The bookshelf grows

Allendale Diary is added to my Amazon/Kindle bookshelf

I may have written already about using Calibre to create an eBook from the collated pdfs that went into making the paperback of Allendale Diary. That was fine, as far as it went, and a kind of rough-and-ready version is now being served.

But on browsing through the electronic pages, I noticed certain odd discrepancies and spacing issues that really needed to be sorted out. Moreover, I really wanted the Foreword at the front, the Postscript at the end. The whole diary package is there, just clunky. When I tried to move these components around in Calibre’s eBook editing package, the result worked okay on preview, but Kindle Direct Publishing would not then accept the file.

I did some more investigating, and discovered what is beginning to look like a brilliant freesource package from Sigil-ebook.com. It’s not for the fainthearted, as it helps to have just a little concept of what html is about, but combined with the PageEdit complementary package, and some perseverance, I’ve been able very conveniently to eliminate many of the weird formatting issues Calibre coughed up.

I’m hoping that Sigil will also clear up the html issues identified by KDP and that I’ll have a nice clean eBook to re-submit soon. My editing has reached the end of January, so only another eleven months to go, and then the re-configuration of front and back material. I’m not entirely sure that I can create the metadata links for the re-arranged sections, but we’ll see. Even if I have to live with all the complementary material at the end, if the whole blog is presented cleanly, at least, that will do.

I embarked on this lark because I thought it might make sense to have a more permanent eBook of Allendale Diary on offer, because the natural life of the blog is coming to an end. I’m not sure if it’s worth keeping alive after the end of December of this year. Oddly, however, it’s still getting about 100 views a week, so perhaps I should think this through again. The blog itself might be a useful advertising signpost, pointing readers not only to the Kindle version of the diary, so they can read the whole thing conveniently on their device, but also to the fictional output I hope to continue to produce. If I think of the old blog as an advertising medium, perhaps it will be worth its maintenance fee.

So these things are occupying my mind as I trundle through the editing finessing and as I recall all those desperate diary days when nothing would rise to the surface, as the deadline raced into view. It all seems like such a long time ago, and my mind is more pre-occupied with fictional pursuits these days.

Sometimes still just as hard to think of a scenario, a character, a plot device.

By Larry Winger

Retired scientist, devoted diarist (AllendaleDiary.org), community-minded aspirant novelist, I've lived on a smallholding in the East Allen Valley for the past 30 years, delighting in watching our family grow up, in experiencing the development of our grandsons, and in taking care of our small flock of chickens and garden.

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