My experience using Kindle Create

I’ve had the chance to work with Kindle Create and put it through the paces.  For benefit of other authors interested in it, I’ll share my experiences.  For reference, the download and help tutorial is here, and the help overview is here.

Before, I’ve never had a problem uploading Word manuscripts (either to Smashwords or Amazon) that I wasn’t able to figure out.  However, when I uploaded Deplorable Diatribes on August 17, Amazon choked on it.  This isn’t too surprising, since the manuscript is enormous – exactly a thousand pages in Word.  So then I tried getting it saved as an .EPUB file, but the formatting got all chewed up.  What I had to do instead for the time being was export as a .PDF, and that one I was able to upload to Amazon.  The problem is that some of the formatting was lost even though the .PDF looked as it should be.  It does warn you that the results of converting from that format might not be great, and it’s true.  Furthermore, it probably wouldn’t have been reflowable text, which is the preferred standard in a reader.

After that, I put together the printed manuscript.  It was quite an adventure, getting all the technical nuances right (page size, margins, etc.), converting hyperlinks to footnotes (I found a macro which saved me from getting carpal tunnel syndrome), etc.  There are specific page limits, dependent on page size, but I managed to get it to work with 10-point type which I figure is a safe minimum for readability.

Then I returned to the ebook version, hoping to make it prettier.  That’s when I got Kindle Create, figuring it might succeed where simply uploading the Word document had failed.  So I installed it, and waited a while for it to import the Word doc.  (Again, the manuscript is HUGE – longer than The Brothers Karamazov.  Also it contains lots of content pasted in from the original web pages I wrote, and also with graphics and different styles.)  I should mention that Kindle Create presents a choice in the beginning of whether to import a Word doc or a PDF.  The latter produces text that won’t reflow, but also allows embedded content such as audio and video files.  Perhaps future versions will give you the best of both worlds?

In the beginning, it goes through and tries to parse out the chapters, and applies a default style to them.  All my chapters were the same, indicated with the Word “Heading 1” or “Heading 2” styles.  Still, the process wasn’t perfect, and missed some chapter breaks.  Fortunately, you can insert them as needed and put the chapter heading style on it.  One thing that I couldn’t figure out how to do is to modify the default style so it applies globally; it would be a nice feature.  It also has a way of inserting a table of contents.  I couldn’t figure out how to do that, but fortunately I already had one.

As for the text style, you have the choice of three fonts:  the default Bookerly, a sans serif font, and a monospaced font.  That’s not quite a tremendous number of choices, but at least it’s something.  So there’s not much variation here.  My original manuscript was in Times New Roman except for article introductions which were in Arial.  That didn’t carry over after I converted it.  For the introductions, I had to apply the sans serif font, and there was less visual contrast than I would’ve liked.

You can put in bold, italics, etc. manually.  You can change text justification.  You can type inside the document.  Other than that, I couldn’t get the text color to do what I wanted it to do; some of my hyperlinks are blue, others are red (which is an artifact from the original web documents).  It could use a search/replace feature too.  All told, Kindle Create is not too powerful – a little less so than Wordpad – but at least it does its job.  I found out that it wouldn’t let me make any changes inside of bulleted lists.  I’m not sure why, but it is what it is.

All of the graphics did import.  However, a few of them came out somewhat distorted.  I doubt it’s any kind of a transparency problem, since I’d made some of them myself in MS Paint and didn’t do anything too fancy with them.  (It’s not like I was gluing together a birth certificate for Barack Obama in Adobe PDF Creator or something.)  You have four choices for the graphics as they appear – small, medium, large, or full (which usually fills from one side to the other).  So you can’t pick specific sizes, play with the aspect ratio, or crop them on the fly.  You do get the option to add alt text to the pictures, which I did to my wicked heart’s content.  One little problem I found was that if I was putting in alt text and a “save your work” prompt appeared as I was typing, the picture gets deleted.  One time, the “undo” button didn’t work after that – oopsie!  There is a way to insert pictures, but that proved to be a bit difficult to get to work.

All told, it took a day to get everything the way I wanted it, or as close as I could get.  That much isn’t the fault of Kindle Create; rather, I was working with an enormous manuscript that needed lots of tweaks.  Anyway, so when you’re done, you do the “publish” option and it binds it all into a .KPT file that you can upload.  I’m not sure why, but it turned out to be nearly 40% larger than the Word doc, which wasn’t even a compressed .DOCX file.  After that was the moment of proof.  I uploaded it to Amazon, and it took it!  If what the previewer shows me is accurate, it converted pretty well, though the indentation is a little inconsistent.

So Kindle Creator is a pretty good tool if you’re struggling to get a manuscript that Amazon’s server likes.  The learning curve wasn’t too bad on it.  There are a few bugs, as well as some features that it could use.  Still, it’s pretty handy if you need something like that.  Future versions may be better yet.

My experience using Kindle Create

Book announcement – Complete Collection of Deplorable Diatribes, Traditionalist Tirades, and Reactionary Rants of an Egregious Extremist

I’ve just completed my ninth book, the second nonfiction title.  This one is huge.  Moby Dick – a whale of a novel indeed – was 206K words.  The ebook version of Deplorable Diatribes, released on August 17, is 384K words – even longer than The Brothers Karamazov.  Although I put months of work into it, I’m selling it for the price of a large cheeseburger combo.  How about that!  The print edition is more; I’m keeping the profit margin pretty low, but still, it’s 756 pages long.

What you’ll find in Deplorable Diatribes

Deplorable Diatribes - cover 4

This is a compilation of all my Return of Kings posts.  I was thinking of making several smaller books, but no, here you’ll get the whole shootin’ match.  Most are expanded versions of the articles, and contain introductory commentary.  Also, they’re sorted into topics, and the chapter notes contain much additional background concerning the subjects.  This is one of the longest compilations available of politically incorrect truth, depicting the absurdity of Clown World and how things got that way.

Why did society become so dysfunctional and degenerate, an abnormal mess that some call “progress”?  No country ever was perfect, but several bad ideas made the world much worse.  These were popularized by different groups with varying agendas, and work together to drag down society.

Over the decades, the political left went from being sensible and constructive to something resembling a bizarre cult.  Just as strangely, the mainstream right doesn’t dare dispute the dogma too much on matters of substance.  Here you’ll discover the following:

  • How academia became a breeding ground for destructive ideologies
  • Why liberals are as silly as a barrel of monkeys
  • How feminism became a henhouse of loony birds
  • What political correctness is really about
  • How leftists conduct censorship because their ideas can’t withstand a free debate
  • The bad, good, and ugly points of ideologies
  • What’s up with the brain-eating #MeToo zombies
  • Why population replacement immigration is bad
  • How the economy is manipulated for benefit of wealthiest of the wealthy
  • Why “woke” CEOs and champagne Socialists are such airheads
  • What America used to look like back when it was still pretty normal
  • How to move your social life into the fast lane, as well as be the best person you can be

But wait!  There’s more!

  • The most Red-baiting since the good old days when Joseph McCarthy was purging the pinkos
  • A mountain of dirt about notable leftist “heroes”
  • Globalist schemers unmasked as not being exactly as wonderful as they think they are
  • Details on why the gay agenda isn’t as faaaabulous as it appears
  • A close look at some of Clown World’s clowns
  • The media lies, film at 11
  • The wreckage of the social landscape after feminist bunny boilers poisoned the well
  • Most importantly, what we can do about all this

Come on, how can you possibly go another day without this treasure trove of deplorability?
Ebook edition:
Print edition:

Book announcement – Complete Collection of Deplorable Diatribes, Traditionalist Tirades, and Reactionary Rants of an Egregious Extremist

Miley Cyrus says virginity doesn’t exist, and UK MSM paper agrees

A fresh, steaming pile of journalism came hot off the presses at The Independent, with the title “Miley Cyrus is right – there is no such thing as virginity“.

It features a rather cringe-worthy social media post from the former Mouseketeer, declaring that “virginity is a social construct”.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  The whole “social construct” catchphrase is an argument to say – without any further explanation needed – that something is unimportant, or essentially doesn’t even exist.  It’s a pretty dumb argument, but a surprising number of people are taken in by that rhetoric.

Some highlights of the article include the following:

But these critiques are missing Cyrus’ point. Virginity isn’t some innate, observable mode of being. Society created it, gendered it, and assigned it moral value, but outside of a patriarchal belief system, it’s meaningless.

Why has premarital chastity been such a valued trait throughout most societies, with the big exception of our modern social experiment?  It’s all about the mean old patriarchy, right?  I tried to look up “The Patriarchy” in the phone book, but I’m afraid I can’t find it.  I want to have a word with their customer service to see when my male privilege card is going to show up in the mail.  Also, I’d like to find their secret tree fort one of these days, so I can knock back some beer and yell at a TV during a sportsball game.  That really sounds like a lot of fun.

Anyway, according to a study called “Harmful Effects of Early Sexual Activity and Multiple Sexual Partners Among Women: A Book of Charts“, female promiscuity is correlated with a large number of social ills.  It’s a harsh truth, but nobody ever said that life is fair.  Item 15 is a rather interesting one.  Zero non-marital sexual partners means that a marriage has an 80% chance of surviving five years.  One prior boyfriend brings it down to 53%.  It only gets worse from there – more boyfriends means more risk of divorce – eventually bottoming out around a 20% five year marriage survival rate.  When guys can get taken to the cleaners in a divorce, robbed in court for cash and prizes, this is no trivial matter.  This is why some say, “No cherry, no marry.”

Our great grandparents already knew all this stuff.  After this big social experiment, it’s taking a while for us to catch up and relearn it.  Throwing all the rules out the window is a good way to discover why they existed in the first place.

Anyway, back to the article.

One problem with virginity is that it defines sex as sexual intercourse, not pleasure. This narrative excludes anyone who isn’t heterosexual and minimizes the importance of other sexual behaviours. Most people with vulvas orgasm from clitoral stimulation and yet, the construct of virginity ignores the very thing that makes intercourse pleasurable to begin with, and mainly centres sex that is procreative.

Where do I even begin?  First, this “This narrative excludes” narrative only applies to a definition of virginity that’s much narrower than commonly used.  So let’s say Adam and Eve are virgins, then they “know” each other.  So Eve isn’t a virgin any more, but neither is Adam, even though he never had a cherry to pop.  To say otherwise is to say that it’s impossible for a guy ever NOT to be a virgin, even if he’s Casanova, Wilt Chamberlin, or Peter North.  If Adam banged Steve instead, that would mean he had carnal knowledge of someone else, therefore he likewise no longer would be a virgin.  So when you use the term like most people do, then there’s no need for hand-wringing about “exclud[ing] anyone”, or confusion about whether or not a dude who has hooked up with 500 dudes in a bathhouse can still see unicorns.

Second, are we so politically correct these days that we have to say “people with vulvas” instead of “women”?  Sure, this is the age of politically correct bathrooms and everything, but here we have another reminder that everything must be rearranged to suit the subjective reality of a tiny fraction of mentally ill people.

Third, the clit is a wonderful little rosebud indeed, but why do so many of these feminists deny the existence of the G-spot?  It’s not an either/or thing for that matter.  Whichever location gets the toes curled is all good, including both at once.  Really, the sacred chalice is a garden of delight, and knowing what to do with it is the way to get lots of repeat business.

Fourth, there’s the complaint that the concept of virginity “mainly centres sex that is procreative”.  Well, that’s debatable, but still, what’s the big deal about prioritizing procreative sex?  I don’t have any problem with other fun activities like muff diving and hand jobs, but the primal dance of creation is the main course.  Didn’t anyone ever tell these politically correct people what is its biological purpose?  Do they think the next generation comes from a cabbage patch?

Now we come to the final absurdity.  Here we have an example of a MSM publication featuring bleeding-edge feminist theory, written by some journalist who either got a degree in cultural Marxism or at least knows how to talk the talk.  Well, that’s no big surprise.  But what’s the deal with Miley Cyrus here?  She gets on stage and tongue-twerks like she has tardive dyskinesia.  She does lewd stuff with a foam hand as if that’s supposed to make her sexy.  She’s been photographed wearing a strap-on that looks like a giant carrot or something.  And here The Independent quotes her as an authority about morality.

Welcome to Clown World.  Honk, honk!

Miley Cyrus says virginity doesn’t exist, and UK MSM paper agrees