Five top tips for getting the correct kindle format:
I have recently published my fourth novel. This involves getting the formatting right for both the paperback version and the Kindle e-book. I would say that only this time around have I finally worked out the best way to do it. So, here are my top five tips:
1. Use a template.
Even before you start writing your novel, make sure you are typing into the correct template. Kindle Direct Publishing provide templates on their site and there are other extremely helpful souls out there on the World Wide Web who have made their templates available for others to use. Choose the one which suits you best. Then, you will not lose the structure you’ve created when you convert it for uploading i.e. chapter headings, different fonts/ font sizes/italics. I have always used microsoft word for this process and these documents convert well into kindle format.
2. You may need to create a ‘paper’ book version of your manuscript and an e-book version.
This will only need to be done after you have finished! Kindle tends to like formatting to be as simple as possible so if you have used drop caps for the start of paragraphs or any other fancy design techniques, it might be best to keep these for your paper book but simplify them for kindle. Save them as two separate docs and name them distinctly differently.
3. For your kindle version, keep indents at the beginning of paragraphs narrow. If you are working in word, use the ruler function to keep left indent small, this will avoid them spreading out and getting out of sync when the document is converted. It has taken me until now to work this out!! V. important tip!!
4. It is essential to insert/page break at each new chapter. If you don’t, then your text will all blend together and you will not get a new page for each new chapter and your book appears much more professional with them.
5. Make sure you use the digital preview function. It will show you how the final book will look on Kindle. turn every page until you reach the end of the book. Don’t be afraid to go back to your document and make all the changes that are necessary to get it right. Now I have learnt how to do it properly, I have gone back to all my previous titles and polished up their formats. Publishers should take heed and do the same. Kindle’s service of re-upoading your interior is fast and efficient and ensures a top quality final product.
No one gets it absolutely correct first time around, but practise makes perfect! Good Luck!