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Kindle Book Formatting and Publishing Tips
Publishing a book on Kindle contains a number of steps that are often not easily found or readily understood at first glance for the new writer. If you are trying to publish your first book, it can be a daunting task & you will face several moments of frustration along the way. Hopefully, the suggestions I supply in this article will assist to smooth out this process for you to a certain degree. There are by the way, several steps by which you can create an acceptably formatted manuscript that Kindle will accept. I will be discussing herein the steps I finally chose as being the easiest for most new authors to implement.
First step, once you have named your book, is to come up with an eye catching book cover. Kindle likes to have these finished as .jpg images & their preferred size for the cover is 1600 x 2500 pixels. This will be loaded into your Kindle account separately from your manuscript upload. My best recommendation for coming up with an eye catching book cover: Go to the Fiverr website & pay someone to do it. They will create your cover for $5.00 that will be a 1600 x 2500 .jpg & a satisfactory reserve from there usually moreover will donate you a gift 3D version inside the same package. Fiverr moreover will lookup for & will discover for you a quality royalty free (hopefully) stock image that can be placed into your book cover’s create if you need one. This usually costs you about $10.00 more – so for $15.00, you have your book cover for Kindle taken care of.
On the Kindle website, they indicate that they desire you to use the “Latin-1” font for your book content font. I wrote my first book using Microsoft Word & nearly went crazy trying to discover & import this font from a number of font downloading websites. Well guess what, the “Georgia” font I found out after the Microsoft Word does support, is extremely close to Latin-1 & it is acceptable to Kindle. So if you are using Microsoft Word (an application that Kindle recommends you use) just go use the Georgia font – it will do the job for you. The standard font size for your text by the way should be 12 point. Headings can be 14, 16 or 18, yet don’t make them larger than 18 unless necessary.
To actually upload your manuscript file by the way, Kindle wants you to do the following things:
- Upload your manuscript & illustrations inside the manuscript in a.zip file. Use the illustrations created by Word when you converted your document to webpage – filtered.
- The recommended approach: When you are in Microsoft Word, conserve your file as “webpage-filtered”. This puts your word document in HTML format for the upload & it separates yet maintains the linkages to entirely your images.
- By the way, regarding images you are using inside your document: Kindle prefers them to be .jpg images & they want you to use the “Insert Picture” tool to place your images into your word document rather than to cut or copy & paste them in. They moreover want you to “centre” the image on your page between the left & correct margins.
- Once you have uploaded your cover, manuscript, set your pricing, typed in your keywords, written your outline for the book, etc., & uploaded your document package, your cover may appear along with your purchase items inside a day, yet be prepared to have to wait a day or two before the content arrives & attaches itself to your online book on the Amazon website – so be patient & wait a couple days before you begin marketing it to people. Make sure everything presents as it should be online before you begin going after sales for it.
There are some other suggestions to formatting your book prior to publishing that I moreover want to pertain to – as they are important to ensuring your book displays properly to your customers on their various platforms.
- Don’t set your font colour to black. Set it to “Automatic”. This setting allows the text to be black on a white background in a lighted environment & white on a black background in a dark environment – & a number of Kindle book reading environments are built to work this way.
- Insert special characters such as the copyright symbol from the Word utility for this (often found underneath the Symbol heading on the “Insert” page) as opposed to copying & pasting it in from elsewhere – as it often doesn’t format truly well if you use the copy/paste method.
- Get rid of entirely the tabs you used to move typewriting starting points on a line inside your manuscript. Use the space bar to move text starting points on a line instead as HTML does not handle the tab command in MS Word truly well & you could end up with formatting issues. One satisfactory idea for getting rid of these, put your document into the “Show hidden paragraphs & symbols” – often displays on top task bar as two up & down lines with a bar across the top & a little blob of black on the top left side of this image.
- Use curly quotations instead of straight up & down ones for entirely your quote areas & apostrophes – again, to ignore running into formatting issues.
- Here is a comical one – don’t just case “… ” case dot, space, dot, space, dot if you want it to show up properly as “… ” inside your document…
- Insert a “Page Break” at the end of each chapter.
- Make sure entirely the images in your document are .jpg’s. – Kindle does like these the best. Colour images are OK yet be prepared as Kindle will turn them into “16 scale” black & white/grayscale images when they convert your manuscript while creating the last publishable version.
- If you need to indent any of the text in your book, highlight it & use the ruler features to carry out the indentation – remember not to just “tab” it over.
The suggestions listed over should go a long way to helping you obtain your first Kindle book published with a lot less stress & time consumed. Good luck with your authoring career!