inklewriter

Write your very own interactive stories.

Books and eBooks

So you've written your story - what now? There are two ways you can get your story off the internet and into your hand.

Exporting as a document

The simplest way method is to export a "document". For a small fee of £5/$10 we'll turn your inklewriter story into a HTML file formatted with simple styles, which you can then open in Word or any other word-processing software and customise freely.

Here’s an example: The Intercept, a short story about WWII code-breakers.

Note that the conversion process produces a story with no markers or conditionals; all the possible branches of your story are "expanded" to create a simple experience for the reader.

This means long stories, stories with lots of conditionals, or stories with complex loops can result in extraordinarily large files with tens of thousands of paragraphs. So if you wish to use this option - keep things simple!

Kindle conversion service

For a small fee of £5 (or $10) we’ll convert your inklewriter story into an ebook file that can be read on your Kindle, or sold through Amazon. The ebook reads like a normal Kindle ebook, except that choices are included using hyperlinks. All your story logic – counters, markers, if conditions, joins – will be preserved.

The ebook includes a page of instructions for your reader on how to use it; as well as a blank page where you can insert your own opening quote, dedication, or introduction to your story, if you want to.

Try an example story

Here’s The Intercept again, this time as a Kindle file.

How does it work?

It couldn't be simpler. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Write a story using inklewriter. Make it as good as you can. Get your friends to proofread it for you.
  2. Create a cover. This should fit with Amazon's guidelines which means a JPEG file that's 1000 pixels tall by 625 pixels wide, or larger but in the same ratio. They also recommend using colour, but making sure it still looks good in grayscale. Please make sure you own the copyright to images you use, or they're freely available. (Wikimedia Commons is a great source of rights-free images.)
  3. When you're happy, open up an email to [email protected]. Send us:
    • the share link of your story
    • the genre
    • the cover
    • An opening quote, dedication, or introduction page, if you want one. (And if you want to include formatting, please use simple HTML only!)
    • the language you're writing in
    • the country you're based in (for tax reasons)
    And please send your email from the email account you signed up with!
  4. We'll check that everything's okay. If it is, we'll ask for payment via PayPal and send you your Kindle file.
  5. Once received, you can upload to Amazon's self-publishing scheme and sell it; or copy the file onto your Kindle over USB... whatever you want.

Limitations

The conversion process can handle most of the features of inklewriter but not all, so not all stories will convert properly. The following limitations apply.

  1. Randomised text: a Kindle ebook is static, like a book, so can't be randomised. If you include randomised text in your story, it'll pick a version [at random] on conversion. So it'll be random - but the same every time you play.

  2. Endless Loops: for conversion to work, your story must be always finishable. That means, if someone were to play by clicking options at random, they've always got to reach an end. If instead it's possible for them to go round and around a loop endlessly, the story won't be able to compile. (Two exceptions - stories that use no markers at all can use loops safely, and stories that aren't long or complex sometimes scrape by.)

    If your story has loops and you want to convert, you'll need to add extra markers that track what the player has done, and turns off options that have already been used.

  3. Lots of Logic: there's only so many markers your story can use before it gets too big. Imagine a game with ten chapters you can play once each but in any order - that means three million versions of the entire book will need to be created to cover all the possibilities!

In short, a Kindle-ready story has a beginning, several middles and some ends, but always gets where it's going.

The small print

  • It's your story, and your Kindle file. Give it away, publish it, share it, charge for it - whatever you like. All we ask is that the legal line "created using inklewriter" remains.
  • You can include images in your Kindle file.
  • Make sure you own the copyright to everything you submit to us, including for images! Any infringement of copyright will be your responsibility, and not ours.
  • We don't convert to ePub or any other formats, but we can supply you with the raw HTML file used to create the Kindle file, which you can then make into an ePub yourself.