I’m starting to get to the point in my drafting where I want to think about alpha and beta readers. For short stories like I’ve worked on before, I’ve just sent out Word or text files and relied on the fact that people can read on their computers for 20 or 30 minutes without a problem. For an entire novel, that’s much less feasible, so I want create an ebook instead.
Enter Calibre. I actually discovered it while trying to get books from the Baen free library to work on my Kindle – for some reason the author wasn’t getting imported – but it has a huge variety of uses. You can import pretty much any type of document, including plain text, Word, and PDF, mess with formatting and metadata, and output in one of fifteen or so different ebook formats. I was most interested in the MOBI format for the Kindle, but for those using the excellent Stanza for the iPhone there’s EPUB as well.
It’s pretty slick and fully-featured. Amazing what people will give away for free.
Regarding my draft, well, it’s not getting done by the end of December, although I am confident that I can stick to my original schedule and have it done by the third week of January. Because of the holidays and the non-stop family activities leading up to it, I’m pretty much on hiatus until December 26. I’ll write some and might make a post or two, but I’ll be keeping a pretty low profile.