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inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #201 of 209: Jane Hirshfield (jh) Fri 9 Mar 12 10:23
    
It was suggested to me by an alert Well host that I should come in
here to post a lovely late postscript to this conversation-- a front
page article in the New York Times about Kindle Singles being the
"single best reason to buy an e-reader"

<http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/07/books/kindle-singles-genre-between-magazine-
articles-and-books.html?_r=2#commentsContainer>

While the piece doesn't quite make clear that you don't actually need
an e-reader to read these pieces, the praise of the mid-length format
and its possibilities for on-screen literature was high.

The article, written by the NYTBR's regular in-house critic Dwight
Garner, also offers in passing some lovely words about my own "The
Heart of Haiku" Kindle Single:

"Several — like John Hooper’s reportage on the Costa Concordia
disaster, Jane Hirshfield on haiku and Jonathan Mahler on Joe Paterno —
are so good they awaken you to the promise of what feels almost like a
new genre: long enough for genuine complexity, short enough that you
don’t need journalistic starches and fillers."

I've been a bit stunned to see the sales effect of those words. I was
equally stunned--and awfully pleased--to find that what I still think
of as a slightly obscure, densely written piece on an off-the-edge
subject was chosen for looking at there at all. 

But that's kind of the point. People have long been saying that the
essay, like the poem, is somehow "dead." The big NY publishers (the
best of them, anyhow) do keep bringing out books of essays and books of
poetry, but the general assumption is that this is a kind of pro bono
endeavor. But what these non-fiction Singles, Byliner, and Atavist
pieces (what Garner is writing about in this article) all are is
basically long essays, finding new life in new e-clothes, and making
reading somehow a little more hip a thing to be talking about doing.
What's really amazing to me is that the e-context gains this evaluation
of a group of short books a front page placement in the New York
Times. Anyhow, I suspect that--aside from the usual ongoing debate
about Amazon the article raised--it can't help but be a good thing for
writing and writers that the very idea of good writing gets such a
visible outing.
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #202 of 209: David Wilson (dlwilson) Fri 9 Mar 12 14:12
    
Andy Borowitz was on the Leonard Lopate Show today on WNYC.  He spoke
about his Kindle Singles piece about his misadventures with intestinal
surgery.  It turned out to be a best seller.  Borowitz talked a little
about the mechanics of the Kindle Singles and the potential for
writers.
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #203 of 209: From Kelly Andersson via E-Mail (captward) Fri 12 Oct 12 13:26
    
@ folkrocks and joecot on kindle and other options
kindle outsells all others, just in my experience anyway, and with a
better royalty. This could very well change and likely will, but just
for example one of my clients has his kindle version on amazon and a
handful of other e-versions on smashwords. The kindle version outsells
all the others combined by about 30 to 1. 

@ capward on kindle images
Not sure about that negative experiences with images on kindle. I've
had excellent results, but then I format the kindle files myself. 

@ gail on kindle formatting
There are several ways to do the kindle conversion, but I take the
author's ms and strip it completely of all formatting - down to plain
text and images. Then I hand-code the text in html and convert that to
a .prc file. Kindle-supported html tags (and css) are slim and basic
and there's limited formatting options for a kindle book. Of course
that's changing rapidly, but for now that's the best method I've found
for a professional-looking kindle version. For images, you just crop
and/or resize them to fit kindle specs. Authors who just try to convert
from a word.doc with embedded images have disastrous results. Doing it
in html also offers the handy option of publishing to a website from
the same original files. 

@ mcb on color images in kindle
They look terrific in color if properly formatted to begin with, and
they display in b&w on older versions. As joecot noted, if they're set
up right to begin with, they'll display just fine, and if not then they
won't.

@ jh on cookbooks
You can do amazon self-publishing through CreateSpace (even with color
images) and convert that to a kindle version. Both versions of mine
sell in nearly equal numbers (with zero promotion) but I make more on
the print version. 

I have several books on amazon, including:
<http://www.amazon.com/FIRE-CREW-Fireline-Ben-Walters/dp/061555248X/>
<http://www.amazon.com/MEET-ME-AT-NET-Steelhead/dp/061551684X/>
<http://www.amazon.com/Montana-Ranch-COOKHOUSE-COOKBOOK/dp/1461188628/>

Kelly Andersson
<boone> on the WELL back in the late '80s
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #204 of 209: David Gans (tnf) Fri 12 Oct 12 13:45
    
I just got a surprisingly handsome troyalty check for Jan-June sales of
"Conversations with the Dead."  I was susprised to see that about 40% of it
was for paperback sales, the rest for electronic.  I would have expected a
lot more e-book sales.
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #205 of 209: Gail Williams (gail) Tue 16 Oct 12 11:13
    
That's fascinating.  How did you market the two versions, or is that
all from organic search?  Does one format get top billing on your own
web sites?
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #206 of 209: David Gans (tnf) Tue 16 Oct 12 17:18
    
I have links to amazon and to the publisher on my "books" page.
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #207 of 209: Elaine Sweeney (sweeney) Wed 17 Oct 12 12:27
    
I wonder if it's the kind of book that might often be a gift.  I think
a gift would more likely be a physical book than an electronic one. 
You'd have to ping if they had a reader or app, what email address is
tied to the amazon.com account.

And the one time I gave a Kindle copy as a gift, it was never picked
up.
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #208 of 209: Ed Ward (captward) Fri 19 Oct 12 05:16
    
I'm trying to remember if it was you who sent me a copy of the Keith
Richards book. Boy, did that turn into a mess. I finally was able to
cash the gift in for credit and buy it here in English. The copyright
mess in various territories is responsible for this: I think the way it
went was that the French copyright was held by a different company
than published the English edition, so they had to get paid even though
they didn't publish an English edition. They had the rights in France,
and I was buying the book in France, and that was that. Still lots and
lots of stuff to figure out, as the "enhanced" version of Chabon's
Telegraph Avenue made clear to me:

<http://www.realeyz.tv/en/blog/the-ward-report/old-skool-new-skool.html>
  
inkwell.vue.415 : Publishing With Kindle and Other Electronic Publishers: Authors Discuss the Pros and Cons
permalink #209 of 209: Elaine Sweeney (sweeney) Fri 19 Oct 12 18:42
    
It was not I.

I sent you a physical book, but not Keith Richards.
  



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