Author of 'The Cain File' – a Kindle Scout Selection

Authors using CreateSpace to format Kindle eBooks beware!

A heads up for those of you using CreateSpace (CS) to have your printed book formatted to a Kindle ebook:

I initially published my novel SENDERO as a Kindle eBook myself, using the book’s MS word files and mobipocket creator. Although functional, the formatting was correct and works just fine.

Then I published the novel through CS as a paperback. The CS team put together the book and the end product came out well and I am quite happy with the result.

Then I saw that for only $69 I could have the paperback equivalent pushed to a Kindle eBook—with many of the paperback print features carried over: professional spacing, chapter headings with nifty underlines, snazzy fleuron section breaks. For me, it was a no-brainer.  They say that professionally formatted eBooks sell better too.

A month later, I get my .prc file for review. Looked OK at first glance on the mobi viewer but I now knew as a mobipocket veteran that all is not necessarily correct so I copy the .prc file to my Kindle 3G and start to page through the eBook.

And that’s when I saw problems.

A third of the chapter headings had the correct underlines, with the length of the underline running the length of the chapter title, the rest of them run the width of the page. Inconsistent. So I email CS. They were quite quick to respond, saying they can fix this, but please make sure the rest of the manuscript is good first.

I had assumed it would be—the same as the final printed book was–right?

As I start to proof the novel (for the umpteenth time now) I notice, right off the bat, five mangled words and punctuation errors. Seems whatever program CS is using to convert the files used for the printed copy is pretty damn clumsy and makes your content look very unprofessional as a result. Typo City. (Or is it typocity? a characteristic of poorly formatted books?)

So for any of you following the step of having CS build your Kindle file—beware. You will need to proof the final file again. Maybe more than once.

I don’t know why CS can’t simply give me the final word files and let me wordsmith them and re-create the .prc file. It’s not that difficult to do. Also, I’m not crazy about the table of contents with chapter titles at the front of the book either.

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