On Saturday I was actually considering opting-in for the Kindle Direct Publishing program. Provided your e-title is exclusive to Amazon for 90 days, you’re enrolled in a share program that allows Amazon Prime users (US only) to “checkout” your book for free. Users can check out one book a month this way, and based on the number of people who select your book, you get a royalty amount.
It’s really cool and pretty innovative.
You know what isn’t all that innovative? The process of uploading your work. It’s awful.
There are two options available to an indie publisher. First, you can upload your file directly to Amazon. Each time I’ve tried this (with a number of different formats), I either end up with a jumbled mess, or an almost-perfect copy with no table of contents.
The second option is to use a program like Calibre to convert your file into the proper mobi format. This does produce a table of contents through the use of magic and ritual sacrifice. However, the side-effect of such witchcraft makes every line end with a hyphen. In some cases, hyphens are added between a word and a space. A SPACE!
By definition, the whole concept of a space is to let readers know the letters aren’t supposed to be connected to each other. There is no logic to its formatting.
I have to hand it to Apple – although there’s a nonsense hassle of registering for an EIN – at least an ePub file is easy to create. It includes a TOC and words receive proper hyphenation when applicable.