How to format your book for Kindle the right way
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How to format your book for Kindle the right way

Create an eBook using open-source (free) software - with a working table of contents and professional formatting.
4.5 (14 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
677 students enrolled
Last updated 7/2016
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Current price: $10 Original price: $40 Discount: 75% off
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  • 1 hour on-demand video
  • 3 Articles
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • At the end of the course you will be able to produce a beautifully formatted, professional-looking ebook that can be live on Amazon within 24 hours.
  • Learn how to add a working table of contents to an eBook
  • Learn how to add images, bullets, special characters, the cover, and more.
  • Learn how to add markers and split the book into chapters and sections.
  • Learn how to convert the ePub to MOBI format ready for uploading to Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing.
View Curriculum
  • Computer & Internet connection
  • Completed or nearly completed manuscript


November 2016: KDP are offering us the chance to upload print versions of our books directly with them. Most people are reporting that this isn't ideal - the formatting isn't great and there is no chance to order a proof copy. I still recommend keeping KDP for your digital version and using CreateSpace for your print version.

Join over 600 successful students on this easy-to-understand course that will get you up and running on Kindle quickly and painlessly. Michelle is available for help and support every step of the way. Why struggle on your own?

If you have read any eBooks yourself you have probably come across a few that don't have a table of contents or - worse - have one that doesn't work.

As a reader it is irritating.

As an author, it's the mark of an amateur. Take a look on Amazon and you'll come across reviews complaining about poorly formatted Kindle eBooks, with reviewers often noting the lack of a working table of contents.

Yet it is so easy to do.

One way is to buy expensive Kindle creation software - often very expensive, often tricky to use.

Another is to pay for your formatting to be done by someone else. Great if you have the money but not if you don't!

Doing it yourself means that you'll be able to update your book when you need to, without having to pay a formatter again.

In this course I walk you through Sigil, an open-source (i.e. free) program that is available for both Mac and Windows.



Learning how to format eBooks using Sigil's free software. Sigil is available for both Windows and Mac computers.


Video lessons with some downloadable documents and the ability to ask specific questions and receive help from the instructor.


By watching, trying it out for yourself, and asking questions. At the end of the course you will be able to format your own eBook using Sigil and know how to upload it to Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing.


  1. Video lectures which can be watched online or saved for offline viewing via the Udemy app.
  2. Downloadable stylesheets.


Around an hour. Many authors complain that they spend a long time working out how to format their eBook then get it published and go write another one. A few months later, they try to remember how to format it and have generally forgotten! Not an issue with this course - you have lifetime access and can return to it every time you're ready to publish.


You'll be able to produce a very professional, beautifully formatted eBook and upload it to Amazon, the world's best seller of books. You will be paid royalties monthly. The more professional your eBook is, the more likely you are to get good reviews and better royalties.

If you have forgotten how to format it next time you have a book ready to publish, you can come back to this course to go through it again.


I'm here to give you support on your publishing journey. Once you have joined the course you will be able to ask questions and I'll answer those as quickly as possible - generally as soon as I get the notification from Udemy. I also assemble the most frequently-asked questions into extra lectures and/or downloadable resources.


Honestly? I'm guessing that if you're a new author you probably don't have a huge pot of money to chuck at your publishing venture. You're probably wise enough to not want to take a big financial risk. It's a great idea to try self-publishing out before investing too much in it. You want to see if you've chosen a good niche, if there's a strong market for your books, before splashing your hard-earned cash at it.

You can buy expensive Adobe and other software for formatting eBooks. I don't know why you would but maybe I'm just cheap! If you're using - or want to use - open-source software such as Sigil, I congratulate you. It's a great choice. I've matched the price of this course to appeal to people like you - and me - who don't like being ripped off.

My other courses are more expensive because they took longer to create and contain more lectures and downloads. This is a short course. It will only take you an hour or so to complete. I'm not going to charge you hundreds of dollars for something you can complete in an hour.

I'm hoping that you will enjoy my teaching style and join some of my other courses or even read some of my books (free using Kindle Unlimited). I offer coupons to existing students who want to join my other courses, just contact me to request one.

Enjoy your publishing journey. It has changed my life - I have a good income from my books. I hope it improves yours and brings you wealth and happiniess.

Michelle :)

Who is the target audience?
  • Authors
  • Would-be authors - e.g. professionals, experts, course instructors.
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Curriculum For This Course
4 Lectures 12:42

How To Create An eBook Using Open Source Software

This isn't a course about how to write a book, it's about how to format it and get it ready to upload as a professional eBook.

The software I'm demonstrating on here is Sigil, which is free and available for both Mac and Windows computers (I'm demonstrating on Windows but it is quite similar to the Mac version).

Sigil creates beautifully-formatted ePubs, which can be read on most eReaders or converted into MOBI for Kindle. I'll show you how to convert to MOBI as well.

The thing that lots of Indie authors get wrong is not creating a working table of contents for their eBook. That really annoys readers and can lead to poor reviews. Yet it is so simple and quick to do - when you know how.

I'd love you to join me for this course. If you do, you will be producing beautifully-formatted eBooks quickly and easily.

Preview 03:21

Meet Michelle, your host for this course.

Preview 06:21


You can download Sigil (free) at:

This has changed recently and you may still see old links leading to the Google Code website, which used to host the Sigil downloads. GitHub is its new home.

Preview 00:22

An overview of the Sigil dashboard.

Preview 02:38
Clean Up Your Manuscript
3 Lectures 03:05

It is absolutely essential to clean up your manuscript's HTML before inserting it into Sigil.

This quick lecture explains how.

Clean Up Your Manuscript

Clean Up Your Manuscript Text Instructions

This is where you will paste your cleaned up HTML into Sigil.

Paste HTML Into Sigil
Format Your eBook In Sigil
11 Lectures 25:28

Tell Sigil where you want your chapter breaks by adding split markers. Don't split it into chapters yet, though, there are a few cleaning up jobs to do that are easier when it's still one document instead of several.

Add Chapter Break Marks (Split Markers)

Adding your book's metadata is very important. All you need to add is the title, author name, and language, but if you don't you book won't compile.

Preview 00:36

How to run the ePub Validator

This is a fantastic part of Sigil and is the tool that makes us cut out lots of rubbish from our code, leaving us with a really clean document that should be fairly future-proof, as well as being readable on all the different types of eReaders that are currently in use.

Preview 04:53

How to split your eBook into chapters. This will create a separate HTML document for every section of your book.

Split The Document Into Chapters

How to make web and email addresses clickable by the reader.

Add URLs & Email Addresses

Adding a working - i.e. clickable - table of contents is a major professional plus point for your book. It will make it stand out from other indies and give a much better reading experience. It could even mean better reviews too!

Add The Table Of Contents

Bullets are often imported with the HTML from your manuscript but sometimes they get a bit mussed up. It's quick and easy to correct them, though, and this video shows you what's going on behind the scenes in the code.

Working With Bullets & Numbers

How to add special characters, such as the copyright symbol.

Preview 01:44

How to add your cover so it is part of your book. You will also need to add it separately as an upload to whatever platform you will be selling your book on.

Add The Cover

How to add images to your eBook.

Add Images

Stylesheets are the tools that can really set your eBook apart from the rest. Sigil comes with built-in styles but adding your own gives you more flexibility and choice. I have included some sample stylesheets and you can use these to experiment and see what you like for your eBook.

Add The Stylesheet
Convert The eBook To MOBI Format
2 Lectures 08:02

How to download the Kindle Previewer

This allows you to see what your book will look like on different Kindles. It's great because it can highlight problems such as colored headings being a little washed out on black & white devices (e.g. Kindle eInk). Then it's easy to go back and change things in Sigil and check again in the Kindle Previewer.

The Kindle Previewer isn't the only way to convert ePubs to MOBI format - the free software Calibre is another - but I really like the Previewer as it quick and easy to use.

Preview 01:27

Convert the ePub to MOBI format using Kindle Previewer.

There are other tools to convert to MOBI. Some people love Calibre - also free - but I find Kindle Previewer very useful. It's quick, easy to use, and lets you see what your eBook will look like on different Kindles.

Convert The eBook
Uploading To Amazon
1 Lecture 02:41

How to upload to Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing.

Uploading To Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing
1 Lecture 01:32

Wrap up of the course.

Wrap Up
News & FAQ
2 Lectures 00:44

FAQ will appear here - and in the questions section - as they come up.


Things change quickly in the world of digital publishing. The latest news appears here.

About the Instructor
Michelle Campbell-Scott
4.4 Average rating
157 Reviews
6,859 Students
5 Courses
Bestselling author & premium instructor on Udemy

Author of the bestselling books, 'Goodreads for Authors', 'Make Your Book Work Harder', and 'The 10-Day Skin Brushing Detox'. She is a former teacher & trainer, chicken keeper, and field archer.

She started her career in Public Relations then, while her children were growing, she did any work she could get that allowed her to be at home with them. That included: writing, course creation, editing, book indexing, book formatting, document and presentation production, and more.

After becoming a teacher and then an IT trainer, she still freelanced, writing and creating courses for others - before eventually taking the plunge and creating her own books and courses.

She writes as Michelle Campbell-Scott, specializing in publishing and marketing; Mia Campbell, specializing in health (including 'Inversion Therapy' & 'The 10-Day Skin Brushing Detox'), and Michelle Booth, specializing in hobbies and children's fiction.