Notes on Shallow Rewards: Commentaries on Pop 2005-2012 (an eBook)
1. This eBook contains roughly eighty-thousand words, almost all of them previously available online.
2. It took me about a month to pull this together. I used Apple’s Pages in order to avoid Microsoft HTML metadata, though I believe this is no longer an issue in Word 2010. With an .epub export of the finished book, I downloaded Amazon’s Kindlegen tool to create a Kindle-native .mobi file. Initially it looked terrible, so I tracked down a .mobi unpacker, which explodes the .html and component files. Using TextWrangler to tighten the .mobi’s blend of HTML, XML and CSS, I tried to get close enough to cross-platform compatibility that I would feel comfortable charging for the finished product.
3. Layout is optimized for the Kindle Fire; barring tight text flow around images and some minor formatting, it’s essentially the same on the iPad and iPhone, via the Kindle App (please see their site for further platform information). I chose Kindle Direct Publishing for the same reason as most self-published authors: Apple is not interested in supporting self-published authors. The new iBooks format is wonderful and easy to use, but the company’s insistence on platform and marketplace monogamy is asinine. I would also impugn their stance on royalties, if they offered any.
4. Kindle’s exclusivity programs return a remarkable 70% via direct deposit to the author’s checking account. With a list price of $5.99, I receive nearly $4 for every copy sold. That beats any other royalty arrangement I’ve seen, while presenting a very attractive list price to my audience. Which is not to suggest a windfall is in order, just that Amazon’s policies put the creator first, and the distributor second, which is how it should be.
5. All text and links in this book were re-edited during January 2012 and can be updated easily in the Kindle marketplace, if there is a need for future editions or corrections. As I understand it, paying customers will find their copies of the book automatically updated if and whenever this occurs.
Thanks to everyone who’s read and enjoyed my work; and especially to everyone who has not, but has taken the time to tell me why.