Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Not quite there yet

Maybe by the next time I blog here. Here's what I WAS going to announce today.

My short story collection is NOW available for Amazon's Kindle.


My short story collection is NOT NOW available. But I know what I did wrong and how to fix it! In case anyone else runs into this issue, I'll tell you my problem and my solution.

Publishing from an HTML file is easy on Amazon's Digital Text Platform (DTP). What is you don't have an HTML file? I had a good Word Doc file that I had created for Smashwords, with a working table of contents and all (that was a little complicated to put together!), and two illustrations that had originally accompanied my stories in print, one from "Hardluck Stories", the other from "Mysterical-E". I had received permission from the illustrators and, after publication, had given them a link for a free copy. I wanted those pictures in my Kindle version, too.

But, when I reviewed my book before publishing, I failed to page all the way through, and did not catch the fact that the pictures had not magically uploaded with my HTML file. Doh.

Back to the Word file. I converted it to HTML by opening it with Open Office, a free application that comes in handy. After the document was open, I saved it as an HTML file. But what actually happened was, three files were produced, my text file, and a file for each picture. And I loaded the text file up to DTP, but not the picture files.

There was no "help" in the DTP help files, so I did a general Google search for something like Amazon DTP upload image (I forget exactly). But I found a PDF that explains how to do it. I had to put my HTML text file and my two pictures (JPG files) into a zip file and upload THAT file. So I just did. This time I checked, but don't see the pictures there.

Now I'll have to wait 24-48 hours again for some process to review and publish the ebook so I can buy it again, load it onto my free Kindle for PC, and see if the pictures are there. If they aren't I'll just take out the illustrators' names and publish without the pictures.

Amazon has announced they are working on a way for the author to download a free copy of their own book, but they haven't figured out how to do it or something. They should ask Smashwords. They know how.

Really, Smashwords was easier! I started with a plain ole Word Doc file with the pictures embedded and they stayed there.

So maybe next week I'll announce that the book is available for Amazon Kindle.

The picture is a public domain copy of the painting Sisyphys (1548-1549) by Titian, Prado Museum, Madrid


  1. I'm sorry you're having to go through this madness, but your posts are helping many novices out here who aspire to follow in your footsteps. Thanks for writing about your experiences, and for explaining things so clearly. I'll be watching for your announcement.

    Love the picture, too. I'm sure you will fare better than he does.

  2. That's my hope! This info isn't easy to find. Maybe, after I've figure all of it out, I'll put out a book.

    Maybe I should have used The Little Engine That Could instead of poor Sisyphus, but I'll bet the image wouldn't be free.


  3. Amazon's distribution is such that it has to be worth the bother. I just hope when it's my turn, they have the kinks worked out.;0

  4. My puzzlement, E.B., is that Smashwords put a version on Amazon, but all the writers I know have done a separate one there. Maybe Amazon doesn't like the SW version and doesn't give it good treatment. I can see that as likely.