Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Buzz on Books & More – Interview 1

Welcome to my premiere edition of The Buzz on Books & More! These will be interviews with book publishing insiders and writers on issues, trends, methods, etc.

The first edition’s topic?...

The CreateSpace to KDP Publishing Transition

Change is often disconcerting when you’ve used a particular product or service for a long time. That’s what customers of the self-publishing service CreateSpace are facing, as Amazon transitions them over to Kindle Direct Publishing.

For the inside scoop, I turned to one of my favorite people in book publishing, Gerald Everett Jones, author of Bonfire of the Vanderbilts and host of the GetPublished! radio show (

Highlights: Changes after the move include having paper books and ebooks on one dashboard, proof copies now having “not for sale” on cover and special barcodes, royalties paid every 60 days instead of every 30, and greater access to Amazon’s AMS ads.

Interview with author Gerald Everett Jones

How did you learn that you needed to migrate your books from CreateSpace to KDP?

My first notice was when I logged into my CreateSpace dashboard and there was a message saying migration of POD paperbacks was going to happen to Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)

Amazon also sent me emails from time to time advising that the move was coming up. A particular warning was that if I’d chosen CreateSpace Direct distribution as one of my Expanded Distribution options, I’d have to go into each book for which I’d selected that option and deselect it. That’s because your selling direct to customers is no longer supported in that way. If I did opt out of that, Amazon advised that my paperbacks would be moved automatically to KDP and remain LIVE.

Was the process complicated? How long did it take you?

The migration is or is intended to be automatic now. I didn’t do anything to move my book files from CreateSpace to KDP. All I did was go into CreateSpace and disable the CreateSpace Direct option in Expanded Distribution. Doing so made those books eligible to stay LIVE through the migration process. But, once I saw them on the KDP dashboard, I went through all the selections as if I were publishing them as new titles. That’s how I’d recommend doing it.

Also, my LaPuerta Books and Media imprint has 15 different titles on KDP, all in Kindle and some in POD paperback. The migration from the CreateSpace dashboard to KDP was just a matter of days, but then I was fine-tuning the metadata and other details for about a month, including the migration to the Videodirect platform for the streaming videos.

How does the process work?

The Amazon instructions tell you to start the process from the CreateSpace dashboard and just click the migration notice you see at the top. The process will no doubt take a few more steps if you don’t already have a Kindle Direct Publishing account. Also, I believe Amazon expects that the account ID you use for CreateSpace will be the same login credentials you use for But I don’t know if that’s mandatory. As you probably know, Amazon is like Google in that once you log in, they regard you as the same entity across all their platforms.

Whether you explicitly opted to migrate from the CreateSpace dashboard or you just wait because you already have a KDP account associated, Amazon’s invisible robots do the work of porting your titles to the KDP dashboard. If all your book’s specs and settings are correct for KDP, its status on the dashboard should show LIVE printed in green. If there’s a glitch of any kind that you need to resolve, the status will show as DRAFT printed in black. LIVE books are on display in the Amazon catalog and available for order. DRAFT versions are not (unless you had a prior LIVE version that the DRAFT is updating).

Are there any tricky parts?

My advice would be, whether your book shows as LIVE or DRAFT, click through all the detail and metadata settings for it as if you were publishing it for the first time. You don’t need to upload the ported cover or the guts unless you’ve made a change – or unless Amazon has flagged some error in those files. (You will have the opportunity for Live Preview of the book pages before you’re done.) Make sure your Description and Keywords are up-to-date, and here’s an opportunity to make changes. It shouldn’t take any longer to publish if you do. As well – and I think this is crucial – carefully review the Expanded Distribution and pricing options. Here’s a perfect opportunity to reprice your list, especially right before the holiday shopping season.

I experienced a glitch on one book that was totally unexpected. Choke Hold had been LIVE on Amazon via CreateSpace POD for some time. However, after porting to KDP, I got a notice from Amazon support asking me to prove my copyright. I assume this was because there are several books with that title (Choke Hold or Chokehold), but of course none have remotely similar content. I replied to the email with a PDF of the copyright registration certificate, and after about a week the book went from DRAFT to LIVE on KDP.

Are there any downsides to the move?

One difference is payment terms. CreateSpace pays monthly, 30 days after month-end closing. KDP also pays monthly, but 60 days after closing.

What are the upsides to the move?

It’s a convenience to see and control all your Amazon book titles on the same KDP dashboard. And on the sales results charts, you’ll see the ebook results right alongside the paperback results, color-coded. You can get a good sense that way of how the sales and pricing of the two products are working or not working. For the industry, you’d expect to see ebook sales about 25% of the total, but in self-publishing, ebooks typically are a much higher percentage of the mix, if not all of it.

Has Amazon issued any deadline that you know of by which this move has to take place?

The migration is well underway. If you want your CreateSpace titles on KDP, don’t hesitate to check their status and get involved in the process.

But if you start a new paperback, it’s simple. You’ll have to create a new title through the KDP dashboard.

Gerald Everett Jones has been a professional writer all his working life. He is the author of more than thirty business and technical books (including How to Lie with Charts), and seven novels (including Bonfire of the Vanderbilts). He currently hosts the GetPublished! Radio show ( and has been a regular book reviewer on KRLA-AM in Los Angeles.

For further details and insights, check out the following links:

CreateSpace (where you can log in to your account)

Moving from CreateSpace to KDP: A Simple Guide [Alliance of Independent Authors]

KDP & CreateSpace Merger | What You Need To Know [Video]

CreateSpace and KDP to Become One Service [KDP page with info and related links]

Robin Quinn is a book coach, editor and publishing consultant. She has provided editorial support to the independent publishing community for over 25 years. Recent clients include Ayn Cates Sullivan (multiple award-winning Legends of the Grail: Stories of the Celtic Goddesses and the forthcoming Heroines of Avalon: Legends of the Grail 2), Tami Shaik (novel Ocean in a Drop and self-help title Detox Your Soul-A 30 Day Roadmap to Loving Yourself), Kristen Falde Smith (self-help title Artichokes & Grace: Getting to the Heart of Aging) and Ian Brooks (forthcoming self-help audiobook in progress). To ask for a free book editing quote or inquire about book coaching, email Robin at

Friday, April 20, 2018

See You Tomorrow at the LA Times Book Fest

Here I am with author Susan Moss of
Surviving Cancer at previous BookFest

Excited to be back at USC this weekend for the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.

I'll be at booth 933, Book Publicists of Southern California, tomorrow (Saturday) from 2 to 4PM to answer your editing and book publishing questions.

I'll also be around on Sunday so leave a message at or 310-838-7098 if you'd like to meet.

For a preview of the show, listen to the following interview with LA Times Books Editor Carolyn Kellogg from today's Take Two show on KPCC:

To check out this year's Conversation panels, go to:

See you there!

Robin (Quinn)
Book Coach & Editor 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Everything you need to know about self-help/how-to books - Tomorrow's LA Panel

Giving Useful Advice 
How-To and Self-Help
 Monday, September 25, 2017
7:30 p.m.  (to 9:15; networking follows the program)

Veterans Memorial Building
4117 Overland Avenue (at Culver)
Culver City, CA 90230
Free parking; enter on Culver

FREE for IWOSC Members;  $15 for non-members

Got knowledge? Great! The trick is to share it and get paid for it. Our panel of experts and authors will give you the how-to on how-to books.
  • Almost any topic can be successfully turned into a book:
  • Have you guided families as they dealt with autism/dyslexia/ADHD, or counseled people struggling with depression or addiction?
  • Do you know decorating from the inside out, or antique conservation techniques from a career spent in museums and galleries?
  • Can you share weight-loss and health advice accrued as a nurse, doctor, or counselor?
  • Did you earn your PhD from Harvard, and can you write about how to manage money? Or maybe your financial lessons are from the School of Hard Knocks? 
  • Can you write about a software program, and make it easy to understand?
  • Maybe your book is a treasure-trove of your great-grandmother’s old country recipes that you’d like to share with the world?
It's time to write the book!

That’s what IWOSC's  2017-18 season kickoff program is all about. Here are just some of the things we’ll be covering with a panel of experienced, knowledgeable, published authors and experts:

  • How do you translate the useful (but often dry or technical) advice into something commercial, reader-friendly, zingy, and irresistible?  
  • How to effectively BRAND yourself as an expert and build your platform, so that your book proposal attracts agents, and publishers, rather than ending up on the slush pile?
  • How to take your brand public, through social media and marketing, and sell more books.
  • What did Julia Child, Martha Stewart, Wayne Dyer, Tony Robbins, and Dr. Phil have when they were first starting out that you might not yet?  
New Panelist Added:
STEVE HUTSON is a native of Los Angeles, a child of the sixties, and a storyteller almost from birth. (He’s convinced that the Wimpy Kid books are based on his childhood, but he can’t prove it.) After several years of freelance editing and directing a writers’ conference, he branched out as a literary agent in early 2011. He has placed his clients’ works with Dutton, Thomas Nelson, Tyndale, Potomac, David C. Cook, Praeger, Writer’s Digest Books, and others. Several clients have won prestigious awards for their works. Steve speaks frequently at writers’ events and writes an eclectic blog.
Steve's Website:
Our Other Panelists:
DEBRA ECKERLING, a project catalyst, works with individuals and small businesses to strategize, set goals, and manage their projects. She is the creator of Write On Online, a website and community for writers, creatives, and entrepreneurs. Debra is also the author of Write On Blogging: 51 Tips to Create, Write & Promote Your Blog.
Debra's Website:
JENNIFER PURDIE is a freelance writer, endurance athlete and personal trainer. Her latest book Growth Mindset for Athletes, Coaches and Trainers, comes out October 10, 2017. Her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, U.S. News and World Report, Woman’s Day, Salon, Triathlete, Running Times, Competitor, Redbook, Reader’s Digest, and Shape. Jennifer has been featured on TV shows including Fox Sports, was an Ironman finisher, and has completed marathons on every continent. She holds a personal training certification with the National Academy of Sports Medicine and is a Fitness and Nutrition Specialist. She is also a stand-up comedian and has been a finalist in several stand-up and storytelling competitions throughout Los Angeles.
REBECCA COOPER is known worldwide for her expertise in eating disorders. She has trained mental health professionals in the USA, Israel, Panama, Portugal, France, South Africa and Buenos Aires. She is the author of Diets Don’t Work, a recovery handbook. She regularly appears on webcasts, at professional conferences, and at community events to promote eating disorder awareness. She also has appeared on television on CNN, Fox, Bravo, Lifetime, CBS, ABC and TBN. Rebecca is a licensed therapist, clinical counselor and certified eating disorder specialist and supervisor. Rebecca is the founder of Rebecca’s House, an eating disorders treatment program for women and men.
Rebecca's Website:
MARILYN ANDERSON is an author, speaker, master book promoter and award-winning film and television writer. Her new book is How to Live Like a Millionaire When You’re a Million Short. Marilyn wrote and produced the family feature How to Beat a Bully. She has written for Murphy Brown, FAME, Friday the 13th – the Series, and Carol & Company. Marilyn’s humorous relationship book, Never Kiss a Frog: A Girl’s Guide to Creatures from the Dating Swamp, is published in 10 countries. She wrote, produced and hosted a web series for that book and for her new release. Marilyn won a Luminas Award for the Positive Depiction of Women in Film & Television, and was honored by the Writers Guild of America as a writer of one of the 101 Best TV Shows of the past seven decades.
Marilyn's Website:
ROBIN QUINN is a book coach, editor, ghostwriter and publishing consultant who has provided award-winning editorial support to the independent publishing community for over 25 years. She specializes in self-help nonfiction and uplifting memoir. Self-help clients include Bonnie Kreitler (I Heard Your Dog Died), Pat LaDouceur, PhD (Small Change, Big Results). Rebecca Cooper (Diets Don’t Work), Jordan McAuley (Celebrity Leverage), and Shelley Roxanne (The Frustrated Believer). Her goal with self-help writers is to help them express their ideas clearly in engaging ways with tips readers can put to use right away. She regularly produces and moderates panels for publishers and writers groups in the Los Angeles area
Robin's Website:

WHEN: Monday, September 25, 2017, 7:30-9:15 p.m. (networking follows)
LOCATION: Veterans Memorial Building, 4117 Overland Avenue, Culver City 90230 (corner of Culver Boulevard. Parking entrance on Culver)  Map of location. Free parking!

We'll be in the MultiPurpose Room, so from the main entrance, follow the signs down the hallway, out of the building, and around to the right to a patio area and meeting room.
ADMISSION: IWOSC members - free; General public - $15 

Independent Writers of Southern

Thursday, June 08, 2017

AUDIOBOOKS: How to Make and Sell Them

7:00 PM

According to The Wall Street Journal, audiobooks are the fastest growing format in publishing today. With Smartphones and digital downloads, audiobooks offer book buyers easy access and convenience.

Join us and consider how your books could be adapted for this hot market. Our speakers will address the following topics and more:

- How to publish through the Amazon owned ACX audiobook service
- How to choose and work with a narrator
- When to consider doing the narration yourself as an author/publisher
- How the production process works at an audiobook publisher
- How to work with an independent recording studio
- Where and how audiobooks are distributed
- How to promote audiobooks


APRIL SUGARMAN is a Professional Narrator/Audiobook Producer with Amazon’s Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX). Her projects include the Adult Romance Renaissance of the Heart. An accomplished SAG actress, Sugarman decided to channel her creative energies into audiobooks after taking time off to raise her two children. April is also involved with Learning Ally, a nonprofit organization that provides dyslexia support via audiobooks.

ANDRE STOJKA has enjoyed a full-time career as a voiceover actor for over 35 years. He can currently be heard as the voice of the Owl in much of the Winnie the Pooh franchise. Six years ago, Andre and his wife Leslie decided to combine their interest in history, with his acting, writing and production abilities and form an audiobook company, Listen 2 Read. Their first series, The American Adventure Library, now consists of 16 audiobooks of American History available for download at Audible, iTunes, Barnes and Noble,, etc.

TONY PERESLETE is Co-Founder of Runkee Productions, an audio recording studio in Culver City. Under the name William Anthony, he is also the author of the Young Adult Sci-Fi Adventure trilogy I Am Fire and Air, Shadows and Crosswinds, and Anthems. Currently in the works is his forthcoming series The Case Files of Belliver Holmes to be released first as a radio serial and later in book form.


ROBIN QUINN, Book Coach and Editor, has provided editorial support to the independent publishing community for over 25 years. She specializes in uplifting memoir and self-help nonfiction. She also regularly produces and moderates panels for publishers and writers groups in the Los Angeles area.  


TIME: 7:00 p.m.

LOCATION: Veterans Memorial Building, 4117 Overland Avenue, Culver City. Corner of Overland & Culver. Parking is free onsite. The parking entrance is on Culver. The PALA sign will be on the meeting room door. NOTE: Wear layered clothing. The room is usually comfortable, but the temperature may vary.

COST: $5 for PALA members; $10.00 for IWOSC members, $15.00 for nonmembers. To pay, go to:

QUESTIONS: Contact Robin Quinn, Program Producer, 818-813-3716,

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Photographer Robert Herman Shares His Self-Publishing Journey

"Capture in the photograph what is invisible." 
~ Robert Herman

Having had a long love affair with photography, I remember looking at photobooks by major specialty publishers at Book Expo with envy. Tonight I attended an event in Century City sponsored by the Annenberg Space for Photography where NYC street photographer Robert Herman told us about taking a different route.

When looking for a publisher for his The New Yorkers, Herman received five offers from traditional photobook publishers. The rub was that he'd have to contribute $20,000 to $30,000 to the effort. He just didn't have the money. So Herman turned to self-publishing as he was looking for something to energize his career.

Key to his early efforts was setting up the groundwork for a successful Kickstarter campaign with work on Facebook. For instance, he had a well-produced video there (which he shared this evening). His Kickstarter offers included a book for $60, which was the most popular contribution level. He passed his set goal and successfully raised $10,559. Later he would see that a third of his Kickstarter money came from Facebook, a third from friends and family, and a third from people just surfing through Kickstarter or the Internet. The Kickstarter funds were supplemented by tax deductible donations through Fractured Atlas. Credit cards helped too.

The effort to hone down the work to the final candidates was massive. Herman started with thousands of images and got it down to 80. He'd put the images up in groups on the wall to select the best of the bunch, moving them around as part of the process. Herman says that as a self-editor you "need to be brutal."

Herman believes becoming a successful self-published photographer involved some miracles. These included getting a $1.000 Kickstarter contribution from someone he met at a party. Also, returning to a portfolio review for a second year with a dummy of the book brought in Sean Corcoran as the writer of the Foreword. Corcoran is the Curator of Prints and Photographs at the Museum of the City of New York.

It was obvious that Herman was dedicated to an involved process that would result in a high quality end result in the book and its images. The New Yorkers has been sold at the Museum of Modern Art for four years. And it received a feature article with photos in The New York Times as well as coverage in their Lens blog. All three of these accomplishments are very impressive for a self-published book.

The photographer emphasized that self-publishing a photobook is a group effort, and that it's important to have support. His team included an editor, book designer, production person for CMYK color conversions, and a cooperative Canadian printer who worked with him onsite.

The New Yorkers is now in its fourth year of publication and on its third printing.

"You don't have to travel all around the world 
to get a good photograph.
It's right outside your door."
~ Robert Herman

Herman photographs the audience.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

See You at the LATFOB This Very Weekend!

Friend /client Susan Moss [right] (author, Survive Cancer
with Me [left] at BPSC Booth #933 in 2015

Wow! We're just a day away from the fabulous Los Angeles Festival of Books, one of those occasions where you can't do everything! I'll be walking the booths, attending panels, chatting with friends, and also making myself available at the Book Publicists of Southern California booth #933 to speak with you and answer your editing and publishing questions. Booth #933 is just slightly south of the LA Times Main Stage.

My times at the booth are:

Saturday, 4/22
2-3 pm and 5-6 pm

Sunday, 4/23
11-Noon and 3-4 pm

Come on by!

Write on!

Robin (Quinn)  / Book Coach and Editor

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Learn about the Secret Power of Books Reviews - This Monday!

When I first got involved in the world of writing and books, it was natural for me to apply my skills from producing in TV. Now more than two decades later, I'm still at it -- currently producing and moderating programs for the Publishers Association of Los Angeles - affectionately known as PALA.

This Monday (March 13th) is my latest - an evening exploring the ins and outs of getting and best utilizing book reviews. The goal in mind is to improve your book's visibility and increase your book sales.

Our speaker is Carolyn Howard Johnson, author of the HowtoDoItFrugally series of books. She's appeared on my panels numerous times, and I always find her to be informative as well as charming.

To sign up, go to the PALA website:

The cost is $5 for PALA members, and $15 for the general public.

Program starts at 7 PM, and will continue to 9 PM.

Location: Veteran's Memorial Building, 4117 Overland Ave., Culver City, CA.

I've been reading her book, and it's just packed with great information gleaned to a great degree from Carolyn's firsthand knowledge from being a best-selling author and excellent marketer.

Note: This program will be taped and made available soon after the event. Last month's PALA program on MONETIZING YOUR BLOG (see previous blog post) is now for sale at

Write on!

Program Producer, Book Coach & Editor