Monday, October 01, 2012

My New Book - 111 Books Reviewed

Yep, I wrote another book... 111 Books Reviewed.

After I at the end of March finished the project to put 3 ½ years of blog posts into book form, I considered what would come next with my writing.

I felt there was something additional that could be done with past work and came up with a few posts trying to distil out the most interesting things written on the subjects of Writing and Business, but then started thinking about the Book Reviews category from my first book. Work done there struck me as less a compilation of blog ramblings and more actual writing for others. In short, something that could be turn from a pet project into a commercial venture with the offering of a book reviews book. Incorporating reviews that made it into my first book as well as those posted to the blog in the past six months, there was close to 130 reviews that could be worked with. Each was then significantly cleaned up to be less blog post-like (removing both references like “just finished reading” and “link to blog post here” and made sure book title and author at the beginning of review with book name in italics).

Of the reviews done, 111 of them were deemed to be interesting enough (interesting of course an extremely arbitrary assignation) to make it into the book and each book assigned a one, two or three star rating and then put into the category sections below, with reviews in each sorted newest to oldest:

 6 books reviewed: Nonfiction – Writing                                   
12 books reviewed: Nonfiction – Personal improvement / Work 
10 books reviewed: Nonfiction – Adventure / Danger               
18 books reviewed: Nonfiction – Sports                                 
 6 books reviewed: Nonfiction – Comedy                                 
11 books reviewed: Nonfiction – Business                               
 7 books reviewed: Nonfiction – History                                   
 5 books reviewed: Nonfiction – Parenting / Family                   
26 books reviewed: Nonfiction – Everything else                       
10 books reviewed: Fiction                                                     

While I was working on the actual content, I had the idea in mind of making the book available cheaply on the Kindle (or Kindle app)… again, that commercial offering thing. The Kindle Direct Publishing site links to a Building Your Book for Kindle PDF guide and from here I found information on using Microsoft Word Headings to build the Table of Contents and specific things around Kindle formatting like how to create a front cover (with the public domain image from the site WPClipart).

After submission of the Kindle book files to Amazon, I then realized the web exclusivity requirement of the KDP Select Amazon program I enrolled in (largely for the purpose of being able to offer the Kindle book for free for five days) meant I had to take down the blog post book reviews the book content based on (was an easy step to select all Book Review tagged blog posts and revert them to draft). After the book content was completed for the Kindle, it wasn’t much additional work to create a paperback version on CreateSpace (as I did for my first book) so went ahead and did that even though the primary intent was to publish this one electronically.

Similar to the first book, the creating of this book was more of an editing of past work project than original writing, but means I’ve now both got another book published and one that’s a more defined offering which can be purchased through Amazon for $.99 (and free for five days every three months). I’m pretty happy with that.