Me on Indie Publishing

How To Simplify Your Uploads to All Romance Ebooks

I spent my morning beating my head against the All Romance Ebooks upload system.  Crankiness ensued.  Lots of swearing.  Because if you make a single error it doesn’t just let you fix that field, it erases all of your data.  Very frustrating.  In the end, I finally have all of my titles uploaded and for sale.  Yippee.  I thought, perhaps, I should make a post about how to save yourself some frustration.

Now, unlike Smashwords, Kindle, and Pubit, ARe does not actually convert anything for you.  So you need to do your homework and learn how to create the relevant formats and make an ARe version with updated license notes, etc.  I’ve talked at length in other posts about how to do this.  Use Sigil for EPUB, Mobipocketcreator for PRC, Adobe for PDF (there are many programs available for making this conversion), and OpenOffice Writer for HTML.  There are a million other formats (okay, like 6) that ARe allows you to upload, but I know nothing about them and they aren’t the mainstream ones, so I’m not going to talk about them here.

So a few things that ARe doesn’t mention until after you screw it up:

  • Dates must be in the mm/dd/yyyy format.
  • Prices must be in the $$.$$ format (so if you list something for free, you can’t just type 0).
  • There can be no spaces or punctuation in file names.
  • Cover files must be EXACTLY 200×300 (not up to).
  • You actually do have to enter the word count and number of pages (word count makes sense but the whole concept of number of pages for an ebook is ridiculous as it is different on each device).
  • The whole process of searching for and selecting an author is a multistep process that involves all clicking and no pressing of Enter as that will screw things up.
  • You do have to have an ISBN number.  I just plugged in the one assigned to my books by Smashwords.  You can’t just chuck in an ISBN from Smashwords, but you can email them and they will provide a 13 digit alternate ID.  This is located in the FAQ (which is not easy to find).

I THINK that’s all the stuff I managed to screw up over the 2 hour process of getting 3 titles ready and uploaded.  There may be other ways to muck things up, but hopefully this will save you some headaches.  And now I’m off to do some yoga.

32 thoughts on “How To Simplify Your Uploads to All Romance Ebooks

  1. Oh my! Congrats for having endured this process. It must have been very frustrating… :/
    I hate it when you need to fix 1 little thing and it erases all your data (I mean, generally; haven’t used ARe).

  2. I’ve never had any trouble using MobiPocket Creator for making the HTML file that I use for building both PRC in the same program and EPUB in Sigil. This allows me to save hard drive space by not having Open Office just for that.

    Thanks for sharing all the tips. The bumping you out and making you start over instead of just TELLING you what format to use (dates, phone numbers, etc) makes me absolutely insane.

    I agree that asking for the page number is dumb. Not only does the number change from one format to another, and from one device to another, but also at the user’s whim when they change fonts and font sizes to suit their tastes. We all know that. Additionally, when I put my print version together I learned how much small decisions and changes like margins or just the font itself can make huge variations in the page count. My book could easily have seemed 25%-30% longer, had I not been struggling to keep the page count–and thence the selling price–at a level I was comfortable with.

    Still, many readers continue to think in terms of page numbers. I think this will fade over time. I’ve noticed a lot of places that talk about my ebook mention the page number and state parenthetically that the number is from the print edition. So without a print edition I’d probably just set up my doc with the page size, margins, etc, it would have as print just to record that number and keep it handy for when people ask.

  3. Just be aware that Smashwords wants a unique ISBN, as they use it *only* for the epub version of your books. Not that it will definitely cause problems, just that there’s a potential conflict with using the same one there, especially if it’s one assigned by Smashwords. But ARe will assign authors a 13 dig. number if you don’t want to assign a unique ISBN (or don’t have your own).

    Congrats and good luck! I’ve found ARe to be a very lucrative distribution point so far. 🙂

    1. Whoops. See, these are things that should be written in nice clear little boxes beside the ISBN field on the upload form… I shall check into that. Thanks Jamie!

  4. I was under the impression that All Romance dealt only with publishers. So you’re saying that it’s actually a distributor like Smashwords, and individual authors can use it? I’ve thought about going more romantic than I’m personally inclined, in my writing, so this is good news.

  5. Thanks for this; it will help. I was reading about publishing on their website and I could see that it was going to be more difficult than the other venues. I did read the part about them assigning a 13 digit number for you. I think they only require an ISBN if you want them to distribute to Apple for you, and you’re already doing that through Smashwords.

  6. Could somebody please point me to the publisher FAQ? I’ve been all over the site and all I can find is the buyer FAQ. I’m probably overlooing something very obvious.

  7. I would like to mention one thing that I love about uploading to ARe–the book appears instantly. I had to hold promo on my newest release because uploads to BN Pubit and Amazon have taken up to days to show up for sale on the site. ARe, when you upload it, it’s up and for immediate sale.

  8. Great post Kait! It’s always nice to get the viewpoint of someone who is looking at our system with a fresh set of eyes. I’ll definitely pass the link to your post on to our IT manager.

    We dropped our minimum title requirement in January and we’ve been working with indie authors ever since. We have a Publisher/Author link in the upper right hand corner of the masthead on the website which will take you to the Publisher/Author portal. There you’ll find the Publisher and Author login screen and you can gain access to our Publisher FAQ, the Publisher registration area, and the area authors can utilize to upload inventory.

    In addition to the FAQ, we have placed a series of notes within the upload screen to help guide the upload process. It sounds like we could use a few more. The mm/dd/yyyy note is next to the date published field and there is a calendar there that will automatically format the date in that fashion. Adding a note that pricing must be in the 0.00 format is something we can easily do. The red notation about file naming conventions that we have where book files are uploaded could be repeated above the field where you upload an image. There is currently a note there that says “(3MB max, 200 x 300)”. We can amend that to “(3MB max, must be 200 x 300)” to improve clarity.

    The number of page field isn’t something that we utilize at All Romance/Omnilit. Your point about reflow and the fact that the number of pages changes from program to program, device to device, is spot on. That field is mandatory for the iBookstore and we provide and explanation and guidance about it in the iBookstore FAQ (http://www.allromanceebooks.com/faq-177.html).

    Your post points out that a few additional notes or even a reminder link on that page to the FAQ’s might be helpful. Some folks read through FAQ’s before beginning a process, others will only hunt them down to troubleshoot, and some folks will hunt and peck or write in for help – our system needs to be friendly for all types of users. Getting feedback like this provides us with an opportunity to make improvements. I’m glad someone pointed the post out to me. If anything additional strikes you, feel free to email me directly. We collect feedback and comments throughout the year and make changes to our system and processes constantly.

    1. I’ve been SO SO impressed with the speed and quality of the feedback from the company, so I’m thrilled at how receptive y’all are to input. Once I got things actually uploaded, things were awesome and I agree with Cat Johnson above, that the instantaneously available for purchase is fantastic.

      1. It would be nice in their Publisher FAQs if they said how long it takes to be approved. Just so we know when to check back & start uploading. I’m excited to have a distribution channel as cool as this one.

        1. I can’t remember exactly as I signed up quite a while ago before I actually got around to uploading stuff, but I wanna say it was within a day or two.

        2. Sharon,

          Most people are approved within 24-48 hours (our FAQ has been updated). Notices are sent via email. If something additional is required, or if for some reason the application is denied, an email is issued about that as well. Either way, you should receive something in writing from us. If you haven’t and it’s been over 48 hours, please let us know.

          1. Wow, Lori–that was fast! You’re on top of this! That gets high marks for customer service in my book.

            It’s just going on 48 hours, and it looks like it’s cleared since I last looked. Excellent! Thank you very much for chiming in.

  9. Kait, I wanted to also mention Calibre, which is an free ebook program. I create my ebook file in MobiPocket Creator, and then I import it into Calibre and convert it to various other formats, including ePub, LIT, LRF, RB, PDB, and PDF. It works really well. I thought I’d mention it as an option.

    1. I actually HAVE Calibre to manage my ebook library. I’ve just never used the conversion feature before (mostly because it never came up!). Thanks for the suggestion.

  10. I hope I sent a request to the right email address. I need that 13 digit # to fill in for the ISBN, but couldn’t find an address near that FAQ entry. So I used the “info@allromance….” Was that right?
    And thank you for the great tips. I also had to revert to the author page and get my name inserted and then go back to the book page. Not clear on the 1,2,3… steps of this process. I used to write how-to guides in software, so to go back and forth and have no clear path is frutrating. But I know they are a small site and still improving their tools/processes, so I’ll be patient. And they have great books! Who coldn’t forgive that 🙂

    1. Christine –

      When my assistant sends out welcome letters, he normally includes the following step-by-step tutorial along with an invitation to have you email him back should you need a 13 digit convention. Can you check for emails from allromanceebooks.com to you that might have ended up in your SPAM folder? If you can’t find it, the tutorial can be found here. eMail Maxwell (dot) James (at) allromanceebooks.com and he’ll get right back to you.

      http://www.arecafe.com/digimonkey-ebook-tips/digimonkey-tips-for-publishers-uploading-ebooks-onto-all-romance-and-omnilit/

      1. Lori, thank you for being so on top of this! I went back, found the email, saw what you were talking about (sorry, I thought that was info related to iBookstore, which I’m not doing, so ironically I ignored it), and emailed him right away. Any chance it comes today?

        Another question for you: how well do writing/editing books do on your sites? I’m considering uploading my Editor Devil Guides as well, which do great on Amazon.

        Thanks again!
        Christine

        1. I would recommend you give uploading them into the OmniLit non-fiction area a try. You can access that the very same way. We get more readers searching for non-fiction on OmniLit.com, our sister site. Your agreement with us and your publisher portal allows you to upload to both.

          1. Sorry, I meant OmniLit, which has lots of non-fiction. I’ll give it a try, especially since it’s better to have more author presence, not less, right?!!! Best to you!

    1. AllRomance.com is an aggregator for Apple’s iBookstore. If you want us to distribute your books to Apple, you need to sign the iBookstore Addendum that is available for signature in your password protected publisher panel. There is an FAQ link at the top of the Addendum that you should review prior to signing. Once you sign, you’ll see that extra fields appear on the book detail pages that will allow you to provide some additional data for each work (required by Apple) and to indicate to us when the book is “Ready for Distribution”. If you have questions about how anything works, just ask. Our FAQ has a list of contacts at the bottom that will ensure your query goes to the correct person.

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