Medium, Meet Message; Message, Medium

Yesterday I saw Dave Kellett post about a brand new book he was interviewed for: Fans, Friends and Followers: Building an Audience and a Creative Career in the Digital Age by Scott Kirsner. “Interesting sounding”, I thought to myself. Bearing in mind the subject matter and given that I have a brand new Kindle burning a hole in my backpack, I figured this book would be my first electronic impulse buy for the reader. Guess what, no Kindle edition! I was set to drop $8-$15 on this book right then and there and see the first book magically appear on my device. No dice.

Maybe I’m giving Scott Kirsner too hard of a time. This book seems to be self-published and maybe he didn’t have the resources for doing this. However, he does have a PDF version for sale from his site for $12. I ran his downloadable sample through the Kindle converter and it came out pretty bad. Lines were broken in funny ways that split up words. It was not totally unreadable but it was bad enough to make it tough sledding to read.

I emailed Kirsner about this, and I’ll see if and what he replies. But folks, the Mobipocket Creator program is a free download (if Windows only) and even if you are vending this yourself, you can take your own HTML source and run it through the program to create a .mobi file that is natively readable on the Kindle. If you are writing books about the online world and digital culture, failing to put the hour or two into this process throws your credibility into question on the topic.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father.