My avatar's name is Ava Donja of Silk and Stone.
The other me writes general market romance. I play World of Warcraft. This is where I make two parts of my life merge in sensual fantasy romance novellas.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Formatting is a Bitch

So I uploaded my manuscript to Amazon a few days back. Everything was awesome until it came to preview the document. There was general funkiness at a few places where there were short dialogue paragraphs. What did I do wrong?

I searched and read through threads in forums and found out this is common. I turned on my formating to view where paragraphs breaks happened, where indenting was autoformat and where it was tabbed. Everything good? Nope. Reading more advice I saved it as a Pdf. Big mistake. More reading, saved as Html. Indent problem was fixed, but the font was changed and really was not friendly on the eyes and there were issues with spacing between the copyright info and such.

So, more searches and more advice. I pat my head and rubbed my tummy (yes, I have that skill). I said the alphabet backwards from W to C and then lit some red candles in the western window of my home. Eventually I turned everything over to my hunk of male love because I was going crazy. 47 attempts later it is in reasonable shape. He ended up having rewrite html code, something outside of my scope of skill and interest.

I could have just left it as it was, but it takes away from the professionalism from the read. With the lack of controls in self publishing, it is uber important to me to do this right. This is the start of my name branding and I don't want it to suck because of formatting (if it sucks because it's a bad story, that's another problem). I've read ebooks that had bizarre formatting and use of italics that tore me out of the moment. I don't want that to happen to my readers.

Click on the my book cover link at the top of the page and check out my formatting to give your opinion. How important is the formatting to you?


John Wiswell said...

I don't own an e-reader, so it isn't my concern yet. Formatting on sites can drive me off if they reduce readability. From the industry journals I've read, though, there is apparently a little cottage industry of people who specialize in formatting texts for e-books across platforms. It can be a real labor to get it to look smooth.

Avadonja said...

That's a really good suggestion. I managed to muddle through it. It makes a lot of sense now, though, why some of the kindle books I've read have funkiness in their formatting.