Book News and Some Geekish Musings

Today I decided I would make Free Fall, my My Immortals series novella free for a limited time. I’m in the process of doing so. It’s been set to free at iTunes. I made it .99 at B&N since, to my knowledge, they don’t price match and don’t allow you to set the price to zero. I’ve heard, lately, however, that some Nook books have been price matched, so we’ll see. Later today I’ll get the file updated at Kobo (where I believe I can set it to free), Smashwords, and ARe.

So, keep an eye out!

The Geekish Portion of This Post

Since I was adding links for My Darkest Passion to the file, I also decided I might as well update the files to my newer spiffier versions. All well and good. I discovered something interesting and annoying at NookPress (the re-jiggered interface/replacement for PubIt).

Before I complain, let me say THANK YOU Nook Press for allowing book files to be replaced without having to take the book off sale. MAJOR need, and quickly addressed. Well done.

For people who are uploading Word documents, the on-line manuscript editor is really nice. I wish other places did this because this would fix an awful lot of heinous results. So, again, major kudos to Nook Press for this interface. If you’re uploading Word docs to vendors, it sure looks like the Nook Press interface gets an awful lot right.

But here’s what I discovered. As I was fighting through getting desired formatting for various devices, my title page was giving me the biggest fits. Kindle iOs was blowing out all my centering. But I wrestled it to the ground and we came to an acceptable compromise. I applied a similar solution to the Nook version. Which worked more or less. But my centering was not perfect, and it bugged me.

And, the Nook Press UI is confusing about what version is actually being made live. It’s a language problem, not a tech problem. Anyway, to get that straight in my mind, I went into the manuscript editor and looked around. I opened up my title page and recentered and resized the text there. Then I saved it and uploaded that. I previewed it in order to confirm the centering issue was resolved. And then, because I wanted to see what it had done, I downloaded the ePub and opened it up.

The downloaded ePub had a class called “booktitle” applied to my title page text. My styling had been removed (which I expected because I explicitly changed it in the Nook MS editor.)

That class was not defined in the page header section and it was not created in my stylesheet. There was not another stylesheet added.

And that means Nook has to have its own stylesheet functionality in the Nook rendering engine that contains this style. So, what the heck else is in that? What other styles does it have that might conflict with or override mine?

I’m not all that bothered mostly because there’s nothing I can do about that and it didn’t seem to screw up anything. But it would have been really nice to see what Nook is doing to address centering for its devices. Frankly, if they have a preferred set of styles, why wouldn’t they share them? Think how much easier and cleaner that would be!

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