To stay on top of the formatting game, I try to research the formatting situation at least once a week. Time and again, one of the distributors and publishers changes the rules to their corner of the game. This means work I format that the day before looked great and follows the rules sometimes and suddenly doesn’t, so heigh ho it’s off to research I go.
Last night while researching Amazon’s current formatting layouts, rules, and the possible use of their Kindle previewer in the process I discovered two things.
- Anything Calibre produced will be rejected whether it works perfectly and looks good or not.
- Amazon has opened up a new publishing venue for bloggers.
Both of these situations may be old news to some of you out there, but for me they’re newly imprinted on my little brain. (I spend more time formatting and creating covers than I do anything else, after all.) So if you already know of these things, move along. Nothing more to see here. If you’re like me and are currently going, “Wut??” then keep reading.
The Calibre situation probably should go into a post for another day – or a rant, as it were. So I’m only going to say as briefly as possible that the Calibre developers are very adamant that it’s not a tool meant for constant conversion for publication in such venues as Amazon. However, I personally use it for the initial conversion into epub – and from there I tend to code by hand and prepare for mobi conversion using Sigil, my typing skills and (gasp!) my brain.
After all, I never can seem to get MobiPocket to work with me. Just GAH. Thankfully KindleGen and I are starting to slowly get along, and it seems to convert my epubs alright.
The drawback to my little shortcut is that during the conversion process, Calibre stamps its marker all over the internal code. Styles are named things like Calibre1, the metadata is marked as “Hi, Calibre did this!” – and although I can take a lot of that out and end up doing so in some cases, it bothers me a lot that Amazon is pulling yet another one of it’s corporate Nazi moves by eliminating all of the mobi Jews from it’s system.
Who cares if Calibre had a hand in part of the production, so long as the file works properly and is up to their code??
But, as if to balance the act, Amazon has started a nifty program for bloggers like you. And me. It’s called “Kindle Publishing for Blogs”, and as I type this it’s in beta.
How does it work?
You go here: https://kindlepublishing.amazon.com/gp/vendor/sign-in and either sign in or open an account. Although it claims to let you use your previous publishing account with Kindle, I ended up having to open an entirely new account for it.
Then you choose the blog you write in the most and add it to the system. You may need to take a snapshot of it, but that’s all in the store and the looks. If you want people to subscribe to the blog, you may want to put on a pretty face.
And that’s it! Upon approval, your blog will be added to that new portion of their store and the readers will hopefully sign on in droves.
One thing I noticed while I was putting in my weird government conspiracy fiction blog – entitled Butterfly – was that you probably have to be very regular in your blog postings. There is a drop down option to select how frequently you post. The lowest it had was 1-2 times a week, which is not how often I blog in Butterfly. I actually blog far less than that – we’re back at that scant time issue again – but I submitted my blog anyway. It will probably be rejected… but imagine if it’s accepted and got some readers! The revenue would allow me to make time to post regularly then, now wouldn’t it!
And that’s all I have today from the “finding things out corner.”
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