Well, so far I’ve found two nuisances with Amazon. First was the TOC method that Kindle uses. It’s odd, and while the system seems to read and support the NCX from things like EPUB it doesn’t USE it. That doesn’t get auto converted to its table of contents or anything.
Well, that wasn’t so bad though. Just make your stuff something Calibre can understand and have it output a MOBI file from that. Upload it, and you’re good. Took so,e experimenting to discover this, but I also didn’t realise that Calibre supports MOBI.
Second thing NOTHING mentions, and Amazon’s “What’s this ?” link wasn’t as clear as it could be. There’s a point early in the process to list “contributors”. Well, I ignored it thinking it wasn’t important. Well, when I tried to move on it kicked back saying I had to use that bit. Okay, so I click it wondering what I’m going to do with it and my eyes immediately alight on ‘Editor’ Okay, I says to myself, I’ll note Shanny as editor, no biggy. Then I move on. It doesn’t complain anymore so I think nothing more of it. About 8hrs later I get an email saying my submission hit an error in not having a listed author. First I think I’d fucked up a metatag in my upload or my title page or some such (proof I’d been using Smashwords I’d think anything like this, I think) then I read on and it mentions having an editor but no author. Apparently writing the book makes you someone who contributed. Go figure.
All told not bad so far. My advice now is, do as ye might to put yourself into retailers. The important ones are Kindle, Nook, and iBook. Arguably Kobo too. After that if you hear of one go ahead, but don’t go out of your way. Take the things that will take your work as you made it instead of taking it as they dictate. My work will be on Smashwords when I can bypass the meatgrinder with my own ePub file. I will be on iBooks when I have my own ISBN, and so forth. Amazon is the important place to be, for now, as it’s still where most of your buyers and therefore sales are, and it’s no cost but time, and little of that to get into. Use it to earn the cost of such as ISBNs and whatevs to put up elsewhere.
I must say, this has been an interesting and educational experience which I hope means future books will have a more streamlined realease.