The popular Amazon Kindle e-reader represents a unique opportunity for both seasoned, traditionally-published authors and newbie writers. Both benefit from the ability to quickly and easily release their books and articles as e-books for purchase by Kindle users. The combination of virtually no overhead costs and Amazon's generous commission structure (writers can earn as much as 70 per cent of the sale price of their books) creates a healthy, attractive profit margin.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Book manuscript
- Cover image
- Kindle Direct Publishing account
Save the book manuscript as a .doc file using a word processing program such as Microsoft Word or equivalent (OpenOffice.org has a free version).
Insert a manual page break at the end of each chapter to keep your chapters from running together. Use bold typeface, italic typeface, headings and paragraph indents to create variety in your book format and better organise the material.
Insert photos in .jpeg format, centred on the page. They will publish only in grey-scale, so make sure there is nothing colour-specific such as a colour-coded pie chart.
Create the pages known as "front matter" for your Kindle e-book. These should include at a minimum the Title Page with your title in large, bold typeface and your author name centred underneath in smaller print. Other pages often included in the front matter are a copyright page, dedication page, preface and prologue. It's up to you to determine which ones are right for your book.
Write the back matter pages for your book, if applicable. These could include a bibliography, notes section, glossary of terms, suggested reading, footnotes and appendix. Include what will be helpful to your reader and any documentation needed to support the information in your book.
Edit and spell check the entire document and ensure the material is ready for publication. A professional editor is a very good investment for your project and is invaluable at this stage. Hire one if at all possible.
Formatting a Book for Kindle
Save your ebook document file in Web Page, Filtered (.htm or .html) format. You can do this in Word and save the new file to your documents folder or onto your computer desktop.
Download the MobiPocket Creator from mobipocket.com and install it on your computer. This software provides the simplest way to convert your Web page, Filtered document into an e-book ready for Amazon Kindle.
Use the MobiPocket Creator to assemble your ebook, pulling together the book cover image and the main book file previously saved in .htm/ .html format. The program will automatically save your newly created book file in .prc format in your My Documents\My Publications folder. Take note of its location.
Log in to your Kindle Direct Publishing account and click the "Add new title" button under the Bookshelf section. Enter your book's title and a description in the boxes provided and verify your publishing rights.
Upload your book cover image and your .prc book content files where indicated and click "Save & Continue." Set the price for your Kindle book and click "Save and Publish." Expect your book to be live on amazon.com and in the kindle store within one to two days after you have completed the upload process.
Uploading & Publishing a Kindle Book
Tips and warnings
- Avoid using bullets, speciality fonts, document headers and footers in your document as these will not convert to Kindle formatting.
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