Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Ebook is here, the Ebook is here!

Yay! After several months of development and testing I have the second in the series of Cartoons That Will etc and so on. It's way beyond the first in terms of styling and layout. I wrote a custom stylesheet which can be reused on other books. It's well formed, validated and compliant for both iBooks and Kindle specs, which have a few differences between them. I had to create two versions of the book for either format. I changed some of the small decorative images from iBooks which display differently in the Kindle version. With the help of the Kindle Previewer I could see what it will look like in several Kindle devices (styles do not all make the transition to the older devices) and also for the iPhone. KP is also a great way to do the final conversion file too by the way. I have the Kindle for Indesign plug-in for export to Kindle but found it not to be all that big a help as I have to crack open the e-pub and do some editing usually to the innards before I have the finished file ready for the conversion. I recently acquired a cool script that lets one crack open or unpack a .mobi file to see what's really in there. It is quite informative too. What I find is a regular .epub file along with two other folders called Kindle7 and Kindle8 with copy files of the original e-pub. That works for them I suppose but it also balloons the file size by 30% which is a big deal as Amazon will charge you a 15 cent per meg download fee for every book. This means that if you are doing an image heavy book which cartoon books are by nature there will be no way you can get the full 70% earnings they tout in their royalty price ranges. You just have to take that into account on your book price. I learned a lot about e-pubbin this winter and am already on to fixed layout books. I finished my training for those and have a client already with a kid's book job. Next stop is the ISBN store to purchase my random number strings for the book identifier number. Then it's right to iTunes Producer to upload and then to Kindle Direct for same. Dudes; I'm a bona fide one-man publishing act. The great thing about e-pub is that it makes every one of us a publisher. However you get your book file the next step is all your own. That is the intent of the folks who created the e-publishing model. It is supposed to be something that would enable the common person to be able to publish to a mass market without interference from the entities who used to control the whole publishing model such as print houses, shippers etc. Next up I'll be teaming with Jerry King to do a series of books using his sizable volume of content. Then the FL kid's book. I don't mind telling you folks that there were several hurdles I had to cross and problems I had to work out to get to the finish line with this first new book format. It was stressful at times but in the end they made it that much more satisfying to have created this thing on my own. Here are a few screenshots of the title page, intro, TOC and there's even a foto of me holding a fish at the end of the book in the About chapter. I'll let you know when it's live on the e-bookstores of course.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Newt's Place

Newt tends to suck the oxygen out of a room so this is to be expected. I think it would be a tremendously beneficial use of NASA dollars if we sent Newt to the moon permanently. It's a win/win. For a few extra dollars we can throw Callista in  for the ride. She would make a great waitress and I would definitely give her a tip.

Thursday, April 5, 2012