Climbing up that learning curve

OK, you know how when I was trying to figure out how to put a table of contents in an e-book, and it turned out that it was easy to do--as long as you downloaded the right software and got comfortable editing HTML?

Well, tonight I decided to tackle including the front cover art. And, gee, yes it is easy, assuming you download Mobipocket Creator and get comfortable creating a MOBI file. Of course, that only takes care of the Kindle. Smashwords claims that if you just add an image to that Word file they insist on, you'll be set--I guess we'll see once they finish processing it, but if that's true, they get ease-of-use points for both the embedded cover art and the table of contents. [ETA: It's true! Point to Smashwords!] Nobody seems to know how to do it for the Nook.

Seriously, if anyone is ever wondering why not all e-books have all the bells and whistles, it's because IT'S A PAIN IN THE ASS. Actually uploading your book file is relatively easy (deceptively easy in Amazon's case, because it turns out that the Word-to-Kindle conversion is far from perfect), but the rest of it? Let's just say that, while I am comfortable using software, I never had any ambitions to actually go mucking around in its guts. And yet, here I am. I guess this is growth.

P.S. Oh, and allow me to roll my eyes, because the cover won't show up in Amazon's preview tool. Again, it works with Mobipocket, so I can only hope it works with a Kindle.