Readers asked for a Kindle version of my novel, No Way In and it is now out on Amazon. Kindle books have a lower price point and nearly instant delivery. The catch of course, is that you need a Kindle reader, an Iphone or the Kindle reader downloaded on your computer. The benefit for a lot of non US-readers is that you won’t have to worry about the vagaries of the mail. I am still working on a meeting the second reader request, which is to provide some way of sending autographed copies, which in this case is probably going to be a signed handwritten note sent via a self-addressed stamped envelope.
As it happens, the first customer review for the Amazon print edition is in, so the first feedback is trickling in, and time will tell how that goes.
One of our best known commenters sent me an email exhorting me to start on a Kindle version just as I was in the midst of wrassling with their format. The basic steps for converting a manuscript into Kindle format is to begin with unadorned HTML. The platform refuses to recognize all but a few basic tags which are listed in the Kindle documentation. The hardest part of the process is figuring out how to generate a table of contents, and that is most easily approached by downloading one of the several HTML-to-Ebook converters available on the Kindle website. The Mobipocket Creator has a pretty slick interface. The thing to remember is that it Mobipocket Creator creates a separate HTML file from which to build the TOC. You tell it what the chapter headings are by passing the tags that you use to format the chapter heads. So if <h2> tags surround your chapter head, all the <h2> tagged pieces of text are going to get compiled in a TOC. Another thing to remember is that Kindle provides a Kindle Previewer which is a much more capable platform for viewing your draft E-book than the web-based facility provided on the Kindle site.
Provided that you know HTML and are not easily daunted by the prospect of creating you very own e-book, publishing in Kindle is pretty straightforward.
One thing that traditional authors and editors may miss is the lack ways to prettify Kindle books in ways that print gurus knew so well. This is because the resulting text must render on a variety of platforms, include Ipods and Iphones which are small display devices. If you are publishing a book in which text dominates, you can live with these limitations. But those who are planning on publishing a coffee-table book on Kindle, may for the moment, be disappointed.