All-Things-ScribeSlice

Group: All Things ScribeSlice

Formatting books for publication to Kindle

There are a lot of little tricks that can be used when publishing to Kindle, that I have recently discovered the hard way.

If you write your novel in Microsoft Word, it makes things ULTIMATELY easier. Word has a lot of faults, but it also has a lot of good points. But then, let's get to what I have found out (and believe me, it has been a road hard traveled).

First and foremost is proofreading and editing. You should ALWAYS go through your manuscript time after time, looking for spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors. DO NOT depend on "Spellchecker" to catch all of your errors. Spellcheck will not differentiate between to, too, and two. After you have deemed the manuscript squeaky clean, have someone else go through it. I will guarantee that they will find something that you missed. (A good friend, Leonard Wronke, has volunteered to go through my next novel, The Sign Killer, for me to catch the stuff I missed, and I know he will catch some errors.)

Now that the manuscript is squeaky clean, comes the hard part. Formatting for Kindle. You can go the hit or miss process, as I did, or you can try to get it as near right as possible by following some easy steps. For starters, get rid of all the drop caps.

First, go on the internet and look for Mobipocket Creator and download a free copy. Then go to Mobipocket reader and download that.

Now, open Mobipocket creator and import your manuscript and let it do its thing.
After it has created a file for you, open Mobipocket reader, and view the file. That is where the proverbial rubber will meet the road.

You will probably have mistakes. The most common mistake is that your paragraphs will not be indented. You can correct these indentation errors by going back to your Microsoft Word manuscript and opening it. Then click on "Tools" then "Options". When you get to that screen, check all the boxes under "Formatting Marks"
You will then find that the Microsoft Word manuscript looks really funny. All of the formatting marks will be shown.


Don Yarber

26th November 2011


Here comes the really tricky part: You have to determine which of the marks are causing the problem in your file that has been created by Mobipocket creator, by looking closely at the results in the Mobipocket reader. Then you go back to the Microsoft Word manuscript file (with all the formatting marks) and delete the formatting marks that are causing the problems.

After you have accomplished that miraculous feat, import the corrected file into the creator, let it do its thng, then view it with the reader to see if the file is the way you want it to be.

This can be a tedious process and it is not for amateurs. If you have high blood pressure, a weak heart, or are easily confused, it might be better to leave your manuscript in the hands of professionals like ones found on the internet, who specialize in preparing manuscripts for publication to Kindle. One that I know charges $25 per book, but guarantees the results.

Another method would be to go to your Microsoft Word manuscript then under "FILE" click "Save as HTML". That will save your file as an HTML file and you can then run it through the Mobicreator program. I'm not sure, but I think the Mobicreator performs pretty much the same function as saving your file as an HTML file.


I hope this is helpful to some of you who have accomplished the very first humongous task: WRITING A NOVEL.

(If you have written a novel, congratulate yourself. You are one of a kind. According to a friend of mine who is a statistician only 2.2 percent of the world's population have ever published a book, although there are probably more who have written a book and not published it.)


Don Yarber

26th November 2011


That's some really good advice Don - although by the sounds of it the $25 option could be the head ache free way to go.


Harley Bailey

27th November 2011


Yes, it would be the way to go for beginners. I'm just an old tight wad when it comes to spending money for something I can do myself. My brother tells me I will squeeze a nickel until I get the Indian riding the Buffalo. (Old American coins, a 5c piece is a nickel, they used to have an Indian head on one side, and a buffalo on the other.)


Don Yarber

27th November 2011


Haha Don - I have some old buffalo nickels if you need to borrow some :D


Jessica Shaffer

27th November 2011


lol! This is REALLY handy though. When I DO publish, I expect I'll follow this procedure. And I'm one of those people who have a manuscript already written but so far unpublished. I've come to think Short Stories are my forté, so I'm going to do a book of those :)


Jason Dookeran

27th November 2011


wow, i think i'll just write it all out by hand then bind it with ribbon. :P
Don, you have the patience of a saint!


Summer Breeze

28th November 2011


@Jan - hole punch, 2 thin planks of wood and some zip ties for me, lol :P

seriously, i haven't tried either of the Mobi programs yet, look forward to trying them


Aaron Greene

28th November 2011


@Aaron-Hahaha! Popsicle sticks?


Summer Breeze

28th November 2011


YEAH!!!! That gives me an idea, i could write my book on Popsicle sticks, have the front and back cover made of Popsicle sticks, and bind it with Popsicle sticks. the story would be about the unnecessary use of to many Popsicle sticks. Thanks :D


Aaron Greene

28th November 2011


I appreciate the info Don, any idea if this format will work on tablets?


Robert Harris

28th November 2011


I will do the sneak peek and give it a shot. Great advice, handy and timely. Thanks Don.


Bill O. farmer

28th November 2011


@Aaron: Sounds like Kramer's coffee table book on Seinfeld. Have you seen that episode?
@Robert: I think it will work on any publication except one with pictures. That takes some formatting tricks that I have not yet experimented with.


Don Yarber

29th November 2011


@Don - Cant say i have, hehe


Aaron Greene

29th November 2011


@Don-i saw that one. cool idea!


Summer Breeze

29th November 2011


@Jason: When you do get ready to publish, holler at me and I'll try to help you with some of the pitfalls. I've learned a lot from ASH KNOLL university. (American School of Hard Knocks and Nuances of Long Life). LOL. I'll be glad to help all I can, even though I still have some problems to work out. I'm learning.


Don Yarber

30th November 2011


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