Friday, 17 December 2010

Making an e-book

My aim in publishing David Henschel's Heres and Nows was to let these poems live on.

I do this partly in memory of a dear friend, but I wouldn't have done it if I didn't believe in the the poems themselves.

My next step will be to format this book for eBook readers, such as Amazon Kindle Reading Device, the Sony Reader and others. I believe it is even possible to read books (with some limitations no doubt) on an iPhone, and few things could be more suitable for reading on an iPhone when stuck on a bus or a crowded train than a poem.

This is not the death of the traditional book but another way of reading. I have now got a Kindle device and it is going to be excellent to take as many books as I want on holiday without having to fill up my suitcase with them.

I am reading Steve Weber's eBook manual which is full of useful information about marketing eBooks, but the book itself appears to have been created by uploading the file to Amazon's Kindle converter with no subsequent proofing. For example, there is no contents page and there are still hyphens in the middle of lines where line breaks used to be.

When I uploaded a pdf of Heres and Nows to the Kindle converter the result, as I have mentioned before, was a horrible mess. Poetry needs much more care with formatting than plain text.

I see no reason why an eBook should not be as beautifully-presented as a paper book, and that will be my aim when preparing David Henschel's Heres and Nows in eBook format in the New Year.

So far I have converted my original word processing file into HTML and am patiently going through the code line by line, eliminating the bloated code that results from automated conversions, and putting in the simple tags that I hope Kindle will understand.

When I have succeeded, the link will be here.

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