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May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Contents Bulletin Scripting in shell and Perl Network troubleshooting History Humor

Notes on Kindle publishing

News Kindle  publishing bookshelf Recommended Links Self Publishing Grammar checkers Frontpage Kindle Publishing Tools
KindleGen Kindle Previewer calibre Guidelines  Amazon KDP Support Forum Humor Etc

Introduction

On the e-reader front, Amazon rules with its Kindle line. Barnes & Noble's Nooks was a solid second, but recently run into troubles. Kobo still hangs around, with more support in its native Canada than in the United States.

With Amazon self-publishing program you can choose get up to 70% royalty (It's 35% originally, and just recently 70%, if you agree to keep prices lower then the physical book). No sign-up fee, no publishing fee.   If your book sells (big if), it can be delivered to on Kindle or to a free Kindle application on any supported platform which includes Windows, iPad and Android.

There are two versions of Kindle format:

Amazon hosts author forums at: http://forums.kindledirectpublishing.com.

If you have an Amazon.com account, you're already signed up with Kindle Direct Publishing (you might need to add additional information)!  But remember there is a Stigma attached to self-publishing (What’s the Problem with Self-Publishing), which is especially noticeable in how libraries deal with such books:

The longest-standing barrier is the stigma associated with self-published works. Long synonymous with “vanity publishing,” these works have been rejected for decades on the grounds that if they weren’t good enough to appeal to a traditional publisher, they were unlikely to serve the needs of library users. On the publishing side, the business case for self-publishing as a profit center is forcing many in the industry to reconsider this attitude.

Penguin parent company Pearson last year acquired self-publishing company Author Solutions, with an eye toward acquisition prospects. At the time of the deal, Penguin CEO John Makinson told told PaidContent that Penguin’s partnership  with Author Solutions “will fall somewhere between self-publishing as presently defined and Penguin publishing as presently defined.” Meanwhile, the increasing number of anecdotes of breakout self-publishing successes—such as Amanda Hocking, E.L. James, Hugh Howey, and many others—indicate there are gems among the self-published offerings, even if not every title is equally compelling.

Biggest problem with self-publishing

The key problem with self-publishing is absence of a good editor and proofreader. Here is a comment from Slashdot story (Thinking of Publishing Your Own $0.99 Kindle Book - Slashdot):

sir_eccles

The biggest problem with self publishing

Self editing. Applies equally to ebooks and old fashioned paper ones.

Man Eating Duck

Re:The biggest problem with self publishing (Score:5, Insightful)

Self editing. Applies equally to ebooks and old fashioned paper ones.

Bravo. I'm a voracious reader, I prefer reading on E-ink, and I've read quite a few self-published stories for free or very cheap ($4). Some are very good stories, some are weaker, but without exception so far all are marred by poor flow, sentences that not quite work and even grammatical and spelling errors.

A good copy-editor could work wonders, an editor who is involved in the shaping of the book is even better. It takes a good author to write a compelling story or a good non-fiction book, but to end up with a good final result you need professionals somewhere down the line.

This doesn't mean that self-publishing is inherently bad, if you write a good story you can rise above the rest by spending something like $1500 to have a professional copy-edit your book. If you're serious about your writing this is not a huge investment, especially if you compare it to the time you put into writing your story. And no, your friend who got an A+ in $language is almost certainly *not* a good substitute.

I love to see a lot of promising fresh writers being able to publish their work without needing a publishing contract, but even an ace racing driver can't win without his team of mechanics and support crew. Something similar goes for writers (-1, car analogy).

Disclaimer: I've worked at an academic publishing company since 1999 and have participated in publishing hundreds of works. I *know* how important a good editor, proof-reader and copy-editor are for getting a good result. A good percentage of our authors don't understand why they need it until they see the finished book :)

Kindle 8 format

Kindle 8 format is close to ePub and you can first create and debug the book in ePub and then export it to Kindle format using command line utility KindleGen. It will provide the necessary warning for marking that should be changes but generally it accepts many ePub books without any problems.

vasp_performance.shtml.                                                                                                                  19:40
*** org () => /cygdrive/f/Bulletin/0725/High_performance_computing/Vasp/vasp_performance.shtml
Current remote FTP directory: /
Created new file: 10751
=============================

===== SUMMARY FOR DOMAIN org =====

Total number of transfer failures:
Sucessfully transfered files: 1
Created Directories:
        /public_html/High_performance_computing/Vasp
Botched files:

C:\Utils>kindlegen.exe

*************************************************************
 Amazon kindlegen(Windows) V2.9 build 0523-9bd8a95
 A command line e-book compiler
 Copyright Amazon.com and its Affiliates 2013
*************************************************************

Usage : kindlegen [filename.opf/.htm/.html/.epub/.zip or directory] [-c0 or -c1 or c2] [-verbose] [-western] [-o ]
Note:
   zip/directory formats are supported for XMDF sources
Options:
   -c0: no compression
   -c1: standard DOC compression
   -c2: Kindle huffdic compression
   -o : Specifies the output file name. Output file will be created in the same directory as that of input file.  should
 not contain directory path.
   -verbose: provides more information during ebook conversion
   -western: force build of Windows-1252 book
   -releasenotes: display release notes
   -gif: images are converted to GIF format (no JPEG in the book)
   -locale  : To display messages in selected language
      en: English
      de: German
      fr: French
      it: Italian
      es: Spanish
      zh: Chinese
      ja: Japanese
      pt: Portuguese

C:\Utils>                                                                                                                                    ↑

Kindle format 7

Kindle 7 HTML formatting is a very small and severely restricted subset of HTML 3.2. It does not support tables, but other then that it is adequate, if minimalistic tool. There is no <pre> support but <code> can be used instead, albeit with some difficulties (automatic conversion is need to add <br> at the end of each line).  Pages (or at least beginning of the chapters) need to be delimited by <mbp:pagebreak />

HTML Tag Attributes Description
<!-- -->   Comment – enclosed text not displayed in final product. Example: <!-- This is a comment. -->
<a>   Anchor for hyperlink.
 
href
Defines the address of the internal bookmark or external web page to which the hyperlink points.
 
id
Assigns a unique id to this element.
 
name
Defines an internal bookmark to which you can point a hyperlink.
<b>   Formats enclosed text as bold.
 
id
Assigns a unique id to this element.
<big>   Increases font size of enclosed text to one point larger than the current or default font size.
<blockquote>   Sets off long quotes from body text; creates a margin of white space around quoted text, indented on the left side only. You cannot use paragraph tags inside blockquote elements - use the break (br) tag instead. There is no default indentation or spacing for lines inside blockquote elements.
 
id
Assigns a unique id to this element.
<body>   Encloses the body text of the HTML file.
<br />   Creates a line break.
 
id
Assigns a unique id to this element.
<center>   Centers text horizontally.
<cite>   Indicates that enclosed text is quoted from another source; formatted as italic.
<dd>   Encloses the definition of a term in a definition list (<dl>).
 
id
Assigns a unique id to this element.
 
title
Creates text in a pop-up box when readers mouse over this element.
<del>   Indicates deleted text; enclosed text is formatted as strikethrough.
<dfn>   Used to indicate term being defined for the first time in the text. Formats enclosed text as italics.
<div>   Defines a division or section of a document.
 
align
Determines alignment for this section.
 
id
Assigns a unique id to this element.
 
bgcolor
Defines the background color for this section.
<em>   Emphasizes the enclosed text; generally formatted as italic.
 
id
Assigns a unique id to this element.
 
title
Creates text in a pop-up box when readers mouse over this element.
<font>   Determines the appearance of the enclosed text.
 
color
Defines the font color.
 
face
Defines the font style.
 
id
Assigns a unique id to this element.
 
size
Defines the font size.
<head>   Contains information about the HTML document. Should enclose only the <base>, <link>, <meta>, <title>, <style>, and <script> tags. Information enclosed in the tags is not displayed in the final product.
<h1> to <h6>   Formats enclosed text as a section heading: <h1> (largest) through <h6> (smallest).
<hr />   Creates a horizontal "rule" or line. Often used to divide sections of text.
 
color
Defines the color of this element.
 
id
Assigns a unique id to this element.
 
width
Defines the width of this element.
<html>   Indicates the start and end (</html>) of an HTML document.
<i>   Formats enclosed text as italic.
 
class
Assigns one or more class names to this element.
 
id
Assigns a unique id to this element.
<img />   Defines an inline image within the text.
 
align
Determines the alignment of the image.
 
border
Defines a border around the image.
 
height
Determines the height of the image.
 
id
Assigns a unique id to this element.
 
src
Identifies the source file and location of the image.
 
width
Determines the width of the image.
<li>   Identifies an item in an ordered (numbered) or unordered (bulleted) list.
 
class
Assigns one or more class names to this element.
 
id
Assigns a unique id to this element.
 
title
Creates text in a pop-up box when readers mouse over this element.
<ol>   Creates a numbered list from enclosed items, each of which is identified by a <li> tag.
 
id
Assigns a unique id to this element.
<p>   Defines a paragraph of text with the first line indented; creates a line break at the end of the enclosed text.
 
align
Determines the alignment of the paragraph.
 
id
Assigns a unique id to this paragraph.
 
title
Creates text in a pop-up box when readers mouse over this element.
<s>   Formats text as strikethrough. See also, <strike>.
 
id
Assigns a unique id to this element.
 
style
Defines the style for this element.
 
title
Creates text in a pop-up box when readers mouse over this element.
<small>   Reduces font size of enclosed text to one point smaller than the current or default font size.
 
id
Assigns a unique id to this element.
<span>   Applies defined attributes to in-line text.
 
bgcolor
Defines the background color for this element.
 
title
Creates text in a pop-up box when readers mouse over this element.
<strike>   Formats text as strikethrough. See also, <s>.
 
class
Assigns one or more class names to this element.
 
id
Assigns a unique id to this element.
<strong>   Formats enclosed text as bold. See also, <b>.
 
class
Assigns one or more class names to this element.
 
id
Assigns a unique id to this element.
<sub>   Formats enclosed text as subscript: reduces the font size and drops it below the baseline.
 
id
Assigns a unique id to this element.
<sup>   Formats enclosed text as superscript: reduces the font size and places it above the baseline.
 
class
Assigns one or more class names to this element.
 
id
Assigns a unique id to this element.
<u>   Formats enclosed text as underlined.
 
id
Assigns a unique id to this element.
<ul>   Creates a bulleted list from enclosed items, each of which is identified by a <li> tag.
 
class
Assigns one or more class names to this element.
 
id
Assigns a unique id to this element.
<var>   Indicates a variable name

Custom

HTML Tag Attributes Values Description
<mbp:pagebreak />     Forces a page break.
 
<mbp:nu>     Formats enclosed text as "not underlined." (Overrides <font> tag attributes.)
<mbp:sectio

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NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

Ebook Formatting KF8, Mobi & EPUB eBook by Matt Harrison

Matt Harrison has over 10 years Python experience across the domains of search, build management and testing, business intelligence and storage.

He has presented and taught tutorials at conferences such as SCALE, PyCON and OSCON as well as local user groups. In addition he has been a private tutor teaching programming to teenagers as well as retired folk. The structure of his books are based off of his first hand experience teaching Python to many individuals.

Amazon.com

Daniel A. Greenfeld

Excellent resource for creating better ebooks April 14, 2013

When we began to work on the Kindle and ePub versions of our book, Two Scoops of Django: Best Practices for Django 1.5, we read all the Amazon documentation and followed that with googling for more information. Unfortunately, finding up-to-date, accurate information about compatibility of layout elements across all devices is pretty much impossible. This explains why so many technical ebooks have such poor formatting of code examples.

Fortunately for us, Matt Harrison wrote this book.

This isn't yet-another-how-to book on generating an ebook. Instead it's many chapters provide HTML samples of how to do tables, code samples, tables of content, fonts, and much more in a way that works across ebook readers. Each chapter starts with the mentioned HTML samples, then follows them with a discussion of quirks and various points of interest. This focus on working material was perfect for our needs.

The author has a nice, clear writing style. Since he produced the book himself there is no padding of chapters to meet publisher requirements, making each chapter just as long as it needs to be. This makes the book feel light and airy, but it's actually dense and full of real, very useful content.

This book is good for anyone with a background in HTML who wants to create well-formatted ebooks

Paul A. Salvette

A Handy Resource July 12, 2013

As Mr. Harrison advertises, this book is not some slipshod guide to push a word .docx file or InDesign file through some magical conversion program.

This is a no-frills technical reference for folks who are serious about learning the nuts and bolts of eBook development: HTML, CSS, and XML that conforms to the EPUB2 spec.

Mr. Harrison has serious geek creds, and it is reassuring to know that someone like him is interested in making eBooks more functional for all devices on the market in a sea of ugly, broken eBooks. If only the major eBook vendors would actually provide this type of technical details about their platforms. 5 stars!

John Lynn

Just what I needed to know June 23, 2013

I was struggling with formatting of my first Kindle book, a book about programming with lots of examples, similar to Matt's Python books. I was actually admiring the way his books come out, when I came across this gem. My book is published, and looking good - even the code examples, which is no small feat. Thank you Matt for the info in this book.

Building Your Book for Kindle eBook Kindle Direct Publishing Books

Amazon.com

Barry Krusch

A very good intro to Kindle publishing, but . . . April 26, 2012

If you are looking for a short, quick guide to how to publish on the Kindle, this tiny booklet will readily fill the bill. And, if your book is less than a megabyte in size, and is essentially straight text, and you do not care too much about the formatting details, this should be the only book you need. I am guessing that the previous description would apply to 70-85% of those publishing on Kindle.

But, what if you find yourself in a different group? What if your book is larger than a megabyte? What if your book is not just straight text, but uses graphics and tables intensively? What if you want to give your book a little spice by having certain footnotes point directly to text, and others pointing to a webpage?

Well, I guess if you are in this last group, this is not going to be the book for you! That is why my review is 4 stars, not 5. So, if you find yourself in the first group, no need to read any more, but if you find yourself in the second group, read on.

Yes, if, like me, you publish nonfiction books that are loaded with tables and pictures and graphs and footnotes, a book that could easily exceed a megabyte in size, you're going to have to pursue a different route. To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, take a look at my most recent book, Impossible: The Case Against Lee Harvey Oswald (Volume Three). Go ahead and download the sample, and better yet, download this volume, which will be free on the 22nd of every month.

I've tried to make that book as professionally formatted as a Kindle book can be, with extensive control over all the parameters, including the amount of points a paragraph is indented, what quotes should look like, optimized graphs and images, and so forth.

If you want to pursue the route I have taken, you're going to be starting with Microsoft Word, as this book suggests, but you are only going to use Word as a starting point. Once your basic book has been written in Word, you're then going to have to copy and paste your HTML into a program like Dreamweaver. Once you get into Dreamweaver, you're going to have to modify the HTML "class" tags, and ultimately move the entire thing kit and kaboodle into a program called Mobipocket Creator. Fun, fun, fun!! If you want to optimize your images, which is what you are going to want to do to reduce your file size (remember, as an author you have to pay .15 per megabyte, so if your book is 10 megabytes, and you want the 70% royalty, you're going to have to pay $1.50 every time someone downloads your book! How is that for motivation to optimize your images?). To optimize your images, you will be using a program like Photoshop.

And, of course, if you want to do some fancy tricks like turning footnotes into hyperlinks that take your reader to source material that you have quoted, you're obviously going to be in the HTML world.

I hope I haven't scared you as to what the realities of the situation are, and if you fall in the first class, you don't have to worry about any of this. But if you're doing a complex, large book, with heavy formatting, you need to understand why the method described in this book is probably not going to work for you, and you should understand that there are other ways to do the book, which will give you the results you desire.

N. Schwab

Not all inclusive June 11, 2012

Building Your Kindle Book is only part of the story and doesn't explain the entire process adequately.

After uploading more than 7 books to KDP, I had to do a lot more research about formatting, tips on how to avoid problems with creating a TOC and pricing.

Building does a poor job of explaining the TOC conversion and also fails to mention one persistent problem.

Once you've checked your book format in the Kindle Previewer and it meets all the requirements, that is no guarantee that KDP will convert your book in that same format.

In my experience, each book had to be uploaded, edited, uploaded again at least 4 times (for each of the 7 books) until KDP did the conversion I saw on the Previewer. It wasn't me making the mistakes, it was the KDP software.

This book for obvious reasons does not include the issues around pricing books in the context of this format - knowledge about this important issue can only be gained by conducting extensive research including tracking down the experiences of other digital book authors.

Even with research, it often takes 6 months of actual sales to start to understand the pricing issues and other topics around pricing and competition with other digital ebook formats.

It will help if you read this book at the start of your research and several times again before you begin to understand what's good about it and what's missing and a lot of info is missing!

You Too Can Moonlight As An Amazon Bestseller (Beginner's Guide to Publishing on Amazon) eBook Steve May, pro_eboo

Amazon.com

savialeigh

Worth the cover price in frustrations prevented. January 27, 2013

You Too Can Moonlight as an Amazon Bestseller is a useful book for anyone who wishes to publish a book on Amazon. Yes, there are a zillion how-to's on this topic. I've read tons of them, first to do my own publishing, then specifically to review the books because I do have that experience. This one is concise and easy to follow. The things that ought to be spelled out are spelled out. Step by step. Things you only need to be aware of, or need to make own your decisions on are pointed out. Some guides are confusing, this one is clear and useful. Worth your time and the asking price.

A few notes of my own that were not covered or not made clear:

KDP select note: To use KDP Select, you must agree to place your book exclusively on Amazon for that 90 day period. You get 5 "free" days per 90 days of exclusive Amazon listing. If you sell your book (or give it away) anywhere else - ANYWHERE, even on your own website - you cannot participate in KDP select. Don't try it. Violating your agreement with Amazon can get you permanently banned.

Borrowing must be enabled in order to participate in the library payments program.

My personal opinion on negative reviews:

Negative reviews can be extremely beneficial to the author. If the review cites poor formatting, bad editing, or disjointed sentences and ideas, fixing these things will improve your book. There is always going to be someone who dislikes your tone, thinks you used too many (or too few) big words, or someone who didn't read the description and is angry because they expected X instead of Y. Ignore those reviews. Reviews that offer real input, respond to (wait until you get over the initial shock and horror, so you can respond graciously!) First make corrections to your book, then respond with a sincere thank you.

If you honestly believe that a few one star reviews will hurt you when you have as many or more higher reviews, go look up Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea. 25% of those reviews are 3 stars or less.

The Da Vinci Code has 1199 1&2 star reviews compared to 1716 5 star reviews, out of 4190 reviews as of 01/27/13. (I hated that book but my review isn't one of the 1199.)

Reviews do matter, but not as much as we think they do. A bad review isn't the end of the world.

Amazon.com Pictures on Kindle Self Publishing Your Kindle Book with Photos, Drawings, and Other Graphics, or Tips for Formatt

Aisling D'Art

Must-read for anyone publishing Kindle books May 28, 2013

Aaron Shepard does it again! He's always on the cutting edge with information for independent publishers, and this book is among his most technical.

That's the good news... and the bad news. "Most technical" means it'll make your brain hurt if you're new to computer graphics. Don't let that scare you. It also means that Aaron answers pretty much every question you'll have -- now or in the future -- as a book illustrator or cover designer.

I've been a graphic professional for decades, and became an independent publisher (of my own books and others') about three years ago. My husband is a pre-press professional. And, I've been using Adobe Photoshop since the mid-1990s. So, I'm pretty fluent in graphic terminology. Despite that, some of what Aaron talks about... I'm still not at that level of expertise.

It doesn't matter. I picked up enough "ah-HA!" tips to make this book worth the cover price, many times over. Plus that, I hope he'll publish this book in print. I'll buy it in a blink. I want to follow along... and write (by hand) notes in the margins as I work. I have a LOT to learn.

Meanwhile, I'm grateful to have Aaron's book it in Kindle format, right now. I needed this information for all of my books.

For me, there were at least a dozen surprises in this book. The biggest was his advice about Kindle cover dimensions. I can't believe that didn't occur to me. Really. Even in the KDP previewer, some key issues completely escaped my attention.

He also confirmed something I'd suspected about Kindle illustrations, in general. So, that's peace of mind. I'm doing this right. Whew!

However, he shared tips that had never crossed my mind, and I know they'll radically improve the quality of my Kindle books.

PROS

- Nobody else shares publishing insights and advice as generously as Aaron does.
- If you have a question about illustrating Kindle books or creating a Kindle book cover with the best possible images, you'll probably find the answer in this book.
- Aaron is forthright about what works, what doesn't work, and what works only part of the time... depending on the formatting and the reader.
- Great links to plugins and software I've never even heard of, and all of it sounds incredibly useful for top-quality illustrations.
- Down-to-earth advice if you're illustrating with your own photos.
- Great tips if you can't figure out why Word keeps modifying your illustrated pages so they look weird.
- Lots of clear screenshots -- often based on Photoshop, though the same concepts work with other graphics software, including GIMP -- make it easy to put all the numbers and formats into perspective. (No pun intended.)

CONS

- More technical details than most authors and illustrators need to know. Don't try to read every word in every sentence. Just skip through Aaron's book, picking out issues you've wondered about, like image resolution and illustration placement (alignment).
- Kindle formatting is changing so rapidly, a lot of this is "what we're using, for now... but it'll probably change in six months." (Since I've bought Aaron's books before, I know he'll update this regularly, as new standards and techniques emerge.)

Aaron Shepard gained my unwavering loyalty with his "Aiming at Amazon" book, years ago. More recently, he helped resolve a major formatting headache by recommending Kindle Comic Creator for children's picture books.

While this book isn't exactly recreational reading, it's the kind of technical advice you need but probably won't find anywhere else.

If you're illustrating your own Kindle books or others', you need this book.

[Jul 05, 2013] Thinking of Publishing Your Own $0.99 Kindle Book - Slashdot

"There's been a lot of talk recently about $0.99 Kindle eBooks, after publishers were accused of spamming the market with low-quality titles.

Author Keir Thomas published two $0.99 computing books in March and has some figures for those who might want to have a go, as part of his Adventures in Publishing series of blog postings.

Warning: Current Amazon Keir Thomas Books contain very few Kindle titles and only two of them are $.99 type

Thomas says he loves the democratic nature of the Kindle Direct Publishing system, and points out one of his self-published books tops Amazon's Linux charts, besting titles by all the major publishers."

Re: Royalties seem low (Score:2, Informative)

by Anonymous Coward writes: on Thursday June 23, @04:23PM (#36546468)

It's 35% originally, and just recently 70% if you agree to keep prices lower then the physical book.

http://allthingsd.com/20100120/amazon-pushes-royalty-rates-up-and-prices-down-for-do-it-yourself-e-book-publishers/

Maybe Raise the Price? (Score:5, Informative)

by swsuehr (612400) writes: on Thursday June 23, @04:52PM (#36546818) Homepage

As someone who has written several books (ok, shameless self-promoting link to the latest one [javascriptstepbystep.com]) I might suggest that you raise the price. Sound counterintuitive?

People may be looking at your book and the price point of $0.99 and thinking "this might be a scam or reprint of some material already on the web." By raising the price to say $9.99 or $14.99 you're still below the traditionally published books but also give the appearance of extra value; the consumer is getting something valuable.

I know nothing of the self-publishing world, though I have considered it at various times. But if I was going to be publishing something for Kindle I'd likely be setting it at a higher price point to give my book separation from the spam.

Oh, typically royalties are in the 8% to 15% range for tech books, depending on the publisher and the deal being offered. The royalties are sometimes higher on the eBook versions. However, realize that the royalties are off of the wholesale price not the list or sale price.

So if retail on JavaScript Step by Step is $39.99, Amazon has it for $25, but the publisher sold it to them for $20, I get a percentage of the $20 not of the $39.99.

Re:The biggest problem with self publishing (Score:5, Insightful)

by Man Eating Duck (534479) writes: on Thursday June 23, @07:02PM (#36548534)

Self editing. Applies equally to ebooks and old fashioned paper ones.

Bravo. I'm a voracious reader, I prefer reading on E-ink, and I've read quite a few self-published stories for free or very cheap ($4). Some are very good stories, some are weaker, but without exception so far all are marred by poor flow, sentences that not quite work and even grammatical and spelling errors.

A good copy-editor could work wonders, an editor who is involved in the shaping of the book is even better. It takes a good author to write a compelling story or a good non-fiction book, but to end up with a good final result you need professionals somewhere down the line.

This doesn't mean that self-publishing is inherently bad, if you write a good story you can rise above the rest by spending something like $1500 to have a professional copy-edit your book. If you're serious about your writing this is not a huge investment, especially if you compare it to the time you put into writing your story. And no, your friend who got an A+ in $language is almost certainly *not* a good substitute.

I love to see a lot of promising fresh writers being able to publish their work without needing a publishing contract, but even an ace racing driver can't win without his team of mechanics and support crew. Something similar goes for writers (-1, car analogy).

Disclaimer: I've worked at an academic publishing company since 1999 and have participated in publishing hundreds of works. I *know* how important a good editor, proof-reader and copy-editor are for getting a good result. A good percentage of our authors don't understand why they need it until they see the finished book :)

The quality problem of self-editing (Score:2)

by gwolf (26339) writes: <gwolf@nOSpAM.gwolf.org> on Thursday June 23, @10:15PM (#36550450) Homepage

I have to completely agree with the parent comment. I am currently in the final phases of editing a (traditional, printed) book. I originally thought the editorial process would be a breeze (hey, after all I use LaTeX for my typesetting – is there anything beyond that) but... Well, not only has reality proven me wrong, but as the style and editorial correctors give me their comments in writing (I'm writing for my University press), I have had to learn more than a bit in the process.

And of course, editing for print is completely different from editing for e-readers. I do, however, want to make the book available for e-readers as well (I also usually prefer reading on my Kindle than lugging a large book with me), but many of the principles already used should be enough for a first version.

Of course, and on a much more personal topic: I am interested in making the book available in an open format (most likely .mobi, which is most compatible among readers). Of course, .mobi is translatable (in my limited experience) to both the more popular ePub and to the Kindle AZW formats with no quality loss. But, will Amazon accept listing a free book, available under a CC-BY-SA license, in their catalog? I'm not too optimistic.

My $0.99 Kindle Illustrated book (Score:1)

by h1q (2042122) writes: on Thursday June 23, @07:20PM (#36548774) Homepage Journal

Amazon books-especially Kindle books-just as in the iTunes music store uses the "long tail" business model: the vast majority of the products listed make very few, if any, sales. But semi-automated listing, marketing support, royalty aggregation and payment can encourage publication of works that would be too-long bets in the physical world of editing, design, tree-chopping, and trucking copies around the world.

I am quite happy that my young children's work, Spinners, is listed at Amazon for $0.99; it gets me a spot in Amazon's Author Central, it is a working introduction to both self-publishing and electronic publishing, and most importantly, immediately delivers a creative original work before millions of readers in the UK, DE, and the US. And, too, no one can predict which works may go viral and sell many orders of magnitudes than expected. But even if that does not happen, for $0.99 you are making available an illustrated book delivered in seconds that may be a wondrous ten minutes of quiet sharing between a harried father and his daughter before her sweet dreams.

http://www.amazon.com/Spinners-ebook/dp/B00571B9LQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1308869902&sr=1-1 [amazon.com]
"Two blind spiders, Spencer and Spike, show the rest of the spiders in their tree the value of friendship and cooperation over sight."

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