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Thread: Formatting for Kindle DeMystified

  1. #1

    Formatting for Kindle DeMystified

    Hello All,

    Long time no see. I have been tied up (don't I wish) with a ton of preparations. I had expected to go live with my first book last Friday on Amazon but this little issue about the IRS wanting ITIN and / or EIN number from non-US residents put a solid road block in my plans.
    So while that was getting resolved I did a last (11 by my count) revision of my book and spent the weekend playing with the formatting process.

    You may or may not want to sell your work via Amazon or other distributors, but it is still so cool (and probably a great pick up line in a bar -"Hey baby, wanna see my Ebook") to have your finished book / novel / short story whatever, formatted and readable on your kindle or other ebook reader.

    Here's what you need.
    1. Microsoft Word.
    2. MobiPocket Creator
    3. Calibre
    (the last two programs are free - search 'em on Google - download and install)

    The first and most important piece of work is to get that Word Document correctly formated with chapters that link and indents (don't use the tab button - must set up margins and create indents via the return key) etc. etc.
    You also need to insert page breaks. Essential.
    Once your word doc is 100% save it. If I am not mistaken, the version of MobiPocket Creator I have DOES NOT recognize the .docx format so you have to save for the older version of word (save as - word 97 blah blah) .doc

    Use the MobiPocket creator to import / open a word file.
    Then it will convert the world file into .HTML

    Now you are done with MobiPocket.
    Open Calibre.
    Mobipocket probably created a folder called "My Publications" in "My Documents" Check it out.
    In Calibre click "Add Books" find the HTML file.
    Once it comes over to Calibre you can then convert the Html file to various formats, add your cover, add in title, Author, tabs, blurb and do all kinds of other fiddling to get it right. I suggest keeping a Notepad doc open at all times. Copy and past the new stuff you write (a blurb for example) cause you are likely to go through the whole proces 2 or 3 times.

    Once you have converted to the format you want, open that baby up and........OH MY GOD, THE TITLE IS ALL WRONG, THE PAGE DOESN'T BREAK HERE, WHINE, WHINE, WHINE. Remember that it will look different on different machines with different font sizes so the best you can do is the best you can do. Transfer the .mobi file or whatever format to your nook or cranny or kindle or whatever and check it out. Adjust font sizes.

    Now you go back to the word file and tweak it. Then back to Mobipocket, then back to Calibre.

    Mine came out really well after the third try. Do ten or fifteen and you are going to become a pro at it.

    David Gordon Burke
    We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.
    Plato
    https://davidgordonburkeindieauthor.wordpress.com/
    My Books
    http://www.amazon.com/David-Gordon-Burke/e/B00GS1WJV8/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

  2. #2
    Thanks David! I'm finding that I'm still getting complaints here and there from people having trouble downloading it and complaining about blank pages. They seem to be in the minority though, and using different machines is a great idea.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by HasShah1 View Post
    Thanks David! I'm finding that I'm still getting complaints here and there from people having trouble downloading it and complaining about blank pages. They seem to be in the minority though, and using different machines is a great idea.
    You will get blank pages is you just drop a 'insert page break' in between chapters. What I do is copy and paste one chapter at a time. Then add a page break and then copy in the next chapter. There's a lot of quirky issues with Word so it has to be done delicately.

    Good luck.

    David Gordon Burke
    We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.
    Plato
    https://davidgordonburkeindieauthor.wordpress.com/
    My Books
    http://www.amazon.com/David-Gordon-Burke/e/B00GS1WJV8/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

  4. #4
    Or you could just go to this page, and convert it to HTML., it supports .docx (I mean, it can be converted), and it's takes a minute or so. Happy converting!
    Je suis Charlie.

    "My ambition is handicapped with laziness." - Charles Bukowski
    "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not “Eureka!” but “That’s funny…” - Isaac Asimov
    "Sometimes it's the very people who no one imagines anything of who do the things no one can imagine." - Alan Turing
    "Physicists are made of atoms. A physicist is an attempt by an atom to understand itself.” - Michio Kaku
    "No fighting in the War room!" - Dr. Strangelove
    "I'm friends with the mustard that's under my bed" - The Internet

    In memory of Pandora...

  5. #5
    "MOBI files (.prc) created with the legacy program MobiPocket Creator are no longer supported. Only MOBI (.mobi) files created with Amazon tools such as KindleGen tool are supported and recommended."

    Found on Amazon page.
    Je suis Charlie.

    "My ambition is handicapped with laziness." - Charles Bukowski
    "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not “Eureka!” but “That’s funny…” - Isaac Asimov
    "Sometimes it's the very people who no one imagines anything of who do the things no one can imagine." - Alan Turing
    "Physicists are made of atoms. A physicist is an attempt by an atom to understand itself.” - Michio Kaku
    "No fighting in the War room!" - Dr. Strangelove
    "I'm friends with the mustard that's under my bed" - The Internet

    In memory of Pandora...

  6. #6
    Calibre handles Docx files directly now, and can convert them to .MOBI format, which Kindle accepts. Kindle will also accept and convert a word file, but does such a poor job of conversion that the file is two to three times the size that submitting a MOBI file will give. And since Amazon charges for delivery based on file size, having them do the conversion can cost you $.15 or $.30 more, in USD.

    Something else to keep in mind. Before you convert the file to MOBI be certain to go to the add-bookmark window and ask to see hidden bookmarks. If there are any, delete them. If the box is checked when the window opens, uncheck and recheck it again, because in many versions of word there is a bug and hidden bookmarks will only show if you do that.

    Be certain to remove any headers and footers from fiction.

    Hope this helps.

  7. #7
    The last time I uploaded to Amazon Kindle I uploaded a doc file and let Amazon convert it. The conversion was flawless. If the document was properly formatted in the first place, it should convert to html without issue.

    There is no html equivalent for tabs, which is why they don't work.

    By looking at a print preview, in Word or Open Office, you can discover blank pages before uploading the doc.

    And make sure you at least run spell check.



    Blast! Just discovered this is an old thread. *walking away sheepishly*

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack of all trades View Post
    Blast! Just discovered this is an old thread. *walking away sheepishly*
    Don't worry, every advice is helpful to some of us
    Je suis Charlie.

    "My ambition is handicapped with laziness." - Charles Bukowski
    "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not “Eureka!” but “That’s funny…” - Isaac Asimov
    "Sometimes it's the very people who no one imagines anything of who do the things no one can imagine." - Alan Turing
    "Physicists are made of atoms. A physicist is an attempt by an atom to understand itself.” - Michio Kaku
    "No fighting in the War room!" - Dr. Strangelove
    "I'm friends with the mustard that's under my bed" - The Internet

    In memory of Pandora...

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