Friday, June 22, 2012

Conversion for uploading

You have your book, your cover, and your blurb

And now is the time to go back to the word document of your novel, and prepare it for publishing.

Make sure that you have no headers or footers, and no page numbers. Kindle cannot cope with any of those, because the reader is in charge of font size, which also means page size, and hence the number of pages in the book. This also means that it is pointless having a different font size for emphasis. Italics are fine, though. Avoid underlining -- it is too easily confused with the underlining in URLs.

There is a manual called "Building Your Book for Kindle" that you can download for free from the Amazon site. Contrary to the advice given in "Tips for Formatting," I have recommended single spacing throughout the main text of your novel. To repeat, do not insert an empty space between paragraphs: believe me, it makes pages of dialogue look awful.

I have also recommended formatting with style sheets rather than fiddling with the "paragraph" tab in the main ribbon to create indents, because I found the style-sheet method works very well indeed, with a professional-looking result. And you don't need to insert page breaks between chapters, because the style sheet has done it for you.

The manual also describes the procedure for including images in your book. I haven't done this, because this series is about publishing your novel on Kindle, not your illustrated nonfiction book. Likewise, I haven't bothered with a table of contents, which is almost as complicated as inserting images, because of the back-buttons. And obviously there is no index.

If you want a dedication, insert a page after the copyright page, type the dedication, and center it. Treat a prologue (if you have one) just like a chapter, highlighting the word "prologue" or "foreword" and applying the stylesheet you used for your chapter headings.

Remember not to include your cover image or your blurb with your book file. They are separate files.

And, at this stage (sigh) you just might want to proof-read again. As the manual says, typos can make the differentce between two-star and four-star reviews.

All done? Happy? Now is the time to convert your word document to HTML.


With your document open, go to "Save As" and bring up the menu. At this stage it is a good idea to save under another name, so that your original file isn't lost. Save in the desktop, and in the menu, select "Web Page, Filtered."

Hit "Save."

If a message comes up about removing office tags, hit "yes." I also got a message warning me that small caps would be saved as all caps. I hit "yes."

Now, close your document, and head for the internet. It is time to log onto the Kindle Direct Publishing machine. The address is

Over on the far right you will see a "sign in" gadget.

If you don't have an Amazon account, sign up: it's easy and quick.

Once you have signed in, you will be brought to "Bookshelf."

Directly under "Introducing KIndle Direct" you will see two boxes. The second, highlighted one, says "Add New Title." Hit it. This will bring up another screen -- the "Book Details" screen.

If you are going to publish ONLY on Kindle (and not on Kobo etc.) then click the box "Enroll this Book in KDP Select." Then head for the boxes, making sure you fill them all, as necessary.

Book details

Insert the book's title in the box under "Book Name." Then fill in the next box if the book is part of a series. Otherwise, leave it blank.

Book description

Go to the documents file on your computer, find the blurb you have so carefully written and saved, open it, hit "select all" to highlight all the text, and hit CTRL + x This will put all the text into your clipboard. Now go back to the Kindle publishing page, and put your cursor on the box that is headed "Book Description." Hit CTRL + v, and your blurb will be pasted into the box. Read it carefully, checking for typos, and putting a space between paragraphs. Italics will not be there, but (as far as I know) you can't do anything about it, so you just have to live with it.

The next box asks you for contributors. Unless you co-wrote the book with someone, you only need to put in your name, as the author. Leave the language as English (assuming your novel is in English!) and leave the other three boxes blank: Amazon will add the current publication date, and assign your book an ASIN.

Verify your publishing rights by checking, "This is not a public domain work and I hold the necessary publishing rights."

Now, you are asked to target your book for the market.

Hit "Add Categories." A long list of genres will come up; clicking on the + sign by each one will bring up even more. The ones you opt for will help Amazon match your book to customers. Unfortunately you are only allowed to choose two. But you are allowed to type up to seven keywords in the box below it.

Upload your book cover

This is really easy. Click on the box that says "Browse for image," find your saved jacket image in your pictures folder, and upload it. You will see it as a thumbnail. If you suddenly hate it and want to change it, go to the bottom, hit "save as draft," leave the publishing page in the meantime, and go back to work on your powerpoint image. Then when you sign in again to KDP, you will be able to replace the hated image with the new one. But hopefully, it will look just fine.

Now for the tricky bit: uploading your book file, and checking it will look good on the device.
That will come in the next post, because it will be quite long -- longer than this blogsite can handle. In the meantime, go to the bottom and "save as draft."

YOU'RE ALMOST THERE! Hit THIS LINK to see the next step.


  1. thank you for the information it was amazing, because I was preparing for my posting the article about the Kindle ..
    and successful thanks to you

  2. Thanks for your comment, and I am glad it worked for you.

  3. Thanks for sharing such an informative article. I really enjoyed it. Please visit

  4. What an absolute gem this blog is! Thank you so much for all the hard work you have put in to helping us, Joan!

  5. Everything has gone so well, until. . . Right after I "Saved As," I am looking at my manuscript, and the title has moved way down as well as the copyright, and they are both right there at the beginning of my manuscript sharing the bottom of page 2 and part of my first page of writing. What did I do?

    1. Oh dear, how frustrating. Go to the "home" tab on your word ribbon, and find the icon that looks like a musical note. It means "show, hide" and when you hit it, you will be able to see your formatting marks. My guess is that you have page breaks that should not be there. Try highlighting and deleting them. This will work, hopefully. Let me know what happens.

  6. Thank you a million times! Yes, it worked! I struggle with all of this, but I think the second time around it will all be easier. I hope! I cannot thank you enough for your patient, detailed instructions. Your diligence at providing help has saved my sanity. I wouldn't even be anonymous, I don't want to be anonymous but I don't know how else to sign.