What’s the summary schedule and process for printing almost free books through Lulu, CreateSpace, LSI, Smashwords (with Kindle and iPad), Blurb, and Scribd—the ancillary publishers?

Here’s a slightly modified excerpt from my recent how-to book How to Get Your Book Published Free in Minutes and Marketed Worldwide in Days:

You can’t publish a book until it’s written. That’s [what we’ve been discussing] in Chapter Three and why you have produced the files you will need for publishing.

Actually, the publishing clock starts clicking the moment you have your book saved in ready-to-print form in File #1 (in .doc), plus you have a cover (in File #5)—or will produce one at the publisher’s Web site. In minutes you can become a bona fide published author!

How do you do that? We’ll show you the step-by-step process in this chapter.

In summary, you simply can take the e-book version of File #1 (either File #3 or more likely your PDF File #4), add in the front cover, and enter it into your respective ancillary publishing site, and in five minutes that book will be posted worldwide for sale! Can it get any faster than that?

What about the bound book? You will submit File #1 (in .doc) or more likely File #2 (in PDF), add in the cover in File #5 (or create the cover on site), and send it to the respective Web site. In a minute or less you’ll get back the first proof (you see it on your monitor). You will make any correction or modification you wish until the book is exactly as you want it. When you tell the Web site the book is ready to go, they will charge you to mail [back] a printed proof. You pay the freight (about $25), the book arrives in a few days, you approve it, and a few days later that bound book is also ready to be bought by your family, friends, colleagues, clients, or unknown booklovers anywhere. [As ordered, they will create and send a print-on-demand copy to the buyer, then pay you about 35% of the list price, that you determine, in a month.]

Again, how can you beat that? All you really had to learn was how to enter files (and maybe a cover) into your computer!

You wonder why those of us with years in the trenches learning publishing shake our heads in awe? (And at the injustice of the time spent learning about picas, halftones, and shrinkwrapping!)

Related topics we will explore in this section:

* who these ancillary publishers are and what printing sorcery they perform on your behalf,
* how you can use them to your best advantage,
* a path I took when I first used them (and why that may make more money for you), and
* most important, how you can best and fastest wend you way through each publisher’s submission route, for both bound books and e-books

I hope this peek into the process is helpful. You may also wish to look at two recent, related blogs at this site that include the word “Lulu” early in their title. I also talk about ancillary publishing in almost every free, monthly newsletter.

Best wishes,

Gordon Burgett

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Creating an e-book from your bound book text for Lulu, CreateSpace, Smashwords (with Kindle and iPad), LightningSource, and Scribd

In my new book How to Get Your Book Published Free in Minutes and Marketed Worldwide in Days, I show how to create the five magic files–#1 and #2, the text; #3 and #4, the e-book files, and #5, the cover–for the ancillary publishers (above).

What follows here is a slightlty modified section referring to files #3 and #4, for your e-book version.

The e-book magic file #3 (and its buddy, #4)

You can sell your book digitally the moment you complete Magic Files #1 [the text in .doc] or #2 [the same, in .pdf], if you provide it to the buyer as a direct download. (That’s right, your book exists the moment these files are proofed and ready to transfer. It needn’t be printed in bound form nor must it formally be saved in special e-book format, as we will explain in a moment. Which means that your nose will not grow if you now call yourself a published author. Congratulations!)

[The e-book files] (#3 and #4) come from File #1. The e-book version should look as much like the bound version as possible.

You will want to make some modest modifications in File #1 [after you save it as File #3] so the e-book digital versions will read better and be more useful in the ancillary publishers’ software languages where it will go.

First, though, which ancillary publishers handle e-books? Kindle, Smashwords, LightningSource, Lulu, iPad, CreateSpace, and Scribd. [The seventh ancillary publisher, Blurb, is mostly for art books and is excluded in this chapter.]

[Here are the conversion steps:]

The first step: save Magic File #1 as Magic File #3. Then consider making these changes:

* Digital book copies mess up the pagination because the front cover (you don’t include the back cover or spine) becomes the first page. Also, you will eliminate any blank pages, so the numbers become a hodgepodge by the end of the book.

* Therefore, you remove page numbers in the table of contents, the header or footer, and the index.

* In the index you add this comment under Index, “Please use the find key to locate the specific reference pages.” Then you delete the numbers but leave in the index words in alphabetical order so the reader knows what you found worthy of special inclusion.

* Since it doesn’t matter how many pages the digital version has, this is an opportunity to increase the text font size without financial consequences. So why not make it 12- or 13-point type, probably in the same serif type you used in the bound version? [Don’t make it much larger than 14 or it will take many more pages to print.]

Remember, when you increase the font size that will alter your earlier page layouts—that will likely require you to insert and delete some earlier page breaks.

* The same logic regarding color. It matters little whether the text is black on white or pink on red—I’m joking. You can use any color combinations you wish in the e-book, including photos and images [which is why you can see color in the e-book version of this book.] The drawback with color? If the user is planning to print out some or all of the e-book text, he or she may not want to use color ink—and may not know that he or she can go to “Properties” before actually printing and tell it to use only black and white. (We use color sparingly in our e-books for that reason.)

* Probably the greatest advantage to digital copies is that links can actually be inserted and activated. For example, if I wanted to send you to my webpage in the bound version I would direct you to But in the digital copy I would probably highlight the word Web site, go to Insert/Hyperlink/ and type in where it says address. That way you could simply activate the highlighted (or underlined) word in the e–book and my Web site would open up. But that also means in Magic File #3 that you must change the typed out addresses to links, then test each to make sure you got it right and it’s still active.

* In Word, the style program is as baffling to us, the users, as it seems to be to other software languages, so it’s best to cruise through the text pages and be sure that it says “Normal” in the top bar before the font and size boxes as often as possible. Don’t ask why but that seems to eliminate most of the cases where regular type inexplicably appears twice (or half) as large, in italics, or in bold!

* Sometimes to read your book well digitally you must modify or eliminate your header and/or footer in your e-book.

* We also make our chapter and section heads smaller and uniform throughout our e-books, so reading the book on a reading device is faster and smoother.

After making all of those changes, you have to go back and read the whole book, at least on the monitor, to see that the layout and contents are exactly as you’d like the digital readers to see them on their computers, on readers, or on some handheld devices.

When it is ready to print in this streamlined e-book version, save that file as Magic File #3.doc. And hide this file with the other master magic files.

Make a copy of the final Magic File #3 and tell your PDF software to save it as Magic File #4.pdf, for those ancillary publishers who want this electronic version submitted that way.

Again, read #4 to see if it looks like #3. Remember, PDF is particularly pesky at the page breaks, so you may have to do the adjusting here that you had to do with Magic File #2. Ultimately, you want Files #3 and #4 to either look alike or acceptably similar. But here you won’t have to worry about pagination, the table of contents, or index.

One more niggling thing—and it’s very important because it throws a wrench in a lot of ancillary-published e-books.
Some of the e-book ancillary publishers don’t want the file in PDF (which preserves artwork much as it is) but they also can’t use #3 as it is, in Word. So for them you must go back to #3 and eliminate all artwork—like images, photos, charts, and graphs. Why? Because it simply won’t stay where you want it, look right, or somehow not mess up your text presentation.

Kindle is the best (or worst) example. And Smashwords, which saves your electronic book in nine different softwares is a huge roll of the dice. Some look fine with PDF, some are okay in Word, and some look awful in whatever you send.

Again, this is explained more fully in the next chapter.

The real question is, what do you do if you have to delete artwork but it contains valuable information the reader should know? One, you can rewrite the specific section in your e-book File #3 file so the gist of the artwork is explained in printed text. Two, you can simply say nothing at all. Or, three, you say that there was artwork in the bound book version of this text, then send the reader to links that contain the artwork and explain why that was included in the original book. Those links will be at your (or somebody else’s) Web site.

Then I would proof this special rewritten version of File #3, make sure it is ready to submit, and I would give it a special title like: booktitle#3 Kindle.doc

That’s it. These are the changes you make in your core bound book text so it reads best (or is accepted best by the software) in e-book format.

How to Get Your Book Published Free in Minutes and Marketed Worldwide in Days explains the whole process (this is an excerpt), and I talk about it regularly in my free, monthly newsletter too.

Hope this helps!

Best wishes,

Gordon Burgett

P.S. You might also be interested in an earlier blog, “7 times when using Lulu,…”

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Get paid to speak or write about almost anything you know!

A friend sent me a funny video about a couple who converted a small truck into a giant kid’s flyer wagon, with a 8′ handle sticking straight up. It’s licensed and drives great.

At the same time I was prepping an item about how to write free books that sell and how to get paid to speak about things you know.

Bingo. The man and/or his wife in the wagon could easily use the video (from a local TV station) to contact clubs and groups that would love to have them come, show the video, show the “wagon,” and tell their tale. And pay them too!

More important, why not write the how-to book so others can build their own giant wagon? Combine photos taken during the process, diagrams, and step-by-step action?

Then have Lulu or CreateSpace publish the book free and sell it in weeks worldwide?

Check for details about the publishing. And see my newsletter for more information about booking your speeches.

The point is: if you know something that others want to know, they will pay you to hear or read about it.

Best wishes,

Gordon Burgett

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How to create an extraordinarily effective speech-marketing tool

This coming Monday, Oct. 25, I’ll be featured in a 60-minute teleseminar offered by Speaker Net News about this topic, at 4 p.m. PST (7 p.m. EST).

I’d love to have you take part! Simply contact SNN here. You will also receive an mp3 version of the presentation, plus links to the handout and a couple of downloadable examples of the tool to access whenever you wish.

The cost is $25, paid to them.

Here’s the write-up that appeared in the 10/15 edition of Speaker Net News, a first-rate weekly newsletter that’s a must for speakers:

How to Create an Extraordinarily Effective Speech-Marketing Tool:
Your Own Self-Selling Book or Booklet

To regularly earn many thousands of dollars from speeches or seminars, invest a few hundred dollars now—once–and create a surefire selling tool that you can send to every booker in your universe. Build a book or booklet from something you uniquely know—solve a gnarly problem, retool a case study, explain a process that works —so the booker sees your brilliance, wit, and special insight and can hire you for a related presentation you want to give!

Best yet, you needn’t pay a penny to publish your gem in either bound or digital format, and it can be yours in minutes or days. It can also be an income source forever!

Gordon will explain the step-by-step process in this teleseminar and accompanying handout. He will also include two digital examples (of a dozen such tools he has successfully used in the past 25 years) that you can download to get started…

You will learn:

* how to strategize your speech-marketing campaign, and what singular tool will distinguish you from others seeking that booking

* the contact letter, flyer, and “kit” components you will have digitally accessible to accompany your new speech marketing book or booklet

* what the new tool must do to positively persuade the programmer that you are the person to pick, and to whom it should be sent for maximum effectiveness

* where you can send the tool to get it published free and fast, looking the way you want, both bound and digitally downloadable!

* how you can later (or simultaneously) re-publish that core book or booklet in-house as often as you wish without rights problems or ISBN issues


Feel free to contact me too if you have questions. I’ll talk more about this topic in future blogs and at my regular, free newsletter as well.

Best wishes,

Gordon Burgett

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Always have a key project on schedule…

I’ve had a string of consulting clients (all writing-based) who seemed to have the same major fault: they got distracted and forgot what they most wanted (and needed) to do.

Mind you, I’ve been there many times myself. And sometimes it’s beyond my control: some family or health problem creates a temporary barrier that just has to be addressed.

But that wasn’t the case here. They got so involved in their blog or a wee article for a friend’s newsletter or getting caught up on their e-mail…

The one thing that writing demands and few mention is discipline, which in my mind means priority and scheduling.

It means a pyramid of importance where the key project always gets so many hours or a set amount writing or editing, then the rest are slipped in and done.

I find the e-mail the biggest distraction, and my curiosity is usually so great I head there first to get the most important items quickly dispatched.

But I’ve had to sharpen my own discipline lately, and here’s what I’ve done. I go to the e-mail, I select the three (maximum) items that need immediate attention, and I respond directly, with a total of 30 minutes on the clock. If anything still lingers that is time-based, it’s done at the end of the day. Period.

A second change: I schedule four solid days of work, but I leave Friday as free as possible to catch with family and friends, plus to do some planning and strategizing. A doodle day. A bit of social networking. Maybe a blog or two. Maybe a long cycle or, in season, to go watch the Cubs slaughter the Giants.

If I work on Saturday, it’s usually on the key project. Uninterrupted.

If this helps, great.

Grodon Burgett

P.S. I’m speaking in about 10 days on a teleseminar with Speaker Net News. Check back and I’ll have the confirmed time and day. This information will also be at by the end of this week.

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