Good morning, everyone! How are you? Full of springtime optimism or ready to fling your laptop through a window? Today's the day to let it all hang out, so be sure to thank Master Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh and his illustrious cohosts: Murees Dupe, Alexia Chamberlynn, Chemist Ken, and Heather Gardner!
I don't know where the month of May went. Somehow it ran away without letting me get a lot done. Might have something to do with the weeklong trip to the beach. (Sigh).
However, the release of Parallels: Felix Was Here was a great accomplishment. Reviews are coming in with high ratings, and there was even one that picked my story as their favorite which was pretty darn cool. I gave a paper copy to my dad. He gave my story a thumb's up. (Whew, he's a harsh grader.) He particularly liked WIN, because he could imagine something like that happening.
I'm still working on uploading a short story collection to Amazon. Yesterday was brutal. I got the text looking decent in the online previewer, but then I noticed the Table of Contents wasn't working. (Does anyone get this right on their first try? If so, kudos to you!) So I hit the internet for help and found a couple of pieces of crucial information:
(Feel free to skip down to "Hallelujah" unless you are struggling with your TOC too.)
First, you need to bookmark your Table of Contents with the label "toc". I found these directions here:
I recommend a better procedure for inserting the bookmark. Place the cursor at the beginning of the title Table of Contents in Microsoft Word. Press the "Enter" key. Move the cursor to the empty line above. Press the space bar several times, select this whole empty line and press the "Normal" button in the gallery of styles. Place the cursor at the beginning of the empty line. Now use "Insert" --> "Bookmark" and insert a bookmark named "toc" here. You won't see it in the document but rest assured that it's there. Save the Word file. Convert it to the Kindle format as described in the chapter "Finishing Your Book" in Amazon's "Building Your Book for Kindle".
So then I had both "Beginning" and "Table of Contents" in the pull down menu of online previewer's Table of Contents. Yippee. But what about the chapters? Well, I had working hyperlinks in my Word document, so I clicked on one of the chapter titles on Kindle's preview page. Nada. Well, actually, an error message popped up. So what? Hot links wouldn't work in a previewer anyway, right? WRONGO!
Back to the internet and then YouTube. While watching this video tutorial on bookmarks and hyperlinks in Word, I noticed something. Clicking "Insert" and "Hyperlink" brings up a window with several boxes. In the top box, "Link to", I had entered the link to the book's document itself.
Note that "Link to" contains the file name on my computer.
The tutor left this box blank. And as he typed in the name of his Anchor in the bottom box, this same word appeared in the "Link to" box with a hash tag in front of it.
As you type in the Anchor name, the same name appears in the "Link to:" box.
Bingo. That was my error. I redid all my hyperlinks, saved the document, uploaded it once again to Kindle and guess what? You can click on the chapter titles on the preview page and they work.
But I can't get too cocky yet. I have yet to successfully upload my cover picture. Thank you so much for your input last month. Three of the four cover candidates were nearly in a tie, but the winner was the last. I realize the little pictures in the skull's eye sockets are not going to be visible on a thumbnail size version. But I can live with that. When I brought up a list of Amazon's Thriller and Suspense category, the majority of covers look like solid black rectangles at thumbnail size. So at least my orange is different. And you can see the skull.
A special thank you to L. Diane Wolfe for suggesting a different image than the surgery scene for the left eye socket. The ambulance works much better!
Hmm. Might need to fiddle with the "And Other Stories" font a bit more. And if I can't upload the cover at all, I get to start over in Kindle's cover page maker. (It never ends.)
Have you struggled with technical difficulties like a functioning toc? Does reading this make you want to find a publisher?