Your book needs to be in a special format to become an e-book.

To Prepare for Publishing

You can read the book on formatting for kindle. Quite helpful. It’s available for free on Amazon as a Kindle book (I know, weird, right?). You’ll need to “purchase” the free book using your basic Amazon account mentioned above. Or you can just download the PDF right now.

Format Your Book

The guide has a few pointers for basic formatting.

  • set the page size and margins
  • set up “styles” and use styles on your text to specific chapter headings, etc
    • these styles should make use of (although you actually have very little control on your reader’s kindle devices)
      • paragraph formatting
      • line-spacing
      • first line indenting (if you want it)
      • font and font size
    • Use “heading 1” for chapter headings
    • “heading 2” for sub-headings inside your chapters, etc, etc
  • use page breaks to separate chapters
  • don’t use headers and footers, you might have wanted these for page numbers or to reiterate your book title or the current chapter title. Remember it’s kindle – the page numbers change.
  • avoid copy/paste for images, use the “insert image” option, and only insert JPG images
  • use find/replace to get rid of annoying things like double spaces, tabs or double paragraphs. These are sometimes used by a writer to format their book when they’re not using styles. That’s fine, when you write, you just write. You shouldn’t be concerning yourself too much with formatting while you’re writing your book.
  • automagic a table of contents
  • set a bookmark so Kindle can find your table of contents. It should be named “toc” (without quotes)

Arrange Your Book

That guide also suggests a few different arrangements for the order of what goes where in your book, some things can be combined or skipped.

  • title page
  • copyright
  • dedication
  • introduction
    • why they should read your book
    • synopsis
  • table of contents
  • legal notices
  • the preface or prologue of your book
  • the chapters of your book
  • about the author
  • other books you’ve published
  • polite request to write an Amazon review

If this is all too difficult… you can simply copy/paste your chapters into a ready-built template:

https://www.kayfranklin.com/kindle/free-kindle-publishing-book-template

Upload Your Book

  • Save your manuscript as a “Filtered HTML document”
    • If you had pictures, where you saved it will have the html file plus a folder with the images
    • ZIP the html file and folder together. It’ll compress them, combine them, into one handy file with “.zip” as an extension.
  • When asked, on the Kindle Direct Publishing website, upload either the .html file (no images) or the .zip file (has images)

Design a Cover for Your Book

The cover designer, on the Kindle Direct Publishing website, is very user friendly. You can use their images, or upload your own, it’ll offer it’s own designs using your images. What the program comes up with automagically looks really awesome.

For free images for your covers: https://pixabay.com/

Before upload your own image to use as part or all of your cover, make sure you have the “rights” to use the images you’ve found with a “commercial license”. If you’re not sure, don’t use that image you found on that website somewhere that time you were browsing the Internet… mmm k?

Where Else Can I Publish my e-Book?

What About Print-on-Demand?

You can set that up in Kindle Direct Publishing and/or…

Usually, print-on-demand creates the book in a factory somewhere. Gone is the printing press of old. Automated machines print, bind, trim, package and even send the book directly to the customer via snail mail. I’m sure a human is involved in the process somewhere.

But, you should watch the Espresso Book Machine while it prints ON DEMAND. It prints, trims and binds a book in 15 minutes, the time it would take for you to have a cup of coffee (hence the name). They’re in bookstores and libraries all over the world, except Australia http://ondemandbooks.com/ebm_locations.php

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