e-poetry: hanging indents – success!

Yes! Went way out of my comfort zone on this, but it worked!

I downloaded eCub (thanks again, Mr. Bonta…), which calls itself “a simple .epub creation tool” and it actually is, although I have to say it probably did help that I have a least a smattering of a background with html and CSS. All you need with eCUB is an html file of your poems, a CSS page to govern it, and a cover image. The software actually generates a CSS page for you, but I fiddled with it to add Dave Bonta’s hanging indent magic. And it worked!

I worked with Chrissie’s Cloud Studies first, because I felt like a completely evil publisher for having touted hanging indents which didn’t work on a Kindle. Well these do, Chrissie! That is, the MOBI file definitely works on the latest generation Kindle. And since it was converted using Calibre from the EPUB version, I’m pretty certain the EPUB version is good too. But would some kind person reading this test the EPUB file for me on their iPAD or Sony Reader or Nook…? Both versions work beautifully on the Calibre built-in readers, of course, but I no longer trust them for details like this.

Unfortunately, WordPress does not allow me to upload either type of file for easy linking here, so I’ve had to put them in a bit of a weird place (it’s free and rather manically ad-filled, I’m afraid) for the moment while I figure how best to store them online.

Cloud Studies in EPUB
Cloud Studies in MOBI

Upsides:
- The hanging indents work!
- It’s much quicker than Smashwords, which can take many hours to crunch your Microsoft Word doc upload on a busy day.
- I was able to create the EPUB first, then convert that to MOBI using Calibre – very easy.
- You can test fixes and work-arounds in a few seconds, publishing and unpublishing while working between eCUB and Calibre. With Smashwords you upload and wait for several hours before you see if your fix works.
- With Smashwords, uploading = publishing, so although you can upload as many revised versions as you want, you always risk having an imperfect version out there being downloaded for several hours before you can upload a fix.

Downsides:
- The coding is time-consuming – but I’m not yet sure whether it’s less or more work than Smashwords formatting.
-Smashwords is also an amazing packaging and distribution platform, which jazzes up your product with its own personal web page, blasts it out into the ether, allows people to post reviews on it, and keeps track of downloads, etc. It doesn’t do all the marketing and promotion for its authors, but it sure gives them a good initial leg-up.
- You can’t use your own home-made e-files on Smashwords – it only works with e-books produced using Smashwords technology.

So that’s that for the moment… Still much to think about and always many more publishing challenges ahead.

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4 thoughts on “e-poetry: hanging indents – success!

  1. Christine says:

    It worked! I just popped the .mobi version on my Kindle and it has hanging indents. Yay! You are the most hard-working/awesome/fantabulous editor and publisher ever!

  2. Woohoo! Thanks, Chrissie!

  3. Dave Bonta says:

    That’s awesome, Nic. Glad my suggestions helped! Now we just need to crack the file storage nut, it seems.

  4. [...] Dark and Like a Web on my phone (before buying the paperback) and saw how well it worked. I read her blog posts on the subject and learned how she used Dave Bonta’s hanging indent solution in her e-books and so, I decided to [...]

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