Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Why eBooks Suck

That's a pretty odd headline for someone about to publish his novel as an ebook, admittedly, but here's my beef.

I love the look of books; design has been part and parcel of books since their beginnings. All those monks illustrating their manuscripts by candlelight. But ebooks are woefully limited in that regard. Format them for Kindle or through Smashwords as I have done, and you give up all sorts of things: page numbers, choice of font, limits on type size, no left-flush (Kindle) -- the list goes on.  The way a book looks should be part of its allure.

Plus the formats are imperfect. Kindle, for example, doesn't seem to be able to justify everything correctly.

But I suppose that I should be grateful that epublishing allows an avenue for writers like me, as well as providing a far less expensive option for readers.

I just don't understand why every damn device has to have its own operating system, with all the limitations that implies.

Once again, harrumph.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

More eBook Madness

Formatting for Kindle is doable; to format for Nook, you need to understand some computer gobbledygook, or so it appears to me. The Nook formatting guidelines are indecipherable. So I see the value of Smashwords more and will let them do it all, save for Kindle.

Why the world doesn't work on one single operating system -- call it SOS! -- is beyond me.

Doing the cover yourself is sort of fun, but in my case, there are limitations. I downloaded a free PhotoShop-like application, but not the instructions (too long, don't care to read) so can't do that much with it. Still, I used it for a swell lighting effect.  Here's what the cover looks like (title/name obscured for now; you'll just have to wait):

Saturday, January 7, 2012

E-Books and My Discontents

So I'm formatting my book for publication on Kindle, Nook, etc., and among the things I discover (not having a Kindle or a Nook) is that you can't control the font in which it appears, and basically you have to publish it in fecking NY Times Roman, which is pretty much taking over the world. I wanted to go with Garamond. Plus there's no page numbers, no headers and footers and stuff . . . why, it takes book design back a thousand years.

Harrumph.

UPDATE: Also, formatting for Kindle means you put it first in HTML, which fecks up small caps and a lot of other little things, which in my case required re-doing the first line of each chapter, which'd been in all small caps . . . and other stuff. Sheesh.  I will do this for Kindle and Nook and then leave the rest to Smashwords and their "metagrinder technology" (like sausage, I guess you don't want to watch e-books being formatted).