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Last year I gave some thought to publishing some of my
fiction in e-book form. To that effect I downloaded the
Kindle Generator software from Amazon.com. Unfortunately
I couldn't get the damn software to work. The whole thing
seemed ancient, opening (or supposedly opening) up in the
old DOS command line format. I tried everything I could
think of — I'm a writer not a computer hacker — but I
just couldn't get it to work. I swear, the code for the
thing must date back to 1976. Or maybe, hell, 1876.

So I gave up. And I really didn't give it another thought
until I began my little sabbatical a few weeks ago and
was in the fiction generating mode. Things moving way
too slowly on the novel, I decided to give the KindleGen
software another try to see if I could hack it. But I
didn't have any more success this time than I did last.

So I got onto the internet. I figured that somebody out
there must be having the same trouble as me and that maybe
somebody helped them out in terms of advice.

Doing that, and quite by accident, I came across Calibre,
an e-book viewing and also conversion software. Since it
was free I decided to give it a try. And within just an
hour I had successful converted an old TXT format file
to e-book format in both TXT and EPUB formats.

So I got to work. I pulled the Pat Maginess novella and
most of the short stories out and prepared a manuscript
from them. Then I converted that to EPUB.

It wouldn't upload to Amazon. They probably want their
own format, which I can do with Caliber as well, but
I decided that for now I would try Barnes & Noble. After
about two hours spent joining their own e-pub system I
was able to upload the book.

A day went by and finally the thing made it onto their
lists, which you can find here. Of course all the fiction
is available to Opera members and the occasional guest
absolutely free right here on the blog.

I still don't know how much of a cut Barnes & Noble will
take from sales. I will actually have to sell a book first
to find that out (I read the publishing Agreement hat to
heels but couldn't find one single sentence about how much
they were entitled to).

Not wanting to overprice the book I set the sale price at
$2.99. Which means that if B&N takes 50 percent that I will
make about $1.50 per sale.

Which ought to buy me a 2-liter Shasta Cola over at the grocery.

A bottle of cola for a book. Somehow that doesn't sound
quite right. :p

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