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A Copywriter’s Blog
Friday Feature: Happy Dance Ben Levy 25, August

You can buy my book on Amazon now. It’s a mere $2.99 for the instant download.

If you have a dick, a kindle, and at least $2.99, it is definitely the book for you. It is also definitely the book for those who don’t have a dick, but still have a kindle and at least $2.99. It’s a fairly egalitarian work, despite what the title may suggest.

And of course, you can always follow the link to the right for the dead-tree edition.

I’m so happy, I could do a dance.

See what I did there?

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Well. That was difficult. Ben Levy 24, August

Behold!

IMAG0440

It only took me twice as long as I’d expected to get my book kindle-ready. Which isn’t too bad, considering I had no idea what I was doing.

See, I had assumed this program called Calibre was going to do all the hard work for me. The plan was to export my original InDesign doc as a pdf, put the pdf into Calibre, and let Calibre export it as a mobi (kindle) file.

Turns out it was slightly more complicated than that.

The short version is that pretty much everything you do to properly format a print volume in InDesign is the exact opposite of what you need to do to properly format an epub in InDesign.

See, in a print document, what you see on the screen is more or less what you see on the page. So a properly formatted InDesign page might look like this:

Screen Shot 2011-08-24 at 10.43.38 PM

Note the carefully aligned tabs and paragraph breaks.

And now here’s what a properly formatted kindle page looks like in InDesign:

Screen Shot 2011-08-24 at 10.41.55 PM

I remind you, that’s PROPERLY formatted. That is the final layout for that page. On your kindle, it appears as a gdamn Rembrandt.

You can see why this took me some time to wrap my head around. It was three weeks before I really understood what I was doing. And I knew I was finally starting to understand, because I was able to open up my file, look at it, and decide beyond the shadow of a doubt that I had to completely scrap the last three weeks of work and start over. Which was when I wrote the following list of reminders to myself:

Screen Shot 2011-08-24 at 9.51.03 PM

But none of that matters. Because now, there’s this:

IMAG0440

And in a few days, it’ll be available as a digital download from Amazon.

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Delay of post due to this Ben Levy 21, August

This week’s post will be delayed, because I spent the weekend working on this:
IMAG0438
There are just a few final edits I’d like to try and make, and then it’ll be finished. Definitely this week, maybe even tonight. And then I’ll post about the frustrations. Oh, the frustrations I’ll post about.

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Step into my library. Ben Levy 20, March

So, I own a kindle now. I’d like to take a moment to talk about how this happened.

I love reading. There may be some of you out there who don’t know how to love, and so cannot appreciate the depth of that statement, but for the rest of you, please understand that I’m not making a euphamism. I love the act of comprehending the literary word. It holds for me a special magic.

Now, I’ve got nothing against glue and paper books. Nothing at all. They don’t require charging, they’re generally easy to carry around, and the larger ones have a comforting weight to them if self-defense becomes necessary.

But.

I take the train. And it’s a half hour each way for my commute. And so I would go buy a physical dead-tree book, and finish it in a week. Then buy another. Then another. Then feverishly reread the last them all in an attempt to stop funneling money directly from my bank account to Barnes&Nobles. The success of this tactic can be measured by the need to purchase a second bookshelf.

Feeling desperate, I decided to see what sort of classics are free online these days. Turns out, damn near all of them.

I started with Lewis Carol. Then all three Sherlock Holmes anthologies and Hound of the Baskervilles. Then Dracula. This was amazing. This was fantastic. This was all being read on the 3.5 inch screen of my Droid Incredible, and I was getting eyestrain.

It’s one thing when I was reading for half an hour twice a day, but once I caught myself reading my phone before bed, I knew something had to give.

And so I went out and bought a Kindle. And so I now own every classic work of literature. They take up zero space in my office. I can read them without eyestrain even after staring at computer screens for 10 hours straight.

I love the future.

There is one thing in all this that bothers me. I don’t think I’ll miss dead-tree edition glue-and-paper books anymore than I miss reading a newspaper. But I will miss the ability to browse someone’s bookshelf to see what they own. I’m not 100% clear on the etiquette with these things yet, but I suspect it’s poor form to turn on your buddy’s e-reader and start scanning through the content. But I’ll try it at least once just to be sure.

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