I’ve posted my first book, Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity and my soon-to-be-released book Celestial Navigation on Kindle. I found it an interesting experience from a technical and marketing point of view.
Parallel Mind has been out for two years, but I haven’t even published Celestial Navigation in PDF format. Celestial Navigation is the book that I am making from the postings on this blog over the last two years since Parallel Mind was first published. (I will offer Celestial Navigation in PDF format to all subscribers of my blog for FREE. I am requesting a donation of everyone else. It will be illustrated with my paintings in full-color. Here’s a preview of Celestial Navigation–>)
I wanted to make Celestial Navigation free on Kindle, but they won’t let me do that, so it is selling for a reasonable $4.99, while Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity retails for $9.88. Both these books are available on Amazon UK as well. Subscribers of this blog will get access to the free full-color version of Celestial Navigation when it is available.
This was an interesting exercise in retrofitting two beautiful books into an ultra-simple text-threaded HTML document with no layout, color or design, other than the cover.
For those of you who wish to publish on Kindle, I have some tips that may help you.
First, give up any idea of designing the interior. You have even less design control than you do with Word, and much less control than you do in current web design. If you are not a designer, you might not notice how constrained this medium is, but a true graphic designer may find this format pretty hard to work with. It is easier to put a book in Kindle if you haven’t yet published it as a printed book, which is why Celestial Navigation became a Kindle book before it has been even published as a PDF ebook, which is my normal practice.
If your book is in Word, you can choose to publish it as an HTML document, but Word, being a Microsoft product, puts a lot of unnecessary tags in the document, some of them proprietary only to Word(!). This will muck up your Kindle book; you don’t want to spend a lot of time taking out the code that MS Word puts in.
After much research, I found that the Mac had a simple program that served me quite well: Text Edit. I simply pasted my Word document into Text Edit and saved it as a HTML document. Then I went into Dreamweaver and fixed the code.
If you are a web designer who has worked with early web design, you will have a distinct advantage over anyone else, as Kindle is basically early web technology, a primitive form of HTML.
Here are the tags that you can use:
- Heading tags, such as: <H3></H3>
- Paragraph and line breaks: <p></p><br>
- Alignment (left, right, center): <p align=”center”></p>
- Bold and italic: <i></i> <strong></strong>
That’s about it. You can define the end of a chapter by forcing a page break in the document, which is basically one long scrolling HTML page.
The tag for the page break is: <mbp:pagebreak />
I was unable to see how I could publish Pocket Parallel Mind on Kindle with any kind of design at all. I will put it on Kindle without the design as just inspirational one-a-day quotes when I get the time. I am looking forward to publishing all three books i the Parallel Mind series on Barnes & Noble’s color Nook, which should give me an option to show color illustrations, if not to format my book. This should work great for Celestial Navigation, which has about 80 full-color illustrations of my paintings.
Here are some more links to help you publish on Kindle: