Thursday, July 15, 2010
There’s certainly more than one way to set up a file to publish to Kindle, and maybe some are better than mine. But here’s what I did. If I did it all wrong, well, if you have a copy of the book you can see and decide for yourself whether the formatting worked. I’m going to cover my process over the next few posts. (Before I forget it myself.)
First, the biggest surprise of publishing with Amazon’s Kindle program was finding out how easy it was. I didn’t use any HTML code and formatted strictly with my MS Word. I used Word 97-2003.
For the cover, I created a word processing file with the title at top and my name below, and imported the picture into the file using the “insert” command. I sent it to Lana, who found the font and did the frame around the page. She sent it back to me and I converted it to a jpeg using information at this site. We had to download the cover font from the web because my word processor didn’t come with it. But that didn’t take long. Then, when the rest of the manuscript was done to my satisfaction in MS Word, I just used the insert command to put the cover jpeg at the front of the file.
For the interior illustrations, I simply inserted photographs directly from my files into the text at various points. These were not converted to jpegs, only inserted into the word processing file. These were all photos that Lana took, by the way, so there were no copyright issues. Since the cover was the pistol by itself, I inserted a picture of the holstered pistol on page 2 of my file, with a repeat of the title. I then used a cropped down picture of the pistol by itself as a header illustration for each story in the file. These were copied directly into line 1 of the page where the story started. I double spaced down to put the story’s title. This gave me the start position I wanted for the story on the page.
Note, about the images, Kindle does not support color images so even though the originals were in color, they only show up in black and white in the ebook. But you can get a preview of how the images are going to look before you decide to include them or not. I’ll talk about that later. (By the Way, Steve Malley turned me on to the fact that Kindle for PC will show the illustrations in color. Thanks, Steve.) I’d heard repeatedly that Kindle doesn’t handle images well. Other than the lack of color, I had no problems whatsoever inserting these pictures in the book, and I think they added to the overall presentation.
For the “All Rights Reserved,” “Copyright,” and “Dedication” information, I got out a few published books and used the basic format I found there. I edited some elements slightly for my own taste, then put it all together on a single page of my word processing file. I just double spaced between sections, and I’m going to stop today with a copy of what my copyright page looked like in my original word processing file. It did not come out as a single page in the resulting ebook, however, but on two pages at the smallest kindle reading font size. As you can see if you have the ebook, the lines as they will appear in a published Kindle book are not as long as the lines in a normal word processing file. However, they wrapped just fine when I uploaded the book to Kindle without me having to do a thing.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Except for brief quotations, such as those to be included in reviews, no section of this book may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the author.
The short stories in this collection are works of fiction. All names, characters, places, and events are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to real persons, places, or events is coincidental.
Dedication: To Louis L’Amour, who made me love the west.
And to Roger James, my brother-in-law, who introduced me to L’Amour’s work and who never griped when I borrowed his paperbacks. All of his paperbacks.
Text Copyright © 2010 by Charles Allen Gramlich.
Cover Photo & Design copyright © 2010 by Lana Gramlich.
Published by Razored Zen Press, 2010.
Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Killing Trail” originally appeared in somewhat different form in Elbow Creek Magazine in 2001.
“Once Upon a Time with the Dead” first appeared in Bits of the Dead, 2008.
I’ll leave you with a review of Killing Trail by Randy Johnson. Thanks, man.
“A fine collection of western tales by the author of the Talera novels and Cold In The Light. It is Mr. Gramlich's first venture into ebook publishing.
There are a couple of pieces that discuss authors, particularly Louis L'Amour, that influenced his writing and a bit about the old west in his home state Arkansas. I know what he meant about considering the west way out there and not realizing the history of his own state.
The price is right and the stories are good, an unbeatable combination. If you like westerns the Killing Trail should be an acquisition. I don't own a Kindle myself, but took advantage of the free Kindle download for PCs. It took me only about an hour to read this fine collection.
Definitely worth a look.”