Over the past few weeks I’ve been working to put a large project to bed. What started when a potential client contacted me about producing an ebook ended with the development of a combined ebook and PDF build system that saved a bunch of time when last minute changes were needed. This project built on what I learned from a previous project where I paired an overly-complicated makefile with Pandoc to generate an ebook in French.
The MVW is a writer who can work in any situation while maintaining almost full productivity. The question becomes how to get there and what’s needed along the way? I envision the MVW as someone who is hardware agnostic as possible. There’s no harm in having a favorite platform or writing app, but when the chips are down, the MVW can get by without. Also lurking around the edges of the MVW idea is the question, why bother?
After writing about the trouble with RTF export from iOS apps earlier this week, I took some time to do some in depth testing today. The results were not as good as I’d hoped. I found a few major holes in my plan to use Zoho Writer for RTF export. Starting with a story I just sent out, I went through the entire export process of generating a RTF file to submit.
I recently wrote about how the Ulysses app removed RTF support in favor of DOCX. Overall this opened up file compatibility options with a wide range of apps. I’ve been mostly happy with the change exactly because of this—on the Mac. On iOS it’s something different entirely. Why RTF Rich Text Format is the universal translator language for online fiction publishing. Most all magazines accept it, with some preferring it exclusively.
Or back in the saddle again. Whichever you prefer. Regardless, I’ve started to submit my stories again. I put one in with Daily Science Fiction this morning. It’s 865 words of paranormal cop-show goodness. This feels like a turning point for me. One where I can get back to writing, with a better idea of the mechanics of putting a story together. I don’t know how big the slush pile at DSF is, but hopefully I’ll have a response soon enough.
One of the neat things about Magna Studio EX (Clip Paint Studio EX if you buy the downloadable version) is it’s book making abilities. It shouldn’t be a surprise since the whole app revolves around making comics and comic books. The panel-based nature of comics also makes for a pretty neat layout tool for image heavy books or magazines. In my case, it’s also a substitute for Adobe InDesign. For the occasional layout jobs I have, it’s not worth another subscription on top of Lightroom+Photoshop.
We have been looking forward to this day just as much as many of you. Our inboxes have been flooded in recent weeks by people asking us to stop teasing and finally announce a release date. Thank you all for your excitement, here is your answer. § Yay! As it stands in the beta version, exported ePubs will validate.
Ally tugged at the stethoscope around her neck and smoothed the stolen lab coat. The gray industrial carpet was hard under her feet. The tile floor of the crossing hallway was a few yards ahead. She looked at James. “Which way?” In the hallway a few people walked by with morning coffee. The lingering caffeine in the air taunted them. James glanced at the emergency exit sign on the wall. The blue scrubs hung loosely on his shoulders as he pulled on a surgical cap.
Ebook publishing seems to be my theme of the week. It’s something I didn’t know much about. I’ve managed to learn quite a bit this week. The most important thing I learned is about workflow. There are lots of ways to make an ePub file. Amazon KDP will take just about any file and convert it to their .mobi format. Smashwords has a converter (“Meatgrinder”)that take a Word (.doc) file and do the conversion to ePub.
This is what seems to be the second in a series about making ePub format eBooks with Ulysess III. Yesterday, I compared a few options for making eBooks. I found the least troublesome way was to just simply export from Ulysses using a custom stylesheet. Today’s post is about how to fix an annoying export bug. Ulysses is a three-paned editor. The second pane is a list of sheets in the current working folder.