Additional Notes: KDP Poetry Formats:

Adding onto my recent Poetry Formatting for Kindle (2016 update) here is another key I had not yet remembered to learn but which is a requisite for successful self-publishing with KDP: Make Table of Contents in Word 2010 That’s Clickable in Kindle

As it happens I have OS X 11 and Office 2011 instead of Windows 7 and Office 2010, but judging by the looks of the Word interface, everything should still be gravy. And I saved my final Word file after fixing all the line breaks and indents as well as the original and every step in between in different version codes (filenames), so I’m all ready to go. There may be some font issues I still need to learn about, but she says the user can change them any way…

[ [ NOTE: short of learning to use a versioning system like Git (designed for coders) or getting and learning some app for novel writing, the file naming and folder organizing is key if you don’t want to lose stuff, and also if you want to preserve earlier drafts, reorganizations, cut ups and collages, etc. ] ] …. { { One reason I love TextWrangler, it allows me to have as many documents open in a single window as I wish, all listed in a sidebar, with the ones with unsaved changes highlighted, and still multiple windows, other options, etc. (‘soft wrap text’ is key for prose writers wishing to work in TextWrangler plain text, and I just checked, you can indeed set soft wrap to be default } }


Poetry Formatting for Kindle

[ [ NOTE: Something I had not remembered to learn yet but turns out to be pretty simple and you ought to do for certain: Make Table of Contents in Word 2010 That’s Clickable in Kindle. For a bit more info see short new post:  Additional Notes: KDP Poetry Formats: ] ]


Space is, of course important for poets. Unlike a basic novel where you would have most everything indented on the first line of a paragraph, and left aligned on all other lines, poets want their spacing for the most part to appear just so. After finding the advice on this contradictory and obsolete (all 2009-2012), I picked one thing to try and after several tests got all the formatting I was using for my 2nd book right, including the changes between MS Word, HTML (an intermediate file produced by Word in this case which can be converted to Kindle instead of Word) and Kindle (to my satisfaction). Admittedly I only had two or three formatting issues to solve, not text all over the page going bidirectionally upside down and in circles like the experimental book House of Leaves (and in colors too)… [[[Note: 2nd edition is not up on Amazon yet, still debating cover changes and maybe even title changes… 1st Edition: Ziggomatic Keys (*& Synaptic Syntactic and Really Fantastic &*)]]]. But I got ’em nailed down, the ones I needed. version b {all night memetic freestyling riff} might be a bit more challenging, but on the other hand, it might not.


Probable Cover Image, though title may change. From archived work.

So anyways, recently I was trying to work out how to fix the formatting for a reissue of my 2nd ebook. There were lots of line breaks I didn’t want on the screen if it was looked at in vertical position. And the hanging indents I put in were not always spaced the same. Lines that I had wanted to wrap into hanging indent blocks didn’t, because the line breaks I put in for MS Word (normally taken directly from how the handwritten page was) would wrap, and wrap to the left margin and then break off after just a few words (because there was another full line break after).

I read several web pages about converting from MS Word to Kindle, but there are bugs with that, because even single lines in MS Word are often too long for the Kindle screen and so you have a lot of non-indented line that wrap a few words to the left edge.

One of the major problems of formatting poetry for Kindle is getting your line breaks and indents set right without tweaking a million lines of HTML code. HTML has no hanging indent setting… by default (I had not seen this at the time). There are other ways to do it though, but all the pages I had read on conversion used different methods, and all were too long and involved for me. After awhile I settled on one tiny bit to focus on, and did a few repeated tests.

The key to solving the problem
text-indent: -2em; margin-left: 2em
One must know how to use it.
{incidentally I discovered in this process that one presses shift-enter to do line breaks that are not paragraph breaks in Word, at least in Word 2011… this is key, and also works in WordPress editor (line breaks in the visual editor without a blank line every time you press enter)}

Without going into all the details, of my trial and error, what you do is this [although it may vary a bit based on the format needs of your book]:

  1. Take your word document and do “Save as Web Page”
  2. [give this a name like zk-v2-e1a-test1.htm so you can keep track of the ensuing mess of stuff and not clobber [overwrite] a file you will later need as edits proceed. zk for ziggomatic keys v2 for version 2 e1a for edit 1 a]
  3. In the dialog box leave “Save Entire File into HTML” checked like it is by default (at least in “Microsoft Word for Mac 2011 version 14.6.4”
  4. Open the resulting .htm file in a text editor (I use TextWrangler, or in Windows, Notepad++ (not as good), but you can use Notepad or TextEdit)
  5. Find the bracket group that follows “p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal” (it will begin with { on a new line, indented and be several lines before you reach the } ) Also your MsoNormal list might not be the same as mine depending on your manuscript. (This is special CSS code Word wrote for you
  6. Append to the end (but before the close bracket) the “text-indent: -2em; margin-left: 2em”
  7. Upload to a new draft book in, and preview it.
  8. Test and repeat. Condense blocks you had broken up into blocks that wrap in Word so they will wrap in Kindle. Do not set MS Word to do hanging indents. Mark all the lines you want to break but still have an indent with a plus (+). Go back into your original Word file, delete the line breaks (actually paragraph breaks) on the plussed lines and add a shift-enter line break to each. Delete the plusses. ***Don’t overwrite your original Word file, you’ll need it for reference*** All your lines will now be left aligned, you see, so the Word document will look all wrong to you… HTML treats tabs and spaces and multiple spaces as a single space if they occur in a row and line breaks also appear as just a single space, at least if its wrapped in a <p></p> tag, so don’t think you can go just add a bunch of spaces in your HTML file and get it right.
  9. Other problems that may crop up: To add one off extra spaces, use &nbsp; &ensp; &emsp; (in the middle, in the .htm file, not in word) in groups if you must add space in only one or two or three spots…
  10. Other possible problems could happen, such as junk that you may not understand if you don’t know as much HTML and CSS lore as me. ***(note also: this only applies to the Kindle converter on, not others, most likely)***
  11. That concludes the tutorial

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Change of Course: One Major Insight

It has come to my attention that continuing to post a lot of material to this blog will interfere with my career goals, in several ways. One, there is the time. Two, there is the inability to use previously published material in most(?) literary journals/magazines. On the other hand, it is nice to have my stuff out there and being read and liked. But I have other necessary career goals, too, like finding a paying job, starting, completing, and going live with a website for a friend (also paying), improving my web design skills and portfolio, getting an A+  certification and perhaps other certs, writing more carefully written and less repetitive poetry, and doing sites and development for and (and trying to sell

So. I will be posting much less poetry, though perhaps more other stuff. I may stop posting poetry altogether, as if it is good enough for me to put out there for 314 (pi!) people to see, perhaps I should consider submitting it to a literary journal, since, unlike contests, they don’t charge reading fees, and I can’t write an unlimited number of awesome poems to submit to so many journals. I have recently found the ways to do this, the traditional way to break into the literary world (which can happen even without a degree thankfully; but I AM going back to finish my degree in liberal studies, which is not what I started in, either time. But I graduate in one semester). As follows:
Ultimate guide to getting published in literary magazines
Top 50 Literary Magazines
These have really showed me what I need to do to begin to build a career and audience, instead of all the shortcuts and cut corners and internet jiggery pokery I’ve been trying. Also, you should submit not only to the top fifty but to smaller magazines that are more of a ‘fit’ for you (less competition, but potentially no money. but you get a credential and may connect to the audience more). It will be time consuming to find what is perhaps a good fit for me, and I have not begun yet. And some of these things still require snail mail (cuts down on the slush pile, I imagine).
All that said, my first book is still available on Amazon as a kindle file: The Driftwood of Our Lives Washed Up on Some Foreign Shore, and if it actually started selling, I might release another that way.
And I will pursue Patreon for a while My Still Rough Pitch Page and you don’t have to give the $7 per month that it is auto filled with. That level has a special reward, which is subject to change. All donors will get free electronic files of Unreal Demonoids and the Tale of We the Many or something like that I’m not sure if I changed the wording of the title, when polishing is finished, which I would be more inclined to do if I had at least one donor, but I suppose since I’m offering it as a reward, I should get on it so people can get it right away. One more reason I can’t blog much anymore.
And I may set other goals on Patreon, such as a goal for 250 print-on-demand copies of a manuscript, like the one I submitted to the Tupelo Press Sunken Garden chapbook contest. The monthly donations I have my Patreon account set up for (not a per ‘thing’ payment, as I think that might charge people every time I post there) can be canceled anytime, and with people who do charge per ‘thing’ you can set a limit on how much you spend on each of them each month.
Also there will be patron only posts, if things begin to go right.

And I hate to add to my competition, but I came across this thing on twitter today, a poetry contest with no reading fee, from Amazon:
Amazon Little a Poetry Contest

So. I have to apply to some jobs (what hopeless drudgery) and do some code for Mack today (what interesting drudgery!) and have a lot of work ahead of me preparing to begin submitting to magazines. And possibly clearing a bunch of stuff off this blog so I can submit it (no one will know it was out there before, muahahaha. I think).
There will be less poetry here but there will be some non-poetry. And I suppose I’ll keep you posted on my progress on this venture.

In closing, a poem from this morning (not a facebook poem, a paper poem) (which was preceded by some freewriting, which I have not done much at all in a long time):

One Major Insight
The check is in the mail
The dividends you will reap
All the plays of the poetry
And now metamorphosing into work
No more shortcuts
Look for smaller literary magazines, too
2 hrs looking for a job
2 hrs working for Mack
4 hrs looking into literary magazines
And selecting pieces to send
Or more
20 minutes clearing email
Take your pills
All the coffee you need
Remember to eat
And shop for food
Day 1 no cigarettes
And I am free
A little too early, still
To look for girls
But we’ll see what happens


The music of the mice was always going to put you a little off kilter
But each day the storm passed, and with each passing of the storm, the giant red spot went further off
The music of the mice was of the eerieness of the sunlight on the day before you meet your doom
And in the mines of Moria, the passing notes became the demonic monsters of hatred
And in the elven forest, the passing notes became the ethereal trill of awe
But playing on your harmonica and harmonizing, you take no notice of impending events
Each and every witch way, the horcrux was but of the appearance of a lonely lowly onion
And speaking as a witch, I say to you thus:
—– do not diminish but screw, do not marry but fuck, do not recover but imbibe, do not respond but get down; every witch way is the path to ecstatic peace, while every cross way is the path to unending sorrow; the fascitis of the jaw is as the neuralgia of the cerebellum; in all of it smoke got in your eyes, and the lightning up of the hippocampal cells betokened burgeoning health; but seeing the rabid masses coming for you, depart through your tunnel, and never must you return home
~ But speaking as of the which ones but not as if who but as if the other, but also that, and on occasion otherwise, the ever felicitous me of We of All the Small Ones averred thusly:
—– in it there were flocks of meandering populaces and each as of the other became the gems of one anothers’ hearts; the gobbledygook of the planes notwithstanding, the great elder outer old ones were napping this eon, and so we were left to be killed only by each other, not by the debilitating THEM, and in all the whalings of the African continent, our birds denoted failure, and in failure we rejoiced, having ever something more to do, and not as of which but of now, we must go
~ and in the chthonic twilight we averred and gamboled on into the swamp, and the drama not piling as we had no one left to us, we did not care, nor did we give a fuck, nor did we give a shit, nor did we give two rats (although we did give about half a rat), for failure was our fate, and the indifference of the others could not be contested, for thus our standing had long been lost
And confidence gaining we went on to entrance, and marketing on our merry way became different from what we had been, and oh, in so many ways

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Book Release v.2

Much improved second edition of The Driftwood of Our Lives Washed Up on Some Foreign Shore will be out for kindle/kindle app before midnight. Turns out I had left some major weaknesses in v.1 without noticing, but they have been excised and I think about 5-7 poems added. Get it, you won’t regret it! Still only $2.99 and free to kindle unlimited users with DRM switched off both ways. Tell everyone you know, help make me a smashing success! For updates on future publications watch here, or for updates that don’t roll off your feed, If you like my worj here, know that stuff I right here is often dashed off and unedited, while the book has been culled to doneness. Worth many rereading in my opinion. Be the first to rate and review!