You wrote a book, now you can format it for Kindle to look great and function properly. Save time while making updates whenever you want.
Microsoft Word documents (.doc and .docx) can easily be formatted for Amazon, which designed its self-publishing system to receive MS Word because it's the world's most popular writing program.
Most authors pay for this, but it's wise to do it yourself. When you format your own documents:
This course walks you through each section from the Title page to the Table of Contents to the About the Author page, saving as HTML and more. Inserting images, hyperlinks, everything a reader expects. Get detailed instruction with an actual MS Word document and uploading it to Amazon's Preview Mode, something you'll be doing soon.
The course is 17 easy-to-follow videos from 2 to 5 minutes in length. It's taught by Jason Matthews, bestselling author and self-publishing instructor for thousands of writers.
In just over an hour, you'll be able to give readers something they really enjoy.
Get started today and sell more books soon.
This video can be watched in full screen with HD (high definition) settings for best results.
You'll be using Preview Mode at KDP Amazon regularly while formatting your books, so now's a great time to get familiar with this useful feature. It's a lot of fun too.
Microsoft Word is the most common word processing program, which is why Amazon and other retailers designed their self-publishing platforms to accept .doc or docx as a file type. KDP Amazon (Kindle Direct Publishing) is where we'll eventually upload our books. They have a free tutorial guide called Building Your Book for Kindle and a help section at kdp.amazon.com/help?.
Using common font styles and sizes will make your conversion at KDP Amazon easier and also give readers a better ebook experience. Preview Mode in the KDP Dashboard is a good way to check your font sizing for different elements like the Title and Table of Contents in comparison to the rest of your text.
Title Pages usually have larger text than the rest of the ebook. Title Pages need to have center alignment followed by a Page Break to create a new screen after the title. They can be made by text or even an inserted image if the author prefers.
Front matter of a book should include Title and Copyright pages. Often Acknowledgment and Dedication pages also go in the front matter, but sometimes they come at the end of the book if the author prefers.
A functional Table of Contents is extremely important in ebooks to assist with navigation. Even for books that don't have named chapters, some type of Table of Contents is recommended even if a "bare-bones" version.
In Amazon's guide, Building Your Book for Kindle, the Table of Contents is created using this method with MS Word's Reference tab and Inserting a Table of Contents feature. It relies on Heading 1 settings for all locations that will end up in the Table of Contents.
An alternative method for creating a Table of Contents involves creating bookmarks for each Chapter Title (or Acknowledgments, etc.) and then typing those out individually on the Table of Contents page and adding a hyperlink that goes to their respective Place in the Document.
If this method is used, a toc bookmark is still needed to assist with KDP Amazon's menu navigation.
Since ebooks operate differently than paper books, they have different formatting needs. Notably, they do not need headers, footers or page numbers.
Now that you're formatting chapters, you're well into the heart of the ebook's needs.
Find and Replace is a major time-saver for quickly making global changes to MS Word documents. While formatting ebooks the Find and Replace feature is often used to reduce the occurrences of unwanted extra spaces, though it has plenty of other uses.
Most ebooks have at least one or two images within them, even if only in the About the Author page. Always use the Insert feature for adding images to Word documents and check in KDP's Preview Mode for proper sizing. Make adjustments as needed.
An About the Author page helps readers know more about you. Leaving active hyperlinks for websites or social media pages is a wise way to connect with people all over the world. Networking with readers is a smart way to sell more books.
Keep your readers interested with a sample chapter of another book after the one they just read.
Before publishing, there are last minute checks and special touches you can add that will make a big difference for readers.
MS Word documents can also be saved as HTML Web Page, Filtered. Both of these versions can be uploaded to KDP Amazon. MS Word is simpler, but HTML Web Page, Filtered is better for books with many images or more complex formatting.
Upload your book to KDP Amazon and inspect it thoroughly in Preview Mode. It's wise to check it in both Word .doc and HTML Web Page, Filtered to look for differences. You can always make changes. and upload again before publishing.
When your book is ready, congratulations! You can publish it. This lesson shows the final steps along with contact information if needed.
Jason Matthews is the author of multiple titles, both fiction and nonfiction. His books have been translated into 8 languages and his self-publishing lessons have been viewed by students in 123 countries.
Jason works with writers around the world and teaches many courses on self-publishing topics (listed below).
He lives in San Luis Obispo, California. He's a skier, soccer player, beach lounger and loves a game of chess or scrabble. He can be contacted through his websites and social media links.