Sunday, July 18, 2010
OK, so last time I talked about transforming the cover from an MS word file to a Jpeg and about inserting images directly into the word file and using them without converting. I discussed my copyright page and posted it as an example. This time I’ll talk about the text and the table of contents.
Again, I used an MS Word 97-2003 file for sending to Kindle and didn’t make any html notations in it before sending. I went with Times New Roman 14 as the text font, and I used TNR 16 point text for the chapter titles and for headings like “Table of Contents.” Here’s one thing I noticed. On page 2 of the collection I repeated the title above a picture of the gun in its holster. I tried to do the tile at TNR 40 point, which made it as wide as the image below it in my original file. It came out smaller than the image once Kindlized, though, which I think means that Kindle won’t recognize very large font sizes that are sent to it.
I don’t know what the largest size Kindle will recognize is, although I’ll do some experiments eventually to find out. If I had it to do over, I’d just convert page 2 to a jpeg too and insert it in the text. Font size is irrelevant to the result on Kindle when you do that.
For the table of contents, I did something different from any other kindle ebook I’ve seen before, and I’ve received one email from someone who thanked me for how I did it. Some ebooks have the table of contents set up as a “clickable” file using HTML. That means that you can select and click say, Chapter 12, and leap directly to that chapter. Other ebooks, including most that I’ve seen, just have the table of contents page without the clickables, which just tells you what stories or chapters might be in the book, but won’t allow you to jump to them.
It occurred to me that, for Kindle, the “location” is the equivalent to page number in a printed book. If you don’t have a Kindle this might not make much sense but I’ll try to explain. Killing Trail has 1371 ‘locations’ in it. If you want to go to location 1300, you press the menu button, select “go to location,” enter 1300 at the bottom of the screen using the keypad, and “click” the selector. You’ll be taken directly to location 1300.
What I did was figure out where the “locations” for the stories were going to be in the Kindlized book and add them to the table of contents as if they were page numbers. In Killing Trail, you don’t just click on the story “Powder Burn” to go to that story, but you enter the location for the story, which is 742, and that will take you to it.
How did I know what locations my stories would be at? Well, that takes me to the most important element of all this information. Kindle allows you to Kindlize all kinds of files. When I got my Kindle, it came with instructions about how to send any personal file to Kindle so they could change it to Kindle format and send it back. You can have these files sent directly to your own Kindle, for a very tiny charge, or can have them sent to your email for downloading free of charge. Then you can move them back and forth to your Kindle as you like.
I’ve Kindlized lots of text files for my own personal use. So, once I had Killing Trail set up how I wanted it, I kindlized it and had it delivered to my home email. I loaded it to my Kindle, checked where the locations were, and wrote those into the table of contents. Then I Kindlized that version to make sure the locations were correct. They were. I actually Kindlized five different versions of the book for myself and finally selected the one that I liked the formatting on best. That was the one I uploaded to be published.
At the end of the book, I wanted my contact information, my email and blog address, and I just typed them into the word processing file and hit enter after them. This automatically converts them to a clickable in MS Word, and that came through just fine on the Kindle when the file was converted, without doing anything else.
I also did the same thing for the “Other Books By Charles Gramlich” section. I typed the title of the book, then added the Amazon link and hit enter after it. It became a clickable and that translated into the final Kindlized version. If I had this to do over, I’d use the “tinyurl” process to decrease the size of the links. I did convert them to TNR font 6 in my text but they came out pretty large in the finished Kindle book. They are clickable, though. You select one and can jump right to Amazon to the listing for that book. Here’s exactly what it looked like in my original file:
Write With Fire: Thoughts on the Craft of Writing.
OK, there’s still more I can talk about so there’ll be a third post in this series, but this is enough for today. I’ll end with another review of Killing Trail, this time from Bernardl. Thanks, man.
“KILLING TRAIL combines all the elements of good Western storytelling - strong characters, hard places, and grim down to earth action. It is a very entertaining read.”