I’ve been Kindled…

Dark Justice for Kindle… No, I didn’t get a Kindle as an early Christmas gift, but I did finally get my novel, Dark Justice into Kindle format and it’s now available from the Kindle Store at Amazon. It was actually fairly easy once I studied the process enough to figure out the best method.  Of course, that meant doing it twice.
After registering at http://dtp.amazon.com and completely reading the requirements and guidelines, I discovered that I could take a little shortcut and instead of converting my book into HTML, I could upload a .mobi file that I had previously created.  While HTML is the preferred format for Kindle conversion, there are a couple of other formats that they claim will work.
So after uploading my .mobi file, you get a chance to preview the results in a “kindle simulator” window.  What you are looking for is formatting – making sure the layout on the page looks right and there are no blank spaces and such.
My initial conversion looked pretty good in the simulator.  Formatting looked fine.  Images are converted to black and white, and they converted well and looked okay to me.
The next step is to approve your preview and wait for your submission to make it through the Kindle system at Amazon and become a “Live” offering at the Kindle Store.  That only took a couple of days as I recall, although they claim it could take as many as 5 days to complete the process. 
After the waiting period, Dark Justice was a new offering on the Kindle platform! 
I went to check out the Amazon page, and everything looked great.  Since I don’t yet have a Kindle, I downloaded the “Kindle for PC” application from the same page as my book.  Once that was installed (easy install) I downloaded my own “Free Sample” to see what it would look like in the Kindle application.  Again, the Kindle app allows you to read Kindle content on your PC, so I assume it would look like it does on the Kindle.
While the formatting once again looked fine, I was really disappointed in the font!  It looked something like Courier, only worse.  Like really old-fashioned typewriter font.
I wondered if that was the font all Kindle books come in, so I downloaded another sample from a different book.  That sample looked wonderful!  It made mine look even worse in comparison.
I started doing some research on the DTP (Digital Text Platform) website.  I discovered that you should be able to download the converted source HTML that DTP uses in the Kindle book.  But that choice was not available to me.  There was no “download” option on my preview, as the site stated.
I went to the forums and asked the question.  Within a short time, I have a couple of people explain how I should be able to download the source HTML, make changes and then re-upload to DTP.  I just was not seeing what should have been there.
Then one of the DTP forum admins asked if I had uploaded a .mobi as my original source file, and if I did – then the download option would not be available.  That answered that question, as that was precisely what I had done.
I figured since I had not uploaded HTML as preferred by DTP, that I would now do that and see if it made a difference in the finished Kindle version.  Now I face the task of taking my Word document and converting it to clean HTML to upload. 
I did a quick search on Google, and found this site; http://word2cleanhtml.com/  Exactly what I asked for.  An online utility that converts a Word file to clean HTML.
The first time I tried that, the utility choked on my 80,000 word novel, and returned a message that the file was too big.  So I tried a single chapter and that worked fine.  Twenty chapters later, I have clean HTML that I could upload to DTP and try this again.
After uploading and checking out the preview, I submitted the file once again.  A couple of days later, it was again live on the Kindle Store. 
This time it looked much better!  Still slightly different from other books, but still much better.
Now the only thing that bugs me about the Kindle conversion, is that the Online “preview” window on DTP looks different that the version I download for the Kindle on PC app.  In the preview, each chapter is started on a new page.  On the PC app, it starts about two lines down from where the previous chapter ends – regardless of its placement on the page.
So now I’m wondering what it actually looks like on a real Kindle device.  If anyone has one, download my free sample chapters from the Kindle Store and let me know…

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Kindle Readers – Dark Justice

Dark Justice for KindleFor you Kindle readers, Dark Justice is now available at the Kindle Store.
Click here for the link.
Even if you don’t have a Kindle, visit the Kindle store to download the free “Kindle for PC” application that allows you read Kindle content on your PC. You can also download free samples of most Kindle books to get a better idea of what’s inside. There is also an iPhone or iPod Touch app that allows you to read Kindle content as well.
Check it all out at the Kindle Store!

Upcoming Book Signing Events

On Saturday, December 5th, I will be appearing at the following sites to sell and sign copies of my novel, “Dark Justice.”

11am – 1pm Pecatonica Public Library. 400 W. 11th Street, Pecatonica, IL. 815-239-2616

3pm – 5pm Book World Bookstore. 1834 S. West Ave, Freeport, IL. 815-232-7323

I hope to see you there!

Bishop Hill – Authors Event

Joe and Donnie

J.A. Konrath reacts to Dark Justice by Donnie Light - photo by Paula Guttilla

The “Gathering of Authors” event held in Bishop Hill, Illinois, has been over for a week now and I’m just getting around to writing about it.
I am so glad that I was invited to this event, and so glad that I attended.
It was definitely a learning experience for me, and it was a great learning experience at that. I met some truly talented and amazing people at Bishop Hill.
There were about 15 authors at Bishop Hill, most of wich attended both days of the event, some that could only attend one of the two days.
Some of the highlights of Bishop Hill include; Hearing Lawrence Santoro read from his current project and picking up his book, “Just North of Nowhere.”
I also met Andrea Jones, author of “Hook and Jill,” which is a novel that takes place in Neverland, after the stories we are all familiar with. Sounds very interesting – check it out here.
And of course, I got to hang out with J. A. Konrath who graciously helped me out and continued to teach me more about publishing and writing. He also introduced me to some people that I may not have met otherwise.
All in all, I had a great time at Bishop Hill and hope to be invited back again next year.
Oh, and the public is invited to this event – as all of us authors would like to have someone other than each other to sell our books to! So plan on coming to Bishop Hill next year and plan on meeting some great people and having a good time!