Ebook challenges part two

Yesterday I dove back into the Ebook fray for two reasons: Immortal was still not set up on the Kindle; and we’d gotten back feedback from Smashwords on the ebook version we’d uploaded that required addressing.

As you know, I had issues reformatting Immortal to accommodate the Smashwords Style Guide, but the outcome was supposed to produce something that could be uploaded to both Amazon and Smashwords as-was.  It nearly turned out that way.

Kindle folderol

The problem with the Kindle availability was that each time the file I sent to the publisher was uploaded to Amazon, the resulting file still looked like hell.  After fiddling with this for a while, the publisher sent me the link and suggested I try it.  When I did, it looked considerably better.  Possible explanation: my file, which was emailed and then opened in another version of Word before being uploaded, had been altered by the program, which thought it was helping.

One of the first things one has to do before reformatting a document for epublishing is turn off all of the things in MS Word that are there to “help” you.  Auto-formatting, for instance.

But it still looked kind of crappy.  So I spent a good hour making adjustments to my Word file, uploading it to see what it looked like on Amazon, then making additional adjustments, and so on.  When I was happy, I finished the publishing process.

And: it is available now, directly from Amazon.

Shmashing

The Smashwords problem was much, much dumber.  In the style guide, it is “recommended” that specific language be included in the copyright information.  This “recommended” text is not “required” but “MIGHT” make it more difficult for the manuscript to be approved for their premium catalog.  

I didn’t include it.  And the premium catalog is what releases the book to all of the third party retailers, like Apple and Barnes & Noble.

So I had to fix that and send it back through their conversion meatgrinder, and wait for all of the War & Peace sized novels ahead of it in line to get done.  It’s available– again? Still?– from Smashwords.  And hopefully by the end of the month in a whole lot of other places.

The lesson. Don’t fuck with the Smashwords Style Guide or their abuse of the word “recommended.”

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  1. […] and then there I was formatting an ebook myself.  This was a process that required multiple revisitations, considerable anguish, and not an inconsiderable amount of weeping.  But it got done.  And thanks […]

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