<title>The Last Night</title>
<meta name=”author” content=”Daniel Gardina” />
<meta name=”publisher” content=”King’s Men Press” />
<meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”text/html; charset=UTF-8″ />
With only eight days until the publication of my first novel, The Last Night, I’m finally coding the Kindle version. And you know what? I love this part.
I create the books using HTML, which you can see in the example above. Amazon permits less technical users to convert Microsoft documents into e-readable files, but MS Word’s extraneous code complicates formatting. I wish my books to be as streamlined as possible; thus the HTML, where I can write as little code as necessary. Plus, it’s enjoyable to build them from scratch.
With The Lookout and Other Stories, I formatted the e-edition first. I’d never done it before, so a learning curve was definitely involved. This time around, I formatted the paperback first, which actually made the e-book coding even easier.
I’m more familiar with paper layout and could readily edit the novel to fit physical pages. For instance, if I had a line or two spilling onto the next page, I’d chop a few words to bring those lines up. This saves paper as well as improves the writing (i.e. if those words can be deleted without affecting the story, they didn’t belong in the first place). Now with the manuscript closer to its final form, less editing (and less work in general) is required in the digital medium.
The ease of digital is a hot topic right now for this reason: e-books can be created more quickly than physical books. Publishers have been dragging their feet when it comes to fully embracing this new realm. They sometimes release e-books later than hardcovers because they want to protect paper sales—their familiar friend—or they price e-books on par with their physical counterparts. Since digital production costs are only a fraction of a print run, this practice doesn’t make any sense. Both formats need to work together in order to achieve optimal results for both the reader’s experience as well as the publisher’s bottom line.
For me, I like the ease of digital, but as a visual person I still prefer the physical artifact. I love turning pages, smelling paper, and admiring layout. Yet dual formats are incorporated into our world now, and I have happily embraced both types of books.
On November 1, I will simultaneously release both the Kindle and paperback editions of The Last Night to give readers options right away. My publishing adventure, while unfolding differently than I’d previously imagined, has been highly fulfilling, and the wheels are already turning for the next project from King’s Men Press.