- File Size: 158 KB
- Print Length: 31 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: April 15, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B007URVZJ6
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,740 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
Building Your Book for Kindle Kindle Edition
|Length: 31 pages|
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This is a short and precise explanation of all a writer needs to know to publish onto the Kindle. It is all for Microsoft Word users - I don't know if they have another version for other word processing programs or if you could extrapolate from the Word instructions. I haven't actually published my book yet, so I can't say for sure how correct all the instructions are, but they are extremely exact: "Click 'Insert' at the top of the screen in Word...." etc.
The book starts with a "Before You Write" chapter that tells you exactly what not to do while you're actually writing your book - things like, "Avoid using tabs and spaces to indent paragraphs and icons." It then proceeds to tell you what exactly how to form your paragraphs (using Word's Page Layout feature).
There's also a very good synopsis of how to form your cover art. It took me a long time to even find references to this issue on the Amazon website, but this book very clearly and succinctly tells you everything you need to know. (The picture needs to be a jpg or tif file, at least 1000 pixels on the longest side, and the height-to-width ratio should be about 1.6.)
Also included are info on how to create your table of contents, how to insert illustrations into the main book, etc. Then on to how to convert your Word file into html and how to upload it onto Amazon.
The whole thing is very well written. Very clear and doesn't waste your time. Excellent technical writing.
Downloading this "book" (really the length of a magazine article) is a no-brainer since it's free. But don't just download it for future reference -- read it before you look at the Amazon Self-Publishing page information and indeed before you start typing out your book.
Update: I am now uploading various short stories, with and without pictures, to see how everything works. The only part of "Building Your Book" I didn't understand was the "Books with Images: Creating a zipped file of your book contents." The writer said, "1) Go to the folder where you saved your book..." I thought, how in the world does he know whether or not I put my book in a folder? It turns out, though, that, when you convert the file to "Web Page, Filtered" (which he explains very clearly beforehand), and then make a zip file (which he also explains), Word will automatically form two files, just as he describes them. He just doesn't tell you that Word will do this. Also, if your book has pictures (other than the cover art), I would highly recommend "Pictures on Kindle" by Aaron Shepard. It's technical, but if you want to insert pictures into Kindle properly, this book is a great help.
One other hint for potential first time authors: Go to Amazon books and type in the name you intend to use. I failed to do that and ended sharing an author page with my British namesake who published two hardcover picture books of Princess Di. Nice but considerably removed from the sci fi I write. The Kindle staff were very nice and helpful but it took a while to get divorced. I'm just happy there were no children involved!
For example, I wanted to know if any specific size page or type font was required; neither was even mentioned. Ouch.
I wanted to know about any special instructions for converting from a CreareSpace format to a Kindle format; never mentioned. Ouch.
I wanted to know if the pages needed to follow a specific formatting formula. Again, no mention. Ouch.
I wanted to see what a well-formatted Kindle book could look like, assuming this would be it. Not even close. This book used a font with each letter about the size of a gnat's eyelash. I literally needed to read it with a magnifying glass. And every few paragraphs, there would a note in gray that said, "42 [or some other number] highlighters." I have no idea what that is all about, but I suspect it is not supposed to be there. Ouch, ouch, ouch.
That said, and most importantly, I cannot take seriously a book about formatting that is itself formatted poorly. Doctor, heal thyself.
Some sections were unclear, and I ended with more questions than I had before reading this. I was looking for a book about Kindle formatting written by someone with practical experience, and written in such a way as to clearly address the kinds of questions and issues a newbie faces. Unfortunately, this is not it.
I gave it two stars because nothing is all bad, and I will be the first to admit that there are some good pointers in here... I just got tired of looking for them with a magnifier.