Wednesday, October 31, 2012

.doc + .html + KindleGen = TROUBLE

Not a view you want for an ebook

I have previously bemoaned the fact that I am a flint and steel fire starter in an electron propelled world. Normally, all that is necessary for me to cause a total failure of something technologically advanced - i.e. computer stuff - is think about using it. No differentiation exists between hardware and software, I can bring either to an immediate, grinding halt.

It’s not hard to imagine the sort of tribulations creating an e-book presents. As I understand how things work, the computer universe is made up of an infinite collection of little 1’s and little 0’s. By some miraculous process, the little 1’s and 0’s line up to create something useful in any program. In my particular instance, it’s text (although there are those who could argue quite convincingly I do not create anything whatsoever useful). If everyone used the same software I did, the world would be an easy place in which to publish. Such is not the case.

After my writing software does its thing in lining up all the 1’s and 0’s, they must all be chopped up in a blender, whirled around, rearranged and then realigned in another configuration by some other program so that a third program, or even fourth, can present them to yet another software program for use. 

That's what an e-book should look like
To put it in less technical terms, it’s analogous to running a book through a paper shredder, dumping the resulting mulch in front of a huge wind tunnel fan, and hoping things will fall to the ground in some semblance of usable order. Obviously, this process provides multiple opportunities for catastrophic results.

Such is the current case with both of my books. I made minor changes to both with the first blender, sent them on to the second blender, and apparently there was a cross-wind just past the fan. Things did not settle as intended, or desired.

So… if you have been contemplating buying either of my books, which I hope you have, I heartily recommend holding off on the purchase for a couple of days. I’m working with the folks at Amazon to collect all the shreddings. When we get things pasted back together in a usable form, I will announce it in another post.

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