This post follows on from Formatting for Kindle – Part 1. It details the next steps in the formatting process using Microsoft Word.
#6. Page Breaks
If you are formatting the book file from scratch, you want to make sure that there a page breaks inserted between chapters. Please do not use the enter/return button to move the chapter onto the next page.
To reveal the formatting in your document, under the Home tab, you can click on the backwards P symbol, and it will reveal all the unseen formatting. This image shows that a Page Break is separating the chapters.
This image shows where to find page breaks – under the Insert tab, then Page Break. And it also shows what it looks like to use the enter/return key to separate the chapters. If you have done this, delete them and use the page breaks instead.
#7. Paragraph Breaks
In my novels I like to break up sections of the story with three asterisks, with a tab space inbetween, and centralised on the page. You could just leave a space or use one asterisk. It’s up to you, but make sure it is obvious that there is a shift in the story at that point.
#8. Font type and size
It is possible to change the font on some Kindle readers from serif to sans-serif, so because I prefer serif fonts, I always format my books to Times New Roman or Garamond. I use 12pt usually, again, eReaders can change the font size if needed too. Easiest way to change the font and size, is to hit Select then Select All, and then change the type and size. When we get to creating the table of contents, we will change the chapter headings so they are a bit bigger at that point.
If, after changing the font type and size, you right-click on the ‘Normal’ style type, and click Modify Normal to Match Selection, then any normal text will automatically for that font style.
The next part is all about indents, justification and line spacing. For this, you can just select some of your text, then right-click on the highlighted text, and choose ‘Paragraph‘ from the menu.
Then you want to set out how you want the text to look. I always fully justify my text, I hate reading Kindle books that are aligned to the left, because I find it difficult, but it’s something that is personal preference. (Though if you pick up any printed novel, you will find the text is always fully justified)
You should never use the TAB key to create indents in your text, you should always insert indents in the Paragraph tool, as you can see below. If you have used indents, please remove them.
You can see my settings below for my book I’m Here.
Tune in for part 3 tomorrow.
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.