Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Beatles Spy goes live on Amazon!

The year is 1965. American John Kaplan has come to Paris to study art. He is a serious Beatle fan, with the hair, the boots, sporting the current mod fashion. At a local cafe, John is reading a Beatle fan magazine and is noticed by a suave Russian, Alexi Smirnoff, who strikes up a conversation. Alexi tells John that Beatle music is banned behind the Iron Curtain and puts forth the proposition that John could make a substantial amount of money smuggling Beatles recordings. The Russian offers to accompany him on a visit into the Soviet Bloc and assures John that, being an American, if he were caught, the authorities would consider it an innocent mistake. John is not comfortable with the idea, but is motivated to give it a try after he encounters a pretty girl and feels the need to upgrade his lifestyle. Still, John has concerns. Is smuggling Beatles music behind the Iron Curtain, as Alexi says, "easy as a stroll down the Champs Elysees"? Are the Russian man's motives completely altruistic? If discovered, would his punishment be nothing more than a slap on the wrist and a shove back over the border? John's questions will all be answered soon enough, as he embarks on the path to become The Beatles Spy.

Get it here.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

From Text to E-ink

Well, okay, so it's pretty obvious that I haven't posted anything on this blog for a long time. That's not to say I haven't been writing; just that the focus has been elsewhere. I can excuse myself for dropping the blog ball by pointing to my latest novel.

And as if that weren't enough work, since I made the decision to aim it at the ebook market, the subsequent formatting and tweaking of the original manuscript, converting from one file type to another, the additional tasks beyond the actual writing of the book were nearly enough to cause me to abandon the idea of taking the book from text to E-ink. But I kept at it.

I read dozens of forums, help files, other writers' blogs with tips on how to format the original .doc; how to convert it to .html or .xhtml and clean up the code; the various ways to make a TOC (Table Of Contents), both within the .doc and as a separate toc.html and toc.ncx file that ebook readers could make sense of; which conversion software to use, and on and on, (and tons of erroneous information), until my eyes burned, my head ached and I wondered if it was all worth bothering with.

Eventually, after literally dozens of hours, I managed to compile the information into a process that worked for me. And suddenly there was that moment when I loaded the book into the various devices, Amazon's Kindle Previewer, my real Kindle, Calibre, and everything worked - I could read it, with all of the formatting preserved, the cover that I designed looked like I wanted, and I could use the navigation points to move around the book. It was a great feeling of accomplishment and I scolded myself for ever having thought about giving up. But the best was yet to come.

Today, October 21, 2012, I published my latest novel, "The Beatles Spy", through Kindle Direct Publishing, for sale on As I write this, the final stage of publishing, making the book available for purchase, is still in process, 12 hours away from the point where someone can click the buy button. It's quite exciting, actually.

But I can't bask for too long. I now need to coax previously written books through the conversion process. I have much editing to do, and of course, more to write.

Thanks to those who took the time to organize correct information about the KDP process and made it available.