Tuesday, February 22, 2011

His Blood Ran Cold.

My book 'Core Values,' in Kindle for PC. May be language unsuitable for minors.

My product in Kindle's publisher preview. An excerpt from 'Thirty Years Gone.'

by Louis Bertrand Shalako


All Rights Reserved

Today I downloaded Kindle for PC again. The idea was to thoroughly check all of my products. This only makes sense. I was a few pages into my latest release, the short story, 'The Handbag's Tale,' when I saw that there were half a dozen lines all screwy. The text was written in 12-point and that is a certain size in the desktop PC reader. But these few lines looked like maybe six-point.

My blood ran cold. The word 'irritating' and a few cuss words come to mind. And so then I went to Smashwords and downloaded the Mobi version of every book, and stuck them into the Kindle for PC. They looked beautiful, again. I flipped through every page of two books, and checked fully half of the third, and zipped through at random concerning the last two books. I could not find a problem. These are the source files for the Kindle files, right?

So then, I went back to Kindle and tried to download a sample of 'Core Values.' That worked fine. When I opened it up, it said, 'Smashwords Edition' inside, which is just plain rude to Amazon! So then the old heart and respiration went up markedly.

To make a long story short, what you need to do is to go to Kindle, your dashboard, and click on 'edit details.' At the bottom of the page is the preview, which I always use anyway.

All the first four books were fine--they all say 'Published by Shalako Publishing' inside.

For whatever reason, I uploaded a revision to 'Handbag' last night. I used the preview--too many problems with version control in the past months have taught me some tough lessons. Right now I can't fix it--I have to wait and see if it's broke.

You can't do anything while the process is incomplete.

All I can do is pray sometimes. So far no one has bought that short story on Amazon. There was a missing word, right in the first couple of paragraphs. Published on the weekend, somebody bought one on Smashwords. Sorry about that! Let me know and I will replace it. But will the new version have the flaw when reading it on my desktop?

There is the need to market, promote and advertise my product. That is very, very hard to do if I have questions and doubts, constantly revolving around in the back of my mind. In that sense, today's mock panic attack may have some value. I was in the grocery store, and I saw a kid's school notebook for $0.99. It might be handy to get one and write out a simple checklist or God I don't know what! Also putting dates in the file name would help if I did it consistently to the same file. I just dumped over half a meg from the recycle bin.

I have no effing idea what was in there and I don't care.

Apparently, if you download Kindle for PC, it sort of takes over your filing system and converts a bunch of other Mobi-type books to a Kindle look-alike. I opened up one folder and was startled to see about twenty Kindle Editions in there, and I sure as hell haven't downloaded that many free samples of my own books. I'm still trying to figure out how that works, but Amazon doesn't care about Smashwords or Mobipocket or whatever. Why should they? That may be why I uninstalled Kindle for PC some time ago. What might be fine for a general reader is a pain in the pattooties for a self published author, especially as you go along and get more titles.

Yet I have to check the product once in a while.

Tonight I ate steak, salad and new potatoes for dinner. That has to count for something. It sure beats Ramen or lining up at the soup kitchen.

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