Monday, February 18, 2013

Formatting e-books for Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing

You might be wondering which format to choose when uploading your manuscript to Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing.  The best choice is Microsoft Word (.doc/.docx).
KDP also accepts these formats:
HTML (ZIP, HTM, or HTML)
Mobipocket (MOBI)
ePub (EPUB)
Plain Text (TXT)
Rich Text Format (RTF)
Adobe PDF (PDF)
There are a few problems you may run into when using MS Word to upload your e-Book to Amazon.  Complex formatting like tables and graphics could cause conversion errors.  Make sure to use the previewer on KDP if you think your e-book contains complex formatting.  Don't expect the font sizes, margins, and page numbers that you set in Word to convert exactly in KDP.  These settings will not apply because readers can adjust font sizes.
If your document contains graphics, you'll want to use the "Insert" function to add images; not the copy/paste function.
When uploading your MS Word file, make sure you load it all as one file.  But do not include the cover.  KDP will automatically embed the cover image.
If, like many, you try to upload your e-Book in Portable Document Format (PDF), you'll probably run into conversion problems such as
  • irregularly bolded text
  • irregular page breaks
  • irregular font sizes
  • inconsistent text flow
  • and missing or oversized images.
So your best bet is to format and upload your e-Book document in Microsoft Word.

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