I stepped out of my cave long enough to give people an update on my adventures in converting print books to ebook format. When it comes to programs and software I'm going to sound like a total idiot. That's because I am. Most of the stuff on my computer -- no idea what it does or what it's for.
I did a test run with a short story, and it's now available on Kindle and Scribd. I thought that would be easy because it was a Word file. Nope. Took the better part of a day, and the Kindle version still isn't quite right.
So I moved on to one of my old titles. An online friend scanned the book and sent it to me in a rich text file. Now what happens with scanning is that suddenly the scanner decides what should be what, and rugs are suddenly called hags, and flicker is suddenly dicker. Such as: He felt a dicker of attraction as he pushed her down on the hag. Indents are off the page, and paragraphs might be waaayy to the left, or waaaay to the right. Anything unusual, like a strange font, will suddenly create a great vomiting of numbers and symbols.
Average number of mistakes or weirdness per page? About five. And the problem with trying to correct some of the weirdness is that you have no idea what's causing it. So I finally got the idea to start hitting keys and poking at things. For some reason I decided to save the file as an OTD file. I later discovered this means open text document. It automatically opened in NeoOffice, something my son installed on my computer and I'd never used. It has something called nonprinting characters, and I was suddenly able to see why indents were running off the page, and why paragraphs wouldn't line up.
In another few days I might be close to being done and I hope to have the book on Amazon and Scribd next week.
So when somebody asked if it's hard to convert and format print for a Kindle, I will have to say it's hell. Very, very labor intensive. One person who does this for hire told me it's sometimes easier to retype the entire book. I believe it.
Fia M. Ryan, the lovely person who scanned and also chased down more than her share of weird typos, designed the awesome cover. I think it captures the story perfectly.