How to self publish your e-books on Amazon


My first attemps to convert my Cookbook into an e-book was not easy. I started on Amazon Kindle but found the instructions very complicated. There was too much information there, which gave me a headache each time I started reading it.

After reading many tutorials and forum threads, someone mentioned on the Amazon forum that there is a great tutorial on Smashwords and they were absolutely right. If you follow their instructions it is 100% guaranteed that you will succeed to publish your e-book.

However Amazon is AMAZON!!!!, if you know what I mean and who wouldn’t want to be visible on one of the biggest sites on the web?

I know I did and I finally made it a couple of days ago and now my e-cookbooks are available on all Amazon stores!!

If you want to self publish here is a synopsis of what I have learned during the course of self publishing my e-cookbook Volume 1 and Volume 2 and if the information provided is incomplete, you can also download and find more information on the Kindle Publishing Guide:

A. Prepare your manuscript

  • Make a list of all the recipes you want to include. Arrange them either in alphabetical order or sort them into categories.
  • Add the recipes from your files or blog.
  • When done, highlight everything with Control A to copy content. Open Notepad and left shift or Control V to paste content. This will remove any formats or links.
  • Open a new word document and Save As .doc (not docx)
  • Prepare a Table of Content and add links.
  • Do not add page numbers, headers or footers or symbols.
  • Use Styles to format your document. Do not use a font size bigger than 14.
  • Do not use more than one line breaks. If you want to change a line do not press enter more than once.
  • After each recipe use a Page Break and add a link to your Table of Content.

B. Adding photos

  • Do not copy paste a picture but add each picture from Insert / Picture.
  • Do not resize it by dragging the picture from the corners. Resize your photos on Photoshop, Picassa or Gimp. The image should be a minimum 500 pixels wide and 1280 pixels high.
  • In the member’s area of the Kindle Desktop Publishing website there is a tutorial for formatting your manuscript document. Read through that document and follow the directions to make sure that your e-book displays properly.
  • Make sure that you carefully edit and proofread your book’s manuscript before you upload it.
  • Prepare you Book Cover.

C. Create a free account on the Kindle Desktop Publishing platform

Go to KDP/Amazon and sign up for a free publisher account.

D. Create your profile

Create your profile on Author Central

E. Publish your e-book

Write a concise and compelling description of your e-book and upload it to the Kindle Store. Last step: set your price, “Save and Publish” and if you have done everything correct you are now an AA, no not that kind of AA but an Amazon Author.

I used to think that you needed a Kindle device to read Kindle e-books but found out after publishing that you can download Kindle Cloud, which is a free application where you can read kindle books on your browser, even if you are not online.

Hope my article was useful to you but if you need more help, do not hesitate to contact me.

On a last note, if you have already purchased my book in print, my e-book on Smashwords or you have won a copy or it was sent to you as a gift or if you intend to buy one in the future, PLEASE write a sincere review.  You know that reviews are helpful to potential buyers, so please take a minute and write your review either on AMAZON or on SMASHWORDS.

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!

Special Offer for my Cookbooks and Video: How to make Phyllo from Scratch and Spanakopita

Aside


I am very excited that yesterday I made my first video. It was nothing planned but it was one of those rare days that I was alone at home. I had already done the preparation of the dough and filling for Spanakopita, when the idea of making a video popped up.

I know that there are a lot of mistakes in this video and my friends on facebook gave me some good advice for next time, if ever I decide to do this again, and if I do, I hope next time to do a better job.

What I did was set the tripod on the only free space available in the kitchen and focus on the working area. As you see from the picture, the stand mixer is where the fruit are and right behind me is the kitchen table.

In order to speak to the camera I had to lower down my body and also later on, while rolling the dough I had to put my back to the camera as otherwise I could not reach the pasta attachment.

As I said, it was not planned and the dough I had made was more than it takes for one spanakopita as I wanted to use the rest to make some Spicy Sausage Rolls (that will have to wait for a future recipe).

Nevertheless, with all the technical mistakes in it, I think that you will understand how to make a good Greek Spanakopita.

Spanakopita Strifti, from my Cookbook but also, included in my e-cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste, Volume 2

Spanakopitta (or spanakopita) is the most popular Greek pie, made with spinach, aromatic herbs and feta cheese. Other types of cheeses, like anari or myzithra, which are soft whey cheeses, similar to ricotta can be combined.

How to make Phyllo

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Resting time: 30 minutes

Rolling phyllo: 30 minutes, depending on your skills

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams (1.10 lbs) all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp wine vinegar
  • 200 ml water (about 1 cup)

Spanakopita Strifti

Preparation time: 60 minutes

Baking time: 45 – 60 minutes

Serves: 6 – 9 (as a main dish) or 18 as a snack

Ingredients:

  • Dough (as above)
  • Olive oil for brushing (about 1 cup)

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 1 kilo (2.20 lbs) fresh or frozen spinach
  • 3 spring onions
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ cup dill, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 300 grams (0.65 lbs) feta, crumbled
  • 3 large eggs
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Sift the flour and mix in the salt. Put the flour in a large bowl and pour in the oil. Using your fingertips rub the oil until the flour has absorbed the oil. Add vinegar and then water gradually (more or less water may be necessary). Mix until the dough is soft but not sticky on your hands. Place on a floured surface and knead for a few minutes.
  2. You can also make the dough in your stand mixer. Attach the dough paddle. Put all the ingredients, except water, in the mixer bowl and mix on low speed. Gradually add water until the dough is ready and does not stick on the walls of the bowl. Test with your fingers to see if it is sticky. If it is, add more flour.
  3. After your dough is ready, you should leave it to rest for half an hour. This resting time is necessary for the gluten to develop and make the dough elastic. If gluten does not develop properly, you will roll out the dough and then it will shrink again.
  4. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Shape them into balls and then press to flatten. While working with the dough, flour your working surface regularly with flour, unless you are working on a non-stick mat. Also dust the dough regularly so that it will not stick.
  5. Always keep the remaining dough covered, so that it does not dry.
  6. Depending on your pasta machine, it is usually numbered from 1 – 6 and on some other attachments on stand mixers like mine, the machines are numbered from 1 – 9.
  7. Set your pasta machine to the smallest number which is number 1. Each time you roll it out, dust it again with flour and continue the same procedure increasing the numbers, until you get the desired thickness
  8. Meantime, wash the spinach, removing the stems or any damaged leaves and dry. Frozen spinach reduces the time of preparation considerably but defrost before using. Squeeze it with your hands to remove all fluids. Alternatively, if fresh spinach is used, when still wet you can put them in a big saucepan, without any additional water, and bring to a soft boil for about 5 minutes, until it wilts. It will become soft and its volume will be reduced. Place it in a colander to cool down and when it can be handled, drain any water by squeezing it. In both cases,cut it into smaller pieces.
  9. Preheat oven to 180o C / 350ο F.
  10. Place the spinach in a large bowl and add ¼ cup of the olive oil, the onions and herbs, as well as the eggs, feta and spices and mix well.
  11. Grease a 30 x 40 cm (12 x 15.75”) or 30 cm – 12” baking tin with olive oil. The remaining olive oil will be used to brush the phyllo.
  12. Divide the dough into six parts and roll out a thin phyllo.
  13. Place on your working surface and cut it in the middle. Join the two pieces to make a bigger square or rectangle piece and brush it generously with olive oil.
  14. Put some filling on one edge. Roll, once to cover filling and press the two sides so that the filling will not come out. While rolling brush it with olive oil and when done, twist the two ends towards opposite direction. This will stretch the dough and make it even bigger. Place in an oiled baking tin one roll next to the other.
  15. Brush on top generously with olive oil.
  16. Bake for about 1 hour or until golden on top.

Hope you enjoyed the video and please let me know what you think:)

 Special Offer for my Readers:

Volume 1 includes a selection of the best Greek-Cypriot savory dishes, mezedes, side dishes and salads. This goes to Jamie, of Life’s a Feast.

Volume 2, includes Breads, bread products, Pies, Snacks, Preserves and a lot of Desserts. This goes to Rosa, of Rosa’s Yummy Yums.

The special offer with 25% discount is still valid for all the readers of my blog until the 31st December, 2011 . You can use Code JB99K for Volume 1 and Code EP93W for Volume 2.

Last but not least, if you would like to buy the Cookbook in print and are worried that it will not reach you in time, well if you buy it directly from me paying via Paypal, I will also send you the two e-cookbooks within a few hours. Please contact me by e-mail at ivyliac AT gmail DOT com or through the contact page.

If you win or buy the book or e-cookbooks, a review is always welcome.

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

Happy Holidays and Giveaway of e-cookbooks


With Christmas just two weeks away, I would like to thanks my readers with a giveaway of each volume of my e-cookbooks.

The books are available on the following formats for you to choose:

Online Reading (HTML, good for sampling in web browser)

Online Reading (JavaScript, experimental, buggy)

Kindle (.mobi for Kindle devices and Kindle apps)

Epub (Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, others)

PDF (good for reading on PC, or for home printing)

RTF (readable on most word processors)

LRF (Use only for older model Sony Readers that don’t support .epub)

Palm Doc (PDB) (for Palm reading devices)

Plain Text (download) (flexible, but lacks much formatting)

Plain Text (view) (viewable as web page)

Volume 1 includes over 100 of the best Greek-Cypriot savory dishes, mezedes, side dishes and salads.

Volume 2, you will find Breads, bread products, Pies, Snacks and a lot of Desserts.

Now, how do you win the book?

1. Follow Kopiaste by subscribing to this blog. If you’re on Facebook, ‘Like‘ Kopiaste.. to Greek Hospitality.

2. Share this post on any social network. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, anything goes. Just use your imagination.

3. Blog about it on your blog. Why not let as many friends who love Greek-Cypriot recipes know about the book’s giveaway and what you like about the book.

4. Last, leave a comment on Kopiaste to let me know what you did. Your comment here also counts as one entry.

Every separate post you make counts as an entry for the book, so share it a ton!

I will pick 2 winners at random, on Friday the 16th of December. Make sure to check back here to see if you won!

If you don’t win the book and still want to buy it, I am offering you a 25% discount. You can use Code JB99K for Volume 1 and Code EP93W for Volume 2. Both offers are valid until 31st December, 2011, so why not send it as a gift to your friends as well or offer it as a giveaway on your blog, while it lasts. I promise you won’t regret it… 🙂

Happy Holidays!

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

 

The e-book has finally been published


First of all Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who celebrate today.

I know it’s been a very long time since my last post and I haven’t been around for several reasons.

It’s been almost a year since I published my cookbook “Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!” and I wish to thank all of you for buying it. If you liked it, you may consider sending it as a gift to your friends and family who like Greek food.

I’ve received a lot of positive feedback from people who have bought it but also a lot of e-mails from younger people, asking me if I could make it into an e-book.

I written in the past about my efforts which were unsuccessful and after several efforts I gave up.   During the summer, it was so hot I did not even consider spending hours and hours on the computer but last mont I decided to give it a last try.  After google searching I found out about Smashwords.

Evidently they have a very good tutorial and after several attemps of uploading it there, it was rejected several times but I persisted and following their instructions I had to start it all over again.  The recipes are still the same but all the formatting had to be done from scratch.

I finally made it and it was accepted!!!

The maximum capacity allowed for an e-book on Smashwords is 5 MB and my cookbook was way above that size. I didn’t want to remove any of the recipes included in cookbook and since I had more to add, I decided to divided into two volumes.

Volume 1, includes over 100 recipes: Mezedes, Side Dishes and Main Dishes.

Volume 2, includes over 130 receipes: Bread, Pies, Snacks and Desserts

The first volume was enriched by more traditional recipes, which due to the high cost on Createspace, I could not add.

The second volume was also enriched by recipes not posted in the printed book but I’ve also added lots of my cakes, spoon sweets, marmalades etc.

The best part is that you can download a free sample from each book, , in many formats: online reading (html or Java script), kindle, epub (Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, others), pdf, rtf, lrf, palm doc, etc.).  All you have to do is follow the respective links given above.

You can see all the recipes included in the Table of Content and the best part is you get a free sample of some recipes.

Hope to hear your views of what you think about it.

Greek-Cypriot recipes in an e-book


After the success of my cookbook and almost a year later, I have now published my cookbook into an e-book with Smashwords. The e-book can now be downloaded, in many formats: online reading (html or Java script), kindle, epub (Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, others), pdf, rtf, lrf, palm doc, etc.)

The maximum capacity of an e-book at Smashwords is only 5 MB and since the cookbook was almost twice as big, I had to separate it into two Volumes, each one reaching the maximum capacity, with lots of new recipes. You can download a free samle of each book, following the respective links given below, in order to see the Table of Contents as well as a sample of some recipes.

Last but not least many thanks to all my loyal followers and readers of “Kopiaste”, who have bought the hard cover book but also to all of you who are now buying the e-book.

Volume 1 includes all mezedes, side dishes and main dishes.

In Volume 2, you will find Breads, Pies, Snacks and a lot of Desserts.

Cookbook (in print)

Order your copy now!

E-book:

Or download the e-book now!

E-book update


If you think making a book is easy, I can assure you it isn’t.
It took me a year to prepare the book and I thought it would be easy to turn the book into an e-book.
I’ve been working on the e-book for over a week and have been encountering all sorts of problems.
To start with, I had to add hyperlinks to the Table of Contents, which would lead to each recipe. Although I read several tutorials there was something missing which I could not figure out. After making tests and combinations, day after day, I finally managed to make it work.
Another problem I encountered was that when creating the pdf the chapter separations would break. I fixed it and when creating a new pdf another section broke. I fixed the second and something else went wrong. I was so frustrated yesterday that the idea of giving up passed from my mind.

However, I am really stubborn, so all I need to do now is start the book over again from scratch!!!!!

The hard cover book which is sold on Amazon.com and Createspace, is doing really well and thank you all for buying it.

I shall keep you posted about the e-book.