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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know that I have asked this same question in other ways, but how can I as a new Kindle author encourage the free sample downloading of my books? The Amazon system does not allow me to control the formatting of my books' descriptions on their Kindle pages, so of course, I wonder if this is discouraging curious readers. I would very much like to know how my books look, in a formatting sense, on an actual Kindle, too. The nonfiction nature of my books, with considerable levels of front matter, dictates that the worst of the formatting issues, whatever they may be, should be visible in the free downloads. Is anyone interested in taking a look and letting me know what they see?

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001OI1YN4
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001OI1YSO
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your quick reply, Jeff! Any general stuff you want to mention, you could put it here if you want. I'll be glad to read any detailed info you want to send via e-mail, too. Of course if the result is too embarrassing, I would rather receive the information privately!

The problem is that, no matter what I do, I cannot seem to create an HTML document that I can modify. I know, for instance, that a particular line return in the front matter of one book is out to lunch, at least on one line, but are there a lot more of these? This is what I would like to know. I am also uncertain how much of this formatting is actually tolerable to Kindle readers. I am sure that it is just some glitch that as a complete novice at the Kindle game, I cannot get a firm enough grip on the instructions. I could eliminate page breaks, blank pages, and such directly in my Word documents if I only knew exactly what needed to be done. I uploaded the Word versions of my books that contained the least number of such page breaks, but I am not sure if I have made the right choice. Thank you for your patience.
 

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The problems are very minor; your books are perfectly readable. For example, some paragraphs are indented while others are not. The samples are really too short to be of much value because they consist mostly of contents; about the author, etc. and never get to the meat of the books.

I'd be happy to help you further but your email address is obscured and I sent you an earlier private message that you didn't answer. My email address is [email protected] or you can browse the forum. The below topic leads to an ASP page with step-by-step instructions:

http://eliscopublishing.com/smf/index.php?topic=114.0
 

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Here are two things I did to get people to sample my books:

1. Submit your books to Google Book Search. This is a searchable database where readers can see your writing and review a certain set percentage of your book for free. I set mine to be 30% readable. You can provide people with a link directly to the Google page and Google has buy links linked directly to your amazon (etc) sales pages. The Google people do this all for you, for free. All you have to do is upload a PDF and wait about a week.

2. If your book is also available in paperback, submit it to the Look Inside program (I beleive it's called Search Inside now). This allows potential buyers to browse sections of the book to get a feel for it, but it's a limited preview. I don't know how many pages they allow but it's enough to hook them if your writing is good.

If you think it's crazy to let people read 30% of your book without paying, remember that book stores have big comfy chairs in them so that people can read in there. Letting them see your writing online is just like letting them read through your book in a store.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for your suggestions, David. All of my books are already available in the Amazon Look Inside and the Google Book Search programs.

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here are the links to my books:







 
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