Sunday, September 10, 2023

Addendum to the Status Update

Here’s a pleasant surprise this morning.

After I wrote yesterday’s status update, I got to thinking, “Was I too harsh about Kindle Create?” No, I don’t think so. I still think it’s a clumsy, cluttered tool that tries to do too much automatically, whether you want it to or not. Whenever I have to use it, I end up thinking, “Was this designed by ex-Microsoft engineers?”

But after writing yesterday’s post, I started thinking, “Maybe I should give it another try. Maybe they’ve improved it.” So I downloaded the latest version and took it out for a test drive.

I’m pleased to say that they have improved Kindle Create, at least in terms of one really important feature. The latest version of Kindle Create can export book projects to epub files.

It seems to do so reluctantly. There seems to be an implicit design philosophy lurking in the background: “Are you sure you want to do this? Really sure? Well, okay, I’ll do it. If I have to. I guess.” 

The resulting epub is pretty crufty. Again, I’m reminded of Microsoft Word’s passive-aggressive approach to exporting Word files to html. “Okay, I’ll do it, if you insist. But I’m not going to make it easy for you to use the results.” Once I export a book project from Kindle Create to epub, I then have to slurp the resulting epub into our old friend, Sigil, to clean it up and turn it into a well-formed EPUB 3 book package. So, for a few more minutes, at least, we’re back to stone knives, bear skins, and hand-editing raw XHTML code.

(And I will add, Microsoft Windows 10 really doesn’t want to let you download and install Sigil. Microsoft seems to hate GitHub software even more than it hates Mozilla.)

Once I did all that, though, I was able to take STUPEFYING STORIES 23, which was done originally as a Kindle Create book, and convert it into something all the non-Kindle e-book platforms could handle, in a remarkably short time. The new e-book channels are already starting to come online this morning. 

NOTE TO AUTHORS: Please don’t put references to Amazon or Goodreads in your author’s bio. This will cause your publisher many headaches, as Kobo and Apple Books search for and automatically reject any e-book that contains such references. How they handle books actually set in the Amazon is beyond me. Maybe you have to call it, “That really big river that flows through South America.”

Now to go find all the other books I originally did as Kindle Create projects, and get them converted to epub and released on all the non-Kindle platforms. I really do like to see that our books are available far and wide. Like this:


~brb said...

I should update the image of SS#23. It's now live on Smashwords, Gardners, Palace Marketplace, Odilo, Vivlio, Tolino, Borrow Box, and Thalia.

Kobo, Nook, and Apple Books are still sulking because the first epub file I submitted mentioned the "A-word" marketplace in two of the author's bios.