Sunday, March 13, 2011

Calling Kindle Owners

Okay guys, I'm getting near to publishing The Parasite on Amazon Kindle. Now, in an attempt not to fuck this up too badly, I have a questions:

Presumably, once you've bought a book from Amazon for your Kindle you can download it as many times as you like? I'm asking this because I've loaded a Word version for Kindle convert and I'm not entirely happy with the formatting. It looks like it might appear without the small margins I've seen on pictures of other works on Kindle. If it turns out that it looks crap I need to be sure that I can update it and that you can download it again.

Can you put in margins on your ebook?

Come to think of it ... once something is actually published on Kindle can it be edited later?

I am presuming you can change the size of the text on Kindle, can you also change the font?

More questions as they occur to me in the comments...

18 comments:

Blue Tyson said...

Yep. You can download it as many times as you like, and as many Kindle devices as you care to - PC, phone, Kindle itself, whichever.

Yes, you can updated it whenever you like - only limited by the speed of their approval process.

So if you want to do a Parasite 3rd edition with special comments update in 6 weeks, go for it.

E.g. I have updated this more than once, as I get through more related stuff :-

http://www.amazon.com/Planetary-Romance-Reader-Tysons-ebook/dp/B003552M1M

Blue Tyson said...

Oh, you would have to hack it to add new fonts - but you can change the font size, certainly.

_Lasar said...

Haven't published anything myself, but have read up on the process a little. While you can upload updated versions as often as you like, there is no notification system to let the customers know of updates. Therefore it's pretty unlikely that somebody will go and re-download the updated version after the first purchase.

Neal Asher said...

Hi there Mr Blue Tyson. I've uploaded from Word (and not plain text), everything looks okay on the preview but for the text running right up to the edge of the frame. Do you know if that's how it appears when actually on the Kindle? I tried indents on either side but they just appeared on one side!

icowdave said...

On the Kindle you can change margins (words per line), font size and line spacing. You can also specify regular, condensed and sans serif typeface.

Blue Tyson said...

You should be able to I think - set margins in Word and get it to use them.

A Kindle is not very wide, so have to remember that - and people can override it.

Do you mean for the whole text, or just trying to indent one particular block within it, for example?

You could also try exporting the Word doc to html and uploading that and see what happens, too.

Neal Asher said...

All my paragraph indents are there, but when I look at the preview screen the text goes right up to the edge. It may be that this is just how it looks on that screen and is not how it looks on the device itself. Not sure.

Neal Asher said...

Ah, checking kindle forums I found this:

Don't worry about the black margin in Preview. Somebody thought it was a good idea to show the text area on the Kindle screen, and unfortunately the text butts up against the black border. It won't appear that way on the Kindle reader.

Seems I'm ready to go for it.

Neal Asher said...

Righto, I've gone and done it. Apparently it will take about 24 hours before it appear.
Gulp!

Blue Tyson said...

Yes, the preview is not always the same as how it looks finalised, that is definitely true. And does managle some.

Definitely never seen anything aligned right along the 'edge' on the Kindle or Kindle for PC.

Michael Cummings said...

Possibly too late - but you should be able to test the kindle format locally. Calibre comes to mind - it has a built in ebook preview engine that will let you see what it looks like in a given format, though I imagine there are other mobi readers you could use too. While not as perfect as being on a real device, it would serve this purpose I think.

And see, not a one of us volunteered to load it on our kindle's to test it for you, which probably goes without say for the name of science there are willing participants :)

CG said...

Amazon itself has previewer app — they're oddly quiet about it—but you can grab it from here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000234621, the last item on the page.

It's not perfect, but it emulates several different flavors of Kindle (DX, iPad, etc) so it'll give you a better sense than the preview they offer when you're uploading your file.

ixoy said...

The formatting looks fine to me. Just one small thing - would it be possible to put in a Table of Contents? There isn't one in this edition and it means you can't jump to a chapter but have to go through it screen by screen.
Am I the first sale?

Andrew said...

I have bought this too! Formatting looks fine, will let you know how I get on.

You should get the people who read this to tweet or post about it otherwise your blog will be the only source of advertisement for the book.

Neal Asher said...

ixoy, I'll put together some sort of cover picture first then when I have that I'll take a look at the table of contents too.

robann said...

Excellent news Neal! Let us know when it's available and I'll download it and give it the once over on my Kindle, Kindle Android app and PC Kindle app.

What are you charging?

robann said...

10 seconds after my last comment I thought to check Amazon and there it was, available for £3.56.

Formatting looks fine. If anything it's better laid out than many other Kindle books (free books in particular can be terrible with all the paragraphs merging into one). The chapter headings are my only criticism as they appear to just be the normal font with bold and underline - I think it would be better if slightly larger and maybe centered?

The lack of contents is not something that bothers me but adding it won't hurt.

Also looks fine on my Android phone and on the Kindle PC app. Let's see how many other devices we can get this checked on!

Neal Asher said...

I'll take on board all suggestions and make some alterations later. Incidentally, I aimed for the price to be £3, but didn't take the VAT into account.