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Old 07-11-2008, 07:26 AM   #1
SpiderMatt
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Posts: 447
Karma: 1574837
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Arizona
Device: iPod Touch, Amazon Kindle, Motorola Droid
Making Kindle Content for the N00b

Well, folks, I finally did it. I ordered myself one of those newfangled thingamajigs I been hearin' 'bout on the boob tube so much. It's a machine but it looks like paper and connects to those inter-webs that are so popular among the hipsters these days. What I'm really trying to say here is that I ordered myself a Kindle after my poor Sony Reader broke. Since I am stationed overseas, I had to send the Kindle to an address in the states to be forwarded to my FPO address. I'm expecting it to arrive at the state-side address on the 16th and it will be at least another week before I get it in my hands. So I have a little bit to learn the ropes before I ravenously rip open my new eink device. I want to learn some basic things before I get it so I can jump right in upon the Kindle's arrival. I searched the forums but I couldn't really find any threads that spelled it all out for me. I'm not a luddite or bad with electronics, mind you. I love computers. I am not a coder, though, and I don't understand all your 1337 speak. Any specific instructions/information to guide me through processes and programs is greatly appreciated.

The most important thing I need to know is how to make good looking books for the Kindle, preferably with operating TOCs. I used BookDesigner for my Sony Reader but, IIRC, the automatic TOC feature in that program cannot be read on the Kindle. How dissappointing. I then saw that most people seem to prefer the Mobipocket Creator program. So I downloaded that and looked at the menu to make a TOC and found that I have to know some HTML. I mean, I've dabbled in HTML as much as the next guy in his early 20s and made some web pages with the help of Dreamweaver and FrontPage but I don't really know what I would have to do to get this feature to work for me. I tried using the htm file from a book I made in BookDesigner hoping it had all the proper tags for Mobipocket Creator to just make up the TOC without any problems. I should be so lucky... So I really have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to creating books for the Kindle. I would love for someone to give me a step-by-step procedure for one of the most popular methods. I also would like to know about the formats that the Kindle reads. Does it read prc or mobi or does one or the other need the extention changed to azw? Yes, yes; laugh at my ignorance. I won't blame you so long as you help me out when you're done wiping the tears from your eyes.

My next order of business is RSS news! I am currently based overseas, so until I return to the states I don't get to take advantage of directly accessing information on my Kindle. I have fiddled around a bit with the Mobipocket Reader for PC and read on these forums about the RSS feature. Apparently there's a way to put the feeds on the Kindle? If this is the case, can it grab full articles? I would love to be able to load news on my Kindle without requiring the EVDO (it can also save me money for when I get back state-side). I tried playing around with the Feedbooks RSS feature, but I couldn't really get it to do what people said it did. It seems so straight forward, though. In some cases the problem was that the resulting file would only have the beginning excerpt from the feeds, and I know that in some cases this can't be helped. I couldn't figure out how to make one file out of multiple feeds, though. Maybe I just have to look more closely.

The last thing I would like to know is if you guys have any suggestions for a guy living overseas. What will make my use of the Kindle the most smooth and pleasant experience possible without the EVDO network? Personally, I can't wait for my next visit home so I can go around surfing Wikipedia on my Kindle and try all those other nifty features (like GPS and NowNow). In the meantime, what to do...

I know people on forums often hate repeating themselves, so if I've missed anything feel free to point me in the right direction. I really appreciate any information to help me out, though, especially dumbed down walk-throughs. I hate dealing with jargon I don't understand in tutorials. So thanks in advanced to any and all who offer information/advice.
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