I’m on the last leg of my book distribution journey as I prepare electronic versions of “Passion and Peril” for Lightning Source. I’m getting the feel for what it means to be a pioneer out here in the Wild West of digital publishing. There are rules. There is a body of knowledge. But no one has written much down. Every new foray into the woods requires brain-twisting problem-solving having nothing to do with the final goal of entertaining readers. And my brain isn’t getting any younger.
Lightning Source will distribute my novel worldwide in three different electronic formats: Adobe Reader (.pdf), Microsoft Reader (.lit) and eBook (aka Palm) Reader (.pdb). All I have to do is send them the text in the correct format. BUT how to get the book into those formats, they’re not saying.
So I’m googling, exploring forums, cursing and swearing. Each reader has special authoring software. But what? Each software program mangles your text in its own special way. And there is either no help function or only the skeleton of one. “We’re too busy counting our money,” the implied message goes. “Talk among yourselves.”
And does any device still use Microsoft Reader? I can’t even get the reader to install on my Vista machine. Nobody’s saying.
Okay, enough sitting by the fireside. I’m putting on my six-shooters and grabbing my machete for another day in the wilderness.