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Ebook Formatting > The Top Annoyance for Kindle Readers Who Buy Indie Books

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message 1: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Hill | 18 comments One of the most difficult parts of publishing a book to Kindle is creating a document that Kindle will be able to read. Kindle is by far the most popular format for selling and publishing ebooks on the market today, so naturally lots of authors want to make sure their titles are available on Amazon.

Here are some simple steps for formatting your ebook.

If you look at the top navigation bar of your Microsoft Word program (2013), under the “Home” tab, you’ll notice a section called Styles. Word has a set of predetermined styles to choose from that can be used, for example, when you need a chapter heading, a title, or a subtitle. The style for “Heading 1,” which appears in that list, shows up as blue. If you were to highlight a line in your document and select “Heading 1” style, the highlighted selection would become blue. And, depending on the type of font you are currently using, it may change the font face. There will also be some space added, such that the “Heading 1” line will appear to have some space between it and the rest of the content on the page.

This is what I mean by manual formatting. Now I will show you how to set up your own formatting styles, which will make it easier for your files to conform to Kindle standards.

Under the Home tab, click on the little arrow in the lower right-hand corner of the Style section. A new widow will open; this shows all the preloaded styles Word has included with your software. Now, click the button in the lower left-hand corner (New Style). When the new dialogue box opens give the style a name. (In this example, we’ll create a style for your heading, which we will apply to all of the chapter headings in your document. Name this style “Chapter Head 1” to distinguish it from the existing “Heading 1.”)

Let’s say you want to have your chapter headings appear as centered with a little bit of space between the title and the rest of the document. You want the font size to be a bit larger than the rest of the document, and you want it to appear as boldface type.

In the new dialogue box, after you’ve entered a name for the new style, select the icon that looks like a bunch of lines of text aligned as center (should be the second button from the left under the “Formatting” section. Then select the capital letter “B” to signify boldface type. Adjust the font face to the style and size you want. If your body text is 12, you might want to use a size 14 or 16 to make the chapter heading stand out. In the lower left-hand corner of this dialogue box, click the button that says “Format” and select “Paragraph” from the dropdown menu.

In the new dialogue box that opens, under the General section, make sure that the alignment is still centered. Under the Indentation section, make sure that both Left and Right indentations are set to 0”. Under Special select “None.” Now, under the Spacing section, make the Before 0 pt and the After 18 pt. This tells Microsoft Word that any section of text that is formatted with this style will have 18 points of space between the chapter title and anything that shows up as text below the chapter title. Finally, set the Line Spacing to “Single” and then click Ok.

If you highlight a section of your manuscript and then select the “Chapter Head 1” style, you should notice that it looks exactly like you programmed it to look. You can always make adjustments to this style (add more space, change the font, or add other features) simply by going to the list of styles and then pointing your cursor toward the right side of the Style in the list. Click on the arrow and select “Modify…” from the dropdown menu.

The formula you have just created for this style, as well as others you will create, will tell Kindle how to format your book when it is converted to a Kindle (.mobi) file.

Learn more: http://amzn.to/1tMGi5X


message 2: by David (new)

David Bergsland (david_bergsland) | 37 comments If you have any graphic design skill and experience, InDesign is by far the best and the easiest software to use.


message 3: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Hill | 18 comments Hi, David:

I totally agree. I've been using InDesign since 2003.

This is for people who don't have any graphic design experience and would rather not learn the ins and outs of InDesign.

Sincerely,

Thomas


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