From my diary

It looks as if I will not be able to bring Origen of Alexandria: Exegetical Works on Ezekiel back into print.  This is unfortunate.

My first idea was to use Amazon KDP.  After all, I already own an ISBN, the book in PDF and cover art, all used perfectly by Lightning Source.  But KDP just won’t accept them.

KDP won’t recognise an ISBN issued by Nielsen, which is strange as that company owns Bowker, which Amazon use.  This I got round by allowing Amazon to issue me a new ISBN, and editing the PDF to insert it.

KDP won’t recognise the LSI cover template, which meant that I had to recreate the cover in their wretchedly poor online tool.  This sort of worked, although the quality was not as good.  The software is buggy, so the whole business took a lot of time.

KDP won’t accept the formatted PDF either.  It complains that the size is wrong, and that the gutter is inadequate.  It offers to “resize” to fix this.  But this merely distorts every page.  The truth seems to be that KDP wants you to enter your stuff in a Word .docx template, and leave the rest to them.

Next I moved on to  The first thing I saw was that they wanted $25 for manufacturing, where Amazon KDP wanted $9.  This would take all the profit.  They also couldn’t cope with a book which was 742 pages long either.  I uploaded the PDF, and they started complaining that the footnote point size was too small, etc.

The truth seems to be that both sites are set up to work in one specific way.  You either follow their set approach, or you experience a world of pain.  So I shall leave it alone.

I’ve continued to work on adding syntactical information to QuickLatin, my software parser.  It’s going quite well.  But it’s hard work!  The internet is really valuable in searching for multiple explanations of a construction.  Sometimes the alternative pages are clearer.


5 thoughts on “From my diary

  1. This is frustrating. I know that Amazon is constantly evolving its software and conversion stuff, but there are people out there who do really beautiful ebooks with it. Maybe there is somebody who knows better how to do this kind of specialized work?

    I suspect that the thing to do would be to convert the PDF back into Word or similar, and then use one of their Amazon book templates to convert it back into an ebook. But what a pain in the butt.

  2. I have used your website on Tertullian with deep indebtedness and I wonder if you might be interested in my making some enquiries to publishers on your behalf re this Ezekiel text by Origen?
    Michael Haykin, FRHistS
    Chair and Professor of Church History
    Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

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