Friday, September 11, 2015

Keep Carrying a TORCH

People do love their Kindle-format eBooks, and its kissing cousin, the ePub format that runs native on all tablets. But all claims to the contrary aside, these eBook “formats of choice” only excel in the presentation of Plain Vanilla Text… and if you’re a truly a Book Person, you know that there’s a lot more to a book than plain vanilla text.

As a designer / writer, I want my books to look as good as they read. I create books (and I’m far from being the only one) that are as visual as they are literate… and I’m frustrated by the visual boredom of Kindle and ePub formats.

There is only one file format that allows me to create eBooks that accurately reflect the contents of the printed paper book — and that’s PDF. I’ve been a big supporter of PDF books right from the start, and have been publishing them for over a decade: because it allows for so much more than the plain vanilla text eBook formats, and because when I place a design element it stays where I put it, whether it ends up in print or in an eBook reader.

Amazon and Apple don’t like the format because they don’t own it and can’t control it — but despite efforts to improve their proprietary formats, they have yet to come up with anything that rivals PDF.

Meanwhile. PDF books quietly work and look better than ever in Apple’s iBooks and on high-resolution tablets. I have tons of them in iBooks on my tablet, and they work and look great.

I haven’t liked the ePub versions of my books all that much, and I like the Kindle versions even less. People who read my books in these formats are not getting the full contents or the complete experience of the printed paper book, period.

Still, Amazon and Apple won’t sell PDF files, and for my part I haven’t been able to wangle a way for customers to have immediate download access to their books from a shopping-cart system — until now. Now I can do that. And that’s why my novel Persephone’s Torch is now available in a PDF version that accurately reflects all the contents of the printed book!

I wrote Torch a while back, and it frankly hasn’t found the audience that I think it deserves. Fortunately, I’m not alone in believing it deserves a wider audience and that it’s, in the words of writer/editor Leif Peterson, “more than a little bit better than good.” Check the reviews at Amazon, or better yet the review page at my mini-site devoted to the book: . While you’re there, you can read a free chapter. Then, when you’re ready, all you have to do is look over there —> in the right sidebar. See where it says “Add to Bag”? Click on that sucker and in nothing flat you’ll be downloading the PDF version of Persephone’s Torch. This is the same file that was used to make the printed paperback edition; to paraphrase J.R.R. Tolkien, it is “my own, and only, authorized [electronic] edition of the book.”

You’d pay more for a hamburger, for crying out loud. Give a struggling artist a break, and at the same time see for yourself how much better PDF-format books are than ePub and native Kindle. 

And thanks for reading this.

— DT 

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