MORE WORKSHOP SURPRISES

Recently I learned an upsetting fact. No two computers or their owners process information alike. This came about after teaching three Publish to Kindle workshops in which students used their own laptops so we could actually work our way through the formatting, converting and uploading of a book to Kindle.
“I have Word 2010,” one announced.
“That will have to be saved to Word 2007 because Kindle won’t take a Doc.x file, which Word 2010 creates.”
No real problem there. Get it done in the program which you’re familiar with, then save it to Word 2007 prior to uploading. Easily solved, yes?
You’d think so. But some people have no idea how to save a file to another type file. So, after solving that, I learned that several didn’t know how to create a new folder. Furthermore, every computer had a different location in which to complete that simple task.
Why aren’t computer’s standardized? At least all PCs, most of which use Microsoft, could be. But they aren’t. Worse, of course, when we have to consider a Mac and an iPad.
Teaching this class should’ve been simple. After all, I’ve formatted, converted and uploaded five books without a glitch and am working on the sixth.
“Do it just the way I do it.”
Oh, yeah? Think again.
I have folders created for each and every subject I work in and they are all filed under My Documents. They contain not only manuscripts of books I’ve begun, am working on or have finished, but all sorts of information. Historical, recipes, branding, blogs, agents, lectures, my pictures and videos, and the list goes on. It’s a big one, and I don’t want these folders residing on my desktop or scattered hither and yon within the dark confines of this mysterious computer. I want to be able to find something when I look for it. It’s a simple matter to add a folder, either to the documents file or within another folder’s file.
Not so.
“Why won’t my computer open the Kindle file so I can read it?”
How do I know? It’s your computer, not mine. I know how mine opens the Kindle for PC file and allows me to read any Kindle book including those I’m creating.
“Well, mine won’t do it.” A scowl tells me I should be able to answer this question. I’m teaching the class, after all.
My first announcement is that I’m not a computer expert. “I know how to do what I’m going to teach you today, but you’ll have to be able to do it on your computer.”
Wishful thinking.
Next time, I think I’ll take along a GEEK who can float around through the class teaching folks how to use their computers.
The real blessings are those who can do just that, and thankfully each workshop had several people who could tell someone how to Find every two spaces after the period and Replace them with one space, (how being the pivotal word there); or how to find Page Layout on Word’s tool bar when it wasn’t in the same place as mine; or where to go to acquire the Normal setting when it wasn’t under Home in the tool bar.
Prior to teaching three workshops on this particular subject, where we actually used our laptops, it never occurred to me that every computer would have a different approach to doing the same thing.
We got through the classes, everyone (well, almost everyone) appeared satisfied and many are happily preparing their manuscript for upload to Kindle. If everyone learned as much as I did, I guess we’re all happy. Success, more or less.
Teaching writers the fundamentals of producing a book or short story that might see publication is much easier.

Advertisements

About veldabrotherton

I'm primarily a writer, but I also speak and teach workshops and co-chair a large critique group. My brand is SexyDarkGritty and that applies to my western historical romances, mysteries, women's fiction and horror novels. After almost 30 years in this business, I still have something to learn and attend conferences to network with other writers, publishers, editors and agents.
This entry was posted in Kindle, teaching workshops, teaching writing, uploading to Kindle workshops, Word Documents, writing. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to MORE WORKSHOP SURPRISES

  1. A Kindle workshop! That's neat. I would love to attend to one considering that Ebooks have now become part of our daily lives.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s