Formatting for Kindle – Part 3

This post follows on from Formatting for Kindle – Part 2. Part 1 is here.

#10. Creating a Clickable Table of Contents

Creating a table of contents is easier than ever with the latest version of Microsoft Word. It does have a few steps to it though. They are:

Step 1:

Highlight a chapter heading, then change the font and size and centralise it (or left align it if you prefer) then right-click on the Heading 1 style, and choose – Update Heading 1 to Match Selection. (or it may say ‘modify’)

Go through the whole manuscript, highlighting the chapter headings and just clicking on the Heading 1 style. When you have done them all, if you click on Find, then Headings, you will see the list of chapter headings underneath. It’s useful to check through and make sure you haven’t missed any out.

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Step 2:

The next step of creating the table of contents, is to click on the page where you want it to go, (usually the second page) give it a title, like Contents, place the cursor underneath, then go to the References tab, choose Table of Contents, then Custom Table of Contents.

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A box will pop up, and here, you can change the font and size of the typeface in the table of contents, by clicking on ‘Modify’.

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This box will pop up, where you can adjust the font type and size. Then you will click okay and be redirected to the above box again, where you want to deselect the Show Page Numbers box, make sure the Use Hyperlinks instead of page numbers is selected, change the Show Levels to ‘1’ and then click ‘OK‘.

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You should then get this:

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Congratulations! You now have a clickable table of contents! When someone buys your book on Kindle, they will now be able to skip straight to the chapter they wish to go to. In the very beginning, I never had clickable contents, I didn’t see the point. But now, being an avid Kindle user, when a book doesn’t have one, I get quite annoyed!

Tune in soon for tips on the front and back matter of your eBook, which is the final step of the formatting process, your book will then be ready to upload to KDP! (As described in my 6 part series of posts on publishing your book on KDP)

 

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.

 

 

 

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Formatting for Kindle – Part 2

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.

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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.

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#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.

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#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.

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#9. Paragraphing

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.

kindle paragraph

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.

kindle paragraph 1

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.

Formatting for Kindle – Part 1

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.

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In Microsoft Word, you set the page size here from the Page Layout tab, then choose Size.

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#2. Margins

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.

kindle margins

#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.

Click here for Part 2.

 


IMG_5734_2Michelle 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 theamethystangel@hotmail.co.uk. 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.

Self-Publishing on Kindle – Part 6

This follows on earlier posts in the series – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5.

We now move onto Step 2 of the KDP Publishing process.

#8. Publishing Territories

This section is straightforward – if you are self-publishing your own book and own all the rights, you have worldwide rights. If someone owns part of the rights to your book, then you may only have rights for certain territories.

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#9. Setting the price

The next section is all about the money! You need to decide on what price you want for your book, and then you can set the US price, and have all the other countries’ prices based on that price. The price of eBooks is a very much debated topic, and really comes down to personal preference.

When I first started out, with The Earth Angel Training Academy, I didn’t have a Kindle, and though I published the book on KDP, I didn’t really understand the concept. My print version was £9.99, so I put the Kindle copy on Amazon at £8.99. Hey, I thought, it’s a discount isn’t it? Needless to say I sold about two copies. I was a completely unknown author, and I was asking nearly the same amount for the eBook as for the print. It just wasn’t going to happen.

In general, when you are an unknown author, you want to set your price for your first couple of books quite low, and then when you begin to build up a fanbase, you can increase the prices of subsequent books, because you know your fans won’t mind them being a pound or two more, because they know what to expect and they know they’re good. Being a Kindle owner now, I understand it. Because I am reluctant to spend more than three or four pounds on an author whose books I’ve not read before. For non-fiction, it’s slightly different, because people are paying for the information or wisdom, so you could possibly price it higher, but if you are relatively unknown, you may have to go lower to begin with. I have seen books at a lower price that shoot up in price when they become popular. The best thing about self-publishing on KDP is that you can change the price at any time you wish.

Amazon are adhering to the new VAT laws in Europe, and they adjust the price accordingly, so you don’t have to worry about registering for VAT.

The other thing to consider when setting your price, is the royalty percentage you choose. If you choose a 35% royalty (which means you get 35% of the retail book price) then you can set the price of your book between 99c and $200. If you choose the higher rate of 70%, you can only set your price between $2.99 and $9.99.

You can see how it’s all worked out below. As you can see, I set the US price and the UK price, but the rest are based on the US price.

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Once you’ve set the price, you can move on to the final two sections!

#10. Kindle Matchbook

It’s optional to sign up to Kindle Matchbook, basically, if you have published your book on Createspace, (will post how to do that soon) then you can sign your Kindle book up to Matchbook. What that means is, if someone buys your book in print, then they will have the option to buy the Kindle version for a discount, or have it for free (based on what you choose). I have all my books set up as free, so that if they buy the print version, they get the Kindle version as a bonus.

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#11. Lending

You can tick the box to allow your book to be lent to another Kindle user for up to 14 days. For those 14 days, the book is inaccessible on your Kindle, just like you wouldn’t be able to read a physical book you have lent to someone. It is only possible to lend books to other Kindles in the US, and if you have opted to have the 70% royalty rate, you won’t be able to opt out. If you have chosen the 35% royalty rate, you can opt out. For details on how to lend books to friends on Kindle, click here.

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That’s it! Tick the little box agreeing to Amazon publishing your book, then hit ‘Save and Publish’. Then high-five! You’ve done it! You will then see a message that says it will take 24 to 48 hours for your book to appear on Amazon. It will then be listed on your bookshelf.

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Tune in for more posts soon!

 

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.

 

Self-Publishing on Kindle – Part 5

To see the beginning of this process, click on the following – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

The next part is the final part of Step 1. (Publishing on Kindle is a two-step process)

#6. Upload Your Book File

At this point in time, unless you are setting this up for pre-orders, you should have a completed, properly edited, proofread and formatted manuscript file to upload. If you haven’t then you can always save what you have done so far, and come back to it when your file is ready. I will go through how to format for Kindle in another post.

The first thing you want to do, is to choose whether or not to turn on DRM. There’s been a lot of debate over DRM, which stands for Digital Rights Management. The idea behind it is to stop the book from being pirated, by making it difficult to copy. But here’s the thing – people who pirate stuff can strip DRM from files easily. But people who have purchased the book properly, but want to move it to another device, will have trouble. So having DRM on your book does not really protect it, it just annoys genuine readers.

My advice? Don’t switch it on. As someone wise once said (cannot remember who they were now) an Indie authors biggest problem is not piracy, it’s obscurity.

So, click on ‘Browse‘ to find your file on your computer and upload it. You’ll see this:

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Then hopefully you will see this:

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If there are any spelling errors listed, you can see what they are, then go back to your original file, make changes, then re-upload the file again.

Then you will have the opportunity to review your book, to see what it will look like.

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Personally, I’ve never had much luck with the downloadable previewer, so I always preview online, which looks like this:

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You can see what your book will look like on different devices, and it’s a good idea to look though, and check things like your table of contents, by clicking on the chapter heading and seeing if it takes you to the right place. (You will have created a clickable table of contents in the formatting stage)

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When you have looked at it on different devices, and you have tried the links to make sure they work, you can click on the ‘Book Details’ button to go back.

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Then, if you are happy with it, click ‘save and continue’ at the bottom of the page. If you need to make changes, simply change your original file, then re-upload it, by clicking on the ‘Browse‘ button again.

Otherwise, by clicking on ‘save and continue’ you will proceed to Step 2 of the process, which I will go through in tomorrow’s post.

 

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.

Self-Publishing on Kindle – Part 4

This post is to follow on from Self-publishing on Kindle – Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

#4. Book Release Options

Another recent addition to the KDP process, is the ability to list your book on Amazon before it is released, so that people can pre-order it. So this section is asking if the book is finished or not. If it’s ready to go, select ‘I am ready to release my book now’ if you want to set a date for the release, and collect pre-orders, then select the second option. Be warned, when you choose the pre-order option, Amazon will want the final draft of the book uploaded at least 10 days before the official release date. And if you don’t upload it in time, you will be banned from pre-releases for a year. So make sure you are organised enough to stick to schedule.

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#5. Upload Your Book Cover

For Kindle books, you only need the front cover of the book. No spine or back cover is necessary. You do need a high-resolution image though, and it is definitely advisable to still have it designed for you, rather than do it yourself (unless you’re handy with graphics). To see all the cover guidelines, click here. But the basics are the following:

1. Image needs to be in TIFF or JPEG format.

2. Image should be a minimum of 625 pixels on the shortest side and 1000 pixels on the longest side (but for best quality, your image should be 2500 pixels on the longest side)

3. If you have a white background, be sure to ass a fine grey line all around it so it stands out against the white Amazon page.

4. Make sure that your book cover looks good and the title is readable when it is a small thumbnail, as that is how it will appear in Amazon searches.

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Having never used the cover creator before, I thought I would try it out for the purpose of this post. But having done so, I would strongly recommend getting a cover designed and uploading the image. But for those who wish to know how it works, here are the steps below:

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First step is choosing an image. You can either choose one from their library (they are royalty free images) or you can upload your own.

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Second step is choosing a design. There are only 10 available – 6 image based and 4 non image based. So this creator is quite limited in its scope! For this example, I chose an image from their library.

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I picked a template, then had to enter the book title, subtitle and author name. I have made up a title of a romance for this example.

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You can modify the cover somewhat, in that you can change the colour scheme, the layout and the fonts, but it is still very limited.

Changing the colours:

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Changing the layout:

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Changing the fonts:

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When you have decided on your design, the final step is to preview, then save.

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I couldn’t find the answer on the pages about the cover creator, but it would be worth inquiring to KDP whether if you create your cover with them, you are then allowed to use that image for your print version (in which case you would need a JPEG of the final cover.) My guess would be that you wouldn’t be able to, in which case I would recommend that if you are going to use the cover creator, it’s for a book that will only ever be on Kindle, and that you don’t need the original JPEG for. If you are planning on creating promotional materials, then it might not be a good option. Think it all through before deciding. I will do another post on cover design in the near future, as it is a very important part of the publishing process.

Once you’ve uploaded your cover (or created it on the creator) you will see a thumbnail of it on the page.

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(As you can see from my design above, when it is a thumbnail, the text disappears into the background, and would not be a good idea. At this point, if this were really my cover, I would go back and change it!)

Click here for Part 5

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.

Self-Publishing on Kindle – Part 3

This is a continuation of the Self-Publishing on Kindle series of posts. Part 1 and Part 2 are available.

The next part of Step 1 is:

#2. Verify Your Publishing Rights.

This section is very simple and straightforward – either you hold the copyright to the book and it is entirely yours to publish, or it s book in the public domain, which means the copyright no longer applies to it. If your book does not fall into either of those two categories – you should not be publishing it on KDP.

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#3. Target Your Book to Customers

Apart from the categories, the age range and US grade range sections are a relatively recent addition to the process and you deciding who your target audience is, presumably to assist Amazon in the way they display/recommend your books.

In the categories section, you will want to select two categories that fit your book the best.

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If you select ‘adult’ categories, the next part – the age range – will automatically be filled with ’18+’. Otherwise, it’s entirely optional to fill in the age range and US grade range sections.

The next part is keywords. This is a tiny part of the form, but is a very important part! This is where you list the relevant keywords to your book. These keywords are what people will put in the search box on Amazon when they are looking for a new book to read. So if you have written a paranormal romance – put that as a keyword. You can only have up to 7 keywords, so choose wisely! Phrases count as one keyword. So ‘inspirational true stories’ would be one keyword. Please take the time to fill this in properly, don’t use it to list other more famous authors, in the hopes of catching some of their traffic, and keep the words relevant to your book.

Click here for Part 4.

 

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.

Self-Publishing on Kindle – Part 2

This post follows yesterday’s post – Self-Publishing on Kindle – Part 1

Once you have clicked on the ‘Add New Title’ button, you will be taken to Step 1 of the publishing process. (There are only two steps, but I will be breaking down the process into several posts, so they don’t get too long).

#1. Enter Your Book Details

You need to enter your book title, which should be the exact title as it appears on the cover and how you want it to be listed on Amazon.

You can enter a subtitle – same rule as above applies. Don’t use a subtitle if it’s not actually on the book cover, or if it a tagline on the cover.

You can check the box if the book is a part of a series, and a new box will pop up asking for the series title and the volume number. This information helps your readers know in what order they should read you books.

Enter the edition number. If this is the first time you are publishing your book, you would enter ‘First Edition’.

You can enter a publisher name, which could just be your own name (or pseudonym) but please do check out my post on having a publishing imprint before deciding on what to put in this box. Unless you already have a publishing imprint name, in which case, enter that.

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In the next box, you want to put your description of the book, which would be what you would see on the back cover of a print edition. This description will be the synopsis that is visible on your book product page on Amazon, so you will need to work on making it interesting, gripping and intriguing enough for people to be interested in buying your book. I will write a post in the future about writing the book ‘blurb’.

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The next button is to add all the contributors to the book. First of all, you need to add your name and choose ‘author’ then you can add other contributors, such as illustrators, editors or the author of the foreword. The names of the contributors are displayed prominently in the Amazon listing, underneath the title of the book. If you have a foreword written by a well-known person, it’s definitely a good idea to include them.

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In the language box, leave it as English unless you are publishing another language of course!

Finally, there is a box for the ISBN. As eBooks are assigned an ASIN number, and on Amazon you can link the print and eBook editions together, I have never bought ISBN numbers for my eBooks, as it seems unnecessary. If you do decide to have ISBN numbers on your eBooks, they MUST be a different number to your print books, as all version of your book should have their own ISBN.

For part 3 of the process, click here!

 

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.