Trying get my book to people has been an education of its own. I started with a self-publishing service from Lulu while I was publishing the first chapters here on my website and now my book is available for purchase on Amazon, where everyone already expects it to be. (Well, that's not entirely true. Everyone who asks me for a copy wants to know if they can buy it at Powell's Books here in Portland, but I don't know how to approach them.) My initial goal was only for the people who might benefit from my book to be able to read it, and (as of today,) there's over five thousand of you who have. Thank you for your interest and support.
I decided to publish The Total Manageability of Everything on Kindle as well, but I hit a roadblock. As you know, I work exclusively on an iPad, writing in a robust but minimalist writing app called Ulysses. It allowed me to take my novel from concept to execution, even generating the final print-ready PDF that I submitted to Amazon CreateSpace. Exporting .MOBI, however, is not a feature. After a lot of tinkering, I'm pleased to announce that I have found a way to get my book from Ulysses to the Kindle store.
First, let me clarify. I don't know of any software for iPad that outputs .MOBI files. I don't think that's a thing, and I would love to learn otherwise. Ulysses, to its credit, creates .PDF, .EPUB, .DOCX, .TXT, and .HTML files with ease, and these formats are what Kindle Direct Publishing converts into .MOBIs. The challenge that kept me wrestling with HTML code and .ULSTYLE sheets was footnotes.
My book has footnotes that either cite the creators of intellectual property that it includes or add further context to something taking place in the story. Ulysses renders them beautifully in .PDF and .EPUB formats and I thought I was In Like Flint for my conversion to Kindle-friendly .MOBIs.
Unfortunately, the conversion engine moved the contents of my footnotes to the ends of the chapters where those footnotes appeared, without any clear delineation that they were separate from the preceding prose. In some cases, as when citing Eminem for his lines from Drug Ballad, the distinction was obvious. In others, where I pontificate on the college parties that punctuated campus life, the footnotes became very confusing non-sequitors.
I reached out to the support team at Ulysses, and they directed me to edit the .ULSTYLE sheets to display the footnotes as endnotes for .PDF export.
There's no in-app way to edit .ULSTYLE files, not on the iPad, so I discovered that I could download a .ULSTYLE from the Ulysses Style Exchange and rename the extension in GoodReader to .ZIP. GoodReader (and iCloud Drive,) can unzip compressed files, so I was able to go in and grab the key .TXT document that contained the style's code. Drafts is my go-to basic text editor, especially when I need to create documents with custom extensions, so I created a Drafts action to package my new code into a .ULSTYLE that I could import back into Ulysses.
Once I had the style I needed, formatted with footnotes as endnotes, I exported my novel as a .DOCX and the hyperlinking transferred beautifully to my Kindle.