“Pursuit of a Dream” in Beta Mode

Posted: July 17, 2011 in Writing

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve posted anything on my site, but for good reason. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been working hard to finish editing and formatting “Pursuit of a Dream” and will have it available for you to read on the Kindle soon. A friend of mine I met on Twitter was nice enough to offer to beta read my book, so I’m going to hold off from going live with the Kindle version of the book until I get some feedback. In the meantime, I’m beta reading Sara’s latest novel. The beta reading process is completely new to me, so naturally I was a bit nervous at first. I’ve never swapped stories with another writer before, but I have to say, it has been a fun process.

In a previous post I mentioned that I was having a hard time juggling work and writing, but I managed to put my foot down and made a commitment to work on my book every day after work for a least an hour. I just needed a little bit of discipline and encouragement from other writers. After I got the editing out of the way, I used Amazon’s Kindle publishing guide to walk me through the process of getting my document ready for publication on the Kindle. Since this book was originally written about seven years ago for POD (Print on Demand), I was pretty certain formatting was going to be an issue when it came to converting the document into an e-book. I followed the instructions regarding some formatting issues (most notably correcting indents, which was a pain in the blessed assurance), and then saved my book in Web-Filtered format as the instructions noted. I then downloaded MobiPocket Creator and followed the easy steps to convert the document into the .mobi format, which is the format used by the Kindle reader.

Now that I had the book in the correct format, it was time to put the file through a series of tests. I downloaded another program called Kindle Previewer, ran the program, found my Kindle file, and double-clicked. Voila! Everything looked great for the Kindle version, but then I clicked on the iPhone and iPad app preview. My smile disappeared. Crap! Well, the paragraph indents look fine, but space breaks disappeared altogether, making for a weird flow. I’ve read other Kindle books that looked great on the Kindle, but had the same issues with the mobile formats. I Googled, searched help files, prayed to the Kindle gods for guidance, and vented my frustration out loud, which resulted in my dog cocking her head sideways and then just wanted to play. So, what did I do? I played with the dog, of course.

After playing fetch with my dog, I accepted the fact that I wasn’t going to figure out why the mobile format wasn’t flowing well. I ran yet another test to put my mind at ease and confirm that the book would view correctly on actual Kindle devices. So, I found my USB cord and tethered my Kindle to my computer. I then transferred my test file onto my Kindle device, crossed my fingers, prayed to the Kindle gods again, disconnected the Kindle from my computer and then searched for “Victory Lane: The Chronicles – Pursuit of a Dream” on my Kindle. Well, that part worked, but how will the pages look on the Kindle? I selected the file and waited briefly for the the title screen to appear. The title screen looked good. It wasn’t completely centered on the page, but it looked good. I then scrolled through several pages of the book and was relieved to find that everything flowed as perfectly as I could have hoped.

So, in closing, the whole process of converting my book to publish on the Kindle hasn’t gone as smoothly as I had hoped, but for a first-time Kindle publisher, I think I’m satisfied with the current progress. If anyone has any feedback on how to correct the mobile formatting issues, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to announcing that "Pursuit of a Dream" is ready to download very soon! Take care and have a great week!

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