Conversion Experience

So Quest for Employment is being put into iBookstore form.  By hand.  So far I’m going to say I’m finding iBook Author friendly in all the wrong ways, and not exactly helpful.  There’s some slick elements to it, but the hand-holding functions really don’t help.

It’s very odd, but I I suddenly realized just how many formats I have to work with – not on an intellectual level, but a visceral one.

  • First there’s the main doc, which I just do In Libre Office.  I do a few formatting tricks (avoiding bullet points) to make sure it’s very cross-compatible.
  • I bring it over into Jutoh.
  • In Jutoh I configure it for ePub (for Nook) and Mobipocket (for Kindle).
  • I view it in Calibre to make sure it looks OK, and maybe other devices.
  • Since formatting the book often reveals things to fix, once I’ve done these conversions, I get the spacing and organization right for exporting to PDF from Libre office.
  • Now, if I want a print book, then I also have to take a file and format it to have proper page locations, spacing, etc. for a print format.  This is exported as PDF Inevitably I’m going to blow tens of dollars running prints to get that right, or burn my printer out.  Or both.

It’s educational, but it teaches me one thing – I bloody well love being an author.  Otherwise I wouldn’t do this stuff.

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at, nerd and geek culture at, and does a site of creative tools at He can be reached at



Second-Class Formatting?

Yes, once again I'm going to talk about my Amazon Kindle. No, this is not a case of me going on how great it is, how much I love it, ad nauseum. You've probably had enough of that as it is. Instead, I want to share an insight on the nature of e-books that I didn't notice until I began using the Kindle so much.

What have I noticed? I've noticed that, despite many of the e-books I'm reading coming from professional print sources, some of them have distinct formatting errors on the Kindle. I'd say easily two thirds of the books I've read on the Kindle have noticeable formatting problems, some of them quite distinct and incredibly annoying, such as unclear graphics, oddly placed titles, mashed words, and more.

It's as if Kindle books get a kind of "second-class" formatting.

Somehow, I don't think I'm alone in experiencing odd, strange, and outright painful formatting problems on books I'm reading on the Kindle. I'm quite sure other people are experiencing this as well; all those people on my daily trains reading Kindles doubtlessly are experiencing questionably–formatted books too.

So unless I'm the unluckiest reader in Amazon–land, everyone is experiencing formatting problems with their Kindle books now and then. So why aren't we complaining?

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