If you don’t mind getting dizzy . . .


SOPHIE REDESIGNED now is on Amazon’s Kindle.  You can even see a FREE SAMPLE.  There were problems at first:  not only had the italicized sections been lost, but all the text was centered, so it read more like a long, narrative poem.  It was even hard to tell where the punctuation belonged.  I paid my publisher to put it on the platform, and when I told them what I had seen they immediately got to the task of setting things straight.

Outskirts Press has been very sensitive to my concerns about making my mystery novels easy for people like me (with trifocals) to read.   They even went so far as to research how our age group is responding to Kindle.  Apparently, we are catching on; the demographics are good.

I discovered an e-reader’s merits by using myself as a subject of research.  I bought a Kindle about three months ago and discovered it is a boon to 71-year-old, arthritic hands.  I had long ago given up trying to read hardcover books in bed.  For two whole months  I read only books on Kindle, but recently have bought paperbacks at our wonderful Clues Unlimited bookstore in Tucson and at the Tucson  Festival of Books.

I probably was the first person to buy SOPHIE REDESIGNED on Kindle, first trying the sample.  The sample was just big enough for Outskirts’ disclaimers, my “Acknowledgments & Appreciations,” and the first few pages of the story.  It doesn’t include the corpse, which is too bad, because I really worked hard to get him in on the first day.  (Sophie and Sam novels are organized by dates instead of chapters.)

Anyone considering self-publishing should think about economy of design.  Do you know, for example, that it is a tradition to always start a new section on the right-hand page?  That sometimes leaves a blank page.  A place for readers to make notes?  On the Kindle, someone might think the story had ended.   You have to keep an eye on the line at the bottom, which tells you what percentage of the book you are through, how many lines there are and the total number of pages.

My first self-publishing experience has taught me that I tend to write long.  I like epilogues.  I like tying up the loose ends — all of them.  This made a 312-page paperback.  Is it too much?  My arthritic hands can just manage it.  But I wonder about my readers’ tolerance for the final bits of cultural  history and the fresh  gossip that finally closes the case in  SOPHIE REDESIGNED.

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