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
(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.
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