Book Trailer The Noble Train

Friday, August 12, 2011

In Kindle Purgatory

I own all the electronic rights to my books and so it is my responsibility to get them  out there ready to go for the Kindle users. I had someone else do it for a while until I realized I was shooting myself in the foot by hurting my royalties. So I took it on and entered Kindle purgatory. You now have the words that have been hammered in stone in your books and have been fine thank you very much for years. But now you have to wake them up and explain you are putting them into a different format and would they please behave for people who want to zap e-books into their readers.

Words being words they don't behave. They rebel. Excited by being released after years of being stuck between two dusty covers and fading into pulpy yellow has beens the words now are juiced. They strut across the screen and jump around like Mexican jumping beans. Even the title gets in the act and shoots from one side to the other. The epigraph jumps ship altogether and the dedication is found hiding in the far right corner of the first chapter. The first chapter has mutinied and takes its' place in the back as CHAPTER ONE.

Others follow suit and everyone gets in the act. It is word riot! Think London in the last few days. All the words start rioting and looting. They jump pages, get into other words paragraphs. Chapters poach on other chapters and retaliate by changing the chapters font. Headings head for the hills and page numbers go on strike. There is even some new words who have decided on acrobatics for a living and come in sideways on the margins. The Authors Page goes vertical and decides it would rather march across several pages than being stuck in one lousy paragraph. Author Photo decides he never liked his position all that much and chooses a page for himself and turns black.

So like a cop I take off after my errant words and corral them and bluff them and bride them and kick them in their butts to get them back to their rightful place. Some words have gone hardcore and take no prisoners sticking to their margins or sides like pirates on a gold ship. I have no alternative but to nuke them and start over. They dont' go easy and make a lot of hell for everyone else with page recalibration. Finally I get everyone where they are supposed to be and we go for the conversion.

Most of the words make it, but a few slip by and the Chapter Headings do the rumba with some on the bottom of the page and some on the top. I push everyone around with billy club and we do it again and most of the headings get in line and even the epigraph is fairly centered. I torch the unrepentant Author Page for a web link which like the new guy on the block is very responsive and respectful and does what he is told. The words grumble and show up for work on time and I let them out into cyberspace on the promise they will behave.

Then I turn to the next book and let the inmates out again. Of course they go crazy.

The Catcher in the Rye for the fortysomethings. Not quite boomers, five years old during Woodstock, missed the sixties revolution and ended up being mellow in the seventies, partied in the eighties, floated in the nineties, then lost it all in the Great Recession. Welcome to the world of Rocket Man.

Books by William Hazelgrove