Post a book announcement to Goodreads Groups

I know most other authors won’t know the first thing about this HTML web programming nonsense. I wouldn’t expect you to, either. Sadly, Goodreads do, which is a crying shame, because by not offering their members a better editor, people are missing a huge opportunity.

As a web designer and developer, it’s my job to understand things like HTML, and that knowledge elevates me to a privileged by sparsely populated plateau.

So, I’m hoping I can alleviate this problem by sharing with you some advise and a template of sorts.

Editing the Goodreads Group post template

  1. Firstly, go to the post by myself for A Darkening of Fortune on the Kindle Readers and Authors Group on Goodreads to see how I’ve laid things out. Like it?
  2. Secondly, if you’re on a Windows PC, you’ll need to use NotePad, which you can use to open HTML files. If you’re on a Mac, I’d recommend using TextWrangler.
  3. Next, download this Goodreads Group post template by right-clicking on the link and choosing the option to save or download the file, which you can then open with your chosen text editor.

Editing the body copy

Scared? Don’t worry! For the most part, HTML is self explanatory, at least for the simpler things. So long as you don’t disturb the code “tags”, you’ll be fine.

  1. In the first line, you’ll see a sentence inside two “strong” tags, which instruct the web browser to display the text within them as bold. You can replace the text within the tags with your own blurb.
  2. Inside the “blockquote” tags is where you place your synopsis, which should also appear within the opening (“) and the closing (”) curly double quotes. If you don’t want the double quotes, you can delete them, but be sure to delete both.
  3. Okay, see the two Amazon links? Don’t worry about the code they’re inside, just replace those links with your own, making sure you don’t remove any of the code, or the two containing double quotes.

Editing the book, cover illustration and author references

Now, go to the Goodreads page for your book.

  1. First, copy the link for the page in the URL bar at the top of the web browser page, and then paste and replace the similar text that’s for A Darkening of Fortune.
  2. Secondly, return to your book page and right-click on the cover illustration (assuming you have one, which I strongly recommend you do). You’ll see an option to copy the image URL or link. Do that and then paste and replace the similar text that’s inside the double quotes with the “img” tag, for the “src” attribute.
  3. Finally, you need to include references to your book and yourself on Goodreads. So replace the references to my book and my name (by deleting them), and use the “add book/author” button just above the big text box for the post itself.

Once you’re done, select everything and paste your code inside the big text box and press the hardly visible “preview” link next to the “post” button, to make sure everything works. Doing this should help you avoid making a mess.

If you’ve done everything correctly, you’ll have a book announcement post that looks more presentable and professional.

If you’re stuck, don’t panic! reply in the comments and explain where you think you’ve gone wrong. I’m sure we can fix it.

A breakthrough with Smashwords

I may have finally whipped Earth Day (a sci-fi novella) and Lucidity into shape, ready for “Premium” status qualification on Smashwords.

But what’s most annoying about Smashwords — and most other publishers, for that matter — is the disperate formats and how they somehow expect the authors / publishers to homogenise their works to meet the criteria of each and everyone of them, with just the one manuscript.

Why not PDF? As a designer with a background in print, I just cannot for the life of me understand why we have ePub and Kindle formats when PDF is there, staring them, us and everyone else in the face!

Anyway, I’m nearly there…