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Amazon Kindle formatting - helpful links and advice

 
 
Mountaineer
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      05-14-2011

I just finished formatting a book for Amazon Kindle. The book was written in MS Office
Word 2003 for Windows. I had previous experience in formatting books for print (going
back to the 1980s, DOS, Word Perfect, B&W Ventura Publisher, Pagemaker, early full-
color Macs, Quark XPress, Illustrator, Photoshop, etc.), and much later PDF and simple
webpage formats, but I had never formatted a book for sale on Kindle before. I had the
old MS Office Word 2003 on file, so I installed it on my Windows 7 x64 PC and, much to
my pleasant surprise, it worked.

I googled: word amazon kindle , and many helpful links (and others not so helpful)
appeared in the first few pages of search results. Once I got the hang of the basics,
I refined searches to fine-tune the "rough edges." For those who might be interested
in getting books on Amazon Kindle, here are some of the links I found useful:

http://www.cjs-easy-as-pie.com/

http://www.mobipocket.com/en/Downloa...ilsCreator.asp

http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.htm...cId=1000234621

http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.htm...cId=1000426311

http://kindlegen.s3.amazonaws.com/Am...Guidelines.pdf

https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/signin

The formatting techniques clearly described on the "cjs-easy-as-pie" pages I found
easiest to follow, complete with no first-line paragraph indents where desired,
small-caps, fully functional TOCs and NCX, centered graphic above chapter title on
TOC clicks, proper book cover (the pretty cover I'll take credit for), etc. Also,
wasn't sure if the drastic "select all, CLEAR ALL FORMATTING!, copy all text to
notepad, start new blank Word dot doc file, copy all text from notepad, paste into
new blank document, click save, reformat from scratch" technique was necessary,
but I did it anyway just in case. MS Word's "replace, font, italic" feature came
in handy, by using it on the original read-only document file to change all
italicized words and lines with big bold blue Ariel black formatting. That made
it easy to find each instance of the italicized lines, copy and paste into the new
file's "find" feature, and that found and automatically selected the same words
or lines which I then (re)italicized, one line at a time. There might be an
easier way to do this, but it worked. The rest was just a learning curve and some
trial and error. Once the filtered html was satisfactory with a functional TOC,
I completed formatting using the freeware Notepad++, but I suppose any text editor
could suffice for that. Now that I know how to do it, the next book I format for
Kindle should be a lot easier, even though it can be time consuming work.

I don't know if any ebook format will ever seriously challenge the printed book
publishing industry, but rumor has it that portable ebooks such as Kindle, Nook,
and others are becoming more popular, especially with the younger generation.

Good Luck,
Mountaineer


 
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