Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Figuring it out

Continuing yesterday's saga* about turning the manuscript of my latest novel into an ereader-ready file for advance readers...

I was having a hard time figuring out how to make the glossary--a tabular list--appear on my Kindle 1 the way it's supposed to, that is, as a two-column list rather than a pool of word vomit.

I tried everything I could think of. It didn't work.

Then a very kind soul and expert ebook maker**, Catherine M. Wilson, offered to take over for me. I accepted gratefully. And, you know what? It turns out that the glossary thing isn't just me: it's the Kindle. Apparently no one can make this kind of table look good on a First Generation machine. So, hey, I'm not an idiot. (At least not about this. Though I still don't read the instructions...) Here's how it looks now on a Kindle 3:

So now it's done. I have a luscious looking draft of Hild in EPUB, MOBI, and HTML. I am good to go. Which means that now you can stop feeling harassed by my updates and/or stop feeling sorry for me and/or Kelley (depending on your point of view and temperament).

Except, ha!, I've just discovered PressBook in beta, and also signed up for the Vook book-making platform as soon as it goes live. I'm guessing you haven't heard the last of this...

* I forgot to mention that the illustration I used for the temporary cover is a watercolour of Bamburgh Castle by Norman MacKillop who, a few years ago, graciously gave me permission to use the painting in exchange for a donation to his favourite charity. Here's what it looks like in colour:

I love this painting.

** I've also had much input, handy tips, and offers of help from Vonda M. McIntyre, Shana Cohen, and @TinaHolmboe. The world is full of kind and generous people. Thank you, all.

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