Yeah, I got it converted into a MOBI 🙂 If only because the Internet told me it wasn’t possible. God, I’m sick to death of arrogant people making these huge pronouncements. “Humba dumba, if you want to convert your screenplay to Kindle, it can’t be done, humba dumba.” “Humba dumba, your first screenplay will suck. And your second, and your third, humba dumba.” “Humba dumba, all first drafts are vomit humba dumba.”
Well, first of all, you CAN make a MOBI of a screenplay. There are certain caveats, of course. First off, Amazon doesn’t support the right indent (thanks to Bey Deckard, who told me the right indent thing just wouldn’t happen in Kindle and saved me a lot of wasted time), so you can’t get that centered column of dialogue, but otherwise, yeah. It can. Here’s what I did.
- I use WriterDuet for screenwriting. Exporting to RTF and putting it in Calibre gets you everything left-aligned, exporting to PDF and using Calibre to make a MOBI jacks up the line breaks in dialogue.
- So, it let me export the script to HTML.
- First wrong turn – I used Calibre to create a MOBI from the HTML straight up. It worked, but, it had a bunch of junk at the top that said “6pt8pt10pt” etc. And the page breaks were included from the 8.5×11 format of the script in WD.
- So, I got an HTML editor and opened the file. The first thing I did was remove the page break info. That was a grind, because I had to do it manually 98 times.
- Then, to get rid of the “6pt8pt10pt” stuff that was showing up at the top, I went through and deleted the label text in this block.
- Then, I modded the title info so I’d have copyright info on the Kindle book (seen in the HTML editor’s split screen/preview mode here):
- Sooo, the output isn’t perfect, because the dialogue isn’t right indented, but it still looks like a screenplay:
But the important thing is, it scales in Kindle based on text size, and retains the critical elements (left indents, anyway, for character, parentheticals, and dialogue). Here it is in Kindle with the Bookerly font:
SWEET, RIGHT? “Humba dumba, it can’t be done…”
Is it perfect? No. But it WORKS! So the next time someone gives you a bunch of humba dumba, well… try it anyway 🙂