Kevin Tumlinson, Dan Wood, and Mark Lefebvre field questions from the live audience on everything from print to libraries to marketing 101. There’s a lot of wisdom crammed into this quick webinar, so we’ve provided a full transcript below the video!
book, author, question, keywords, retailers, library, amazon, kobo, digital, people, Overdrive, D2D Print, platforms, partners, asks, find, draft, upload, dan
Mark Lefebvre, Dan Wood, Kevin Tumlinson
Kevin Tumlinson 05:08
Hey, everybody, hello.
Kevin Tumlinson 05:13
Alright, we’re all in. So, Hey, welcome, everybody. We This is the January 2020, the very first D2D Live of 2020. How is everybody feeling so far in the year of vision?
Dan Wood 05:29
It’s the beginning o of a new decade? That’s kind of cool.
Kevin Tumlinson 05:30
It is a new decade, although some are arguing about that. Have you heard this whole argument about the decade doesn’t start until 2021?
Mark Lefebvre 05:40
Dan Wood 05:42
I am. I would say that the decade has started however, you know, whatever. Okay.
Kevin Tumlinson 05:48
Yeah. No, I’m right there with you.
Mark Lefebvre 05:51
Yeah. So thing is what are you going to get done this year in your writing and publishing journey, right?
Kevin Tumlinson 05:56
That is a good question. What are you getting done? What’s on your list?
Mark Lefebvre 06:00
myself, I’ve got actually I released a book already. And I have another one up for pre order with a co author. So for me, it’s been a, and I’ve been in two anthologies that went live this month. So January has been pretty amazing. But it’s all the stuff that was stacked up from previous up. So how about you my friend?
Kevin Tumlinson 06:12
Yeah, front loaded to I got a couple books I’ve already gotten into pre order this year. I’ve got webinars galore. It’s just all happening. All of it is happening. Dan, what’s going on?
Dan Wood 06:27
It has been a really busy busy January here at Draft2Digital, just in general, and I don’t write books, but uh, we’ve just had all kinds of exciting things. Talk to a lot of potential new partners. It’s been a fun beginning to the 2020. That’s for sure.
Kevin Tumlinson 06:49
So we want to welcome because this is the first time we’ve actually sort of simulcast to both Facebook and YouTube. So we want to welcome my anybody who’s tuning in via YouTube Live. So hello YouTube, and thanks for. Thanks for joining us, man. We are, we are going to have some fun with it. So we’ve already got questions piling up. Do we want to just hop in? Or is there anything we want to talk about before we get into this stuff?
Dan Wood 07:15
I think we should go ahead and hop into the questions.
Kevin Tumlinson 07:18
Okay. First up, I gotta post this because this is from my good friend Kayla. And she says hashtag best decade ever. So we’re already off to a good start. Which who’s, who’s up first? We got. We haven’t started flagging our questions in slack yet.
Mark Lefebvre 07:36
I think I flagged the first one if that’s useful one,
Kevin Tumlinson 07:40
We got one from Amos here. Let’s Let’s pop this up. And Mark I think you were talking about
Mark Lefebvre 07:46
Yeah, that was that was one of the things I wanted to address. So just for the audio, Amos asked, “Is this a place to ask questions?” Yes, it is the place to ask questions. Thanks. So the answer that one that was good. See, look at I’m on a roll. So he said, I’m noticing that not all libraries are offering my books for recommendations on Overdrive. Why is that? Thanks. And so Amos, I’m going to have to actually maybe interpret that question. And does that mean that some libraries don’t have your books available through Overdrive, but other ones do? Or is that some libraries have all your books or not? So I’m going to assume the first question and if I’m wrong, do let us know and of course, we can maybe answer that better. But what it is, is Overdrive.com you should be able to go there and anything that you’ve pushed to Overdrive, you know, ideally, through Draft2Digital, of course, you’ll see listed on Overdrive, it usually does take a couple weeks for that process. Usually, if you give it a full more than seven days or two weeks, it’s usually in the system. It’s there on Overdrive.com, which you can search you can search by title, author name, etc. And if the library purchases it for Overdrive with the one to one license, then you’ll see it in the library system. So that may be why library system has some your books and not others.
Mark Lefebvre 09:00
Of course, if they’re local, let them know you’re a local author. And what I often do is I go to Overdrive calm, and actually send them a link to my book on Overdrive, just so they’re sure that yes, you can get it from Overdrive. Now, there are other licenses with Overdrive that you can get through Draft2Digital. And that’s the cost per checkout model. So the difference between that and in that case, the library isn’t curating. And in that case, the library may have just pushed the entire catalog forward, and then they let their patrons decide what’s going to happen. So those are the kind of the two ways that that works for Overdrive, which is one of our many fine library systems that you can push to through D2D. Guys. Did I? Did I answer your interpretation of the question?
Dan Wood 09:33
You did. Yeah. It’s really important to remember that if your book is available to Overdrive, that doesn’t mean that every library has it. They have people at the libraries that acquire the books and so you got to make sure they hear about it so you can let your fans know. They can ask for the book if it’s not already in their library system that goes for both audio and digital. So …
Kevin Tumlinson 10:01
I concur. That’s what people say when they were only half listening because I was trying to figure out the thing.
Dan Wood 10:08
Yeah, we’re on a new system this time, because we had a lot of issues last time. So if you were with us last time, thanks for showing up again, because we were a little bit late. Because our normal software solutions would not connect to Facebook. So.
Kevin Tumlinson 10:23
But I think it’s all working out. So yeah. Who’s up next? We got a question from Will James. Anybody want to tackle this one? We say received an email about author copies and can order one ended up being $1 cheaper to buy it on Amazon with $8 shipping on the author’s copy, but it looks phenomenal. Thanks. So it wasn’t so much a question as a statement, but I’m glad it looked good.
Dan Wood 10:47
And we do have a surcharge on our partner. Because of the way print on demand works for them just print off one copy of the book, they charge you a little bit extra to do so. So it can be cheaper if you buy three or four copies for that first one. Yeah, we’re looking at different options to provide author copies cheaper. And hopefully that’ll work out. Before I now, yeah, ordering a single copy is a little bit more expensive.
Kevin Tumlinson 11:15
I have our first question from YouTube. So I’m going to pronounce this as John Smith. I’m just going to go for it. So as I want to know how to publish the book, and can we publish audio books, we do have an audio book partner with find away voices and you can get to them through us. So if you use us to publish your ebook, and the way you would do that, John, as you would, if you don’t already have an account at Draft2Digital com, go set up an account, it’s absolutely free. And you can upload your manuscript as a Word document or an RTF file and just will walk you through the whole process there. So that you can actually get your book up, converted and ready to go out to all the storefronts. And then once you’ve done that, you can actually port it over to Findaway Voices, which is our partner for audiobooks. And they can help you find a narrator and get that produced. So anybody want to throw some things in on that front?
Mark Lefebvre 12:21
The only thing I would add is the question about publishing a book and it’s easier to go to our awesome YouTube channel and there’s a walkthrough process in Kevin’s sexy voice with some nice music in the background that kind of walks you through just how easy it is. It should be intuitive, and it’s very friendly to do but I’m a visual person. So I love those videos. So John, I think for publishing a book Yeah, it’s free. It’s easy to do free conversion. All the really great content is there. And I’m sure we can, we can just throw a link to the YouTube channel if you’re … no, that’s from YouTube. You’re on YouTube, so you know where our YouTube channel is. Yeah, yeah, there you go.
Kevin Tumlinson 12:58
By the way, if you are If you are on YouTube and you haven’t already, make sure you subscribe to us, we’re supposed to, we’re obligated by law to say that like every five minutes, subscribe to us on YouTube and hit the little bell for notification.
Mark Lefebvre 13:12
Can I do a follow up? So Amos clarified something Did you see the question popped in? Where’s while we’re?
Kevin Tumlinson 13:19
I’ll ook for it and put it up.
Mark Lefebvre 13:21
It’s right below Ernie Dempsey’s smart alec, comment. There you go. When I checked the libraries, this is the clarification. Some will find them as recommendable, but others can’t find it at all. So Amos, what I’d like you to do is please email our customer service team about that and ask them to send it over to me. I’ll dig into it with you. I’d love to see some examples like this library has this. This library has that if we need to, we can get with our Overdrive folks and see Is it a systematic issue or is it is it just the way different libraries operate like the one to one license, etc. So thank you for asking the question. Sorry I couldn’t answer it live but I will dig into that for you. offline backstage later on.
Kevin Tumlinson 14:02
Excellent. I’m going to, I’m going to hop over to a question from Regina Clark here. Do you have a lot of readers to depend on? Like no problem in sales? I don’t know who that question is addressed to you. It may be addressed someone in the in the chat. I just I didn’t read it before I selected, I’m sorry. I was just hopping.
Dan Wood 14:23
Another one. I haven’t
Mark Lefebvre 14:24
has a lot of readers though. He does.
Kevin Tumlinson 14:27
I do have a lot of readers. I thought I was looking … I thought I was clicking on another one she had. Sorry about that, Regina. I will find it and I will post it. So, uh, let me hop into the next logical question. I’ll read it first. Let’s see … Well, there’s a comment from Dan Gallagher that says we’re being very helpful. Thank you. And then he follows up with how do you get listed on Overdrive?
Dan Wood 14:56
So to get listed on Overdrive, you can go through Draft2Digital. It’s one of our options. All you have to do is if you’ve got the book already uploaded there, go in, hit the checkmark next to Overdrive and we’ll send it for you. You can also go to Overdrive through Kobo. So those are the two major ways to get on to the over into the Overdrive system.
Kevin Tumlinson 15:19
Very good. Let’s see, we got a question. Another question about audio book distributors. This one from BK wrote Royston publishing. The audiobook distributors, do they only publish full service audio books or will they distribute audio summaries or one track or one chapter audio documents? That’s an interesting question.
Dan Wood 15:43
So it’s my understanding and we don’t do the audiobook distribution. So I we could be a little bit off. It’s my understanding they have like most of the retailers have a certain length they require it to be the retailer’s themselves have rules. I don’t believe that our audio book partner Findaway does have any particular rules along those lines. They do have their own platform or that you can sell direct. And so I know Mark’s been running kind of a test with them on a like a shorter book that he’s done.
Mark Lefebvre 16:12
10,000 words, though, has not been an issue for short stories.
Dan Wood 16:18
Yeah. Yeah. Have you noticed that with Audible as well, like has Have you been able to distribute things at 10,000 word length?
Mark Lefebvre 16:23
Yeah, they do go to audible. Most people aren’t going to waste a $15 credit on right you know, a $5 10,000 word short story. But I usually sell more of those in the library markets anyways. Not the token based systems like audible.
Dan Wood 16:38
And now with through Findaway you’ve got pricing control at all the retailers but Audible and so you can sell those short stories for like $2.99, $3.99 in audio, where there really wasn’t a market for that when everyone was just buying audio with a credit. So everyone wanted to get the longest book possible.
Kevin Tumlinson 17:05
All right, I got a question here from Sally Miller. Let’s show it. Hmm. I’ve been publishing my books via KDP. Since 2015. Just gone wide via D2D. Thank you. No, thank you, Sally! And what are some of the best ways to market my books published via D2D, other than emailing my list, to let them know that they’re now available in other stores? I mean, honestly, that is, the first thing I would do is, you know, go to your platform first and start telling them about that, asking them also to spread the word. But there are a lot of … there are a lot of marketing tools out there. So and I’m going to just I don’t want to assume anything, but just so I can hit all levels here. advertising is always a good way to get the word out. You can advertise on platforms, like BookBub has an ad platform. They also have their feature deals which are very useful. If you can land with those, it’s usually worth its weight in gold. There are Facebook ads you can use to advertise. So advertising is one route. I’m a big fan of content marketing. I like to produce as much content to help funnel people back to my stuff. So YouTube videos, podcasts, blog posts, you know, things that the reader can relate to, and really enjoy and share. And then always fall back on asking him to share that stuff with as many people as they can. And that’s sort of the short, compact answer and I’m sure these guys have some other tips they can throw in, they can feel free.
Mark Lefebvre 18:42
I wanted to let you know Sally that we actually do regularly get promos from some of our retail and library partners, most commonly Apple books, Kobo and Overdrive. And I am currently in the process of putting together a promo that’s going to be D2D titles published to Kobo that’s going to be coming out. So if you email our customer service team, I’ll make sure they have a link to that. And that’s not just Sally, but you know, anyone listening. And what we do is we send you a form. Unfortunately, it’s manual right now. So you fill out the form you tell us about the book. And then we extract it put it into a spreadsheet that we send off to the Kobo merchandisers. And then from that they select what they are willing to promote, or what they want to promote in different categories, different genres. And similarly, we do have things like that running from time to time. We also have where you can let us know if you have any books up for pre order. There’s a form that’s open all the time, where you can say, hey, my books up for pre order, and I’m using D2D to get it to these retailers. Because for example, we met with a couple of our partners yesterday, and we’re pitching new titles to them. And we’re looking at, hey, this book is coming up in February. It’s coming out in March, and it’s in this genre and if you’re looking for something along this line, these lines as they’re very subtle marketing, they’re very similar to a lot of our retailers do manual curation. So a lot of lot of stuff on Kobo and Apple is more like the way a bookstore would merchandise or even the way library librarians would decide and curate, as opposed to, since you’re used to KDP, where the inmates kind of run the asylum, and there’s all these automated tools and stuff like that, and algorithm based, there’s a lot more human curation that happens. And so what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to use a little bit of systematic stuff, but also take advantage of some of the humans that we know are going to look at titles there.
Dan Wood 20:30
And the best part about these retail promotions is they are all free. They don’t charge you like Amazon is now charging for ads on their platform.
Kevin Tumlinson 20:42
Yeah, and yeah, that’s right. Sorry, I was going to go off on a tangent but I forgot the she specifically said she’s wide now. So. Okay, we got a question or question and comment from Muz Murray here. Finally, my book, you are the light published on D2D today. That’s fantastic man. And the system said, I can customize my universal link. By adding my book title. However, the URL immediately created itself. As soon as I added the requested link to my book, there was already customize it, it’s not too late now Muz. If you log in, go to your dashboard on books to read calm, and you click on the left hand side, the left hand column, if you click on the link there, on that page will be some, some little drop down boxes basically down below where it says you’ll see customize your URL down there, you can click on that type in your custom URL. It’ll tell you whether or not it’s available most are right now and you can hit save and then that will become the new custom URL and then you can copy that from the little box up top. It’s unfortunately I don’t have … I could go through a little bit of trouble and try to find the page and show you but That might that might not go risk it. Anybody have anything you want to throw in on that?
Mark Lefebvre 22:07
If it’s taken already, for example, so let’s say your title is The Awesome Book, because I’m sorry, You Are the Light. Let’s so let’s say you are the lightest taken, what you can do is you can do a modification of that you can do u dash r dash the light or, or some sort of abbreviation like maybe YATL, or something like that to make it as small as possible. So don’t despair if it’s already taken. Just be a little bit creative in that.
Kevin Tumlinson 22:34
We had a follow up question from Sally Miller, asking when paperback publishing will be available. So D2D Print,
Dan Wood 22:41
Right. We have our print program in beta right now. If you go to Draft2Digital.com/printbeta, you can sign up for the beta. We’ve been doing some revising to the whole process, working on it for almost a little over a year now. So we want to make sure we get it right, our print program. It’s got some neat stuff like it will help you create a cover if you don’t already have one. So based off of your ebook cover, we can create the wraparound cover that you need for print we’re working on, we found that a lot of people wanted to use us for just print. And we had originally kind of built things so that you could use us like kind of along the same process as you were distributing your book to our digital retailers. So we’re revamping that and once we finished with the revamp, we’re going to be letting more people into the beta. As far as when we’re going to go live with it for everyone. It’s probably still several months out.
Kevin Tumlinson 23:41
Okay, so that answered a couple of people’s questions about print. This one’s interesting. I think there’s a kind of mix up we’re going to throw this one up here. I heard you’re beta testing, putting audio books in Walmart. How’s it how’s it going and how would that be done? So I don’t know if Findaway is doing anything with Walmart, I think you may have gotten a wire across with some stuff that Kobo was doing, because Kobo actually is putting ebooks in Walmart. But I don’t think audio books are part of that they might be. Mark you might know I think
Mark Lefebvre 24:16
they might be and I think because I know a Kobo writing life recently and within the last few months I guess announced that they would start taking direct audio books as well so you have the choice of using Findaway Voices or Kobo Writing Life to get your audio book up there and that’s probably it because they do have a partner with only Walmart in the US so not Walmart Canada or, or anywhere else.
Kevin Tumlinson 24:41
I thought Walmart was only in the US. I thought that was America’s store.
Mark Lefebvre 24:45
We have them up here.
Kevin Tumlinson 24:46
And just to throw it out there you can get to Kobo through Draft2Digital so if you’re already distributing through us, we can make that pretty quick and easy not detract from Kobo Writing Life. I mean, it was, you know, put together by hand Man, but you know, if you want to make your life a little easier, go straight there through us. All right, uh, next question. And this one says, Does an author just select a template and the formatting is done automatically? Or does the author use the template to format the manuscript herself. So we have some pretty amazing automated templates. When you upload your manuscript, you can upload as a Word document or an RTF file, you can upload in epub as well, but we can’t do any formatting on that. So if you upload as a Word document or an RTF file, you can use any of our templates and it’ll automatically format the book in the template you chose. And the great part about that is when we get to print, that template can carry over to print so your ebook can match your print book. So it’s all very easy, very automated, looks great. We get nothing but compliments on it. So it’s a little bit less It’s a little bit like having Vellum for free, not quite as robust as Vellum, but you get a whole series of really cool templates that will make your book look great. So
Dan Wood 26:10
You get to see a preview of that. Yeah. In the browser itself, just like right after we generate it, which only takes a few seconds. You can download the epub, or the mobi file or the PDF file and look at them and whatever program you want to, like, if you want to side loaded onto your Kindle, for instance, you could do that.
Kevin Tumlinson 26:32
Alright, we got a question here from M.A. And that’s as far as I’m going. Can you discuss promotional and affiliate earnings opportunities offered by use of B2R book lists? I think they’re talking about like the reading or books to read reading lists. Yeah, I’m just going to assume these are very cool tool. If you haven’t seen this yet, go over to books to read calm, lot, you know, create an account or login and then you can see there’s a drop down box right next to it. It’ll You select reading lists. And these are customizable lists little customizable carousels. You can arrange them any way you like and put your own graphic header on them. I don’t have mine pre loaded to show but you can. But I have one that’s all about thriller books. And it has, like, divided by certain topics. So mine is divided by like all books related to Atlantis or in this carousel and all books related to the Antarctic are in this carousel, you can do that you can create reading list is built around your own series if you want. It doesn’t have to be your books. It can be any book that’s available anywhere. You just create a universal book link for it and you can add it to a custom carousel. And you can do little hero books like a single book that’s not in a carousel that gets a little bit more of a description. So it’s very cool sort of book page. Because you can insert affiliate links from a variety of retailers. And those include Amazon, Barnes and Noble, I believe Kobo Apple, and Smashwords, which always makes me giggle a little. But because you can do that all those books will when the reader clicks through and they go to their store of choice. If you have an affiliate link associated with it, you make a little bit of extra money. So that’s a great way … I use these as a marketing tool. So like, I’ll do a promotion, I might ask a whole bunch of authors to kick in with me, we’re going to all reduce the price, the price of our book for a set period of time, and I put all those books on a reading list, and we can all send that reading list out to our list. And so readers on our various lists can go through, choose the books they want, buy them right from that, and he and I did a little bit of an extra kick because of the affiliate links and the authors get the sale. So there’s a lot of ways to use it. That’s one fun way that I like.
Mark Lefebvre 29:02
Kevin, Can I add something to that? Because you know, this is additional earning our community that goes beyond just selling your own books, right. So remember, like, there’s a really great program Tickets to True Love, which is a whole bunch of different authors writing romance series all set in the in the same universe. But they’re all publishing them independently, but they have this master list. And of course, the person who’s doing all the work to create that master list is using their affiliate link, which is great, but then it’s also promoting their other titles and things like that. And the other income opportunity that you have outside of just selling books through our retail library systems is our amazing refer a friend program, right? So that’s a way that you can if you refer somebody to use Draft2Digital because you know how awesome it is. You can earn money off of any sales that they make and it comes out of our pocket, not your author friends pocket, correct?
Kevin Tumlinson 29:56
Yes, that’s right, the Refer a Rriend Sorry, I was reading comments. Jump in and save me, Dan.
Mark Lefebvre 30:06
I’m the new guy. I still don’t know as much. You gotta you gotta answer my question. Yeah,
Kevin Tumlinson 30:09
Our Refer a Friend program which you can find when you log in at draft2digital.com. You can you log into your account you can go to I think it’s my account is the menu item. Dan, am I right? Yes. Okay. You can actually create a you a unique URL that you can share with people. And when they join up, you get two years for two years, you get 10% of our cut of their royalties. So we’re the only ones who quote unquote lose anything I do. They get to keep their, you know, their usual royalties and you make a little extra scratch. That’s two years of additional income for you. So you of course, there’s possible and make them successful and so everybody wins. Okay, I got a couple of D2D Print related questions, and I’m going to see if I can cycle through them pretty quick. The first one is from Richard. And he asks, Will author copies be available to print in Canada?
Mark Lefebvre 31:16
Can the Canadian answer that one? Hey, Richard, how you doing? Richard happens to be part of the same writer group that I’m part of here in the Kitchener Waterloo area, Cambridge writers group, and I’m actually looking at a local partner to do distribution for Canadians because, yeah, the print costs are reasonable, and they’re great, but once you cross the border into Canada, it’s kind of it’s cost prohibitive in some cases, even customs and brokerage fees and stuff like that. So we are looking at ways to split that off. We are waiting until we continue to re enhance the new changes that we’re making to the beta program. And then we’ll be looking at alternatives for author copies, not just, you know, Americans, Canadians, but even our friends overseas in different local partners because I think we can potentially get something started in Canada first, and then use the same technology to split it off. The goal is to make it easier and faster for you to get those copies so you can check your proofs, etc. Or if you’re selling and Richard, I know you do a lot of book fairs and Comic Cons and things like that, or, you know, for getting local copies and not having to pay so much shipping all those boxes.
Kevin Tumlinson 32:26
Yeah, we’re, we’ve kicked around starting a new service called Smuggle2Border to get our books across the border to these authors. That’s still in the works though. So Glinda has a question about Overdrive and books will Overdrive except printed books for libraries when you get the beta printing tests done?
Dan Wood 32:47
So Overdrive does not deal in the printed books, but you will be available for libraries to order you’ll be in the Ingram catalog, and suffer print libraries tend to order from Ingram and up till recently Baker and Taylor Is that right? Mark?
Mark Lefebvre 33:06
Dan Wood 33:07
So you they will be available in the print markets that libraries buy from through like D2D Print or Ingram spark or whatever. Right, right. Yeah.
Kevin Tumlinson 33:19
So Dan asks, Will the vellum for free curl or is the paper integrity robust? And we only make the finest digital paper Dan. So it will not curl, no matter what the humidity. Let’s see. Here’s one from Bill. It says I get hung up on details. It’s my fault. Is there a checklist? Have you removed competitive links? Does your cover match the title etc? I’m driving Alexis nuts with do overs. So sorry. There were a lot of questions here that I’m not entirely sure we’re not rhetorical.
Dan Wood 33:54
Yeah, we definitely great idea. We don’t have a checklist right now but we can produce one. Just to kind of go through because not everyone uploads a book every month and so just have something to refresh your memory. That’s something we can definitely put together.
Kevin Tumlinson 34:11
I think that is a good idea and we do in a in a fashion we kind of do have a checklist in that there are those the steps you go through in producing the book. That’s not that’s not exactly what you’re asking for. But I you know, you can sort of measure because you can’t you can’t move along in the process without a cover for example. I guess technically you could, but you we will eventually alert you that your book has no cover. Oh, the little skip there. Hold on. I got a backup. Uh, thanks for the great service. Thank you. Let’s see there’s a question embedded it out and see. Okay, here we go. Here’s a question from Robin. Thanks for the great service. Love that you do the formatting, it saves me so many headaches. Is there a way to generate a coupon code and promotions? Or does one have to do that through each retailer? Coupon codes, man.
Dan Wood 35:09
So right, right now, Draft2Digital doesn’t have any storefront. And so we don’t deliver books to readers at all. Some of our partners have promotional codes that they offer when they’re running promotions. But there’s not a way to generate a promotion code. For anyone that we work with just kind of randomly at this point. Apple does let you give away a certain number of books for free and if you contact our customer service, you can request a code people can enter on the Apple Bookstore and get a free copy of your book there. But other than that, there’s not any custom coupon codes that you can generate. I know we’re working with Kobo on a big promotion for March I believe, and they’re going to give us a coupon code for everyone included in that sale. But it’s more of a planned thing that than anything so.
Kevin Tumlinson 36:10
Okay. Richard Asher asks, Do you know if Apple ranks books separately by market size country like Amazon or do their promotions ranking decisions apply globally?
Mark Lefebvre 36:24
Or Dan? Yeah, yeah, they do actually have different territories. They actually have different merchandisers for Canada, US, Australia etc. So, they make those decisions separately, they make merchandising decisions separately. Sometimes they do things at the same time. So seasonal or some of the promos may be in multiple territories at the same time. But the ranking is based on the on the geo territory. So Amazon, apple, Kobo, for example. You’ll get a different ranking in Canada in the US, for example, Nook, you’ll only ever get the US because it’s the only country that they exist in but all those international places They tend to rank them by territory because it makes sense people in this country are now reading this book is the most popular one that makes a lot of sense that they all do that.
Kevin Tumlinson 37:13
We have a question here from Glenda. I do picture books. Will you be making bleeds available to people like me also larger sizes that kids like in picture books?
Dan Wood 37:27
Right now we aren’t. Our print program is going to be focused on general genre fiction. It’s the biggest of the paperback markets for people ordering online. With kids books, there’s a couple of other considerations and things like color that we’re not offering right now. I eventually we might get into kids books, but it will probably be a while.
Kevin Tumlinson 37:52
All right, we got a question from Michelle. Do we need different keywords for Barnes and Noble and other book platforms? It This is a tricky question to answer. We should probably start by saying what we’re, what our current capabilities are with keywords.
Dan Wood 38:11
So you’re going to want it to we let people put in quite a few. I don’t remember off the top of my head with the limit is you can use the same ones. Not everyone, not all the retailers use the keywords for anything. That being said, like probably the retailer where keywords matter quite a bit as Amazon because Amazon is going to use your keywords to determine some of the categories you’re in. So if you look up the KDP guidelines for keywords, like kind of give you a list of what keywords get you into what extra categories, the other retailers aren’t like that. And so you can use the same keywords at all the retailers.
Kevin Tumlinson 38:55
In general, Amazon’s whole keyword strategy is kind of a little bit superior to most other platforms. So if you, if you’re tuning your keywords for Amazon, you’re probably going to do okay elsewhere. The one thing you want to definitely focus on is make sure that your first four keywords are the most important and in the order of importance that will help you out a great deal, at least on Amazon and probably other platforms as well. Mark, did you want to throw something in there?
Mark Lefebvre 39:25
Well, no, just you gotta remember, if you think about Amazon only accepts two categories, but many other retailers except three. So think of those top ones is the most important because not every downstream system is going to accept three or four or five, right? So always put the priority ones at the top of any of those lists.
Kevin Tumlinson 39:44
Okay, we got a question from I’m sorry, go ahead.
Dan Wood 39:46
I just gonna say within our system, you can select up to five categories. What I think is what Mark is referencing, you want your, the category your book most fits in as the first category and then Basically in order if you choose all five categories, keywords are a little bit separate than that. Amazon is like an exception where Amazon will let you choose one or two categories, but then they also assign categories based on keywords. Like I mentioned before the other retailers don’t really use the keywords in that way.
Kevin Tumlinson 40:21
All right. Kayla asked is D2D offer any editing services or partner with a service. And I know you use beta readers for this but having a sharper eye on it has its appeal. We don’t offer any those services ourselves. Our good friends over at Reedsy.com can actually help you find an editor if you need one. That’s more or less the, I’d say that’s our, our sort of semiofficial partnership. When it comes to that sort of thing. We would recommend them and they’re kind of like an A, they may hate me for saying this Ricardo may hate me for saying this, but they’re kind of like an Angie’s List for authors. So anything service that you need layout editing, cover design, what have you, there, there are pretty decent resource for that there are plenty of other resources out there. So you should always shop around and find what works best for you. But if you’re going to start somewhere, that’d be a good place to start.
Dan Wood 41:17
The nice thing about Reedsy is that they’ve vetted everyone that they work with a lot of their editors and cover designers are people who freelance and work for the big five in New York, and other big publishers around the world. And that they have a process like if you’re not happy with the way the edits turned out, they have a process to work with you and kind of arbitrate between you and the editor.
Kevin Tumlinson 41:41
All right. Sally asks, What’s the best practice for entering book descriptions on D2D, so the formatting bold blank lines etc. carries forward to all stores. So we have a little bit of limited HTML that you can use within our book description tool on our page. So you it’s a HTML, but you can also there’s just the standard like click the bold, italics, that sort of thing. So you can do a little bit of formatting and that will carry over certainly to all of our retailers. I don’t know, can we do how can we do actual HTML? I think we can like basic HTML.
Dan Wood 42:18
We send different types of codes to different retailers because they all support different things. Some of them do support bold, and we send that information onto them, or throw them down. Some of them strip that stuff out.
Do we have a list of which ones accept or not?
But I don’t I don’t know if we’ve gone through there, but I bet our operations team could answer.
Mark Lefebvre 42:40
Yeah, they would know that.
Kevin Tumlinson 42:43
Okay, this is a fun one. Thanks for addressing my checklist question is there will there be a Google Drive slash GDoc integration to import share, to create an epub? There is some history I don’t think currently we don’t have that. But apparently, according to local D2D lore, that was how we started was the integration with that. So I’ve had other people ask about this, I find it very interesting. I don’t know what the limitations on our side are. But I would love to see that brought back at some point. But, Dan, you may have more.
Dan Wood 43:18
We did support it early on.
Dan Wood 43:23
At that time, I think Google Docs was rapidly changing. They were changing the way they did things. So it’s hard to keep up with when they made a change to update our platform. And we had so few people using it, that we I think we dropped it at that point. You know, if you’re someone interested in that, email us, let us know. If we have enough demand for it. It’s something we might look at as supporting again, and we have supported in the past but little changes they made kept breaking the code on our end, so
Kevin Tumlinson 43:52
I just got chastised by Elyssa, who’s listening in and helping us out for putting you on spot Dan. So My apologies, sir.
Dan Wood 44:02
Kevin Tumlinson 44:05
Barbara asks, Is there a way to get all the information on marketing on the various platforms? Sort of a how to type thing for those of us who are clueless? And my answer is surf on over to Draft2Digital.com/blog. And you can sift through a couple of years worth of some decently written articles on all all types of our author marketing, search for Author Marketing 101 in the little search bar on that page, and it will bring up a three part series I did a couple years ago that can give you some basics on that sort of thing and on our YouTube channel, we have some stuff that might be helpful to you as well. So if you’re subscribing to us here, check that out. And we’re, f course we do these webinars once a month. So these are good resource for learning some, some tips about all sorts of things including marketing. So make sure your your Check it out D2DLive.com, which is our brand new URL. So
Dan Wood 45:04
Yeah, I believe one of them was like we just covered marketing questions the entire hour. So that’s probably got one of the Ask Us Anything. So look up D2DLive.com.
Kevin Tumlinson 45:13
Yeah, sometimes we do themes. So we’ve done a marketing theme, we did an audio book theme. Go find those if you for those of you who are interested in the audiobooks in particular, go find the one we did with will Degas from find away voices. It’ll be in the playlist. I think we have I definitely have a playlist I don’t remember what it’s called, but it’ll be on our channel. So pop over there and take a look at that and you’ll get a lot inside. Trish asked, do you know some good ways to get books to libraries across the country. Um, you know, this. People hate when you say things like this, but the best way to do this is to ask them, and I always, I always advise people to start, start connecting with librarians. The various social media platforms if you happen to go to conferences and things or you want to go to your local libraries especially, but you know, drop in, make friends and let them know you’re an author you have books available, and tell them how to find them make it easy for them. Librarians, often and frequently are looking for things to recommend to their patrons. So make that as easy a process as you can. I’m actually in the middle of it, as soon as I got the time to finish it. I’m going to I’m creating a little one sheet packet. And I’ll have a digital and physical version that I can carry with me to libraries and I can email to people and just make it as stupid simple as possible for librarians to discover my work I give them copy comps, like I am like these authors, my books are like these books, these movies, you know, and I give them I give them all the tools they need to build recommend. So cultivate those relationships and eventually you know, you are available to all the libraries The country if you distribute through our, our program especially. So all you got to do is convince them to place the order.
Dan Wood 47:07
Not just the country, but the whole world, whole world. Our vendors work with libraries all over the world, and we continue to add new library partners. The important thing is just let people know they’re available and that they have to ask for them. I especially encourage people as we have a lot of authors coming out of Kindle unlimited where they’ve been exclusive with Amazon. And so their books haven’t been able to be in libraries. If when you have people complain, because if they can’t afford anything other than the subscription that Amazon’s charging them for kindle Unlimited, let them know that they can request your book at the local library because that’s another way for them to read it without it being a huge burden on them financially.
Kevin Tumlinson 47:52
Alright, we’re gonna ask I’m sorry, did you know ..
Mark Lefebvre 47:54
I was gonna say and we also did a we did a full episode talking about libraries. Well, how many episodes Dan and I did When I was in Oklahoma a few weeks ago to talk about that in detail I would say if you want to get across the country start local appeal to the local library and as a local author librarians meet regularly they share Ontario Library Association Conference is happening next week here in Toronto Ontario area and so even if you getting in local start local and then build up from that way as well yeah
Kevin Tumlinson 48:30
Okay, once we have Oh, I knew it was going to do that. There was a like slight delay. Okay, once we have our books on D2D, how easy is it to change the text on the book if we find errors after the fact is ridiculously easy …
Mark Lefebvre 48:43
it’s permanent isn’t it? Once you once you do it,
Kevin Tumlinson 48:47
We actually toyed with calling our service stone to digital. No, it would be digitally stone it would be draft stone. Anyway, moving on from that bad joke. It is really easy to update your manuscript just make your updates in the document that you are going to upload, whether it’s whether you are uploading a Word document or you’re uploading in the actual format of epub, which you are welcome to bring your formatted eubs to us. It’s as simple as uploading it and republishing it and will update all the storefronts on your behalf and let you know when it’s gone live or let you know if there’s an issue that needs to be addressed.
Dan Wood 49:25
The major retailers, it’s generally going to be a few hours for them to make the correction to the what’s available on their platform. Some of the retailers take a few weeks so yeah, if you get something wrong, it’s not permanent, but it might take a little bit for it to update for readers like if they’ve already downloaded the book, they might have to request a new copy of it.
Kevin Tumlinson 49:53
Okay, this is not a question, but I did want to pop this up here because he’s they are adding on to what we were discussing earlier Amazon KDP will only let you have seven keywords and that is true. We allow for more keywords I believe than seven correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe we do and I that’s, that’s mostly because there are retailers that will allow more than that. So we just want to give you all the options you can have. But Amazon will only allow seven and frankly they only really allow four, and they you can do whatever you want with the last three. Just cram them full of keywords. That’s what a lot of us are doing now. That’s actually a strategy. You can you put your primary most important keywords in the first four slots and then in the last remaining slots. Jam is as many keywords as you can think of in there as many they’ll allow. There’s like a character limit but cram those full and it’s been demonstrated recently that that’s proven to be kind of a helpful little trick on Amazon. Okay. So Carolyn says I create my books on word 2016. Mac and convert to PDF, the KDP accepts but for Ingram Spark, they require PDF PDF x one a 2001. That was a mouthful that messes up my layout. Anyone else have this problem? And are there any suggestions?
Dan Wood 51:30
I would ask Ingram Spark about that.
Kevin Tumlinson 51:32
Yeah, I would ask Ingram, I would also recommend, just don’t, don’t do that. Just use use us and we’ll make your manuscript for you. To be just a little self-serving. Every now and then this thing pops the questions all the way up to the top of the page again, and I’ll lose what I was looking at. Okay, this one’s from Michelle. My books are mystery, suspense with lightweight romance, but also I keep them clean to reach a broader audience basically a clean read, but no religious theme. Any advice on keywords? No. Okay. I have a little. I mean, you just like, the best advice is to do some research on your keywords. I would, there are tools out there like Publisher Rocket, which is a paid tool, but a great one to have in your arsenal that will help you do keyword research for both Amazon and for Google. And as keywords go on Amazon, you can pretty much rely on them on other platforms. So it’s pretty good to use all around. But I would also just some basic keyword research would be to go on Amazon and find the top 10 books that are the most like yours in the same category as yours and start looking at some of the keywords that they’re using. You can kind of get an idea of this, look through their description and kind of get an idea of what they’re doing keyword wise, I’m not sure if Amazon still let you see actual keywords anymore. It’s been a while since I’ve used that trick, I think they stopped doing it. But you can kind of get an idea for how you should get your book set up to at least make it competitive with similar books. So I would start there. That’s not because that’s not specific advice to, you know, clean non-religious fiction. But if you find books that are very much like yours, you can at least get in the ballpark.
Dan Wood 53:32
I feel like I’ve seen a lot of authors start to in that case, where like, it’s not fully clear towards the end of their blurb like letting people know, kind of what tropes it hits. So you might mention the light romance clean, clean, never just or something like that. Yeah. Just letting readers know what to expect from it.
Kevin Tumlinson 53:58
Frankly, I would put things like that in in those final three keywords because you can you can put phrases in as key words you don’t have to do individual words specifically. So if your book is like you know use these terms mystery suspense with light romance, put that in there, you might try searching that term on Amazon just to see if it if it looks like it brings up results. That’s one way that test publisher rocket will help you do exactly that. We were not affiliated with them, but it’s a great tool that I like to use. So check that out. Um, so Carolyn asks and your formatting services, talking about what you like to receive what services you offer and how much it costs. So the good news is our formatting costs nothing. You don’t have to pay a dime to use our ebook layout tool is free, the actual templates are free, everything about that is no cost to you. As far as what we like to receive, we will We need either if you want to use those templates, you have to either upload a Word document, which is a .DOCX, I guess, or .DOC or a .RTF. So those are the file formats you’re going to want to upload in order to use the E book layout tool that we have and the templates that we have, you can upload your own e pub if you want if you’ve got a pre formatted epub and we can we can distribute that we just can’t do anything to the file and we’re not going to be able to give you the fancy template and we can’t add our automated in matter or any of that stuff. Well, there’s a little bit of automated a matter we can add because we can actually add like the about the author and things like that. So you get a little bit of a few options there, but you don’t get to use any of the templates stuff. Am I forgetting anything, overlooking anything?
Mark Lefebvre 55:51
I think just to be 100 transparent is all our tools are free. You can use us for converting your book and then take the pub away with you. books to read is is free. You use Draft2Digital to distribute there is a cost when you earn money. We keep 10% basically so and you know, if you were to go direct to the retailer, they give you 70%, let’s say and we keep 10%. So you’re basically getting 60. So, so Carolyn, that is the cost, but the cost only happens if you’re making money. So the good thing is until you’ve made a sale, everything is free. That’s just and we prefer to only make money when authors are earning money. We figure that keeps us operating with strong integrity.
Kevin Tumlinson 56:35
I got an interesting question from Bill. My co-author is my 12 year old daughter Do you have an under age limit? Are ages added together come out to mid 30s. We do if may not be apply. Dan correct me on this. We do have an age limit when it comes to the author themselves the individual author like you can’t come I think it’s under 18.
Dan Wood 57:02
That’s correct. I mean, you have to be able to make a legal contract. So if you can make the contract that works, but an 18-year-old by or someone under 18 could not. You know, in those cases I recommend if they’re really interested in publishing to look at platforms like Wattpad they’re kind of designed for sharing things, but not necessarily the authors don’t get paid.
Kevin Tumlinson 57:25
Right. Okay, right now this looks like our final question. So I’ll pop it up and this is from Regina I write in three genres does D2D display/promote books, by genre or solely by author? So we don’t since we don’t have a storefront of our own, we don’t display or promote anything really. We can say that if you have like say pen names for your genres, you can we protect that. So if you say you write or erotica or something, on the one hand, you don’t want anyone to know that, or you write sci fi, you don’t want anyone to know that, we’ll protect that identity when that goes out. And the books go to the retailers. So the retail is determined how they’re displayed. So did I miss anything on that?
Dan Wood 58:16
No, most of our retailers, when they have promotions are going to do them by genre. And so we’re going to submit things that are romance, the romance promotions. After that, for our author pages, like if you use one of the books to read author pages, it’s only going to show the things under that particular pen name. Because we do have people that write have a pen name that writes, say, in young adult, and then have a pen name that writes something else that wouldn’t be appropriate for young adults. And so we separate that out.
Kevin Tumlinson 58:51
Okay, so we did get we’ve got a couple more minutes before I want to start get into like housekeeping stuff. So we got a couple more questions that came in. Here’s one from Craig Price. If I had to chase it, okay, crap, I’m late. You’re late Craig, hang your head and chain. Did they touch on co-authorship in the future? Co-authoring? Who wants to feel that one?
Mark Lefebvre 59:15
Can I talk about that because we launched Draft2Digital or D2D Universes. When Kindle Worlds closed stores, we wanted to offer authors an opportunity to take it beyond and wide. And so that’s been a beta release program. We’ve got some authors that are doing that, in the same manner that Kindle worlds would operate. So for example, let’s say Kevin, who writes the Dan Kotler series. He’s writing in this universe, and I’d like to write in this universe. We can negotiate terms through D2D. It’s beta right now. So it’s very manual, but then I can publish books in his universe. And we have a split we have a royalty split. So right now, I just have a book up for pre order that I’ve co-authored. with someone, and we’re testing the existing technology that D2D Universes is using for payment splitting. And based on some of the experiences that we’re having, as well as some other authors who are doing a very similar co-authorship, we’re testing that out so that we can figure out the best way to roll out payment splitting. Craig, so if you wanted to work with multiple authors, and have all the payments taken care of to go directly to each of the authors, and, you know, so please email us and let us know what specifically you would be looking for because this is something that I’m very passionate about helping to implement over in the course of the year for 2020. Because I’ve seen it work really, really well for some authors, so we haven’t touched upon it, but thanks for asking that question, because we’re going to be touching it a lot.
Kevin Tumlinson 60:53
Moving on very quickly. Bill says this is gonna be our final question. I love you guys. What can I do for you? And Bill, one thing you can do for us is go off and publish as many books as you can possibly write, sir and we will help get those out there in the world. And you can use our Refer a Friend program refer some authors our way and that benefits you and us. So there’s a link in the comments on YouTube, I believe, hopefully on Facebook, you can go to draft2digital.com/account/referrals. And that’s where you can set up that refer a friend link which you can customize and send out if you have blog posts, podcasts, anything that is author facing, feel free to share that and you get some money and we get some money every time that author makes us a sale. So we love to help each other out and that whole rising tide lifts all boats things, so …
Dan Wood 61:53
And don’t forget to follow us on YouTube. We’re excited to be finally alive on YouTube. We’ve been uploading our videos after the fact to YouTube now for a while, but um, there’s exciting stuff we get to do if we get to a certain level of followers.
Mark Lefebvre 62:10
The other thing I wanted to Okay, cool brought that up, Kevin, very sexy. I go. When you’re sharing your book, you take advantage of universal book links. Because we love our retail and library partners, we want to work with them, we want to help them building their customer base. And we want our authors to sell more on all the platforms so that you’ll always have lots of options, and lots of different income streams not just dependent on retailer. So being inclusive, Universal Book Links is an easy free way to do that. But being inclusive in your book promo actually helps us because it also helps our retail and library partners.
Kevin Tumlinson 62:49
Alright, so on screen right now are some links we would appreciate it if you would go. Follow us on both YouTube and Facebook. In both of those made it real easy. You can go to youtube.com/Draft2Digital, or facebook.com/Draft2Digital and that will allow you to go ahead and click, there’s a way to get notified every time we go live on Facebook. So make sure you turn that on. You can also click the subscribe and the little bell notification on YouTube to be notified every time we go live there. And we’re going to be doing a crazy amount of video and webinars stuff over the next year. So you’re definitely want to check that out and tune in. Now we are this is something we like to offer at the end of these things for the folks who are attending live. So if you’re watching after the fact, we really apologize, tune in live next time and this might be available for you. But we have we like to offer free author consultations, and these are one on one consultations that would retail for $4,000 or or something similar, but not at all. We offer you a free 30-minute D2D author consultation with one of us. All you gotta do is head on over to bit.ly/D2DConsult. I think that’s probably going to appear in the the comments right now. So that might make it a little easier for you but jot it down, head over to bit.ly/D2DConsult, and you’ll be able to choose a date and time. If they run out. We apologize they do go fast. It’s just the way life seems to happen. And we only have a certain number of days in our lives and certain number of hours or days. So did you want to add something Mark? I thought I heard you
Mark Lefebvre 64:42
I was just gonna say and sometimes we sleep
Kevin Tumlinson 64:45
So it doesn’t happen often. But sometimes. So go check that out. And be sure to bookmark we just got this URL, so you’re going to want to bookmark details. D2DLive.com and that’s where you’ll always be able to find links and a little countdown timer and access to past webinars. So right there on our website Be sure to check that out bookmark that. And while you’re in there looking at the past webinars, make sure you check out the blog and dig in on all the stuff that’s going on there and share that will ya? Bill asked how we how we can help. This is how you can help us go share this stuff as far and wide as possible. So uh, you guys did fantastic. What you want to throw anything in here at the last minute?
Dan Wood 65:38
So we will be at Mark and I will be at superstars writing conference writing something. beginning of February, early February, Kevin will be at the San Francisco writers conference, right? Yes, yes. So there are in those areas were attending and one of those come say hi.
Kevin Tumlinson 65:58
Definitely Okay, guys, I think that’s going to wrap this up. Everyone if you are if you haven’t already jot this URL down before we vacate and we will be doing another one of these. What’s the date? Alyssa dropped it? What was the date? I see you.
Dan Wood 66:17
It’s on the 28th. Right? Yeah. February 28,
Kevin Tumlinson 66:23
February 20. We should have done it on Valentine’s Day.
Dan Wood 66:26
Kevin Tumlinson 66:28
2pm Central on February 28. Mark your calendar. You’ll also if you’re subscribing to us on these various platforms, and getting on our mailing list at Draft2Digital com, you’ll you will be alerted to this. So make sure you’re doing that. And otherwise, I think that’s going to do it for us. And thank you guys for playing along. Thanks, guys. Bye. All right, we’ll see you next time.