Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I'm Going To Hold Your Hand...

                     I'm going to hold your hand because no one took my hand and walked me through this part and it's really frustrating. What's bothering me is that I thought my Ebook would be up and selling by now but right before I did I saw Amazon had this cool program that shows you what your book will look like on a Kindle, Kindle Fire, Ipad, Ipod, etc.

I'm like... COOL!
Then I see it and I'm like... "Awwwwww! Really?!?"

My book looks like Crap... Literally! It's not the content that's crap... it's how the format makes the words look on a page. Like someone sneezed and scattered the letters all around.I didn't know why and I've come to discover critical things I needed to know (and wish I did before I started writing.

                   One of them is page breaking when you start a new page. The thing I noticed when using Google Docs, Microsoft Word, Open Source (Yes I'm using them all) is that when I save my doc and look at it on a Kindle, it blends all together like one long scroll.

I don't want it to blend together. I want it to stop and start on a new page on the next chapter.

Well then insert a page break! 
(Me talking to myself) I'm trying!!!

                    It's frustrating as hell because what is supposed to be easy doesn't seem to be. (Maybe it is, but I'm not seeing it.) I just want to write and do minimal editing. It seems like I have to know the secret Kung Fu art of Ebook design too.

REALLY? I don't want to learn some secret Ebook Kung Fu to get it to work on Kindle... but I have to.

                     I can upload it right now, as is, and those who get it will see it jumbled and get all pissed off and demand a refund and probably give me a 1 star review... all because I didn't take the time to make it right.

                    So that's what I've been doing... and it's already been several days of researching, studying and trying to find the pieces needed to figure out how to do page breaks and table of contents.

                     Good News - I learned how to do the Table of Contents (TOC) ~ That's one small victory. (Actually it's a big one ~ Most people can't do it.) What a TOC does is say it says

Chapter 1
Chapter 5

Chapter 10

You can click each of those and jump to the those chapters without hitting page by page by page by page.... click click click press press ARE WE THERE YET? Press, click....

No, with a TOC - you click and book you're there. (Makes ya look professional!) Remind me and I'll show you how to do it on another post.

                    Now if I can only figure out the page breaks/formatting I can save you guys the headaches. I'll let you know when I get it. I'm just venting because every day my book is not out there in Amazon land (and elsewhere) is another day where I'm not making money. So time is money - literally. So much time has passed, and I'm afraid so much more will have to as well.

Stay Crunchy - Even in Milk,

Steven W.


  1. "I just want to write and do minimal editing."

    Part of being an author entails being a good editor. If you aren't skilled at editing, then you're not skilled at writing, either. The two go hand in hand. Sure, you can hire somebody to go over your work when you're finished, a professional who can polish it all and maybe catch a few things you missed, but self-editing - as you go along and afterwards - is crucial. I know you said (in another post) the important thing is to just write because somebody else can always do the editing, but man, I disagree - edit like crazy while you're writing. It's a reflection of your skill and talent!

  2. I respectfully disagree. In a perfect world according to your logic, a "true" writer can imagine, write, have perfect grammar, sentence structure and also edit, format and publish a master piece. I disagree. Yes, its great if you can do all these things, especially self edit, but then why do editors exist if we don't need them?

    I think you'll agree the hardest step of all is putting pen to paper (getting it down period.) What if you have no imagination but can write and edit... are you still a true writer? What if it's the opposite?

    If you can self edit as you write - great! I try too as well... but my strength isn't English literature, its imagination and telling a story. There are editors out there who can edit up a storm but not have one ounce of imagination nor Be disciplined enough to write the first sentence.

    I'll be the first to say I need an editor but having and hiring an editor can only help me become a better writer than if I depended only on my self. Get your words down on virtual paper and if you can edit along the way, great! That will save you time and money, but if you can't, don't sweat it... tell your story and leave it to an editor to do his job... edit. In time you'll learn how they do things and will only perfect your skills.