eFormatting For Kindle and Uploading to Their Site

May 19, 2013

How To eFormat Your Novel For Amazon’s Kindle and Upload it to their site.

I’ve put together a How-To on eformatting your novel for kindle, which some of you might find helpful. I needed something myself that didn’t spread the basic instructions through an entire book, interspersed with personal anecdotes, etc. This list is what I’ve managed to cobble together from various sources. No personal anecdotes included, just straightforward ‘Do this’, then ‘Do  that’.  I’ve written it as clearly as I can so that even my fellow techno-thickies can follow it,  though I won’t claim that it’s geek-perfect!

FORMATTING AN EBOOK FOR AMAZON’S KINDLE

MY INSTRUCTIONS ARE FOR CONVERTING FOR MICROSOFT WORD (I UNDERSTAND IT’S PRETTY SIMILAR FOR OTHER WORD PROCESSING SOFTWARE, THOUGH IF YOU USE A MAC, YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN! (See end where I recommend a few books for formatting, marketing and more advanced presentation techniques, some of which, I seem to recall, add in additional instructions for formatting with Mac)

  1. The first thing to do is to clear out all the Word formatting and coding, headers, footers and page numbers (ebooks do not use page numbers). To do this:

SELECT ALL (CNTL + A), COPY (CNTL + C)

Then go to START / NOTEPAD (Or any other text editing software).

PASTE

This gives you a document with all formatting and Word coding etc removed. (This can muck up your kindle book if allowed to remain.).

SELECT ALL (CNTL +A). COPY (CNTL + C)

OPEN a new WORD document. PASTE. SAVE / YOUR DOC TITLE MK 1

Before we start, A WARNING!

DO NOT USE TABS.

DO NOT CLICK ON CARRIAGE RETURN MORE THAN ONCE OR TWICE TOGETHER AS THIS WILL DO STRANGE THINGS TO YOUR KINDLE BOOK.

DO NOT USE SPECIAL SYMBOLS, LIKE ©. TYPE OUT THE WORD. IN FACT. IT’S BETTER TO AVOID SYMBOLS AND SPECIAL CHARACTERS ALTOGETHER, THOUGH IT SEEMS OKAY TO USE ACCENTS LIKE Ć AND Ĉ AND SO ON.

ALSO TURN OFF AUTO CORRECT.

SELECT ALL – CNTL + A (see No 2) . Go up to the top where  the STYLES BOXES are. CLICK ON THE DOUBLE ARROW TO SEE ALL THE STYLES. (Select HOME if you’re not already in that).

Now you’re going to make a Word Template of the styles you actually use, first removing all the styles you don’t need. To do this, simply right-click on a style to be removed and select REMOVE FROM STYLE GALLERY. I find removing all the numbered Styles (Style 1, etc) is a very good start.

I find I need Styles called:

NORMAL, EMPHASIS, CENTRED BOLD, STRONG, BOOK TITLE, SUBTITLE, 0.01, HEADING ONE (for chapter numbers), and possibly HEADING 2, if you need a secondary header.

If you require a style that isn’t featured, simply click on the double arrow to the right of the Styles Box and select CREATE A NEW STYLE.

The styles  find I actually use are Normal (this gives you your indented para). a self-created Style called 0.01, which is used for the first para of a new chapter or scene. I find this more reliable for first paras than the selection NONE. To create this, click on create new style, call it o.o1, select MODIFY. Then select FORMAT at the bottom of the box, select PARAGRAPH, then select SPECIAL. Make another FIRST LINE and alter the spacing to o.01.

If you click on Navigation, you will see all your chapter titles, About the Author, and any other page created using Header 1 listed in the Navigation section.

Now you need to SAVE this document, call it BOOK TEMPLATE, then copy it (just in case!).

Now you have your properly set-up Book Styles document, which you will use for every book. And when you do, select SAVE AS, so your Book Template document is safe and ready to use again.

Okay. NOW YOU ARE GOING TO SET YOUR PARAGRAPH STYLE FOR THE ENTIRE BOOK.

SELECT ALL. (CNTL + A). RIGHT-CLICK ON MOUSE. SELECT PARAGRAPH.

Alignment: Select LEFT

SPECIAL: select FIRST LINE and adjust size of indent by your preference (I use 1.00).

LINE SPACING: Select 1.5

PUT A TICK IN THE BOX TO SAY YOU DO NOT WANT SPACES BETWEEN SIMILAR PARAGRAPHS (Don’t forget to do this or your book will look awful. I forgot a few times and I shudder at how my work must have been regarded by readers before I uploaded a corrected copy.)

Click on the backwards facing P (pilcrow, I think it’s called. You’ll find it will show up all your new formatting marks, so you can adjust, if necessary. You’ll find it at the top, to the left of the Styles Boxes).

Go to the beginning of your document.
Select STYLES, 0.01, then select CENTRED STYLE. TYPE IN YOUR CENTRED TITLE PAGE WITH YOUR AUTHOR NAME.

Select INSERT / PAGE / NEXT PAGE

CREATE A COPYRIGHT PAGE (Examples at end of this post). CENTRED.

SPECIAL: 0.01. LINE SPACING: 1.5.

Select INSERT / PAGE / NEXT PAGE. CLICK OK.

You will need a TABLE OF CONTENTS. but you can’t create this until all the

formatting is finished, so just put this title in as the next page.

If you want any other page, such as Dedications or Acknowledgements,

create them.

Then create your CHAPTER ONE, SELECTING HEADER 1 STYLE.

CHAPTER ONE AND FIRST PARAGRAPH

      The first paragraph in your novel does NOT require an indent. Nor does your chapter title. So, HIGHLIGHT EACH ONE INDIVIDUALLY, AND SELECT 0.01 FOR YOUR CHAPTER TITLE, THEN SELECT HEADER 1. You need to do this I find so your chapter title is properly centred. This is the style you will use for EVERY CHAPTER HEADING.

SELECT Style 0.01, FOR THE FIRST PARA.

At the end of the first and all subsequent chapters: Select  (at top), INSERT/ PAGE/ NEXT PAGE (For new chapters) or for SCENE BREAKS, go to a new line. then STYLE 0.01, then select CENTRED, type in three asterisks,

SAVE.

Go through your book and each time you come  to a new scene / chapter head / first paragraph. Highlight the section you want to change. Select the appropriate STYLE.

For each new chapter head, do as you did in before, selecting HEADING 1 (NOT 2, 3, 4, unless you have a sub-heading.).

SAVE

By selecting HEADING 1 each time you are giving the instruction which will be used to create your TABLE OF CONTENTS (TOC). When you follow the  instructions I will describe at the end, the TOC will be created automatically.

Continue through your book, changing all the Chapter Headings, first para / first scene as before.

SAVE REGULARLY.

Create an ABOUT THE AUTHOR PAGE. Using the same HEADING 1 style you used for the chapter heads. Then type your author bio.

Type your website address, if you have one. To create the hyperlink to your site, highlight the website address and copy. Then select INSERT. Select HYPERLINK and PASTE YOUR WEBSITE ADDRESS INTO THE BOTTOM BAR. IF YOU WANT TO BE FANCY, YOU CAN TYPE IN THE WORDS ‘JOE BLOGG’S WEBSITE’  (Your Name here) INTO THE TOP BAR (This doesn’t always show up. I don’t know why. It doesn’t matter. The address is the thing (probably better, anyway, as older kindles don’t, I think, have the facility to go to the fancy version. If you provide the actual address they can, if necessary, write it out and go to it later).

Do the same for any other website addresses.

If required, create a page for OTHER WORKS, using the same HEADING 1 style as above.

To set up for your TABLE OF CONTENTS. CNTL + HOME to get back to the beginning of your document. Create a PAGE BREAK after your title page and Copyright page  (INSERT / PAGE/ NEXT PAGE).

Type TABLE OF CONTENTS if you haven’y already done so. Centred Looks best, I  think.

Select REFERENCES (at top, to the  right of ‘Page Layout’).

 Select ‘Table of Contents’. Go to bottom and select INSERT TABLE OF CONTENTS.

Remove tick from SHOW PAGE NUMBERS.

Select ONE for Level (I’m presuming you only have a Chapter Number for each chapter If you also have a sub-heading, select  TWO levels of headings).

OKAY.

If you haven’t already done so, insert Your Copyright page after your title page (see below for example of this). Insert your Dedication if you have one.

SAVE AS:  YOUR TITLE KINDLE VERSION WORD DOC.

Next. SAVE AS ‘Web Page, Filtered. This  will convert your Word doc into a html doc.

NEXT: DOWNLOAD calibre software (free) http://calibre-ebook.com/download_windows

This will enable you to convert your html doc into a mobi file for Kindle (or epub and various others). This isn’t actually necessary now as Amazon’s Kindle converts your document. But if you want to create a mobi anyway:

Open Calibre

Select ‘Add Books’.

Click on the html version of the book you’ve just added.

Type in your publishing details (author name, publisher name, etc). list your novel type (mystery, or whatever).

Select ‘Edit metadata’. Add your metadata (your name, book title, genre, book setting and anything else that you  think will help with Search Engine Optimisation (helps search engines).

Upload your book cover (SEE BELOW: YOUR BOOK COVER *******).

HIghight your book’s html version. Select ‘Convert Books.

Select ‘Convert individually’.

Select (at top right) ‘mobi’.

OK.

Wait till the little wheel at bottom right stops spinning. If you look under your book cover, you will see that your html doc has been converted to mobi for kindle.

 Select ‘Save to disc’.

Select ‘Save mobi format to disc.

Save the mobi file wherever you find convenient. The mobi file will show up as a little blue book and will say ‘kindle content’

YOUR BOOK COVER *******

I use www.ccrbookcoverdesign.com for my pre-designed covers.

But if you google ‘ebook pre-designed book covers’ you will find lots more.

Just make sure the covers supplied are for your sole use.

You’ll probably have to pay between $40-$70, though you might get it cheaper if the artist is having a sale. If you’re feeling flush, you could also have a custom-designed cover made for a lot more money.

Many of  these graphic designers also do covers for print books.

Talking of print books — if you decide you would also like to publish your book as a print version, the following firms provide them:

Amazon’s Createspace.com (free)

Lulu.com (free)

Lightningsource.com (costs)

Also, www.thebookdesigner.com will provide templates for formatting both print and ebooks.

 If you prefer not to do your own formatting, Smashwords.com, as well as providing a Free Formatting Style Guide, can also give you a list of formatters/cover artists they are happy to recommend.

Otherwise, I can heartily recommend Kimberley Hitchens (hitch@booknook.biz). If you use hitch, you will have advice, hand-holding and they will do all the formatting. They also have a range of cover artists they use. I have now started formatting my own books (!), but for most of my novels, I’ve used hitch. She charged me $250 for formatting (but I started doing this in 2010. It’s more now. And if, after you’ve  checked the proof copy, you find other things that need amending that you failed to notice and mention on the proof sheet and thus require additional changes, you’ll be charged accordingly.).

 When the book is formatted, it will be sent back to you with a Proof Sheet for you to complete with anything that needs correcting. Take care with this. If you’re slapdash it will cost you. With this, you will be sent instructions on how to use the Kindle Previewer so you can check for any amendments and see how your formatted book will look.

UPLOADING YOUR BOOK INTERIOR AND COVER TO AMAZON’S KINDLE

·         I’m presuming you already have an amazon account. If not, it’s    a simple matter to join.

·         Type kdp amazon into your address bar.

·         Sign in with your account email and password.

·         Select ‘ADD NEW BOOK’

·         Work your way through, filling in your title and BOOK         DESCRIPTION (this is something you should prepare separately, making it as zingy and enticing to the reader as possible. This, along with your book cover, are your major selling points on kindle. But you’re only allowed 4,000 characters (including spaces). Don’t waste them. But don’t worry too much as you can always make alterations. Nothing’s set in stone. 4,000 characters might seem like a lot, but you soon use them up. Amazon will delete your description from the bottom if you go over. So, if you do, check that the bottom part of your Description is still there. If it’s not, you’ll have to go back and edit your Description, losing however many words it takes.

·          It’s best to do this separately in a doc and copy and paste it into the book description box. That way, you can edit beforehand and check and amend your character count.

·         Select your book’s CATEGORIES. This is an art in itself. You don’t want to be in too large a Category as you’re liable to get lost amongst all the big hitters. For instance, my Categories are ‘Police Procedurals’ and ‘British Detectives Traditional’. While they’re both fairly sizable Categories (about 2,000 in each, I think),  they’re neither of them as enormous as say, Thrillers. But again, don’t worry too much as you can always change them later once you’ve had time to do a bit of Category research. You’re now only allowed to select TWO CATEGORIES (used to be more).

·         Type in your 7 KEYWORDS. Again, this is something you would be well advised to research into using Google’s Adwords. Then test your selected keywords on amazon’s kindle page. You can use a phrase rather than one word for each keyword.

For example, if you type British Mysteries into the Search bar after selecting ‘Books’ ‘Kindle eBooks’, amazon actually selects different possibilities for you before you’ve finished typing the words. These are pretty generallytaken as good indicators of reader search choices and the higher the selection, the more readers will have employed it.

·         UPLOAD YOUR BOOK. Browse through your documents till you find your book doc.

·         UPLOAD YOUR COVER. Browsing as above till you find it.

        DRM (Digital Rights Management (I think). If you select this, it’s theoretically, supposed to protect your book from piracy. Though, from my understanding, pirates find it gives them little trouble. Also, if you DO select it, it means your readers are unable  to transfer the book to another ereader, which they might find a bit annoying. Once you’ve decided to go with DRM you cannot change it back, so BE WARNED!

·         SAVE AND CONTINUE

·         Select your RIGHTS. I’m presuming you own all the rights to your work. If this is  the case, select WORLDWIDE.

·         SET YOUR PRICE.

 Remember if you price your book below $2.99 or above $9.99 you will only receive 35% of the sale price. NOT GOOD!

Set $2.99 / $3.99 whatever. But don’t set too high. Most indie novels are in the $2.99 / $4.99 range. Though, if you’re happy to lose money on an introductory offer at 99c, that can sometimes be a good move. Or you can immediately choose to join Select and set your (up to five) free days in your 90-day Select period. Though in order to make the most of this you need to get the word out. I use the services of ebookbooster.com for this. For around $40 they will notify about fifty free sites about your book. But they require about two weeks’ notice and they will also need the ASIN number that amazon assigns to your book, which you won’t know until the uploading process is complete and amazon has converted your book.

 BE WARNED! You have to deselect Select at the end of  this 90-day period. If you don’t, amazon automatically enters you for another 90 days.

·         PREVIEW YOUR BOOK

·         This gives you a (reasonably) accurate idea of what your book will look like on the kindle. If happy, Tick the agreement box and SAVE AND PUBLISH.

·         If you decide you want to work on the book a bit more, select SAVE AS DRAFT.

·         But, all being well, YOU’RE DONE! CONGRATULATIONS! You’re now officially an ‘Indie’ author.

·         Your book will usually take around twelve hours to show up on the site. To see it, just type www.amazon.co.uk (or .com,.ca,  .de, .fr, .es, .it, whatever) into the address bar.

·          Select ‘Books’ / Kindle eBooks’ and type your name/book title into the search bar.

·         The book will also show up on the Amazon French website (amazon.fr), German (amazon.de), Italian, (amazon.it), Spanish, (amazon.es), Japan (amazon.com.jp),Brazil (amazon.br), and several more. 

·          

Use your amazon account to add to/alter your Amazon Author Central page, which amazon provides for each published author (type’ amazon author central’ into address bar, along with your country designation.).

Here, you can add your bio, your covers, a picture of you, book trailers, your twitter feed, your blog feed. You can see where (US only) your book is selling and check sales graphs.

At the moment it’s only the US, UK, German and French sites that have an Author Central page. You access each of them separately.

TO CHECK YOUR SALES FIGURES

Go to kdp amazon. Sign in. Click on REPORTS at top. Click on Top choice: Month-to-Date Unit Sales. The first one to show up is always the American one, amazon.com).

To check your sales figures for each country, just click in the box and select the appropriate country. Don’t be too disappointed if you see no/few sales. It takes time to build up  the sales figures (I think my first month’s sales came to the grand total of 7!).

You may well never make many sales in countries other than the US, UK, Canada and Australia. Though if you can afford it, you could always have your book translated and upload a foreign language version.

To check how much money you’ve made, you have to wait until the 15th of each month (second month after upload). This is when amazon uploads its sales information.

Go to kdp amazon. Select REPORTS and select the bottom of the three choices on the left (Prior Month’s Royalties). This will bring up a list of previous months’ sales. You can save as into your own Excel document for totalling in Sterling amounts (each country’s sales income is given in their own currency and you have to convert to get Sterling). You can download a converter by right-clicking on your desktop. Select Gadgets (I think) and you will see a converter. Just click on it. You can make it bigger by clicking on the appropriate little box on the right of the conversion box.

 

BASIC COPYRIGHT PAGE

Your Title

Your name

 

Published by Your Name/Your Chosen Publisher Name if you have one

 Copyright 20?? Your Name

To discover more books by this author, go to: http://www.joebloggs.com

 License Note: This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Publisher’s Note: This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

 

Cover Design by Whoever of http://www.

The moral rights of the author have been asserted.

All Rights Reserved.

 

COPYRIGHT VERSION FOR USE WITH SMASHWORDS

Your Title

Your Name

 

Published by Your Name at Smashwords

 

Copyright 20?? Your Name

 

License Note: This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 Publisher’s Note: This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Cover Design by    of  http://www.

The moral rights of the author have been asserted.

All Rights Reserved.


 If you would like to learn more about this subject than you will get from my basic version, try these:

RECOMMENDED BOOKS:

·     The Kindle Formatting Bible by Tom Corson-Knowles

 ·    The Smashwords Style Guide (free from www.smashwords.com)

·    How to Publish an eBook – An Author’s Guide by Stephanie Zia

·    Publish Anything on Amazon’s Kindle (Plus Barnes & Noble Nook, Apple iPad and iPhone, Personal Computers, Android, Smartphones) by Randy Benjamin.

 ·  Make a Killing on Kindle. The Guerrilla Marketer’s Guide to Selling Your Ebooks on Amazon by Michael Alvear.

 ·  Kindle Formatting: The Complete Guide to Formatting Books for the Amazon Kindle by Joshua Tallent.

   Amazon themselves also offer several guides.

·  The Newbie’s Guide to Publishing (blog site and book) by Joe Konrath (American author, who’s an ebook evangelist. He’s made a pile on kindle, so who can blame him?!). Other blog sites I can recommend in order to educate yourself about the publishing world in general and ePublishing, in particular, are Dean Wesley Smith’s and that of his wife, Kristine Kathryn Rusch. You will find various links to other blogs on these sites, written by authors who are also knowledgeable in the subject.

 · There are loads of other books on the subject. If you type in ‘formatting ebooks for kindle’, you will get lots of them. I eat these books for breakfast as there’s always something else to learn. 

          Good luck!

·         

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