Monday, May 12, 2014

e-Book Nonsense

Yesterday, I said that I would have an e-book version of How to Play a Character & Other Essays up by Friday, and I have had a few people express their wish for this.

Let it be known, however, that the self-publishing industry for e-books is a Kindle, Amazon & Apple scam.  We are still in the Betamax era for e-books, and e-book readers are still a proprietary format hell where it comes to simply transferring the same electronic content that works on every other format system in existence.

This is because the priests want their pound of flesh before anyone can put up content on their special snowflake distribution technology.

As such, I am finding that the format system has changed, and that what Lulu wants me to do now is to have Lulu put my work in e-book format for me.  This will cost me hundres of dollars, because it is a scam.  It obviously does not cost hundreds of dollars to change the format of a file.  Everyone on the planet knows this.  But it is proprietary technology, and the priests see me coming.

So.  Be it know.  I may NOT put this book in e-book format.  I am working to see if I can find a workaround.  I'll let it be known by Friday if I can or can't.  For the record, however, I don't care if this book is an e-book.  It exists to help me raise money.  I'm not dropping bullshit money on a bullshit proprietary priesthood.



Scarbrow said...

Does this count as "Alexis losing his temper"?

Seriously, though, I'm sorry to hear of your problems. I hope you'll be able to solve them without having to pay anything (of course). However, I've gladly seen you managed to publish "Pete's Garaje" in ebook format (I didn't knew), so if you are finally unable to publish "How to play a Character", I will at least be able to buy something to fund you. Here's hoping I manage to buy two things, of course :)

Simon Proctor said...

What format have you written the book in? E-Book readers are more like web browsers, so if the book is in PDF (a print based format) it needs updated. I'm not a huge fan of Mobi (the Kindle) format but I don't believe it's a proprietary format.
As for Epub that's just a bunch of HTML files in a zip.
If you have the document saved as a non PDF word processor document (Word doc, Open Office doc for instance) it should be easy enough to convert to Epub and mobi. PDF is a bit harder.

But yeah, Lulu are taking the piss.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Nah, I'm not mad, I'm just frustrated.

There's a trick to getting the NSF right so that the Lulu ebook format will accept the word document and it's tricky. Working on it.

Carl said...


Sorry to hear about your issues with Rent Seekers.

Here's an article of dubious scholarship that outlines the problem in painful detail:

Welcome to the new Oligarchy.

Consider using a more bare-bones text editor than Word for your transfer to eBook format. Notepad++ has served me well over the years for technical and liberal arts pursuits. It's free.

Try not to be deterred by the .CPP example on the front page. It's a fine text editor, and not limited to mere programming and scripting languages.

Stay strong, my friend.


Alexis Smolensk said...

>That was</A> a good article. And defines the problem dead on. Yep. Staying strong. Thanks for the advice, Carl. I remember it was a struggle to figure out the Pete's Garage e-book. I'll get it.