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Kindle Publishing/Preparing for SAW – 4th December 2013

Catherine Lang

For anyone who has ever considered putting their work out there in e-book form, last Wednesday night was a must. In the first part of the evening Catherine Lang showed us, stage by stage, the process of putting a book onto Kindle.

Although Catherine’s experience as an editor in mainstream publishing gives her something of an edge over us regular mortals when it comes to checking the text for bloomers, even for her it has been a somewhat steep learning curve. However, she assured us, it is not quite the mountain you might expect. She led us through the process with an on-screen presentation, using examples from her specially created e-book, More Kitty Tales, and the two anthologies she prepared for our group of eight writers, LiterEight: A Literary Confection and Dark Twists.  (We, by the way, are grovellingly grateful for all her efforts on our behalf, as some of the non-tech-y types among us would have fallen at the first fence.)

The formatting of work for Kindle has some strange requirements, such as for single rather than double spacing, the removal of irregular indents, page breaks and numbers. Many of us also learned a whole new vocabulary of computing terms as such things as ‘web page filters’ and the mysterious ‘Mobipocket’ were explained. (In case you weren’t there, this is a system that lets you get your ‘web-filtered’ text into a form Kindle will take.) Catherine dealt with the requirements for the cover image, the need to set up a bank account for Amazon to pay your earnings (very important!) deciding on a price etc.

Questions were asked, notes furiously scribbled and, by the end of her presentation, many people felt that, though it would be quite a challenge, it was definitely do-able.

In the second half of the evening Fiona MacFadzean briefed newcomers and reminded old hands about the Scottish Association of Writers Annual Conference, which will be held this year at The Westerwood Hotel and Conference Centre near Cumbernauld. (21st to 23th March 2014) Get writing folks and enter as many competitions as you can. As Fiona said, there’s nothing like the thrill of hearing your name read out when your work is placed – besides, Ayr Writers’ Club has a reputation to uphold!)

Thank you, Catherine and Fiona, for a very instructive and enjoyable evening.

Maggie Bolton

Catherine has very kindly allowed her notes on putting a book on Kindle to be made available in the members only section.

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