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Month: July 2013

Ebook formatting with Sigil (for the control freak)

Posted in Formatting, Just for Writers, and Publishing

This article is crossposted to Jaye Manus's website.

Silly me. I’m an old programmer and I pride myself on trying to get my ebooks “just so”, as if I were writing a piece of code. I want to create worthy offerings to add to humanity’s river of books; at the very least, they should be shiny and well-scrubbed.

So when Jaye Manus offered to judge the formatting of a few books from her blog fans, I hopped right on board, and she was very kind in her review. But I read with horror things like “squishy line spacing” and links to chapters not working quite as they should, systematically.

JManusReview

I use an EPUB reader and hadn’t seen the book on a Kindle device other than the PC Previewer, so it was useful to see this from the Kindle reader’s perspective, since none of my buyers had complained (yet). Without a Kindle device, I hadn’t realized quite how irritating it was to not properly trigger the “Cover” and “TOC” hard buttons.

Now on the one hand, it wasn’t really broken, but on the other hand, I want perfection in book formatting, and some cosmetic and graphic flourishes. I’m not willing to settle for “good enough”, so Jaye was nice enough to coach me through some of the issues.

If you’re content with auto-conversion from EPUB to MOBI or vice versa, or output direct to ebook formats from products like Scrivener, then this is overkill for you and you can stop reading now. But if you want as much control as possible over the results without killing yourself, you might find the following approach useful.

Short story – The Empty Hills

Posted in Fantasy, Short Story, The Empty Hills, and The Hounds of Annwn

Another short story from the world of The Hounds of Annwn.

George Talbot Traherne shows a bit of the human world to family and friends, hoping to share some of the sense of wonder he discovered when he encountered the fae otherworld.

This short story takes place during the events in King of the May.


THE EMPTY HILLS

The Empty Hills - Full Front Cover - 297x459

George Talbot Traherne turned in his saddle and checked to make sure everyone had followed him through the way without difficulty. The last time he’d brought them to the grounds of Bellemore a week ago, he’d had to cut the visit short, but this time he was determined to show them a bit more of his human world. His discovery of the fae otherworld a few months ago had changed his life and brought him a family, and he wanted to give them the opportunity to discover adventure in his world in return.

Angharad rode by his side, the new life within her not yet showing. He was nervous about her being on horseback but she’d assured him there was nothing to fear, this early. She’d had other children in her long life and he knew she was a better judge of it, but he would be a father for the first time and he couldn’t help worrying.

She looked at him now, rightly judging his concern. “I’m fine,” she said. “Is the weather the same in both places? It seems to me it was cloudier on the other side.”

She peered up at the sky, her auburn braid touching the saddle behind her as her head leaned back. It shone against the rich blue of her riding habit.

ON SALE – To Carry the Horn for $0.99 (ebook)

Posted in To Carry the Horn

ToCarryTheHorn - Full Front Cover WidgetFor one week only (Tuesday, July 9 through Monday, July 15) Perkunas Press is offering the ebook edition of To Carry the Horn for only $0.99. The regular price is $5.99.

Now is your opportunity to pick up a copy for yourself or to tell your friends and family.

The sale is on AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE, as well as on my eCommerce site GUMROAD. The links on Amazon and B&N only work for US customers (by and large, though you might get lucky), but the links on Gumroad work internationally. All my ebooks are offered without DRM, for your convenience.

Amazon (MOBI)
Barnes & Noble (EPUB)
Gumroad (MOBI)
Gumroad (EPUB)

Setting up international Amazon Author pages

Posted in Distribution, Just for Writers, and Publishing

One of the challenges of indie publishing is taking responsibility for your brand all over the world. Amazon, like many online book retailers, provides an Author page to serve as the base of operations for telling readers about your works, and every author is well-advised to take full advantage of it.

When you begin to look to Amazon's international sites, however, things become a little stranger. The naive publisher rejoices in only having to publish a book once using KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) and letting Amazon do the hard work of making it available at all of its international sites. That works just fine for your product, but everything else — Author pages, Affiliate pages — they don't work that way. Each Amazon international site maintains its own Author and Affiliate pages, and presents them in its own native language, of course.

It can be intimidating the first time you look at a website in a language you don't speak. But you can easily set up Author and Affiliate presences on these sites because Amazon has designed the pages very similarly for each country, and the actual content (like your book) is assumed to be in your own language.