Saturday, 4 October 2014

Why are there still #Apple #fanboys

After three month's exclusive contract with Amazon Kindle through KDP select I've decided to branch out to more electronic formats. Surely, rather than just having a print and one ebook option not selling, it's better to have a print and multiple ebook versions not selling.

And what does it cost me anyway? Ebooks are free to publish, right?

Well it depends on how you count cost. Free of time - no. Free of energy - no. Free of learning opportunities - definitely no. And free of monetary output - surprisingly no.

It all went so well on the Kobo site that I started to think I'd imagined all the drama I'd had getting the Kindle version together. Half an hour and one file conversion and it was done. There are two chapter headings that hand a line lower than they should, but I was after readable and edited, not perfection, so I accepted that as okay.

Price it, spin it, set publish date and go! All ready for purchase by any willing members of the public interested in an intense, emotional and shocking [Readers' Favorite] story you can go ahead and pre-order when you're ready. Or when it finished being fully vetted by Kobo - whichever is soonest.

Now onto Nook. I like Barnes and Noble, not least because I only have to type to get to their website and I'm time starved so every little bit helps. I am a fan. Or, I was a fan. Apparently as I don't live in the States, the UK or Belgium I don't count as a person. Fine. Whatever. Racists.

Nevermind, I can always link up Bookbaby on the free version to take care of them. I'll lose an extra 15% on sales (hah sales, remember them Katherine?) but at least they'll be available. 15% of very little is still probably not going to meet a minimum threshold anyway so does it matter to me? No.

But I know there are people out there who seem to genuinely like and buy iBooks. Fair enough. I use Kindle on my iPad so I'm not one of them - I tend to think of it as my Kindle with backlight and The Walking Dead: Series 2 game but that could just be me - but if the people demand it the people shall have it!

Or shall they?

Turns out that it doesn't matter what sort of book you've managed to cobble together - you require a Mac to upload a book. And when I say book I mean anything of more than 1000 words because there is an app for short books with pictures if you don't mind typing the text into a page that won't free-flow to the next. Not really an option when you're looking at 200+ pages. Or 10+ for that matter.

Surely this can't be the case? I must be missing something. I know that Apple likes its closed architecture but seriously guys - this is a shop. Are you really saying you can only drop off merchandise if you're driving a Ford and not a Holden?

Turns out I was not mistaken.

Turns out that they really have become that distant from how real societies run that they believe this is a solid course of action to take. No wonder you can get a Kindle and Kobo app for iPad.

But I was not deterred. If I can use Winebox to run windows in linux then surely there must be something to run mac in windows. The world must be full of aspiring authors who aren't Apple fanboys, right?

There were some instructions, but they required an ISO of Mountain Lion (hah!) and then a lot more hours than I was prepared to spend. I could always go back to Bookbaby, but it can take up to two weeks to get the books approved even when they're text only and direct, so I didn't really want to go through an aggregator to extend that by a week (and 15% of nothing.)

So i went hunting again and found a lovely service that lets you rent a virtual Mac so you can use your PC to run the little Apple club of programs.

It's free for the first day, and then $20US per month for light usage. One month worth should do me because once I've got this set up I'm never touching it again. So, I'll fork out my hard-earned money in order to load up an alien system inside my lovely speed-filled windows 8.1

And I was a bit curious. People who like Macs seem to really like Macs don't they? There must be some reason.

Four hours later I think the reason is that they have to really, really pretend they like the stupid, crappy, nonsensically structured things because they've invested so much money in them it's either that or look like the dickheads that they are for purchasing them in the first place.

Stupid, stupid. Slow, slow. Nonsensical. Idiotic. Yuck.

I gratefully exited when my work was done. I'm already postponing the inevitable re-entry required when my book hits the website for the first time and I start to notice all the little things that skim by my attention when I'm grappling with something larger, and stupider, than whether my punctuation is where it should be, or does my html format okay, or did I just load up a string of nonsense because it turns out that the text field was just a text field and some html formatting was NOT okay.

Why, why, why does anyone still buy such awful outdated architecture in this day and age? Why would you opt to spend more money investing in something so awful when they could get some nice hardware and put lovely compact Ubunto on it for free?

I understand the iPods. I understand the iPads. I even used to understand the iPhone until it became a choice between two identical things one of which you could change the battery on when it ran out or upgrade the memory size of when it was full, and one which you couldn't.

I do not understand the Mac.

Unless they rename Mountain Lion to Sick Cat so I can invest some money rewarding sarcasm I don't think I ever will.


  1. I don't understand the whole Apple thing either, and I think that with Steve Jobs gone, Apple will also be gone within ten years BUT... doesn't Smashwords automatically push eBooks onto Kobo, BN, and the iStore for you? Do you have issues with it, being outside the US?

    1. Hi Kat - Smashwords system works fine from here too, but like Bookbaby they keep a percentage of the book sale.

      They also delay sending anything through to the distribution channels for at least 48 hours, so new items and updates take longer to generate through. It's also harder to sort out the tax information for non-US, although once it's done it's done for everybody.