Formatting an e-book looks like it should be easy. I mean, Amazon makes it sound pretty simple, and if you have an all-text novel like mine it should be a snap, right? Not so much.
As in everything, the devil is in the details. There are lots of different tools available and every one has its own quirks and exceptions. I was originally just going to upload my Word document and let the online Kindle creator do its thing, except that only works on Kindle and really has very little control.
Lots of writers suggest you really need to control your own content conversion so if you need to make changes or modify something it is in your hands. After lots of searching, it seemed like Jutoh was the way to go. Now I’m not so sure. It seems that while Jutoh does create every format out there, that it is really very idiosyncratic and kind of assumes you will actually use it as a main writing tool, rather than just a publishing tool. Suffice it to say I have struggled with it and finally got it to turn out clean copy, only to find that the Kindle files it produced were occasionally flawed in unpredictable ways.
I’ve had lots of additional trials, but suffice it to say that no matter how you slice it, self-publishing is not for wimps. At every turn, there is some new gotcha. I’m just glad I gave myself enough lead time before the official release date to try and get this all done.