1. Edward G
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    Edward G Banned

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    Publishing to Kindle is Hard

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Edward G, Nov 22, 2010.

    I saw a book advertised by a writer on a writing forum (not this one, of course). The title looked good, the cover art was good, the genre was of interest to me, and it was available on Kindle.

    In fact, it was only available on Kindle. It was self-published to Kindle. Fine. I had no problem with that. In fact, Kindle is how I prefer to read books these days, and at .99 cents, I couldn't pass it up, right?

    Of course, I downloaded the sample first for free. I've learned to do this, because I've learned that few self-publishers know how to properly publish to Kindle. And I wasn't surprised this time, either.

    No cover art. No table of contents. No publishing front matter. The font was some kind of Courier. The justification was all askew. It was a mess. I never read the first sentence of the book, and of course, I didn't buy it.

    Publishing to kindle requires a good working knowledge of HTML and working with images. It also requires a great deal of specialized knowledge about Kindle that only comes from reading all the stuff out there on the web about it. I even had to contact the author of a book about publishing to Kindle to ask some questions that neither Amazon answered, nor that he answered in his book. In other words, I actually had to do original research to publish my book properly.

    If you don't know how to publish to Kindle, you need to learn before self-publishing. Otherwise you're shooting yourself in the foot.
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Thank you for the heads up. :)
     
  3. Noya Desherbanté
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    Noya Desherbanté Senior Member

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    Yes, thanks lots - I'm gearing up to give publishing to Kindle a try, and as I can't actually afford one myself to test things on, I will at some point need all the advice I can get... :/

    Luckily I am a complete geek when it comes to formatting, etc. I struggle with the bare writing part - but I love making things pretty, and have been writing in HTML since single-digits. I would have thought a table of contents, even just a plain list of chapters in Courier, would have been a pretty standard thing you'd include, just like the - uh - actual book. But no? :( It seems I was very naive then... *sigh* I guess I thought Amazon would keep it quite strictly quality-controlled...

    Sad times... :( Rest assured though, when I eventually publish, it shall have cover art, contents, maybe a few illustrations, the whole kit and kaboodle. Just like a BOOK should really have... just because it's in electronic form needn't mean the relative speed of production has to lower its quality... that said, I'm excited about Kindle because it offers so much room for experimentation - you can't make a fuzzy-fur baby's book, but you do have a lot more freedom to make weird and wonderful things. Note 'wonderful'. I don't think reams of plain text is 'wonderful', in anyone's book.

    (See what I did there? :p)
     
  4. Newfable
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    Newfable Senior Member

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    Thanks for the heads up.

    I wasn't planning on doing it myself, nor do I plan on trying to get published to a Kindle or eBook reader anytime soon. I'm stubborn, and still holding onto the "good ol' days".
     
  5. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Huh, I know a guy who self-published onto Kindle... But I can't afford one, so I have no idea if it's any good. :p

    As self-publishing online goes, how does this rate, on a scale of useful professionally/likely to get you noticed/good books being published/etc? Since it's a type of ebook I can't check out without a Kindle? :p
     

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