Fun with eBook Formatting: Em to Px

I recently released my latest title, Little Demons, and thought I’d try something a little different when it came to formatting. After all, one of the major perks of being an indie author is not being locked into any one particular way of doing something.

Because appearance is important to me, I decided to format the HTML way, because I’ve heard it’s the best method of controlling how the eBook looks across multiple formats. Of course, when I started looking into how to do that, all roads seemed to lead to Guido Henkel and his Take Pride in Your eBook Formatting guide. Sure, there are other resources out there, but Guido’s guide doesn’t require a lot of technical know-how to make things work. I know some HTML but I’m a long way from being a computer whiz-kid. Also, Guido is a successful indie author so there’s no question that he knows what he’s talking about.

However, I did encounter one problem along the way and I wanted to give you a heads-up, just in case you decide to go the HTML route. It might seem a little confusing if you haven’t used this method before but it’s only because I’m talking about one specific area. The guide is very comprehensive and you shouldn’t have any problems with using it.

When it comes to setting the measurements for white space around content and the font size of certain sections, Guido used a measurement known as ’em’, such as 1.5em. Web browsers don’t have a problem with it and Kindle’s MOBI format doesn’t appear to mind it, but the Nook doesn’t like it. Consequently, Little Demons currently looks like smashed-together poo on the Nook Previewer. It’s my fault because I didn’t actually pay attention to it during the upload to PubIt. The corrected file was uploaded last night so Barnes & Noble should have a pretty copy of Little Demons as soon as it finishes processing.

Fortunately, it’s an easy fix. Since Nook doesn’t like ’em’ for measurements, you just need to turn them into px (pixel). You don’t have to worry about the look changing because this converter makes it super-easy to find the new numbers that you need when using px. Since all the ’em’ measurements show up in CSS, it’s easy to make the conversion.

Aside from that one little oddity, the HTML formatting seems to work like a charm. As an added bonus, the Kindle Previewer doesn’t seem to mind the px, so I’ll just use that from the very beginning in the future.


The Little Demons have arrived

No! I’m not talking about the cats, although they can be little demons every now and then.


I’m talking about the release of my new eBook.

Little Demons by Marty Shaw

Little Demons is a novelette of approximately 11,600 words. Yep, it’s a little bit bigger than the 8,800 word Dead Man Walking. If I keep this up, I might actually crank out a whole novel one of these days 😉

In addition to a higher word count, the new book is also different in another major way. This one contains sexual situations; as in ‘occasionally dipping its toe into paranormal erotica’ type of sexual situations. It’s not a bad thing; I just wanted to warn you so you don’t plunk down .99 cents and then get a nasty shock when you stumble across certain words and scenarios.

Aside from sex, the plot revolves around a not-so-nice guy named Frank. He’s been a bad boy and ends up in a little town called Hale after eluding the police. He learns that a local farmer has won the lottery and has plans to relieve the old man from the burden of all that cash… just because that’s the type of swell guy he is.

Unfortunately for Frank, there’s more to Hale than meets the eye and Farmer Crowley definitely isn’t your ordinary country boy. Of course, there’s also Farmer Crowley’s daughter, Lilly. To say she’s a handful would be the world’s biggest understatement. She’s everything you want and everything you’re scared to have, all rolled up in one feisty, fiery, lusty woman.

Want to hang out with Little Demons? It’s available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Read the first three chapters.

Celebrate Presidents Day with Zombies. Dead Man Walking is free today [Updated]

Zombie Presidents by Greg Lambrakis

Celebrating the holiday with an extra day off tacked onto your weekend?

Spend your Monday with zombies in prison and get Dead Man Walking for free today.

The holiday deal ends at midnight tonight so what are you waiting for? Hop over to Amazon and find out how the zombie apocalypse starts.


Well, just call me stupid. I accidentally set the free promotion for tomorrow instead of today, and it’s too late to make corrections because Amazon only allows promotions to start at midnight.

Soooo…. hope you stop by on Tuesday to get your free download of Dead Man Walking. Sorry about the mix-up 😦

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Fresh from the Grave #1


Fresh from the Grave

Looking for something new to read?

Dead Hunger 2: The Gem Cardoza ChronicleDead Hunger II: The Gem Cardoza Chronicle

As Flex, his niece Trina, Gem, Hemp and Charlie brave the wild world teeming with the walking dead, they make up the rules as they go along. Flex Sheridan was an electrician before the world took a nasty turn; Gem, an artist. Hemp is a scientist who specializes in epidemics and also carries in his bag of tricks a mechanical engineering degree. Charlie is a metal and punk rocker in her mid-twenties who has learned how to take out two zombies at once with her crossbow. Each one of them has their own story.

This one is Gem’s chronicle.

They know they need to stay safe. But they also know that to hole up and hide away is to allow the creatures who crave human flesh to walk the world forever. Join with them as they struggle to balance their natural tendencies toward self-preservation with their strong desire to rid the world of the zombie scourge. Our band of machine gun-toting nomads moves from place to place in fortified vehicles, keeping their eyes peeled for survivors, and zombie battles ensue at nearly every turn. But this is not a world where love dies. This is a moment in history when human connections and things of beauty are more important than ever; things to be embraced and held tightly to.

So hop in the Crown Victoria with the ballistic steel body and the swiveling AK-47 on the top, and hang on to your seat as Gem powers the car through hoards of zombies and gets her precious Trina and Flex where they need to be. Learn what Hemp and Charlie discover in the lab – a huge clue to what caused the epidemic that has 90% of the world hunting the rest. But after you meet this group, youll begin to wonder: Who are the hunters, and who are the hunted?

Come on! It has a Crown Vic with a machine gun mounted on it. What more could you possibly want?

The Vegan Revolution with ZombiesThe Vegan Revolution… with Zombies

Presenting Stress Free Food!

Animal suffering is a thing of the past. Hipsters can now enjoy bacon without guilt. Thanks to a new miracle drug the cute little pig no longer feels a thing as she is led to the slaughter.

The only problem? Once the drug enters the food supply anyone who eats it is infected. From fast food burgers to free-range organic eggs, eating animal products turns people into shambling brain-dead zombies – not even vegetarians are safe!

In Portland, Oregon, vegans, freegans, abolitionists, hardliners and raw fooders have holed up in Food Fight, one of the country’s premier vegan grocery stores at the vegan mini-mall. There they must prepare for their final battle to take back the city from the hordes of roaming undead. Will vegans filet the flesh-eaters or will they become zombie chow?

When there’s no more meat in hell, the vegans will walk the earth.

Science runs amok and only vegans are left in non-zombie form? I’ll be honest and admit that I’d be among the first of the walking dead because I have to have my steak and chicken.

Zombie Fairy Tales Hansel and Gretel are DeadHansel and Gretel Are Dead (Zombie Fairy Tales #2)

After being infected by the zombie pestilence, Hansel and Gretel are left to die in the woods. Sick and hungry, they find their way to the home of a lonely old woman who happens to be a cannibal. But when Hansel and Gretel refuse to stay dead, the old hag finds she may have bitten off more than she can chew.

About Zombie Fairy Tales:

Hansel and Gretel Are Dead is the second in a monthly series of short stories set in a dark fairy tale universe plagued by zombies. Surreal and full of black humor, installments feature familiar childhood characters as they encounter a world of stark violence and horror – Cinderella is worked to death before the ball, Pinocchio is made from children’s corpses, and Little Red Riding Hood finds more than wolves in the forest.

New titles will appear on the 13th of each month throughout 2012. The series features overlapping elements, characters, and places for a more immersive experience for the dedicated fan, but can also be read as stand-alone entries in any order. Get infected now.

I love mash-ups and twisted fairy tales so I’m going to have to add the whole series to my TBR pile.

Lose your face with Intruders movie trailer

Intruders movie posterThe list of Hollywood horror icons include such names as Freddy, Jason, and Pinhead. Will Hollow Face be added to that roster?

Intruder, starring Clive Owen, introduces a new character that goes around stealing the faces of children, but is he real or just the figment of a young girl’s imagination? Reality and fantasy become blurred in the new horror-thriller by director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo.

This looks like it will be a real nail-biter because there always seems to be an extra edge to the terror when children are the targets… and I love that wicked poster.

Intruders hits theaters on March 30.

I’m still alive

hand sticking out of grave

Hey gang. Sorry if it appears that I dropped off the face of the planet for a little while. In addition to making some revisions on my upcoming urban fantasy, Little Demons, I’ve also been busy with the day job because those bills just keep on coming.

You don’t have to miss me too much though because you can always hop over and check out my guest posts on other blogs. I recently chatted about how zombies have changed over the years at Mandy’s Morgue of Horror, and let’s not forget about my very first guest post with the talented Jesse Petersen, author of the Living with the Dead series.

In the toot-my-own-horn news, Dead Man Walking is holding its own, with 8 4-star reviews over at Amazon. WooHoo! You can check out the Review page to see what people are saying about it and then, if the mood strikes you, you can hop over and buy it for only 99 cents.

As the schedule slowly gets whipped into submission, I’ll be back to posting on a more regular basis. In the meantime, thanks for being patient with me.

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I visited Mandy’s Morgue of Horror and lived to talk about it

Mandy's Morgue of Horror

Think you know about zombies? They weren’t always the flesh-eating creatures you might be familiar with today. Stop by Mandy’s Morgue of Horror for my guest post, Zombies: From Undead Muscle to Brain-Eating Stars.

Looking forward to seeing you over there.

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