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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Software Compatibility For The Rest of US

I’m a novice author. I am self published because at my age I don’t want to grow old and die waiting on a publisher to “discover” me. If my books sell then I did something write (I know, cute!). Since my first book is selling I am going to rashly suggest I am an author. One of the things I have discovered is that the on-demand printers who cater to the self publishing world still have the mind set of corporate publishing. LightningSource who I suspect I will use at some point seems to be a reasonably priced, full service print house. Now I am getting to the part about software compatibility. LightningSource will only accept my books if they are formatted under specific software. Oddly enough I have older versions of the software but they only support more recent versions. I am supposed to fork out $500.00 for the latest version of Adobe or Quark so I can submit my manuscript to LightningSource. Now I am not beating up on LightningSource, as I said, I plan on using them sometime because after a lot of research they seem like one of the better alternatives, at least for the self publisher. What is annoying is that they want the self publisher market but they want the self publisher to be using full publishing house software. Backward compatibility in software isn’t all that difficult but then I do look at the issue from my 25 years in the computer business.

I guess this ties in with my post on the adoption of Windows 7 and why in the world would I want to do that. A new version of the software should be able to read the old version’s files. Why would you make your software incompatible with it’s previous version. In this case, I suspect that it is a corporate policy thing by some MBA who has never written a book, booted up his own computer or bootstrapped his own finances to follow his dream. I am sure it cost less in people time to only use specific versions of software. God forbid, someone should have to know something beyond the tip of their nose. So to you corporate entities that want the small business or the self publisher or anyone who doesn’t have a bucket of money to throw at new software, LISTEN UP, you’ll get more business if you pay attention to all us ornery little guys.

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