Amazon formatting can suck it.

on Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Warning: I'm mad.

Since I'm mad I'm going to try to be as polite as possible. But the point I'm trying to make is amazon's built-in converter for publishing on their site BLOWS and drove me up a wall.

Here is the timeline of what happened:

1. Book went up. I thought everything was fine.
2. Heard paragraphs were messed up. Bought my own book (amazon wouldn't give me a free copy of my own book?), checked formatting: yep, screwed up.
3. Tried to do it the easy way. Went into word and literally deleted every word on the page that had the three-paragraph indenting issue and rewrote it by hand. Still didn't fix it.
4. Tried putting it on Windows version of Word and converting it there. Didn't fix it.
5. Tried converting it to HTML and uploading it. This fixed the paragraphing issues, but for some reason on converting it to HTML Word decided I didn't need page breaks anymore.
6. Went into the raw HTML. Learned Word's conversion to HTML is literally the exact opposite of "optimized." Found a huge, indiscernable mess so I couldn't put in page breaks. Not to mention it underlined EVERYTHING in red because even though it was in HTML view the program wasn't smart enough to realize html tags probably aren't "misspelled."
7. Found the tag  on the amazon site. Tried to find Word's messy version of page-breaks in their bastardization of HTML but couldn't find it. Well, I did, but it wouldn't let me find-replace because apparantly 8 gb of ram isn't enough for Word for Mac: It must take it ALL, ALL THE TIME and therefore chugs like a broken steam train when trying to do anything in raw code.
8. Got the genius idea of putting the pagebreak code (the mbp thing) in the original document so I'd have an easier thing to find replace. Oh silly Nathan, you so crazy.
9. Turns out it turns a single word into about six lines of code. Really. But luckily I was still able to find everything and replace it with the right code. Everything seemed a-ok.
10. Tried to upload. Amazon rejected it. Cursing happened.
11. Resaved the document and it decided to work this time. Checked and now the cover image on the main page isn't centered. But hey, the page breaks are there! I swear Amazon is just playing with me now.
12. Said "EFF YOU AMAZON" and left the thing not centered. It'll take 2-3 days before the updated version is on the site. But hey, it's fixed.

So that was my evening. This was instead of writing Effulgent Corruption. I'm still confused why the page-breaks didn't make it over to html when everything else did. Whatever. I also never had these issues (the indenting) when I'd send emails to my free kindle email converter, only when I decided to try and publish. WHY IS THIS AMAZON HUH?

But hey, at least Amazon is on the ball. It's been two days and the Nook version still isn't up. So you have that.

Enough whining out of me. It's fixed, go get it in a couple days. Those who have read it, please write reviews. Thanks for listening to my obnoxious rant.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go write Effulgent Corruption bed.


William B. Kamffer said...

Sorry to hear about the hard time. It took me a long while to get everything right too, so I feel your pain.

On the bright side, I am rather enjoying Paradise Seekers at the moment (about 25% in). Will definitely leave you a review when done. Cheers.

Nathan Major said...

Thanky sir. I also just grabbed your first book off Smashwords and even remembered my Kindle cord at work I'll be entertaining myself with that throughout the day.

Also props to Joe (who posted a comment then it disappeared) for having some tips for conversion on his blog ( I was able to get the right size for my cover art (dimensions) for my artist because of his advice.
Thanks again for everybody's help! Hopefully Steelgods won't be such an obnoxious twit to convert.

William B. Kamffer said...

Nice new format. Very space-agey...

Nathan Major said...

Yeah I keep changing my mind and breaking it. Hopefully it'll be finalized soon. XD

Jason L Secrest said...

Holy crap. What a day, and or multiple days? Getting my review up now. You should go buy business cards for PS tomorrow and put them on the 'free crap' tables at conduit =p

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