TIPS FROM TELL-IT-TO-THE-WORLD MARKETING: Using KDP With a Screenreader by authorN-Proofreader Jo E. Pinto

TIPS FROM TELL-IT-TO-THE-WORLD MARKETING: Using KDP With a Screenreader by authorN-Proofreader Jo E. Pinto

Here at Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing, where we support talented authors, as well as successful business owners in their marketing, by marrying social media, with more traditional approaches,

the goal is to help the client market their Book, Blog, or Business to the very best of their ability.

One of the best ways for me to do this, is to share tips with my clients, so that they can define the services I provide them, to better meet their needs.

Since Amazon changed from the Wonderfully Accessible Creatspace to the Not so Wonderful Inaccessible KDP I’ve been trying to get information from blind and visually challenged writers concerning their experience and author Jo E. Pinto has graciously taken the time to write the following article concerning her experiences and has asked me to share it here with you in the hopes that you will in turn share it far and wide.

I’d like to invite you to feel free to share your experiences as well.

You may do so by either commenting here on the site in the comments’ section or by emailing your comments directly to me at: patty.volunteer1@gmail.com

Please note, I’m looking for your actual experience not just your opinion on the fact that this is a crappy way for Amazon to be doing business.

Please also note that if you comment on the site you must be available on site for follow up comments.

 

 

USING KDP WITH A SCREENREADER

BY: JO E. PINTO

BSODCoverArt.jpg

I published my novel, “The Bright Side of Darkness,” in the summer of 2015 with CreateSpace. After some sighted assistance with the initial publication process, I used the Web site independently for more than three years without a glitch. I bought author copies and shipped them to my home, as well as to other places. I read sales reports and kept track of royalties easily. CreateSpace was one of the most accessible business Web pages I ever had the pleasure of dealing with.

 

Enter KDP. *Cue up creepy organ music.*

 

Last fall, CreateSpace authors started being urged to move our paperbacks to the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Web Site, where we would be able to manage our print and Kindle books on a single common dashboard and view our sales and royalty reports from one convenient location. If we didn’t move them ourselves, our books would eventually be migrated to the KDP Web site automatically by Amazon. I researched my choices and decided that since I wanted to make a few minor updates to my novel, my best option would be to transfer the book on my own.

 

The change has had its positive and negative aspects, but overall the road has been rough. I accomplished the first step of the process by myself on the CreateSpace Web site. But as soon as I opened the KDP page, I immediately needed help finding the “Create Paperback” button beside my desired title on my KDP Dashboard. The Dashboard was already in place on the KDP site, and my novel appeared on the Dashboard, since it had been moved to the site when I initiated the transfer on the CreateSpace page. I signed in at KDP with my name and Amazon password as directed. But some of the links and buttons were inaccessible to Jaws, my chosen screen-reading program.

 

I asked for sighted assistance to click the “Create Paperback” button.

 

Strike one.

 

After that, the remainder of the transfer process was fairly smooth but not without error. I was disappointed because my screen reader didn’t alert me to the steps that would have allowed me to update the interior files of my book at no cost before I approved the transfer. There were two minor changes I intended to make during the transfer, but Jaws apparently passed by those check boxes or menus without reading them. I also planned to add more keywords to make my novel easier to search for on Amazon, which I should have had the chance to do while moving my book to KDP. But again, Jaws didn’t identify that option during the transfer process. Still, even though steps were skipped, I was able to complete the transfer process independently.

 

I entered my ISBN number from CreateSpace, after which my novel disappeared for good from the CreateSpace page. Last but not least, I hit the Publish button.

 

But the trouble didn’t end there.

 

Next, I tried to order author copies to sell locally. *Cue up even creepier organ music with shrill background screams.*

 

If I’d known what a hassle I had in store, I would have ordered as many author copies as I could afford before I transferred my book from CreateSpace. I started by searching the Help Center to find out how author copies could be obtained, since the process wasn’t straightforward on KDP. After some digging, I found a video that explained what to do. But the video gave onscreen instructions set to music. No words out loud, in plain English, that I could listen to with my ears instead of reading with my eyes.

 

Strike two.

 

So I searched the Help Center for a contact link and got in touch with KDP Customer Service, which was another hit or miss proposition. Skip e-mailing; I tried that and got no answers for nearly a week, followed by confusion from the wrong department, transfer to another department which tried to send me closed captioning for a video that already had printed words set to music, and finally no more response at all. I turned to the telephone. As with anywhere else, sometimes the phone workers are pleasant and helpful; sometimes they’re crabby and clueless. The woman I asked about author copies happened to be wonderful. She sent me a transcript of the video, which follows.

 

“To order an author copy:

 

1. Sign in to http://kdp.amazon.com.

 

2. Go to your Bookshelf and find the paperback you would like to order.

 

3. Click on the “Request author copies” link in the ellipsis (“…”) menu.

 

4. Enter the order quantity and select the Amazon marketplace closest to your shipping destination from the drop-down menu. You can order as many author copies as you want with a maximum of 999 units per order. If you want to order more than 999 author copies at a time, you can place multiple separate orders. You’ll pay shipping charges for each order.

 

5. After you select the marketplace of your order, the cost will be displayed. This cost is calculated in the currency of the selected marketplace. It doesn’t include shipping and applicable taxes.

 

6. Select “Proceed to Shopping Cart.” You’ll be redirected to the Amazon Shopping Cart of your chosen marketplace to complete your order.”

 

The problem arose in Step 3. The “Request author copies” link in the Ellipsis (“…”) menu wasn’t accessible to Jaws, either with the arrow keys or by using the Jaws cursor. The Ellipsis (…) Menu was behind another link. The only way I located it was by again borrowing a pair of eyes, and even then it wasn’t easy to spot.

 

Strike three.

 

Once I finally got that elusive link clicked, though, the process went like a hot knife through butter. My author copies landed in my Amazon shopping cart, and I purchased them as I would any other Amazon order.

 

The final issue has proved to be far more thorny, and I haven’t yet found a resolution. I’m still unable to read the sales records and royalty reports on KDP. So far, I haven’t found them to be at all accessible with text-to-speech software. I’ve had to rely on other sources, such as Amazon Bookscan and earnings reports from Amazon and Kindle, to keep track of my book sales. Having monthly and year-to-date reports of paperback and Kindle sales all in one place was one of the features that supposedly made combining KDP and CreateSpace attractive to authors in the first place.

 

Total access fail!

 

After the freedom of using CreateSpace independently for nearly three and a half years, I’m disappointed about needing sighted assistance to purchase author copies from KDP, and even less pleased about my inability to read my sales records and royalty reports privately. I’m fortunate enough to have someone who can assist me fairly regularly, but not all visually impaired authors are, nor should we be forced to depend on sighted help for what we used to accomplish with complete independence. These serious access issues need immediate attention from KDP. BIO…

 

 

MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR AND HER WORK…

 

J. E. Pinto is a magnet for underdogs! Early in her married life, her home became a hangout for troubled neighborhood kids. This experience lit the flame for her first novel, The Bright Side of Darkness.

 

Pinto’s Spanish-American roots grow deep in the Rocky Mountains, dating back six generations. J. E. Pinto lives with her family in Colorado where she works as a writer and also proofreads textbooks and audio books. One of her favorite pastimes is taking a nature walk with her service dog.

 

The Bright Side of Darkness won a first place Indie Book Award for “First Novel over Eighty Thousand Words,” as well as First Place for “Inspirational Fiction.” The novel also won several awards from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association: First Place for “Inspirational Fiction,” Second Place for “Audio Book,” and First Place for “Literary and Contemporary Fiction.

 

SYNOPSIS

 

What is a family? Rick Myers is a despondent seventeen-year-old who just lost his parents in a car wreck. His family is now the four teenage buddies he’s grown up with in a run-down apartment building. Fast with their fists, flip with their mouths, and loyal to a fault, “the crew” is all he has.
At least he thinks so until he meets Daisy, an intelligent, independent, self-assured blind girl. Her guts in a world where she’s often painfully vulnerable intrigue Rick, and her hopeful outlook inspires him to begin believing in himself.
But when the dark side of Daisy’s past catches up with her, tragedy scatters the crew and severely tests Rick’s resolve to build his promising future. Fortunately, his life is changed by a couple with a pay-it-forward attitude, forged out of their personal struggle with grief and loss. Their support makes all the difference to Rick and eventually to the ones he holds most dear as they face their own challenges.
“The Bright Side of Darkness” is a story of redemption and the ultimate victory that comes from the determination of the human spirit

 

Buy Link…

http://www.amazon.com/author/jepinto

 

If you would like to contact Author Jo E Pinto please feel free to e-mail:

 

jopinto@msn.com

 

To see her guest blog posts, please check out:   https://blindmotherhood.com/.

 

Jo can also be found at:  Looking On the Bright Side

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14120336.J_E_Pinto/blog

 

Please see her on her Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/authorjepinto/

 

 

 

0 Comments

  1. What I would like to see is several blind writers recording their experiences politely and coherently, and then collaborating to send their observations to KDP so we can convince Amazon to make positive changes on our behalf.

    1. Hi Jo. This is a great idea.
      Thanks for suggesting it.
      And:
      Thanks for that well-written article.
      I hope others will comment.

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