Presenting: Sanity’s Flaw

First off: Sanity's Flaw is now published!

Now that that’s behind us, I’d like to say this: publishing through Amazon isn’t the quickest or easiest experience known to man.

Not that it’s necessarily complicated. It’s not. In fact, it’s fairly self-explanatory and at times I’ve had more difficulty popping the tab on a Pepsi ONE. But there are just some odd hurdles to be overcome during the process that I just couldn’t have foreseen going in.

For instance, though I’ve already used it, there’s a slight challenge in actually locating the required sites. To do so, there’s a link (“Independently Publish With Us”) that can be used at the bottom of Amazon’s home page that navigates to a generic landing page and, from there, to the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) site (or the FAQ if you wish).

No big deal, right? Well, I alright with it the first time. And the second. Even the third. But when I continued to do that for the fourth, fifth and sixth times (I screwed the pooch on not bookmarking the damned thing, and still haven’t done so), having to click through so many times just got very repetitive. You’d think there’d be an option directly from your Account Page, but if there is, I haven’t found it.

Back at the KDP site, after spending hours properly formatting the document to my satisfaction, I jumped into the publishing process noted here, inserting my name, title, description, etc. (Note: This was after I had to manually update my account information with the necessary fields required to receive payments from book sales.). I also linked the cover I made (slightly modified from the one I posted just a few weeks ago) and uploaded the Word version of my manuscript. This was the first mistake I realized I had made.

Downloading the Kindle Previewer offered after the upload to ensure my formatting stuck, I checked the file and was oddly amazing to discover the entire book… looked… well, rather awful, really.

Turns out I had to convert the Word (.doc) file to Web Page, Filtered (.htm or .html) for it to properly display on the Kindle—a fact noted within the FAQ but conveniently omitted from the upload screen. I must’ve read the blurb three or four times, yet unfortunately glossed over it during these final few steps.

Converting the file, I reloaded it and checked the new file against the Kindle Previewer. And got this:

That’s right. Despite fixing the problem, the Kindle platform does not support drop caps.

At this point in the process, I stopped, turned my computer off and left it alone for about a week. No exaggeration.

When I came back, I removed all drop caps from the document, opting for a simple left-justified beginning with the first three words in All Caps, made some other minor adjustments, and saved this new version to note it was specifically formatted for the Kindle. Once again, I uploaded, checked it out and, although it wasn’t the prettiest version possible (vertical centering is removed during the conversion and page counts aren’t the same given Kindle’s adjustable font sizes, etc.), it was as fine as it was going to be.

One final issue reared its ugly head, though: the Table of Contents. I had originally opted not to include one, as I felt it unnecessary in a fiction book, but after seeing further mentions of it, I scrambled to see what it would take to shoehorn one in. Unfortunately, I hadn’t formatted the book to use a ToC, so an automatic one (required for Kindle purposes instead of a manually composed one) would take more time and effort. And, frankly, I didn’t want to waste my time on something I wasn’t convinced was necessary. So, again, I opted not to include one.

I’ve got the feeling, though, that that decision will come back to bite me in the arse.

Good to go, though my separate cover image didn’t appear in the preview (it was noted as being the cover for the downloadable version, so we’ll see what happens there), I moved on and affirmed my global publishing rights, picked a price and royalty rate, and submitted it for publication.

Twelve hours and some odd minutes later, the product page appeared. And I celebrated with Twizzlers.