Smashwords, Amazon Kindle and the Do-It-Again Dance

I like to change the covers of my books, and I do it fairly often. Every time I do, though, I know I’m in for a document re-formatting exercise. It seems that when you upload a new cover, the good folks (and I mean it) at Smashwords run the document through their software again, the software which is always changing, and make you go make changes to your book (though all you touched was the cover!). Sometimes their auto-vetter makes odd requests, such as ‘please remove the question marks from your copyright statement’, and you look and there are no such marks. Usually, though, it’s not too much to comply with their demands.

Amazon does it a little differently. Every now and then I started getting emails telling me that “at least one reader” has reported some formatting issue with one of my books. Typically, the issue is just something that Kindle would like to see in your book – a table of contents, for example. Then you have to do all that again.

It’s all fine. The books do become improved over time, but it can be a lot of work, especially when you’re foolish enough to have written and published a lot of the dang things.

Anyway, here are a couple new ones …

Appropriately the font for this one is ‘Aftershock Debris’ – the image comes from a section of a photo of a diorama put up during the ‘Lux City’ street architecture show in Christchurch last fall.


The dangling skeleton here can be see on display at the Steampunk Museum in Oumaru, New Zealand.

the font is called ’28 Days Later’ and the overlayed texture is grain extracted from a photo of a golden sunset ocean I took at San Gregorio Beach.


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