Erica Scott: Life, Love and Spanking

Ruminations, opinionated observations, darkly humorous blathering and the occasional rant from an outspoken spanko and unapologetic attention wh–, um, hog.

Further adventures in publishing: The e-book saga

OK, so my book has been out for a week-and-a-half. A few people have bought it (thank you!). Dana Kane blogged about it (thank you, my friend). However, the overall reaction I’ve gotten is, “I’ll wait for the digital version.”

(sigh) Once again, I have to reluctantly face techno-reality — people don’t read books anymore. They read book files on e-book readers. If I want to sell my book, I have to do so on their terms.

So, off I trotted to my account on CreateSpace, which gives one the option of publishing a Kindle version to Kindle Direct Publishing, which is associated with Amazon. They make it sound so simple — just upload your Word document, they’ll convert it to a Kindle format, and poof! All you have to do is approve it and submit it, and it becomes available as an e-book. Easy as pie, right?




I did the conversion, then checked the file. It was a total mess. And of course, I had no idea how to fix the Word file so that it would convert properly.

First, I tried to research the issue on my own. I read about free download software that would convert files for you. Tried installing a couple of those, and, when I couldn’t figure out how to use them to save my life, promptly uninstalled them. Tried to find online resources, but there was way too much information out there and I didn’t know how to narrow it down to what I needed.

So I decided to ask for help (duhhhh, right?). I posted a thread in a book group on FetLife, and also one on the Kindle Community Help Forum. Wow. People are amazing sometimes — I was deluged with information and references and links to places with tips. One thing was clear, however — my book file had to be reformatted. What you do in a file for a paperback won’t cut it in a file for an e-book.

I’ll spare you the details of all the stuff I’ve had to do, but suffice it say I’ve spent two days on it. Now, I think I just might have a clean file. I even downloaded a free Kindle Previewer so I could check it out thoroughly. But I don’t trust myself to submit it, so I have asked one of my clients for a favor, since they are experts in e-book publishing. I want them to take a peek at my file and see if everything looks proper. 

Soon, Kindle readers. I promise. I will have this freaking book available for you.

Speaking of entering the 21st Century, guess who finally got a Smartphone? Yes, my beloved John. The same man who still has a 19-inch tube TV and Windows XP, has never owned an iPod or an iPad or an i-anything. And he didn’t get just any Smartphone; he got the top-of-the-line Samsung Galaxy S4, with a quad processor and a 13-megapixel camera. I have never seen him this jazzed over anything electronic before; all week, he’s been telling me about all the stuff he can do on this thing. It’s so cute.

He wants me to ask all you Smartphone users (particularly the men, since they generally have bigger hands/thicker fingers): Do you prefer to use two thumbs when typing with the touch screen, or do you hunt and peck rapidly with your index finger?

Have a great weekend, y’all.

Single Post Navigation

28 thoughts on “Further adventures in publishing: The e-book saga

  1. I look forward to the Kindle version.

    I hunt and peck on my iPhone.

    Hug,
    joey

    Like

  2. Prux on said:

    I also look forward to the Kindle version. You are a wonderfully talented writer!

    I like the swype feature on my phone, also a Samsung Galaxy. You swipe your finger along the keyboard as you spell the word, and it should detect the correct word. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJ-RAefCG_c Sometimes it's quicker, other times it sucks. I usually use both thumbs when I type.

    Like

  3. Index finger!

    Like

  4. Index finger all day long 🙂

    Like

  5. Prux — thanks, cuteness! Yeah, the Verizon salesman demonstrated the Swype feature. It's a good option, but I can see how those with big fingers could really mess that up!

    joey, MrJ & Rich — so far, three for three with the men, index finger! And thumbs for our one woman. Interesting! Hope to get more stats.

    Like

  6. Big man with big fingers here. I hold my iPhone in my right hand resting on the fingers while I type everything with my thumb on that hand, which reaches everything handily. Makes it a one-handed operation although I'll often steady the phone with the other hand if practical.

    Bethie has an older Android phone where the virtual keyboard buttons are much smaller. On that one I have trouble because the contact area on the side of my thumb is too large and hits multiple keys. Typically there it's hunt-and-peck with a single index finger while I hold the phone in the other hand.

    Like

  7. Hi Erica — That is so AWESOME that John, got a Top of the line Smartphone 🙂 I want to buy your new book soon.Is it on Amazon? Wishing you and John a GREAT weekend.Much Love and hugs from naughty girl Jade

    Like

  8. Anonymous on said:

    Mike Hammer, you are not.

    Like

  9. Dan — the Samsung screen and keys are larger than the iPhone, which John liked (old eyes like ours prefer bigger!). But that's pretty impressive, doing it all with one hand and one thumb!

    Jade — yes, the paperback version is on Amazon right now.

    Anonymous — hmmm. I'm not sure what you mean by that, but considering that the character of Mike Hammer is a cynical hard-ass, I guess I'll say… thank you?

    Like

  10. Anonymous on said:

    Bought the paper version of your book and it just came in the mail today. I am excited to get in there and start laughing.

    As for typing on phones, I think you get better speed and your wrist will feel more comfortable using thumbs for typing. it takes a while to get used to thumb typing as opposed to finger typing, but I think it'll pay off for him in the long run.

    Like

  11. In theory, the Kindle version should be *easier* than a paperback. *In theory.* 😉

    I use my index finger on smart phones, usually.

    Like

  12. Anonymous — I hope you enjoy it!

    Joan — you'd think so, right? Technically, it IS easier, I think, if you build your Word file from scratch with a Kindle in mind. But if you redo a Word file that's already been prepared for a paperback format, that's when it can get tricky.

    Like

  13. sixofthebest on said:

    Erica, at my age, I like the old-fashioned ways, be it using a computer, or giving a woman a spanking.

    Like

  14. Six — computers aren't old-fashioned, though. 🙂 Fortunately, I think the old ways of giving a spanking will always be around!

    Like

  15. Anonymous on said:

    I've read a fair number of physical books and the story always happened in my head rather than on the paper of the pages anyway (or parchment of the scrolls before that ;^)

    So, I can make that happen with 0s and 1s as well, and that's why I don't really mind using a book reader. Especially with the added convenience that I could add Erica Scott's book to a handful of spanking books I greatly enjoy on the tablet.

    Maybe conquering the learning curve with this one will lessen your future efforts? I'll admit to having gone to Amazon looking for an e-version when you first announced it.

    Like

  16. Anonymous — could be! It's been an interesting process, I have to admit. I just finished sending the latest version of my files to the Kindle expert, bless her heart, so fingers crossed!

    Like

  17. Anonymous on said:

    While I'm a girl, I use both thumbs to type, though I sometimes use an idex finger if what I'm typing is short. Most of my guy friends use both thumbs as well. It makes things a lot quicker and I think that's what it is designed for? But to each their own. Sorry with your kindle struggles but I honestly prefer kindle to books now, never thought I'd see the day!

    Like

  18. Erica, if a book is written initially for Kindle is it hard to format it for a paper book? I was just wondering which is harder to change.

    I will wait for the Kindle version also. Can't have naughty books around the house. I really enjoyed your last book.

    My husband uses his index fingers and I use my thumbs mostly. Congrats to John.

    Like

  19. Anonymous — I have three bookcases and three large bookshelves, all filled. Think of the room I could free up! (sigh)

    Kaki — I really couldn't say, at this point. You definitely have to learn how to work with Word's Styles. You have to stylize everything; can't do anything manually, or else it doesn't convert properly. And you have to style a paperback file exactly how you're going to want it to end up looking. A Kindle file doesn't matter, since people will choose their own sizes and fonts. But the styles have to be perfectly done. Confusing? Yup.

    Like

  20. Hi Erica!

    I say index finger, but forget hunting and pecking… It's all about Swype! Have John download it from the Android Play Store, he can use the trial version. You just drag your finger from letter to letter… so fast, so accurate. Love.

    xo,
    SC

    Like

  21. sixofthebest on said:

    Erica, have you ever considered donating a couple of your authorship books to YOUR PUBLIC LIBRARY, and see what reaction you would get. Do you also do publicity at your local book store, by being a guest speaker, and signing autographs. Like they do here in New York.

    Like

  22. Kelly on said:

    I'm a paper book preferred reader. I have read a few books on vacations through kindle, but I HATE touch pads, they are annoying and make me feel clumsy when in reality using a keyboard/keypad I am actually QUITE speedy.

    Like

  23. SC — John has the Swype option already; it's standard on his phone. The Verizon guy gave us a demo of it. But I don't John was interested in trying it. Whaddaya gonna do…

    Six — no. I don't want to out myself publicly in vanilla venues.

    Kelly — I think I will always like the feeling and click of keys under my fingers, but one must face progress, I guess. (sigh)

    Like

  24. Eric,

    I'm going to wait for the Kindle version:)

    P uses his index finger.

    Love,
    Ronnie
    xx

    Like

  25. Ronnie — well, yours seems to be the consensus. I just found out I have more work to do on the formatting, but hopefully I will be done with this beast soon! 🙂

    Like

  26. Bobbie Jo on said:

    I have to say again, I have been laughing my head off! You have written a very good book, Erica. I love it and I love having a paperback copy!

    Like

  27. I don't have particularly big fingers but still hate the damn touch screen sometimes. Good luck with the formatting!

    Like

  28. Bobbie Jo — thank you so much. 🙂

    Lea — I think John is going to stick with his thumbs. Me? I still have a pull-out keyboard on my phone (a Droid 3) and I'm going to enjoy it for as long as I can!

    Like

Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: