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Kindle Formatting: The Complete Guide to Formatting Books for the Amazon Kindle [Kindle Edition]

Joshua Tallent
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $19.95
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Book Description

Publishers and independent authors everywhere are excited—and somewhat anxious—about the move toward digital publishing. eBooks are revolutionizing the publishing world, and eBook reading devices like the Amazon Kindle are on the forefront of this revolution.

However, the formatting the Kindle requires can be hard to decipher and even harder to implement. This book serves as a guide to the process of formatting eBooks that look great on the Kindle every time. Each step is explained in detail, with examples and formatting tips found nowhere else.

In addition to instructions for the conversion and formatting process, this book contains detailed explanations of all the HTML and CSS markup supported by both versions of the Kindle, instructions for achieving optimal image display quality on their E Ink screens, and other details about the Kindle's formatting requirements previously left to chance or speculation.

Beautiful eBooks are at your fingertips. The Kindle and its readers await.

=== About the Author ===

Joshua Tallent has been an eBook Developer for more than six years. He was the first eBook professional to offer full-service, Kindle-specific eBook conversion services to small publishers and independent authors. Through, Joshua has formatted all types of eBooks for his clients, including novels, poetry, business books, scientific texts, large print books, and more. is a service of eBook Architects, Joshua's eBook development and consulting company.

Joshua lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and two daughters.

=== NOTE ===

This eBook is published DRM-free. That means you can change the file extension from .azw to .mobi and open the book in Mobipocket Reader or on any other Mobipocket supported device. Print and ePub versions of this book are also available.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1470 KB
  • Print Length: 158 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: eBook Architects (April 2, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0024FAPF4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #486,891 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
104 of 108 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Occasionally useful; not as good as claimed May 21, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition
I was pretty disappointed by Joshua Tallent's "Kindle Formatting." It's an occasionally helpful intro for the true Kindle formatting novice (as I was when I picked up the book), but it falls seriously short as a detailed or ostensibly "complete" guide.

My main complaint is that it simply feels lazy. His treatment of images is a good example of this. In the one brief paragraph dedicated to discussing image types (.jpg, .gif, etc.), he says a few uninformative words about each of the file formats Kindle supports ("PNGs are very good for charts") and then concludes with, "I don't suggest using BMPs since the other formats are usually better." Oh, really? I'm glad to hear it's not because they're usually worse. When I'm wrestling with how to put an image with too much information on too small a screen, I want something a little more substantial than "I don't recommend it because it's not good." How about saying a little something about why?

Another explanation for cases like this might be that Tallent does not want to give away too many trade secrets. He obliquely mentions but never really describes all kinds of tricks that he uses in his own Kindle formatting services. I can understand his not wanting to write a treatise on the subject, and I can even understand wanting to preserve few painstakingly discovered tricks for himself, but I think readers of this small book (rather expensive at $20 for the print version and $10 for the Kindle version) deserve more than this extremely cursory treatment.

Again and again I have turned to this book with relatively simple questions only to come away frustrated. Google searches and some experimentation have served me much better.

A decent enough intro (although, again, much of this information can be found online and discovered for oneself through a little experimentation), but complete it certainly is not.
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76 of 79 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Detailed How-to Manual for Advanced Users July 8, 2009
For the prospective Kindle author who is somewhat more advanced in the field of computers in general and HTML coding in particular, this is an excellent guide for you. Joshua Tallent is obviously far more the mathematician and programming nerd than is the average POD author who just wants to cash in from Kindle sales. If you just want to convert the Word document version of your Mr. Average Novel into DTP, then you have several options that may be more efficient for you than following the instructions contained in this book. These options include, in no particular order of significance: uploading your book directly from Word into the Amazon DTP system; running your document through the Smashwords Meatgrinder; downloading and utilizing Mobipocket Creator; or paying Joshua Tallent directly to format your book perfectly for you, a service he offers from his website. If you have a very complex book containing varied text layout or a lot of photos or other graphics, and you want it all to look as perfect as possible in the Kindle version, then hiring Mr. Tallent's services is probably your best bet. If you and/or your book fall between the cracks of some of these scenarios, then Kindle Formatting: The Complete Guide by Michael R. Hicks may be the best solution. If you are at least somewhat proficient in HTML and you want to do it all yourself, then Joshua Tallent's Kindle Formatting is an excellent, detailed guide.

Is Joshua's thin book worth $20 to you, or $10 if you have a Kindle? If you barely understood how to send your simple Word document to iUniverse, letting them design your cover while you contributed very little to your book's design, then Kindle Formatting probably offers a lot more than you care to know.
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Helpful, but could be better March 5, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It has a lot of good and helpful information, but most of it I had already discovered for myself before buying the book.

A book about formatting a book should be a well-edited book. This one is not. In addition to writing style and typographical issues, there are production issues, too. A figure (5.4) os the wrong figure, for example.

The book is supposed to explain all the "secrets." Not. For example, Kindle authors are told time and again that we have a default font and a mono-spaced code font and that's it. This book is published in a non-default sans serif font, and the author does not explain how he did it.

Are you interested in publishing formulae and equations? You get no help in this book.

I'd say buy another book, but I don't think there is another book on this suject. Perhaps that's why it's so pricey compared to other Kindle books.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Outdated and Incorrect February 21, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The sole reason I bought this book was to find the code for inserting a "Buy Now" link into a Kindle book that would connect directly with the native Kindle Store rather than connect to the experimental web browser (which doesn't allow users to buy, only to add to their wishlist after a cumbersome log-in page).

I did an extensive Google search for the answer to this problem, and the only thing that kept coming up was Tallent's book. His website's product description says, "What information does Kindle Formatting have that you can't find anywhere else?" and then a list of features including, "How to create links to the built-in Kindle Store." Exactly what I needed.

So I paid the ten dollars, searched the book, found the section—and guess what? His link code was exactly what I'd already been trying with no success. It is a function that has apparently been disabled by Amazon. (And no, I'm not just doing it wrong. I work with the web for a living, and have a firm grasp of HTML and CSS. I double and triple checked, and even asked a friend who is a senior web developer to try again for me, because I was so desperate to get this to work.)

This is my first review in almost fifteen years of using Amazon, and my first return of a book ever. But I felt it necessary in case anyone else was thinking of buying this. Seriously: save yourself the ten or twenty dollars, and do a Google search instead. This book is seriously outdated, and not compliant with the current Amazon KDP store. Even if you're confused, you're better off without it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A very technical, advanced how to book.
This book is over my head. I've have four books I've managed to get on Kindle and thought this book would help me take things to a new level, polish them up, and perhaps understand... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Nikki Hanna
1.0 out of 5 stars Woefully out of date
This book should either be updated(HINT, HINT,) or taken down. It covers only Kindle 1 and 2 and the first iPhone app, all of which have long since been superseded. Read more
Published 18 months ago by James R. Gallloway
3.0 out of 5 stars It's okay
I found EPUB Straight to the Point and videos much more helpful when I converted a book into electronic format.
Published 18 months ago by A.M.W.
5.0 out of 5 stars Hands down the best Kindle eBook creation reference out there.
I cannot stress enough how many times this book has aided me as a reference when I was completely stumped or if I simply needed to better understand a point or subject. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Timothy A Tobin
3.0 out of 5 stars It was helpful.
I don't know if my review is relevant now being that Kindle is automated in formatting and it is so much simpler now. BUT when I did get the book it was helpful.
Published 20 months ago by Ted A Benau
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful to format my books !!!
Easy and quite simple to understand, I use it to format my italian traditional recipes books. I also use other sources but this is ncice and well written. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Al Dente Kitchen
2.0 out of 5 stars Informative but not very practical
Good to know how kindle really works but brings little knowledge for those who really want to format things for kindle. Read more
Published 24 months ago by JrBenito
3.0 out of 5 stars Formatting your article or book for Kindle.
I found the information helpful for submitting my first manuscript. The guidelines for formatting and page setup assisted me in getting the document converted and up on the site... Read more
Published on October 7, 2012 by Robert Stetson
3.0 out of 5 stars For advanced Kindle formatters only
I use a lot of images, captions, and bulleted lists in my writing on history and art history. I was hoping this book would help me quickly and efficiently get through the process... Read more
Published on August 1, 2012 by Dianne Durante
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of Kindle Formatting by Joshua Tallent
Kindle Formatting, by Joshua Tallent is a complete, well-written ebook. It was not only easy to read, but very informative. I will want to read other ebooks by this author. Read more
Published on July 19, 2012 by Claudia DiDona
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More About the Author

Joshua Tallent has been an eBook developer for more 8 years, and is an expert on formatting eBooks in the variety of formats on the market, including Kindle/Mobipocket and ePub. His book, "Kindle Formatting: The Complete Guide," has been praised as the most helpful and thorough explanation of the detailed process involved in developing eBooks for the Amazon Kindle. eBook Architects, his eBook conversion and consulting business, provides services to both publishers and authors. Joshua resides in Austin, Texas, with his wife and two daughters. He can be found online at and @jtallent or @ebookarchitects.


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