Just now, I finished adding Amazon’s new service, X-Ray, to my short story collection Diabolical: Three Tales of Jack Thurston and Revenge. X-Ray inserts links into a Amazon Kindle text which lead either to a Wikipedia article or to comments by the author on a character or term in the text. It’s easy to use. I like it, because in a work like Diabolical, there are many obscure terms which may need clarification to some readers. I feel this will help the reader enjoy the work more, because he/she will not need to run to a dictionary, encyclopedia, or to a search engine to find out the background on a character or term, especially if they are historical. For example, in these tales I use the names of several demons which are cited in historical works. Probably very few people would recognize the names of these demons (such as Azazel or Belial) and would need to do at least a little research to find out their significance.
This also helps with marketing my other works in which some of these characters may be mentioned. In my own comments on a character or term, I can mention in what other works that character appear and how to find and purchase those works.
Yesterday, I added X-Ray to my short story collection The Scent and Other Stories. Go to amazon.com/author/philslattery to learn more about each book and to purchase one or both.
On Thursday the 5th, I made use of a new Kindle author’s feature called X-Ray. X-Ray links characters and terms in an author’s work to either links (written by the author) or to Wikipedia Articles about the character/term. It is very easy to use. An author goes to his/her KDP page for the work and selects a button to enable X-Ray. After a short time of a half-hour or longer, when the author comes back to that KDP book, a drop-down menu of characters and terms from the work are displayed. The author goes through each and decides whether to include that character/term among the links, choosing a radio button for his/her choice. He/she can then either write a short description of the character/term or select a Wikipedia article on it. After all characters and terms have been reviewed, the author can publish the ones chosen. Then, after about a half-hour or so, links will appear in the Kindle ebook, which a reader can click and which will take him/her to the author’s or the Wikipedia article.
I think this is a neat service to provide to readers. It is also something an author can advertise about his/her works, which may give an advantage over non-X-Ray-enabled works in the marketplace. Simply writing an article about it, as I have done here, will garner a little more publicity for the author.
I tested this on The Scent and Other Stories tonight. Get an e-copy when you can and check it out. You can purchase a copy from Amazon at anytime or you can wait until Christmas Eve, which, if I recall correctly, is the next time that The Scent and Other Stories is offered free.
If you are a Kindle author, be certain to check out this new feature.
I will be doing this for my other works as time permits.