Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Your Future E-Book: Formatting for Kindle

Update:

I have found an editor and hired her to copyedit Pearl (I need to think of a title, don't I? Ugh).

I had emailed a few self-pubbed writing buddies, asking them where they found their editors and which platforms they went with, but I was on Facebook one day and a college friend, who is now an acquisitions editor at an academic press, said that she had a freelance slot open. So I jumped on it. She always left the most helpful notes on workshopped pieces :-)

Basically, for those of you thinking of going the self-publishing route or those who aren't writers but are forced to read this blog out of friendship (shout out!), there are three main selling outlets for self-publishing authors.

CreateSpace: CreateSpace is a free creation and distribution service catering to those who want to self-publish paperbacks. I haven't researched them extensively because I don't want to go the paperback route, but they print-on-demand when a consumer orders the book and the book is put up on Amazon and other major book retailing sites.

Smashwords. We'll talk about them at a later date.


Let's focus on Kindle Direct Publishing. The Kindle is, by far, the largest publisher and distributor of ebooks and it's very easy to sign up to be a publisher on KDP--there's a form, then a tax form to fill out, then you upload your document and then your cover and off you go.

But the document has to be formatted correctly---so I dutifully downloaded Building Your Book For Kindle, read it, and decided that I'm going to practice formatting my book properly while it's in my editor's hands so that I don't screw it up when the time comes.

Of course, I could pay someone to format it, but, well, like, I'm cheap. And I really do want to learn how to do it for myself because I have been blogging for six years---resulting in a very rudimentary knowledge of HTML.

So far in formatting: your text needs to be single-spaced, no indents--use the paragraph tool to set each starting line at 0.5" instead--Kindle wants page breaks in between the ends and beginnings of chapters, and the Table of Contents will link as long as you put the chapter headers in Heading 1.

However, the instructions in Building Your Book for removing the ToC's page numbers don't correlate with my Word program. Of course, ebooks don't have pages, so the page numbers are unnecessary, but I can't figure out how to get rid of them.

So, so far:
-How the heck do I get rid of the dang page numbers in the TOC?
-What do I do when I have a scene break?
-Why does Word keeping reverting?


4 comments:

  1. So cool! Can't wait to see the finished product. The only one I've used was Create Space to bind Michael and I's letters as a gift. It was definitely annoying formatting all the stuff and then the page numbers didn't even print! It was cool though to hold the printed book in my hands though.

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    1. I imagine it was! We'll see what happens when I get the edited version back in about a month.

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  2. Yay! Congrats on lining up s good editor! Do you know who you're using for a cover yet?

    As to the formatting...Wow...I have no idea. This kind of makes me want to try it and see if I can figure it out. I hope it's something simple. Good luck with figuring this out!

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    1. I didn't even start trying to find a cover artist yet.

      I was looking at some stuff on AW and the Kindle forums to figure out the toc thing, but nothing so far that seems to work with my version of Word. I'll tinker with it for now, see if I can figure it out. Figured I'd start the tinkering now.

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