Well, the hard part is done. You’ve written your manuscript, and now you’re ready to upload onto Amazon KDP or the other myriad of online bookstores. However, you want to know how to format your document to make sure your eBook looks its best to your readers. How do you go about doing that? Is there a way you can see your formatted document before you upload it? The answer is yes.
With the steps below you can transform your Word document into an ePub or Mobi (Kindle Format) before you upload and look at the formatting so you can make changes in your original Word document to make it flawless. In the last article below there is a link to a free app (Calibre) that will automatically turn your text into another file type so you can look it over. Here below is also a video on formatting your book for Kindle upload. I hope you enjoy and use what you learn to sell more books😉
This is a guide on how to format a Kindle eBook using Microsoft Word. Kindle Format 8 books can also be designed in HTML. For tips and tricks for designing your book in HTML please click here. The content of this posts has been taken from KDP’s help page so when you are ready to publish your eBook to Kindle be sure to visit their help page for any last minute updates.
In the meantime, this guide will help get you started as you turn your eBook manuscript into a eBook format ready for Kindle publishing.
For More Help on the Following Visit Amazon KDP Help Page >:
Building Your book for Kindle Publishing
Word is a great tool to use because it’s extremely easy to format. You should write your book in Word or convert it to an existing source file into Word (.doc or .docx) format before continuing. Remember these important tips below to ensure an excellent eBook presentation.
File Format: Save your content in DOC or DOCX format. Save your work periodically to avoid losing your changes as you go.
Tables: If your book requires tables, select “Insert Table” in Word.
Layout: You can use Word-default paragraph indentations, bold characters, italics and headings in your Kindle book. Avoid special fonts, headers, and footers, which do not translate into Kindle format.
Page Breaks: Insert a page break at the end of every chapter to keep the text from running together. In Word, click “Insert” at the top menu bar and select “Page Break.”
Line Breaks: Don’t hit enter at the end of a line. Word automatically wraps to the next line as you type. If you need to insert a line break in the middle of a paragraph or sentence, press Shift+Enter together so the spacing between sentences will stay the same.
Image Placement: Insert JPEG formatted images with center alignment. Don’t copy and paste from another source.
In Word, select “Insert” > “Picture” > then locate and select the file. If your book has a lot of images, it can be viewed in color by readers using our free Kindle apps for PC, MAC, iPad, iPhone, and Android. Otherwise, images on Kindle are displayed in 16 shades of gray for optimal contrast and clarity.
Don’t include your cover image in your manuscript file. When you publish or re-publish your book, KDP automatically add your cover image to the inside.
Spellcheck and Grammar: Use Word’s built-in spellcheck and grammar tools, but proofread your file manually as well. The automated tools may not catch every error.
Creating Front Matter for Kindle Publishing
Front matter is the beginning pages of a book, which may include a Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication, Preface, and Prologue. For a stylish and professional presentation, you should add a Title Page at a minimum.
Title Page: The title page should be centered with the title on top and Author Name underneath, like in the example below. Insert a page break.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
By Mark Twain
-Insert Page Break Here-
To insert a page break in Word, click “Insert” at the top menu bar and select “Page Break.”
Copyright Page: This page normally follows the Title Page. Insert a page break after the Copyright details.
Dedication: If you have a customized Dedication, it should follow the Copyright page. Be sure to insert a page break.
Preface: If you have a Preface, it should follow the Dedication. Be sure to insert a page break.
Prologue: If your book includes a Prologue, it should follow the Preface. Be sure to insert a page break.
Formatting Text for Kindle Publishing
Once you’ve created your front matter, you’re ready to format the rest of your text. The indentations, text spacing, and separate paragraphs should have been included when you built your book in Word.
The remaining step is to insert a page break after the last sentence of each book chapter to keep them from running together. Depending on the number of chapters you have, this may be a time-consuming process but the effort is worth the improved reading experience.
During publishing, your book may be converted to support enhanced typesetting, a feature that standardizes displays and improves readability across Kindle devices and applications.
Tab spacing doesn’t convert to Kindle. Instead, indent paragraphs by clicking in front of the line you want to indent. On the Page Layout tab in Word, click the Paragraph Dialog Box Launcher, and then click the “Indents and Spacing” tab. In the Special list under “Indentation”, click “First line” and then in the “By” box. Set the amount of space that you want the first line to be indented.
The indentations will appear in the Kindle content only if they’re present in the Word DOC. If there are no indentations in the DOC, you can set the indentation in the DOC file using the ruler and then save the file as HTML before uploading to KDP. If you’ve saved your content as HTML, you’ll need to format the paragraphs using tags in order for the indentations to convert correctly.
If you used unique font styles in your Word file and want to retain them, use a HTML source file along with the font file. For detailed guidance, see section 9.3.8 of the Kindle Publishing Guidelines.
Page numbers and page count
Kindle eBooks are reflowable and can be viewed with different font sizes, so page numbers and page count don’t apply. When submitting your book, remember that KDP don’t allow content that disappoints our customers, including content that’s too short.
See this Help page for more information about disappointing content.
Drop caps are large capital letters at the beginning of a block of text with two or more lines of regular text. They are typically used for the first letter of the first sentence of a chapter. Here’s an example:
Drop caps are supported, but they may not appear the way you want them to if uploaded directly from a Word document. To ensure the drop caps look as intended, you can format your manuscript in HTML. For more information on formatting drop caps, see section 9.3.6 of the Kindle Publishing Guidelines.
You can also use our manuscript and publishing tools to add elements like drop caps. Use Kindle Create (Beta) to automatically transform a completed manuscript into a beautiful Kindle eBook. Or, if you’re still working on your manuscript in Word, use Kindle Create Add-in for Microsoft Word (Beta) to apply book themes.
Text boxes and shapes
KDP doesn’t recommend inserting text boxes and shapes to create diagrams. If you want to include visuals like these, insert them as images. For detailed guidance, see section 9.4 of the Kindle Publishing Guidelines.
Creating an Active Table of Contents
KDP recommend an active Table of Contents in your book for ease of navigation. Since Kindle content is resizable, page numbering doesn’t really apply.
On a PC, you can use Word’s built-in Table of Contents tool.
On a Mac, you’ll need to create a Table of Contents manually using the Hyperlink and Bookmark functions.
Uploading your eBook for Sale on Amazon
Once you’re satisfied with the quality and presentation of your book, upload your file to your KDP Bookshelf and complete the publication process.
For information on timelines, including details on new publications and updates to published books, see the Kindle Publishing Help page.
While the epub format is used by most ebook reading devices, the mobi format, or Kindle format, is a file type that can be added and read on a Kindle.
It is easy to convert Word to mobi and epub, but why do you need to know how to do this?
Because it is the only way that you can check to make sure that your Word document is correctly formatted before uploading it to a self- publishing service such as Amazon KDP, Smashwords or Draft2Digital.
By converting and checking your Word document on your own Kindle, iPad or PC, you will be able to see if there are any formatting errors in your file before your ebook is published and goes on sale.
Poorly formatted ebooks are a sales killer, so it is highly advisable to take the time to learn how to check your ebook well before you publish.
Before you start converting, however, make sure your Word document is correctly formatted using Word Styles.
Good formatting in your Word document will make your ebook look and read much better for your potential ebook readers.
You should also perform a comprehensive grammar and spell check. Grammarly is a highly recommended grammar correction tool.
For authors, however, Prowritingaid is becoming the preferred writing tool because it works so effectively on analysing long documents such as a book manuscript.
Either tool will help ensure that your manuscript is as error-free as possible before you start proofreading your ebook.
Now you are ready to convert either Word to epub format, or Word to mobi format, which is in fact from Word to Kindle.
Don’t worry. The conversion process is very easy and you don’t need any special technical skills at all.
How to convert a file from Word to epub or mobi file format
The first step is to download a free software programme called Calibre. It is a free open source programme available for both PC and Mac.
Once you install Calibre, there are two basic ways you can add your Word file.
One is to save your Word file in .docx format. Note: Calibre will not accept .doc files.
The other is to save your Word document in .html.
To do this, click on “save as” and then select the file type as .htm.
If you have a little knowledge of HTML, this is the best time to clean up your HTML file before file converting.
However, if you are new to ebook creation and don’t know how to work with HTML, you should use the Word .docx file type because it is much quicker and easier to convert.
If your Word document is in doc format, simply do a “save as” in .docx.
More reading: Amazon KDP Keywords For Kindle Ebooks And Books
Preparing for the conversion from Word to epub and mobi
Once you have your Word docx file saved and ready, go to Calibre and click on ‘Add Book’ to select your book’s Word file.
Once it is added and listed on the main screen of Calibre, click on ‘Edit Metadata’.
In this screen, you can add all the details about your book and also add your book cover image.
Once complete, save, close and then click on ‘Convert Books’.
In the top right corner of the screen, select the file type epub and then click ok.
Your book will now be converted from Word to epub and saved in your Calibre Library.
Repeat the convert books process if you wish to convert your book again from Word to mobi for Kindle.
You will then have both epub and mobi files in your library.
Read your Word file as an ebook on your Kindle or iPad in a few minutes
Now go to your Calibre Library and copy your new mobi and epub book files onto your e-reader, iPad or Kindle and see exactly how your new book will look when it is published as an ebook.
You can now carefully proofread your new ebook on any device.
You can open your epub file by using Apple iBooks, or for mobi, use your Kindle or the Kindle app for your iPad, iPhone, PC or Mac.
You can also use the ebook reader in Calibre to read your ebook on-screen.
Only for Mac users
If you use Word on an Apple computer, there is a quick and easy way to convert your manuscript to epub with Apple Pages.
All you need to do is open your doc or docx file with Pages, and then export it to directly epub.
However, you cannot export to mobi format with Pages. But this is a simple way to prepare an epub copy of your ebook for beta readers or proofreaders.
Something went wrong!
If you discover formatting errors in your new ebook files, this usually means that there are issues with your Word document.
If you can’t correct the errors, the solution is to take the nuclear approach. You can find detailed instructions in our article on how to apply the nuclear solution to your Word document to solve these problems.
By converting your doc or docx manuscript from Word to epub or mobi before you publish, you can check and be absolutely sure that your ebook readers will read a beautifully formatted Kindle or epub ebook.