Archive for December 27th, 2012

Georgia public libraries

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

Another post commenting on Chapter 20 of Give Us a Dollar and We’ll Give You Back Four (2012-13)–now available as a $9.99 Kindle ebook or $21.95 paperback with ISBN 978-1481279161 on Amazon, along with the usual Lulu options.

The sixty-one libraries in the tables (none omitted) have relatively low expenditures: none higher than $35.99 and nearly three-quarters in the bottom three brackets (compared to 28% overall). As with spending, so with use: No library has more than 9 circs per capita, and 89% have less than six (compared to 36% overall)—but only two libraries (3%) have less than two circ per capita. For what it’s worth, the correlation between spending and circulation is consistent. Patron visits per capita are also on the low side, with no library reaching 9 (20% do overall) and 87% below 4 (compared to 35% overall). Only 16% of the libraries have at least 0.3 program attendance per capita (compared to 54% overall) and none exceeds 0.69 (compared to 21% overall).

Libraries by legal service area

LSA Count %
14,100-18,499 3 4.92
18,500-24,999 3 4.9%
25,000-34,499 5 8.2%
34,500-53,999 8 13.1%
54,000-104,999 15 24.6%
105,000-4.1 mill. 27 44.3%

Circulation per capita and spending per capita

Unusually, for Georgia libraries circulation per capita only correlates moderately well (0.44) with spending per capita.

Circulation per capita plotted against spending per capita

Circulation per capita (rounded) occurrence by spending category

Note that, while I’ve used the standard template for the second chart, in fact the four highest spending categories ($36 and up) are meaningless for the chart, since no Georgia libraries spend that much.

Kindle books from Word: A micropublishing tutorial

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

When I wrote The Librarian’s Guide to Micropublishing, which primarily focuses on physical books, I didn’t attempt to cover EPUB or Kindle’s ebook format in depth because there were no clear, simple, valid free ways to get from a formatted book in Microsoft Word to a good-looking EPUB or Kindle ebook.

As far as I can tell, that’s still the case for EPUB, although that’s also likely to change fairly soon.

Meanwhile, if you plan to use the Kindle Direct Publishing program for Kindle versions, there’s now a straightforward, simple way to get from a properly-formatted Word document to a good-looking Kindle publication. I’ve tried it. It works.

Here are the steps.

Beforehand: When preparing your book in Word

  1. Complete your book, preferably following the guidelines I used in my book. Specifically: Use styles for paragraphs, not tabs or manual formatting. Include a Contents page that’s generated using heading styles–not prepared manually. Include front matter (title page, etc.).
  2. Don’t use special character sets if you can avoid it. (Special characters such as em dashes are fine.) If you can simplify bullets, that’s good: They won’t come out looking great anyway. (KDP says bullets are ignored. That’s not quite true.)
  3. You can use tables–formatted using Word’s table mechanisms or imported from Excel, for example, but not manually formatted.
  4. You can use images–but in that case, there will be an extra step, which KDP covers in its advice. (To wit: Once you’ve generated the filtered HTML, see below, you’ll have to combine that and the folder containing image files into a single .zip file, and upload the .zip file. If there are no images, you can just upload the .htm file.)

During: Making it Kindle-ready

  1. Save the book under a different filename so you can keep the original. Do all the rest on that file.
  2. Delete all headers and footers. The easiest way to do this is to double-click in the footer, delete the line, go to the Next section, delete the line, and so on until there are no more sections. Then do the same for the headers. You may have to do this process separately for first pages of sections (chapters), odd-numbered pages and even-numbered pages. It took me 10 minutes to do it for a 20-chapter book.
  3. Save the file for later revisions.
  4. Save as Web page (filtered), which produces an .htm file. (It’s one of the file choices on the Save as… dropdown menu). Word will caution you about features that you lose in the process–e.g., small caps turn into all caps. Ignore the caution.
  5. You might want to look at the results using your browser; you should find, among other things, that the Contents page is now a set of live links to the headings and subheadings.
  6. That .htm file is now ready for the KDP uploader, which will turn it into a proper Kindle file. (You probably also want to upload a cover image; see the KDP guidelines for that step.)
  7. As noted: If you had images, upload the .zip file instead of the .htm file.

And that’s it.

On the other hand, if you’ve published a book using CreateSpace and accept the suggestion to offer a Kindle version via KDP, don’t accept the offer to translate your PDF into a Kindle book. The results are awful, partly because all the page headers and footers turn into text, partly because of other issues. Taking the extra half hour to create a filtered HTML file from Word, after stripping headers and footers, will yield a much better Kindle book.





AMPLIUS: 25% off through 1/2/13

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

Lulu is having one of their better sales of the year:

25% off, from now through January 2, 2013. (I suspect it’s only good for one order per account, but for as many books as you want.)

The coupon code is AMPLIUS

So you can go to the C&I bookstore and pick up:

The code, once again, is AMPLIUS