EBook Formatting

I’m already off to a late start today, which annoys me. I spent much too much time awake at 3AM, pondering the vagaries of ebook formatting.

A while back, I got impressed with the quality of ebooks Amazon was turning out and decided it was time to move from simplicity as a deliberate design decision to something a little more creative. I worked on A Lonely Magic and spent a solid couple of days figuring out how to reformat it, how to use flourishes under my chapter titles and for my section breaks, how to start a new chapter with an indented line, how to center text so it stays centered on ibooks, etc. I finished, sent it to a couple of people to check, and declared myself satisfied. But frustrated. I’d had to give up on embedding fonts–the technology is just not there yet–so I’d wasted a lot of time. Still, done was done.

On Monday, I reformatted Ghosts the same way. I finished, after spending more hours on it than I wanted to, declared myself satisfied, and tried to upload it. Nope. Tried again. Nope. Got it working on Amazon finally, gave up on the other sites. I hadn’t intended to waste so much of the day on a project I thought I’d mastered, but it didn’t work. I figured I’d try again later when I wasn’t so tired of it.

I tried again yesterday and it turns out my file does not validate. My file very, very, very much does not validate. Hours of research later, and I still have no idea why. But the internet consensus sort of seems to be “give up and start over from a clean file.” ARGH!

Writing yesterday did include one long stretch of words, a solid block that got me over 300 of the little pests. It also included more after that, some solid thinking time, and a plan for where I’m going next, but no execution of the plan. And, unfortunately, the day also lost a lot of time to formatting. Today I expect is going to be about the same. Goal: one long writing stretch that gets me at least a few hundred words and moves Fen to the damn Great Council meeting where I’ve wanted to get her for days, maybe weeks. After that, work on the formatting until my brain hurts, and then maybe back to the writing again.

But I won’t even get it started until after 9, because it’s already after 8, and the poor dogs don’t understand where their walk and breakfast has gone. I can’t explain to them that it was lost to the useless middle of the night hours spent pondering stupid formatting issues.

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3 thoughts on “EBook Formatting

  1. Just the idea that you’re at a “formatting” stage at all. Reminds me that I have a long way to go – no matter which project I tackle. But really good ideas have been swimming around my brain in the last 24 hours. The kind of ideas that give me the starting point I need to jump into the new story. Good luck to you on your reformatting of your books. 🙂

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