Author Topic: Updating backmatter - any quicker ways?  (Read 321 times)

VanessaC

Updating backmatter - any quicker ways?
« on: June 13, 2019, 05:38:57 PM »
This is really about the book list and links on the back pages, but can apply to any type of backmatter.

I've got a free run of book 1 coming up soon, so I've just updated all the backmatter links for my first series (5 books) to make sure they all include links to the other books, and to the pre-order for my new book.  It took an eternity - or, at least, that's what it felt like!

I'm in KU, so all the backmatter links go to the book's Amazon US page, rather than to my website / other landing page. (Cannot imagine how long it would take with links for other stores!)

Length of time taken not helped by the fact I have a really slow internet connection, so uploading the files to KDP also took ages.

It got me wondering: what do other people do about updating backmatter / keeping it fresh? Is there a magic fix for this that I haven't come across?
 

Genre: Fantasy
 

Simon Haynes

Re: Updating backmatter - any quicker ways?
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2019, 08:32:20 PM »
Which software do you use for your writing?

I have 20 novels and 12 shorts, and they're all in yWriter.  I just create a new chapter and then include a line with an INCLUDE= statement, which brings in a text file containing the formatted backmatter. (HTML or LaTeX, depending on whether it's for paperback or ebook)

Other software probably has similar features.


Also yWriter, free novel-writing software for Windows PCs.
 
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notthatamanda

Re: Updating backmatter - any quicker ways?
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2019, 08:33:26 PM »
I'm interested in if anyone has any tricks too.
I'm wide so I have separate files for all the sales channels.  When I'm updating a book for anything, I do one sales channel a night.  That gets me through it without dying of boredom and it's only a little bit of time each night, though it adds up.
I need to do this too, 14 books, two compilations and all the sales channels.  I'm not doing the math, it will seem too overwhelming.  I'm going to try to run each one through an edit this time too. 
 
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Simon Haynes

Re: Updating backmatter - any quicker ways?
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2019, 10:17:58 PM »
I use Amazon links in my Mobi files, and my website links for the books in my epubs (which are used on various stores.)

yWriter will use different variables for mobi or epub depending on the export chosen.

I really need to create a sample project with all this stuff documented, so others can copy the steps. There's hardly any documentation because I keep changing and improving things, and these features are mostly for my own use.




Also yWriter, free novel-writing software for Windows PCs.
 
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Maggie Ann

Re: Updating backmatter - any quicker ways?
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2019, 11:24:12 PM »
I use the Universal Book Links through D2D/Books2Read. I'm slowly adding the Zon links to the UBLs on B2R (same sign-in as D2D). Then I make a file with the new backmatter/link and just cut and paste it in.

That's about as fast as I can make it and once I have all the UBL's in, I'm really not going to have to do it again. I hope.


           
 
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Bill Hiatt

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Re: Updating backmatter - any quicker ways?
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2019, 01:11:10 AM »
I use the Universal Book Links through D2D/Books2Read. I'm slowly adding the Zon links to the UBLs on B2R (same sign-in as D2D). Then I make a file with the new backmatter/link and just cut and paste it in.

That's about as fast as I can make it and once I have all the UBL's in, I'm really not going to have to do it again. I hope.
Those universal links could be the best way to go. If you change retailers, you do have to update the universal link, but that's just one change, not one change for each book. You're also covered if a book goes into or comes out of KDP Select.


Tickling the imagination one book at a time
Bill Hiatt | fiction website | education website | Facebook author page | Twitter
 
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notthatamanda

Re: Updating backmatter - any quicker ways?
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2019, 01:49:58 AM »
I use the Universal Book Links through D2D/Books2Read. I'm slowly adding the Zon links to the UBLs on B2R (same sign-in as D2D). Then I make a file with the new backmatter/link and just cut and paste it in.

That's about as fast as I can make it and once I have all the UBL's in, I'm really not going to have to do it again. I hope.
Those universal links could be the best way to go. If you change retailers, you do have to update the universal link, but that's just one change, not one change for each book. You're also covered if a book goes into or comes out of KDP Select.
I use the universal links for Apple and B&N because I go through D2D for them and there really isn't another choice. Well, I could probably create different books on my bookshelf for them and handle it that way, but that would be a real time suck.

For Amazon, Google, Kobo I have separate files so I have links to the Amazon, Google or Kobo pages in my books.  I really like to do that, especially for the Trilogies, just click here for the next book.  One click.

I'm not advocating that this is necessary, but once I have the book file ready to go for Amazon I make a new file, change the links, do a quick search for the previous sales channel to make sure I didn't miss any, and upload.  It doesn't take that long, maybe ten minutes, of course the more books I have to list in the back it will take longer.

Oh, I also use the Books2Read universal links for Prolific works files too.  I do like those links.
 
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VanessaC

Re: Updating backmatter - any quicker ways?
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2019, 08:42:02 PM »
Which software do you use for your writing?

I have 20 novels and 12 shorts, and they're all in yWriter.  I just create a new chapter and then include a line with an INCLUDE= statement, which brings in a text file containing the formatted backmatter. (HTML or LaTeX, depending on whether it's for paperback or ebook)

Other software probably has similar features.

That sounds like a very clever idea - and you'd only then have to keep one text file updated.

I write in Scrivener, and I also compile / format from there, too. I'm a bit of a technophobe, so simple is better for me.

And, yikes, I haven't even done paperbacks yet.
 

Genre: Fantasy
 

VanessaC

Re: Updating backmatter - any quicker ways?
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2019, 08:44:42 PM »
Thanks everyone for the replies.  You are all clearly far more tech-savvy than I am!

So, even though there are some quicker ways, it sounds like keeping the backmatter updated is just one of "those things" that takes a bit of time now and then.

Not helped (in my case) by the fact that I like keeping a full list of my books at the back of each book.  So "full list" is a bit of a big statement at the moment, but the list is growing.

 

Genre: Fantasy
 

notthatamanda

Re: Updating backmatter - any quicker ways?
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2019, 09:02:08 PM »
So, even though there are some quicker ways, it sounds like keeping the backmatter updated is just one of "those things" that takes a bit of time now and then.

Yup.
 
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DmGuay

Re: Updating backmatter - any quicker ways?
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2019, 09:45:21 PM »
This is really about the book list and links on the back pages, but can apply to any type of backmatter.

I've got a free run of book 1 coming up soon, so I've just updated all the backmatter links for my first series (5 books) to make sure they all include links to the other books, and to the pre-order for my new book.  It took an eternity - or, at least, that's what it felt like!

I'm in KU, so all the backmatter links go to the book's Amazon US page, rather than to my website / other landing page. (Cannot imagine how long it would take with links for other stores!)

Length of time taken not helped by the fact I have a really slow internet connection, so uploading the files to KDP also took ages.

It got me wondering: what do other people do about updating backmatter / keeping it fresh? Is there a magic fix for this that I haven't come across?

I recently pubbed the last book in a trilogy AND went wide. I spent at least three or four whole days (total) updating backmatter in each book. At first, I opted for the Books2read link, but it didn't open in my own kindle, so then I took Patty J's advice and sent everyone to the book page (for the next in series book) on my own web site, and to the general books page if they want a complete list of titles. The buy links are right there on the top, and if I ever want to update, I just update my own web site book page. easy peasy.

It's had some unexpected bonuses: Now I can see when people go to the page when they finish one of my books, what country they are from, and what retailer they ultimately go to.

If you didn't want to update your "books by" page in your file over and over again, you could technically link to your "books' page on your author site, which would have a complete list. It'd be another click between the reader and buy, though, but it would be super easy to keep updated.

D.M. Guay | Web site
 
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VanessaC

Re: Updating backmatter - any quicker ways?
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2019, 10:47:50 PM »
This is really about the book list and links on the back pages, but can apply to any type of backmatter.

I've got a free run of book 1 coming up soon, so I've just updated all the backmatter links for my first series (5 books) to make sure they all include links to the other books, and to the pre-order for my new book.  It took an eternity - or, at least, that's what it felt like!

I'm in KU, so all the backmatter links go to the book's Amazon US page, rather than to my website / other landing page. (Cannot imagine how long it would take with links for other stores!)

Length of time taken not helped by the fact I have a really slow internet connection, so uploading the files to KDP also took ages.

It got me wondering: what do other people do about updating backmatter / keeping it fresh? Is there a magic fix for this that I haven't come across?

I recently pubbed the last book in a trilogy AND went wide. I spent at least three or four whole days (total) updating backmatter in each book. At first, I opted for the Books2read link, but it didn't open in my own kindle, so then I took Patty J's advice and sent everyone to the book page (for the next in series book) on my own web site, and to the general books page if they want a complete list of titles. The buy links are right there on the top, and if I ever want to update, I just update my own web site book page. easy peasy.

It's had some unexpected bonuses: Now I can see when people go to the page when they finish one of my books, what country they are from, and what retailer they ultimately go to.

If you didn't want to update your "books by" page in your file over and over again, you could technically link to your "books' page on your author site, which would have a complete list. It'd be another click between the reader and buy, though, but it would be super easy to keep updated.

Oh, man, days?!! The few hours I spent seems so feeble now ...

Thanks - you know, i did wonder about some kind of website-hosted page with all the books on it.  My hesitation there is the extra click (or possibly two) that a reader would need to make to go to the next book.  However, definitely something to keep in mind for the future.
 

Genre: Fantasy
 

notthatamanda

Re: Updating backmatter - any quicker ways?
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2019, 11:25:31 PM »
When I need to do it, I just do it after the kids go to bed.  I'm too tired to write then, but I like to be productive.  I can sit next to my husband on the couch while he watches sports and chip away at it.  I guess some people like to power through a big, mundane task and get it over with but I like to break it into smaller pieces.  Keeps me from getting sloppy too.  Whatever works for you, but sometimes I can't work and that's when I do this administrative stuff.

Thank you DM for the tip about your website.   I need to add all that to my backmatter too, now that I actually have a website.   :banana:
I probably would have totally blanked on that until I was done and had to redo it all.  Big thanks.
 
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Bill Hiatt

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Re: Updating backmatter - any quicker ways?
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2019, 01:26:58 AM »
While I have found that every extra click leads to drop-off, it's certainly a time-saver to route the traffic through a web page that never changes its address. People may stumble upon something else they like while they're there.

I have one page that displays all my books, but that has just a really short blurb and a cover photo that links to the individual book pages. (I wanted to have an Amazon preview for each, and a page with twenty or more previews is going to take longer to load. I use the link for the individual book page in order to cut out one extra click.  I haven't done this yet, but the individual page would be a good place to display other formats in which the book is available.)


Tickling the imagination one book at a time
Bill Hiatt | fiction website | education website | Facebook author page | Twitter
 
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DmGuay

Re: Updating backmatter - any quicker ways?
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2019, 03:52:46 AM »
h would have a complete list. It'd be another click between the reader and buy, though, but it would be super easy to keep updated.
Quote

Thanks - you know, i did wonder about some kind of website-hosted page with all the books on it.  My hesitation there is the extra click (or possibly two) that a reader would need to make to go to the next book.  However, definitely something to keep in mind for the future.

If you're wide it isn't really one extra click because you'd be sending them to books2 read first anyway. It's really only one extra click if you're amazon exclusive.

D.M. Guay | Web site
 
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Maggie Ann

Re: Updating backmatter - any quicker ways?
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2019, 04:32:40 AM »
h would have a complete list. It'd be another click between the reader and buy, though, but it would be super easy to keep updated.
Quote

Thanks - you know, i did wonder about some kind of website-hosted page with all the books on it.  My hesitation there is the extra click (or possibly two) that a reader would need to make to go to the next book.  However, definitely something to keep in mind for the future.

If you're wide it isn't really one extra click because you'd be sending them to books2 read first anyway. It's really only one extra click if you're amazon exclusive.

They would go to B2R only the first time, but then they can set their store preference. If it's Kobo, they would go directly there when they click on the link. Same with B&N, Apple, etc.
           
 
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VanessaC

Re: Updating backmatter - any quicker ways?
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2019, 11:01:08 PM »
Thanks again everyone for the replies - really interesting, and helpful.

I have added Books2Read to my list of things to check out in future.  My brain can only cope with one new system at a time, and right now I'm working on Book Funnel.

Feeling pretty pleased with myself having just navigated uploading my first book to Book Funnel - to be fair, Book Funnel make it so easy, I suspect even my mother could manage it!  Now I just need to work out the website / mailing list integration, but will do that later. After more caffeine.  Grin
 

Genre: Fantasy
 

DmGuay

Re: Updating backmatter - any quicker ways?
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2019, 11:10:45 PM »
Thanks again everyone for the replies - really interesting, and helpful.

I have added Books2Read to my list of things to check out in future.  My brain can only cope with one new system at a time, and right now I'm working on Book Funnel.

Feeling pretty pleased with myself having just navigated uploading my first book to Book Funnel - to be fair, Book Funnel make it so easy, I suspect even my mother could manage it!  Now I just need to work out the website / mailing list integration, but will do that later. After more caffeine.  Grin

I've just navigated all of this myself, so you're always welcome to PM me! I'd also love to do a newsletter or blog social media swap with you when you're ready. Good luck, and get on over to the kitchen and hit the brew button on that coffee pot!

D.M. Guay | Web site
 
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notthatamanda

Re: Updating backmatter - any quicker ways?
« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2019, 01:21:02 AM »
Thanks again everyone for the replies - really interesting, and helpful.

I have added Books2Read to my list of things to check out in future.  My brain can only cope with one new system at a time, and right now I'm working on Book Funnel.

Feeling pretty pleased with myself having just navigated uploading my first book to Book Funnel - to be fair, Book Funnel make it so easy, I suspect even my mother could manage it!  Now I just need to work out the website / mailing list integration, but will do that later. After more caffeine.  Grin
When you are ready to check out Books2Read I think it should be possible to set up links so you know where the people who are clicking on them are coming from.  That means more links, which kind of defeats the purpose, but I kind of wish I had done that now.  For what's it worth Books2Read was pretty easy, compared to wordpress :)
 
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VanessaC

Re: Updating backmatter - any quicker ways?
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2019, 06:17:47 AM »
Thanks again everyone for the replies - really interesting, and helpful.

I have added Books2Read to my list of things to check out in future.  My brain can only cope with one new system at a time, and right now I'm working on Book Funnel.

Feeling pretty pleased with myself having just navigated uploading my first book to Book Funnel - to be fair, Book Funnel make it so easy, I suspect even my mother could manage it!  Now I just need to work out the website / mailing list integration, but will do that later. After more caffeine.  Grin
a

I've just navigated all of this myself, so you're always welcome to PM me! I'd also love to do a newsletter or blog social media swap with you when you're ready. Good luck, and get on over to the kitchen and hit the brew button on that coffee pot!

Thank you. Not quite organised enough for newsletter swaps yet, but definitely in future!

 

Genre: Fantasy
 

VanessaC

Re: Updating backmatter - any quicker ways?
« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2019, 06:18:54 AM »
Thanks again everyone for the replies - really interesting, and helpful.

I have added Books2Read to my list of things to check out in future.  My brain can only cope with one new system at a time, and right now I'm working on Book Funnel.

Feeling pretty pleased with myself having just navigated uploading my first book to Book Funnel - to be fair, Book Funnel make it so easy, I suspect even my mother could manage it!  Now I just need to work out the website / mailing list integration, but will do that later. After more caffeine.  Grin
When you are ready to check out Books2Read I think it should be possible to set up links so you know where the people who are clicking on them are coming from.  That means more links, which kind of defeats the purpose, but I kind of wish I had done that now.  For what's it worth Books2Read was pretty easy, compared to wordpress :)

I'm pretty sure that brain surgery is easy,  compared to WordPress (yep, it was that bad for me!)  :icon_rofl:
 

Genre: Fantasy
 

Simon Haynes

Re: Updating backmatter - any quicker ways?
« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2019, 06:36:03 PM »
I've added a comprehensive sample project to the latest yWriter 7, but it's still brain surgery (to be honest.)

I'm thinking of doing a series of short training vids on youtube, explaining some of the features absolutely nobody else knows about, but ... that would take away from my writing time.


Also yWriter, free novel-writing software for Windows PCs.
 

Crystal

Re: Updating backmatter - any quicker ways?
« Reply #22 on: June 18, 2019, 04:09:20 AM »
There are two good options:

1) As said upthread, send readers to a Books page on your site, where they can see all your books and click to the store of their choice.

2) Narrow your backmatter updates. Streamline your backlist system, so you don't have to update a lot. When I release a new book, I only update the previous book in the series. I'll add the link if/when I upload new versions of old books (typo corrections, new covers, etc.) If the new book is a new series, I will update the old books, but only the standalones and last in series.

There's also the bonus option: have an assistant do it for you. But of course that means you need an assistant.
 

Kristen.s.walker

Re: Updating backmatter - any quicker ways?
« Reply #23 on: June 18, 2019, 11:08:48 AM »
I started using Vellum. Vellum has an option called Store Link. You choose which stores you want, then for each book you link to, you input the link by store. Vellum generates ebook versions for each store with the appropriate links. So there's one for Kobo with Kobo links, a movie with Amazon links, etc.

Now, I'm generally not updating every book for a new release. Mostly I go and update the books in the same series. But every so often I go back to older books and make sure their links are updated. Vellum makes it much faster.
 
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