to announce our latest release Jasper the Very Lucky Little Kitten. A special project by author Ken Mackenzie and illustrator Genevieve Clarke that has a truly worthy goal at its heart.  

Jasper the Very Lucky Kitten

Old Mate Media has been working with English author Ken Mackenzie to publish his children’s book, Jasper The Very Lucky Little Kitten. This gorgeous story follows the exploits of Jasper, a very adventurous little kitten, whose exploits will remind many of their own and their children’s many near misses.

As a launch special, you can get the book for free on Kindle on the 30th November and 1st December. We’d love for you to grab a copy and leave a review, to help increase the visibility of the book on the Amazon store.

Get your copy of Jasper The Very Lucky Little Kitten now

What’s Special About Jasper The Very Lucky Little Kitten?

The book has a special goal, to raise money for the Children’s Hospice, South West, a children’s hospice local to the author Ken Mackenzie. We spoke to Ken about the book and why he wanted to raise money for this important organisation.

Tell us about Jasper, what made you write about a kitten? Do you have cats/pets?

Jasper was the first of the twenty stories I dreamt up. We have two small dogs and they just love the cat next door, especially when the cat doesn’t see them coming. I’ve watched it risk life and limb to avoid having to cross their paths.

Internal page - Jasper

25% of the profits from the book go to the Children’s Hospice, South West. Tell us about your involvement with this organisation and why you wanted to support them in this way.

The hospice is possibly the saddest most heart-breaking place anyone could visit. Yet, it’s also the most uplifting place you could visit. Children suffering from life-limiting illnesses, many with just weeks to live, and yet you will still get a smile. Also, they love hearing my stories.

If you want to see bravery, visit a hospice, all your cares and troubles simply vanish in comparison. This is why I want to try and help. They are suffering badly with government cutbacks, every penny raised, helps.

I hope people will help me to help them by buying a copy of Jasper, the Very Lucky Little Kitten.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

In my free time, I am a detectorist. I love metal detecting the fields of Devon here in the U.K. My greatest finds have been two Roman coins and a 1799 cartwheel penny. It’s a very solitary hobby, just my detector and my headphones. But it gives me peace and quiet, and time to think.

What’s next, do you have more books in the pipeline?

I have 19 stories all awaiting illustration. If you are an illustrator who is interested in a joint collaboration project, I would love to hear from you.

Where can readers get in contact with you?

You can follow me on Goodreads to keep in touch with my projects or if you would like to chat directly I would love to be contacted via kennethmackenzie70@yahoo.co.uk

Where to Next?

Remember you can get your free Kindle copy of Jasper The Very Lucky Little Kitten until midnight on 1st December. You can also purchase a paperback copy from Amazon. If you’d like to find out more about the world of the Children’s Hospice, you can visit their website at chsw.org.uk. And of course, don’t forget to check out the rest of the Old Mate Media books or sign up to stay in touch with our news.

Happy Reading!

 

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Lulu and Lainey Interview – Indie Authors Series http://oldmatemedia.com/lulu-and-lainey-interview/ http://oldmatemedia.com/lulu-and-lainey-interview/#respond Mon, 20 Nov 2017 09:59:24 +0000 http://oldmatemedia.com/?p=7653 Lulu and Lainey Interview – Indie Authors Series In celebration of the launch of her fourth book, we interview indie author Lois Petren, about her incredible cute Lulu and Lainey...

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Lulu and Lainey Interview – Indie Authors Series

In celebration of the launch of her fourth book, we interview indie author Lois Petren, about her incredible cute Lulu and Lainey series.

Lulu and Lainey Interview

There’s no shortage of charm to the Lulu and Lainey books by Lois Petren. The premise itself is irresistible. A little girl who loves to knit, Lulu, has befriended her favourite ball of yarn, Lainey. Together the two find themselves in simple, but warming adventures in the streets and countryside of France. The illustrations are just gorgeous and seamlessly meld with the setting and story.

Potentially we should have run the Lulu and Lainey Interview a while ago. We’ve previously reviewed two books from her series, A French Yarn and The Lucky Day, after all. But it was now that felt right, as the fourth book, Lulu and Lainey at the Farm, made its way to bookshelves around the world. You’ll never guess the location for this entry?

So let’s hear a little bit more from Lois Petren in the Lulu and Lainey Interview

The Lulu and Lainey Interview

Tell us about Lulu and Lainey at the Farm

Lulu and Lainey at the Farm is the fourth book in my series, which is about a little French girl named Lulu who has a very special object that she calls Lainey. It is a ball of green yarn. It’s her favorite colour. It’s soft and fuzzy. She loves it!

Lulu and her family live in Paris and she likes to go to her grandmother’s house every week to knit and have lunch. In each book of the series something happens to Lainey – it gets lost, stolen, or used to complete a knitting project.

In this new book, Lulu and her family take the train to the countryside to visit her grandparents’ farm. There are lots of interesting things to do and see and – very exciting – a new baby kid has just been born! When the weather suddenly gets cold and her grandmother fears that it could hurt the baby goat she finds wool and knitting needles and gets to work to create a little sweater. She runs out of yarn and asks Lulu to sacrifice some of her favourite ball of yarn to add to the sweater. Through this, Lulu learns a valuable lesson about sharing.

lulu and lainey at the farm cover

What made you write about a farm?

I’m sure you’ve seen pictures and videos of the baby goats wearing sweaters and pyjamas. I love the idea of this and wanted to find a way to incorporate it into my series storyline. So, this is my humble contribution to the “baby goats in tiny sweaters” meme!

Why did you decide to start writing children’s books?

I’m an avid knitter and always have a project underway. In the spring of 2015 I lost a ball of yarn during a family trip to Paris. A little fantasy evolved among my family and friends about this ball of yarn being lost in Paris having adventures. I started to put a story together, which evolved into my first book, Lulu and Lainey a French Yarn. Ideas kept coming and at present I’m up to four books.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Knitting, of course!  I also love spending time with my family, cooking, travelling, visiting museums and the opera.

Where do you think Lulu and Lainey will go next?

Funny you should ask! In my next book, Lulu and her grandmother are going to do a slightly deeper dive into the craft of knitting. I’ve heard from some of my adult readers that they’d like to see more about this. I’m working out the structure now, but it will definitely be appropriate for the four to seven age group. Probably focusing on animals that provide fibre for yarn and some of the basics that are appropriate for kids this age.

Where can readers get in contact with you?

Lulu and Lainey at the Farm and all the Lulu and Lainey books are available in paperback and eBook formats on Amazon. Of course, do visit Lois’ website to find her social platforms and more info on all her books.

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Where Do I Come From – A New Children’s Picture Book Coming Soon http://oldmatemedia.com/where-do-i-come-from-announced/ http://oldmatemedia.com/where-do-i-come-from-announced/#comments Sun, 12 Nov 2017 02:40:59 +0000 http://oldmatemedia.com/?p=7643 Where Do I Come From – A New Children’s Picture Book Coming Soon Award-winning children’s book author Chris Stead reveals the first image from his upcoming release, Where Do I...

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Where Do I Come From – A New Children’s Picture Book Coming Soon

Award-winning children’s book author Chris Stead reveals the first image from his upcoming release, Where Do I Come From?

Where Do I Come From Announced

For quite a while, I have wanted to make a book that was set within Australia’s aboriginal culture. In particular, I find the Dreamtime, or The Dreaming, as a setting fascinating . This “time out of time” is where the traditional peoples of Australia defined their world view. It’s where the knowledge and the laws of existence that form the foundations of Aboriginal culture can be found. Since I was very young, there’s been something about the Dreamtime that feels so Australian. Even if it’s something I’ve only been able to look upon from the outside.

In thinking about bringing the Dreamtime to a children’s book story, I needed to make sure it was relevant to all readers. Eventually a question came to mind. How did a young Aboriginal child in the distant past come to understand and question the Dreamtime?

Developing the Story

I wrote the story for Where Do I Come From quite quickly. A young aboriginal girl listens to an elder speak as she falls asleep in the cave. In her dream state, the girl goes to all corners of Australia to ask the animals where they come from. In doing so, she seeks an answer to the question of her own origins. And hopefully she invites readers to ask that question for themselves.

This was at least 18 months ago. At the time the idea came to me, I was already working on the art for ten other books. As a result, I decided not to add another parallel production to the mix. I’m currently in another cycle of production, with five books being illustrated as you read this. That includes Where Do I Come From. And today, I am happy to share two of the images. You can see one below and the other was at the top of the page; perhaps you could tell me what you think in the comments?

Where Do I Come From Featured

When will Where Do I Come From be out?

Unfortunately, I don’t have a date to share with you at this stage. I’m currently finalising the last half of the book’s images and the cover with artist Ijulekeh. (This is our second book together after the as yet unreleased The Rainbow Race.) Then I will need to design the book for print and digital release. It’s definitely a 2018 project. But in the interim, please check out one of my already released books. Please also sign-up to our newsletter, so I can keep you posted about a release date. And if you’re thinking about making your own children’s book, you should read our getting started guide.

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