Here’s a reallllllly quick update on my progress with this EPUB formatting endeavor I’ve embarked on. It just goes to show, it’s really important to test your files!
Not sure what went wrong, but I uploaded The Inventor’s Son: The Beginning so I could look at it on my Android phone using Google Play Books App.
Apparently, Google Play Books didn’t like my centering!
And, as it turns out, Overdrive might like my centering, but not my dropcaps as much…
Those are the only 2 apps I have on my Android phone besides Kindle (which I will explore in depth next time!). On my tablet I also have Nook and Kobo, but at the present time, I’m not terribly worried about how my EPUBs will look on those apps. My main concerns are Google Play, Apple and Amazon, as these are, by far, my best sales channels overall.
Over at Draft2Digital, the distributor I use for my books to Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple, and the subscription services Oyster and Scribd, I found out that I would really need to upload to them a Word document if I wanted them to make up an “Also By” page, which I happen to think is pretty important. They cannot alter my EPUB if I upload it to them, and if I use an EPUB for them, then I have to make sure it’s EPUB 2.0 and not 3.0, as it’s not supported by a lot of the sales channels yet. I’m wondering if the EPUB 3.0 could be the issue with Google Play Books? Sounds a bit unbelievable, right?
As a side note, over on kboards, there’s a discussion brewing about whether an author who has poorly written and poorly edited books that are selling really well, but get a bunch of 1 star reviews ought to just leave things alone or they should take the books down and start all over again and republish under new pen-names or… whatever. I think it’s about to get toxic, as many discussions over there lately do. But the discourse there made me think about what I’m doing with this EPUB creation project. I’m wondering why an author trying to make cosmetic improvements to her books would be put in the same category as an author who obviously has poor writing skills but has decided to make a “new and improved” version of the book… Maybe I’m misinterpreting it, but that also often happens at kboards.
At any rate, it appears as though each book, from here on out, will need 4 versions made up as I’m publishing: Amazon’s MOBI (with the relevant links to other books), Google Play EPUB with links, a Word Doc for Draft2Digital so they can do my links for me, and a PDF for the print versions.
Speaking of PDF versions of books, I’ve noticed that many times, authors simply give PDF versions of books for the mailing list goody, but I’d rather give an EPUB or MOBI to mailing list sign ups. I’m sure it’s less trouble to just let people download PDFs but they are SO hard to read on phones! This is just another future topic I’ll be tackling!