I’ve got to admit when I started to turn manuscripts into mobi files, I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing. It’s like a lot of things really. 🙂 It was 2011 and I’d written (wrote?) a couple of short stories and wanted them on Amazon. I didn’t do any courses in HTML and the Web designer course I did in Cyprus, 5 years previous, didn’t help at all. I managed to get the source code and reverse engineer the original book. What looked like a load of letters and numbers had meaning and I began to convert work for other people.
You might already know, I’m an artist at heart and a bit of a perfectionist. After seeing the shite on Amazon I wanted to make a difference. I want to make the work personal and unique to the author. Six years ago a lot of people weren’t really up to the challenge of doing this on their own, so I started doing this for free back in the day. I then began to charge and my biggest challenge was a non-fiction book on the English language, Chasing The Sun – that was epic and made me £200. I’ve also done the History of the 15/16 Hussars, but can’t get in touch with any of those people – it’s sitting there in a mobi file waiting for somebody to get it on board.
I’ve lost count of all the books, short stories, children’s books, self-help books I’ve done – well over 70 I’d say. Nowadays I don’t get the trade anymore. You’ve got the likes of Calibre and other software applications to turn your document into whatever you want. I’ve tried it, and it’s shite to be perfectly honest. Automation just doesn’t cut it, you need to get in there and play about with the words, symbols and paragraphs with your fingertips if you want a polished look.
I still don’t fully understand HTML and CSS, but I’ve got an arsenal of code for a whole diverse range of layouts. My next challenge is to get the digitised work into iBooks and other digital mediums.