Kindleizing Ebooks from MS Word

M

Mountaineer

New And Improved General Formatting Tips For Kindle
(most recent update October 28, 2011)

MICROSOFT OFFICE WORD is the most popular program for producing a
book that will translate well into the "html" format, which file
can be edited using a plain text editor then converted into the
Amazon Kindle format by using a freeware program called Calibre,
available for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux OS:
http://calibre-ebook.com/download.

Calibre imports the finished html file with linked graphics and
other needed resources into a "zip" file, then converts this into
the "mobi" format, automatically adding the essential "ncx guide"
and "metadata toc" functionality - provided that all of the Calibre
settings are correct and that the input file is properly formatted.

NOTE: simply uploading a Microsoft "doc" file directly to Amazon
for conversion from the Amazon Kindle Direct Publish: Bookshelf:
https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/signin =>
https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/dashboard does NOT add these
Kindle-friendly ncx and toc features, and that could be a major
turn-off for Kindle users who purchase and download your book from
Amazon only to discover that these expected features are missing.
This is why the Calibre conversion step is strongly recommended.

For editing in html, I currently use a freeware program called RJ
TextEd which makes html editing a breeze: http://rj-texted.se. But
don't edit your book in html until you've tested the converted
"mobi" file in an Amazon Kindle, or in the freeware Kindle
Previewer available for both Mac and Windows operating systems:
http://amazon.com/kindlepublishing. The book's text, cover, and
other graphical elements should appear to your satisfaction. If
not, go back and make any corrections needed in MS Word and repeat
the process (small caps for chapter incipits, and other formatting
tricks, must be done in html). Carefully review the book's
appearance, proofread all text, and test the functionality of the
internal table of contents. Also test the ncx and metadata toc
buttons for functionality and click each link to ensure that TOC
clicks match corresponding chapter numbers, about the author, etc.

Judicious usage of graphical elements can make a good book look
professionally designed, so make sure that your original MS Word
"doc" file includes all inserted "picture" files sized and placed
where you would expect to find them. All of the book's text should
be cleanly formatted and styled, and should include a table of
contents near the front of the book such as generated by MS Word's
"Insert> Reference> Index and Tables> Table of Contents" feature
(available in MS Office Word 2003; other Word versions may vary).

Book covers are nearly as important as the book itself. I've
learned that Amazon accepts book covers 2000 pixels tall by 1500
pixels wide when uploaded separately. Calibre converts this larger
uncompressed *.tif file to a smaller *.jpg file for the mobi book
(make sure "Disable compression of the file contents" is enabled).
Covers should be all original and grab the viewer's attention. The
theme of the book cover should generally match the book's title.
Freeware Inkscape http://inkscape.org and Gimp http://www.gimp.org
are outstanding programs for graphic design. Also, the freeware
NexusFont http://xiles.net/downloads/#NexusFont is superb for font
management, because it recognizes whole multiple directories of
fonts without needing to install them - the typesetter's bonanza!

The Amazon KDP Support : Formatting discussions on the Kindle forum
http://forums.kindledirectpublishing.com/kdpforums/forumindex.jspa
http://forums.kindledirectpublishing.com/kdpforums/forum.jspa?forumID=13
is the best place to find answers, expert advice, and links to
websites with tips, tricks, and step-by-step instructions on how
to Kindleize books. Calibre has become popular on this discussion
forum, so any answers on how to use Calibre are best found there.

Happy Kindleizing,
Mountaineer
 

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