The Unforeseen in Publishing and Book Promotion: A Mobi File is Born

It may not seem like it but good things start coming my way…

Last week’s post I shared that I had heard from Simon Cantan and Dave Higgins offering their help to create a Mobi file. Simon was up first. While I waited for Simon’s next response about the Rich Text File, I decided to try Calibre, a program similar to Scrievner. After spending an hour reading their directions and trying them out, I was facing the same issues as Simon was with Scrievner, a Mobi file couldn’t be created so it came out correctly. There were spaces where they shouldn’t be and words sticking together just as StoryCartel said. I went to Calibre’s website and found this: “PDF files are the most difficult to convert to Word and then to Mobi and have all the formatting translate correctly.” What an eye opener!

Computer Showing Online Apology Or Remorse by Stuart Miles

Computer Showing Online Apology Or Remorse by Stuart Miles

The next morning I saw a new message from Simon. He was unable to resolve the problem with any of the files I gave him. I wrote back to let him know that Dave had offered to help after he had. I quickly heard back from Simon who was pleased I had contacted Dave whom he felt was a good person to ask next. Not long after this message I got an e-mail from Dave who agreed to help me with the file. I then wrote to Simon to let him know and he wrote back to me quickly. He asked if he could share the files he did with Dave and I said yes. I sent Dave two files. One was the original Rich Text File and the other was one I saved when I opened it in WordPad. The two files had a different size and rather than risk sending one and the entire book not being there I sent Dave both of them.

I received an e-mail from Dave in the early afternoon and to my delight he was able to create a Mobi file. I wanted to stop working and go right to looking at this file but it had to wait till after work. So I wrote back to Dave I would be back in touch after work. When at four o’clock I went right home and logged onto my computer to take a look at the Mobi file on Kindle Previewer. I went through ¾ of the book and was speechless. Dave worked magic and saved my bacon with StoryCartel. I am back in the running!

Photo from ID-100253867-by-num_skyman

Photo from ID-100253867-by-num_skyman

I want to stress I doubt I would have reached this point if I had not expressed on Google Plus what was happening with StoryCartel and my own efforts to create a Mobi file. Further I am in deep graditude to Simon and Dave for taking the time to figure out the problem of the Mobi file. I do not think without what Simon did that Dave could have picked up the ball and resolved the problem as soon as he did. So I consider the creation of the Mobi file a credit to both of them. I am further very pleased I have gotten to know them both on social media and I hope we remain social media buddies.

Now, I want to let you know, I have learned a few lessons. The first be sure to have a volunteer reader much earlier in the editing process even before hiring an editor. I hope it can be the same one as with Switching Stations, Switching Stories. I was very pleased working with her. The second lesson is to avoid a recurrence of what happened with the creation of the Mobi file.

I like using Open Office and the new draft vampire manuscript I am working on has been typed in this program. I would like to continue to use it. However, I am willing to give Scrievner a go until the trial download is over. It is the program Simon and Dave praise as a great asset to writing a book and getting it into the right file formats for the sites it is sold on. I am willing to see how it goes but I know I will still need the aid of an editor and my first editor is familiar with the program and can work with me using its file. If not I will just make sure we pass back manuscript files in Word which like Open Office, Scrievener can import easily and turn into the right Mobi or ereader file that an author wants. Or if Scrievener does not turn out to be the program for me, as it is for others, I will have my editor create the PDF, the Kindle file, the Mobi File, the file to work for Nook and Itunes. Neither of these will happen unless Switching Stations, Switching Stories breaks even or I make money.

I can cetainly use learn and use Scrievner but I still need an editor to tame my manuscript. The cost for my editor for Switching Stations, Switching Stories to do the editing and the book cover was the same as if I hired a different editor to do just the editing. As I work during the week, I save most of my promotion work on social media to either before work, during a lunch break, or after work. And until April 3rd, I agree to download a StoryCartel book to finish read and review for the website. It was a lot to have on my plate. Yet I accepted it because I knew it wouldn’t last beyond a couple of weeks at most.

On the brighter side the Mobi file is making for “good lemonade.” I have material for web cam videos and blog posts to And this makes the frustration I experienced much less painful and for that I am thankful.