Monday, July 30, 2012

Building Your Kindle E-Book

Hi, Mr. KK here again. This will be my last post on the Kathleen Kirkwood blog site (for now). In the near future, I will copy all of the technical blogs over to a new blog site, that of ByDand Publishing. Any future posts of a technical nature will be published there. We will also create a place on Anita’s website that will archive these blogs for easy reference. Her website URL is: Next week, Anita will return with her “Author Confidential” peek behind the scenes of creating SHADES OF THE PAST and A SLIP IN TIME.

This post is about creating your Kindle e-book. I’m embedding Kindle Direct Publishing’s (KDP) Simplified Formatting Guide, which goes through the process you need to follow to create and publish your Kindle e-book. I would have preferred to embed a link to the document, located on their website, since it was created by KDP. But, because it’s a little tricky to find it, download it and get it into a print-compatible version, I’m embedding it instead.

Please note that, in the “Uploading” section, we use the MobiPocket Creator to create a PRC file locally and then upload it to KDP, instead of uploading a Microsoft Word document. We like the fact that we have total control over the formatting and conversion to Kindle format right on our own computers rather than relying on KDP’s conversion programs. Here is KDP’S Simplified Formatting Guide:


Simplified Formatting Guide

**Check out our new Featured Tutorial:
Building Your Book for Kindle.**

This is a guide for building Kindle Format 8 Books using Microsoft Word. Kindle Format 8 books can also be designed in HTML. For tips and tricks for designing your book in HTML please
click here.
·         Building Your Book
·         Creating Front Matter
·         Formatting Text
·         Paragraphs
·         Guide Items
·         Creating Back Matter
·         Saving as Filtered HTML
Building Your book
Word is a great tool to use because it's extremely easy to format. We suggest writing your book in Word or converting an existing source file into Word (.doc or .docx) format before continuing. Remember these important tips below to ensure an excellent eBook presentation.

File Format: Save your content in DOC (.doc or .docx) format, and save your work periodically as you make changes to ensure all changes are recorded.

Tables: A new feature in KF8 are tables. If your book requires tables you can insert tables in word by selecting "Insert Table."

Layout: Use indentations, bold characters, italics and headings, as they will translate into your Kindle book. However, bullet points, special fonts, headers, and footers will not be transferred, so be sure to avoid those.

Page Breaks: Enter a page break at the end of every chapter to prevent the text from running together. To insert a page break in MS Word, click "Insert" at the top menu bar and select "Page Break."

Image Placement: Images should be inserted in JPEG (or .jpeg) format with center alignment (don't copy and paste from another source). Select "Insert" > "Picture" > then locate and select the file. If your book has a lot of images, it can be viewed in color by readers using our free Kindle apps for PC, MAC, iPad, iPhone, and Android. Otherwise, remember that images on Kindle are displayed in 16 shades of gray for great contrast and clarity.

Spellcheck and Grammar: This tool is always your friend to ensure a professional presentation free of typos. Use this tool, but also manually proofread your file to ensure no errors are missed by the automated checker.
Creating Front Matter
Front matter is the beginning pages of a book, which may include a Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication, Preface, and Prologue. For a stylish and professional presentation, you should add a Title Page at a minimum.

Title Page: The title page should be centered with the title on top and Author Name underneath, like in the example below. Insert a page break.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
By Mark Twain
-Insert Page Break Here-

To insert a page break in Word, click "Insert" at the top menu bar and select "Page Break."

Copyright Page: This page normally follows the Title Page. Insert a page break after the Copyright details.

Dedication: If you have a customized Dedication, it should follow the Copyright page. Be sure to Insert a page break.

Preface: If you have a Preface, it should follow the Dedication. Be sure to Insert a page break.

Prologue: If your book includes a Prologue, it should follow the Preface. Be sure to Insert a page break.
Formatting Text
Once your front matter is complete, you're ready to format the remainder of your text. The indentations, text spacing, and separate paragraphs should have been included when you built your book in Word.

The remaining step is to insert a page break after the last sentence of each chapter in the book to prevent chapters from running together. Depending on the number of chapters you have, this may be a time-consuming process but the effort is worth the improved reading experience.
Paragraph text displays with justified alignment by default. The first line of each paragraph is automatically indented.

To manually indent paragraphs in your content, don’t use tab-spacing. This will not convert for the Kindle. Instead, use the Word-default Paragraph Formatting to indent paragraphs. There are two ways in which you can indent paragraphs:

1. Click on “Page Layout”, and specify the amount of indentation in the “Indent” option.
2. Use the ruler at the top of the page to change the indentation. If you don’t see a ruler in your Word document, click on “View” and check the Ruler option.

You can also follow the guide here:

Creating an Active Table of Contents
For digital books, page numbers don’t really apply. This is due to the fact that Kindle content is resizable, and the number of pages within the book changes as the text scales. It is highly recommended that your book has an active Table of Contents for easy navigation.

On a PC, you can use Microsoft Word’s in-built Table of Contents creator to create an active TOC for your book. More information can be found here:

On a Mac, you'll need to create a Table of Contents manually using the Hyperlink and Bookmark functions.

Guide Items
Kindle has the option to "Go To” the cover image, beginning and the Table of Contents of your book, anywhere from the content. These are defined by what is known as "Guide Items." If you upload a cover image, the first Guide Item will be set automatically. To define the other Guide Items, follow the below steps:

For the Beginning:
Place the cursor where you want the book to start, click on “Insert > Bookmark.” In the "Bookmark name:" field, type “Start” (without the quotes) and click "Add."

For the Table of Contents:
Place the cursor at the beginning of the first entry in the Table of Contents. Click on “Insert > Bookmark.” In the "Bookmark name:" field, type “TOC” (without the quotes) and click "Add."
Creating Back Matter
Back matter consists of the last pages in your book which provides additional information the reader should know about, such as Bibliographies, Appendices, Notes or Glossaries.

There isn't a specific order which back matter should be presented in, so use your judgment and be sure to insert page breaks after each section. Indexes are not recommended at this time.
Saving as Filtered HTML
Once you have inserted your page breaks and are confident with the layout of your book, save your Word file to your Documents folder or Desktop in Web Page, Filtered (*HTM & *HTML) (for PC) or Web Page (.htm) (for Mac) format. This format is required to build a successful eBook.

When saving the Word file as HTML, all the images (if any) in the Word file will be extracted, and will be stored in a separate folder. This folder will be saved in the same location where the HTML file is saved.
Uploading Your eBook For Sale on Amazon
Once you're satisfied with the quality and presentation of your book, upload the Word file to KDP. Within KDP you can add your cover by uploading a product image, which will be added automatically to your book file during publishing.

Once you complete the remaining metadata in KDP and click Save and Publish your book will appear for sale on the Kindle Store approximately 12 hours after clicking "Save and Publish." Within 48 to 72 hours, all other book features should be available on the detail page, such as the product description and links to related physical editions.


Happy writing and publishing!

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