My new book, Blue Eyes: Ethereal Messages of Connection went LIVE on Amazon (available in paperback and Kindle) as of 11 pm ET New Year’s Eve! Want to know how I wrote and self-published it? I mean, the easy way? And hopefully with less time editing (I am sharing lessons learned for you, AND to remind myself should I write another book)! Ha!

Amazon screenshot showing my new book, Blue Eyes: Ethereal Messages of Connection

I downloaded and used Kindle Create to prepare both the Kindle version of the book and the paperback, and each has their own set of distinct requirements! For example, you will format (layout) each differently. But start with the Kindle ePub version in mind first because you can export from Kindle create to ePub for direct uploading into KDP publishing online through a browser, and you can then export a PDF version to open in Pages on a mac, or other editing software to add page numbers and other desired formatting changes.

But I digress. Here’s a cheat sheet of all I used to write the book (and these steps will help you blog as well, especially if you love using your phone and dictating or “channel”!

  • Download Otter for your phone
  • Speak less than 30 minutes FREE (if you go over 30 minutes you’ll have to pay Otter $12.95 for at least a month to get your entire file!)
  • Export both audio and text files from Otter
  • Email these files or transfer from iPhone directly to MacBook via AirDrop
  • Copy and paste the text from the .txt file into Grammarly. You can use the web version and it’s FREE
  • Listen to the audio file while editing as some words do not transcribe well
  • Follow most of the Grammarly help it provides but if you love fancy ways to write certain words like I do when I write the word, aWEsOMe, you don’t have to accept those changes.
  • Do the Grammarly step before laying out the book into a particular format in Pages, Scrivener, MS Word or such as you’ll lose all the formatting when moving content from that app to Grammarly and back again. I know. It happened to me and it sucked! (I reformatted my Pages paperback version about a dozen times, I lost count that’s for sure! Ugh.)
  • Copy and paste in Scrivener by chapter and section (or WordPress when writing a blog article)
  • Arrange and rearrange chapters and sections easily, see most used words (which is why I bought Scrivener for a one-time fee of $50)
  • If using Pages, MS Word, or other word processing application, copy and paste from Scrivener to it now and save two files: ePub and PDF
  • Download Kindle Create
  • Copy and paste text from Pages, Scrivener, or MS Word file to Kindle Create
  • Export ePub file for the Kindle ebook version and PDF file for the paperback
  • Run the checker on KDP Publishing many times and make every change they suggest but do add page numbers to the paperback version and ensure they show up.
  • Check each image to ensure it shows up in the paperback version too! One of my images didn’t show up (at all) when I got my paperback copies and I realized I could have prevented that had I changed everything to grayscale before placing the images in the paperback version. Kindle version displays all of your content and images in whatever color but the paperback does NOT (only the cover of the paperback is printed in color)!
  • Use the book cover template suggested if you are preparing your own book cover. And don’t leave the spine blank as I did on mine. I knew what a spine was but both my husband and I missed that and we’ll have to fix it at some point. And do bleed the edges on the front and back book covers, Amazon calls the whole thing, “the cover,” which includes front, spine, and back cover of your book. And no, I didn’t know that the first several times I submitted the book cover. Duh!
  • Make final edits to the PDF in Pages, Scrivener, or MS Word, whichever app used to export the submitted PDF if you used multiple apps
  • Order a printed draft of your paperback if you really want to get it right! (SEE NOTE BELOW)
  • Don’t pay for advertising until you know your paperback prints the way it should (UGH)

After reviewing a printed paperback copy of my new book, Blue Eyes: Ethereal Messages of Connection I found where one of the images did NOT show up on the page! Because of that and because no page numbers displayed (the Table of Contents isn’t too helpful when you can’t look by page numbers), I had to update the manuscript again (umpteenth time) and resubmit. I had to do the layout again, in the Pages app on my MacBook Air because when I added the page numbers the layout changed. The cover size changed too because the page length of the book grew!

Here’s where it got hairy and later, very frustrating!

I spent all afternoon today on the manuscript. Yes, AGAIN—7 days after publishing! I even added a few sentences and prettied it up by making sure each chapter started on the right hand page.

I submitted it via KDP Publishing site to Amazon. I had to Preview it again though I didn’t feel I needed to. It would NOT let me resubmit it without clicking on Preview.

When I did that, it told me my cover was the wrong size! It didn’t have a problem with the cover before (that is after I’d already updated THAT several times before initially submitting, but now with more pages the cover needs to be larger—bang my head).

Point is, I spent another hour or two and recruiting hubby to help because the software I use on the MacBook would NOT let me resize a PDF. The more obstacles I ran into the more aggravated I got!

Finally, hubby resized the PDF cover in Photoshop on our desktop iMac to the exact size dimensions the bot had specified on KDP and I got that uploaded. I did chat with Amazon though, in the meanwhile and no, I didn’t take out my frustration on the gal I was chatting with as I know it’s never their fault or problem. It’s software. But I did tell her I wanted to lodge a complaint that the bot should allow the customer, especially on a redo to force the change through.

Please make sure you give yourself the time, space, and grace to do this as it’s certainly not for the faint of heart! I now know why people pay $5k to get a book published. It’s ridiculous. I’ll use the KDP stock cover creator next time. I’m completely over this custom cover thing. Ha!

Here’s the link where you can get either or both versions: https://amzn.to/3WV68KF

I am volunteering as a Correspondence Assistant for Dr. Raymond Moody, author of many great books like, Life After Life, and God is Bigger than the Bible—and I love it so much I want to do this full-time when I retire!

Much Love, Happy New Year, and many blessings to ALL!

A bit about us:

My husband is an award-winning illustrator, plus he is a seasoned guitarist, bass player, and songwriter (of over 400 original songs). You can view some of his artwork and listen to all of his songs at: http://listen4music.com

Here’s us: https://vimeo.com/416711742?ref=fb-share

A bit about me, your Spiral Sister

Fractal of Omniscience. “Spiral Sister”Observer & Perceiver of Energy & Wisdom from Nature. Empath|Author|Connector|Speaker|Singer. ❤️🦋🌀🎼〰️🙏🔥☯️

I would love to speak at your bookstore, crystal shop, acupuncture / chiropractor office, natural health foods store, art fair, music or yoga festival. I support healthy lifestyle businesses. I’m an Amazon bestselling author of two co-authored books: “Transform Your Life Book 2 Inspirational Stories and Expert Advice” and “Energy of Receiving”, available on Amazon. Visit my author’s page here.

Plus, I documented how I naturally reversed 30+ years of chronic asthma in my holistic health book, Take It Upon Yourself to Live a Wholly Vibrant Life, that’s available on Barnes and Noble: here

Be the best version of who you want to be. As it really does affect us ALL. We Are All Connected.

Information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prescribe.

Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/takeonyourself/

4 thoughts on “Cheat sheet: How I wrote and self-published my new book, Blue Eyes: Ethereal Messages of Connection

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