To follow on from the six-part series (part 1 here) I have posted on how to publish your book on Kindle, this post will detail the first steps of how to format your book for uploading to Kindle. The next steps will be posted in the next couple of days.
I know there are many programmes out there that do formatting for Kindle, and that there are many services on offer to do it for you, but if you have a fairly straightforward book (eg. fiction novel that has no illustrations) and you have a decent knowledge of how to use Microsoft Word, (I use Microsoft Word 2013) then there is absolutely no reason why you cannot format your book yourself. It will take a bit of time, and it can be a little bit tedious, but it is completely doable. I have formatted all of my own books using the following method.
#1. Page size
Though eBooks don’t need to have a certain page size, I usually set the page size to the same as the print version, because Amazon tend to give an approximation of the number of pages, so if you have A4 sized pages, then it’s going to appear to be a much shorter book than it actually is.
In Microsoft Word, you set the page size here from the Page Layout tab, then choose Size.
It doesn’t matter what you set the margins to for eBooks, so I generally just set them as narrow. You can find margins under the Page Layout tab, then Margins, then choose which one you want.
#4. Headers, footers and page numbers
If you are formatting the book for Kindle using a file that was prepared for print, you may have headers and footers and page numbers. These all need to go. You do not want text in the header or footer, so delete it. You don’t need page numbers in Kindle books because the text is reflowable to suit any device. Any footnotes that are in the footer needs to be brought into the text or moved to the back of the book.
#5. Blank Pages
This again, only applies if you are using a file formatted for print. In print books, you will have several blank pages, to ensure that the book is set out properly. In Kindle books, blank pages are not a good idea. So please remove all blank pages. You can keep page breaks between chapters.
Michelle is the author and publisher of 8 Visionary Fiction novels, all available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle. She spends her days helping Indie Authors to publish their books, taking photographs and making gluten-free cakes.
If you need any help with your publishing journey, please do get in touch with her by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can book a Skype session or a phone call with her, or ask questions via email. Please do follow this blog to receive more posts on Indie Publishing.
Disclaimer: All views, ideas and tips presented on this website are my own, based on my own experience and the experience of my clients. It is by no means the only way to do it, or the right way to do it, but it is the way that works for me. Please take what helps you and makes sense to you, and don’t worry about the rest for now. Please know that I take no responsibility for anything that happens as a result of you following my advice. I have created this blog as a resource for Indie Authors to help them make the publishing journey a little easier. I am not affiliated with any of the companies I mention, other than the fact that I use their services myself.